Usage & Testing
So like most people you are probably are going to be using this media player to play video files mostly. What is very cool about the Western Digital TV Live Hub is that you can play media from the internal storage, USB storage or even over the network. Western Digital has pre-installed some media on the device. Going through the menu’s and navigating to your media is very easy. As far as video formats go the Western Digital TV Live Hub supports AVI (Xvid, AVC, MPEG1/2/4), MPG/MPEG, VOB, MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG1/2/4, VC-1), TS/TP/M2T (MPEG1/2/4, AVC, VC-1), MP4/MOV (MPEG4, h.264), M2TS, WMV9, and FLV (h.264). I have played all of these different types of video files and everything played back perfectly, even over the network.
So how do you get media on the WD TV Live Hub? You can plug in a USB drive loaded with media and it will transfer it over, but it puts it in a USB sync folder. If you are anything like me you need organization so you can choose to send files to the device over the network. There are 2 ways to do this, first you can see the device as a network share, so just open it up and you can drag and drop files like you would with any other network share. The TV Live Hub also shows up as a Media Device. When you open it up it brings you to the Twonky Media Server, which allows you to view and transfer files to the device.
Besides just playing your own media there are a list of services that you can use to stream media and do other tasks. The included services include AccuWeather.com, Deezer, Facebook, Flickr, flingo, Live 365, Mediafly, Picasa, Tunein radio and YouTube. It seems that Netflix, Pandora and CinemaNow are missing according to Western Digital’s list of Online Services here. This is just unacceptable to me, I have the latest firmware and everything on the device. I even reset the device and tried to roll-back to firmware. Netflix, Pandora, CinemaNow and Blockbuster on Demand still do not show up. This is a big issue as many people use these services and would purchase the device thinking they can use these services. There are 4 games included with the latest firmware update.
You can also login to the WD TV Live Hub via your browser to change some of the settings, and even control the unit. This is actually pretty cool since it can be brought up on any browser, so you can use your smart phone or tablet to control the device.