: wdtv live, patriot, asus o'play ... which one?

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2009-11-19, 04:22 PM
I'm looking for users information on these media players (extenders?). I have read most of the reviews and many reviews contradict each other.

Also, I have tried to price out the WDTV Live in Canada and it seems that there is no stock in the entire country!

I think that this type of device would suit my needs beautifully. I know the advantages of the PS3, XBox360, stand alone blu ray player etc...but this device seems to fill my needs better and cheaper than the others. My budget is around $150 max.

My main requirement is a device that can play media (movies mostly) from usb devices. I do have a simple wireless network at home but it is not 'N' so I don't think I would have the bandwidth to stream wirelessly. I have no problem running a cat 5 to the unit.

Does anyone have any negatives or positives from personal experience on any, some or all of these devices? I would also appreciate any advice on similar players not mentioned in the title.
Also include if you know the availability of these.

Thanks in advance.

2009-11-19, 05:00 PM
I think you will be very happy with the WDTV Live. It's a great way to futureproof your family - at least for a few years.

And rumour has it that it's going down to $149 tomorrow at Best Buy.

2009-11-19, 05:28 PM
Thanks for your advice!
I checked BB Canada and they show 'out of stock'....but I'll check again tomorrow; maybe they don't update the web as often as they should.

2009-11-19, 07:21 PM
As a Squeezebox owner, I already have a media server setup for distributing audio around the house. I've been considering one of these "Media Tank" devices, including the Popcorn Hour and a few others.

Colleagues of mine own the WDTV (original), WDTV-live and the Patriot. The consensus of online reviews is that the ASUS O!Play does not provide as clear a picture as the others.

Feedback from a colleague on the WDTV was positive, except for the fact that running native FW, it wasn't networked. Other colleagues jumped on the WDTV-live when it first came out and raved about the improved performance over the original box. One guy complained of stuttering on 1080p playback over the network, but said this is now fixed and rock-solid with the latest FW upgrade.

I spoke with the first guy that owned the WDTV in my office today and he excitedly ran out last week to buy a Patriot, mainly for the portability aspect; take the unit to the cottage w/ content on the internal HDD.

Today he was complaining that while the Patriot was fine accessing content from the internal drive and an external USB drive, he was not able to get it to see network-shared drives.

Based on the experiences of my office colleagues, if I were to purchase a unit today, I'd probably opt for the WDTV-live.

When the unit first came out, it was selling for $129 at CanadaComputers and $169 at BestBuy. Some of the guys I know were able to get BB to price-match on CC when they had stock. Also note that in the US, BestBuy is selling the WDTV-live for us$119. I'm heading to the US for Thanksgiving and my pick one up, especially since I notice that CC, NCIX and others have now jacked their price to $139

2009-11-19, 07:36 PM
I've had the WD TV Live for a couple of weeks now and it has been flawless. I have no problems playing back 1080P mkv's over my wired network. I also attached a 1.5TB drive to the box and it shows up as a network share on my mac and pc which makes it easy to transfer files over if I want. It also works great with my Harmony 880 remote.

The hacking community is also very active with the WD TV Live. There is already an enhance firmware available if you are interested in that sort of thing. I'm running stock firmware now but I may upgrade in a bit.

Feel free to ask any questions about the unit.

2009-11-19, 08:15 PM
Wow. That's exactly the feedback I was looking for. Real world experience. Thanks civuk, agn and superg.

Based on your information and a little bit on 'net reviews, I think I have decided....wdtv live.

Now I just have to chase one down.

Of course, black friday is only 8 days away!

2009-11-19, 09:40 PM
I bought it a few weeks ago, the network function was so broken it was embarrassing to use. They finally released the first firmware update a couple of days ago and my network issue seemed to be fixed.

It is a supercool gadget given the size and it's video capability. It cannot replace the bedroom HTPC as I do a lot of OTA and the WD is inferior to HTPC with VMC.

2009-11-20, 12:05 AM
I bought my WDTV Original in May from Costco... I have nothing but good things to say about it! DTS was never an issue for me as I had the fibre optic connection from the unit to my receiver that decodes DTS, networking didn't matter either since I don't like the idea of streaming and slowing down my PC as well, plus its not really idiot-proof then.

The way I have it setup, its configured in my Harmony 880 as another activity and anyone in the house can use it... nothing new to learn.

Then the WDTV Live comes out, supports DTS, is a much faster unit with better RAM and CPU, decodes DTS on the fly (makes it portable, takes an AV receiver out of the equation), streaming bothers me, but so does walking the drive over to my PC everytime a download completes to add files. So I'm gonna make good use of Costco's return policy, return this sucker and pick up a unit today at a BB that has stock and show them the printout from XpressCanada (owned by Canada Computers, same head office address/ phone numbers). CC is an authorized WD reseller so shove that in the CSR/ Manager's face at BB if they throw that at you... here's a link that clearly shows CC's logo when Canada is selected as the country:

In conclusion, I would highly recommend the WD Device... first hand experience with the WD Original for over 6 months and looking forward to the WD Live tomorrow even though some issues with the live have been reported but it has to be better than the WD Original.

2009-11-20, 10:39 AM
My local BB has them (WDTV Live) instock.... And they are in the same 'bin' with the original WDTV's = listed @ 119.99.

Anyways, just picked one up this week... Loving it. Some issues with network shares not having media available, when there IS media in there. This is the biggest issue with the WDTV Live. Other than that, it's flawless. The wife and kids are loving it! I'm also thinking of putting the hacked FW on this thing, just to see if it fixes the networking issues.

I also tried it with playon (media server) and it works great. There is a little bit of a pause when using the playon server as it's re-encoding prior to dishing the media out to the WDTV. Being in Canada though, there isn't too much available on Playon. I added some pluggins (adding TV stations) but the quality wasn't too good.

Currently running with the upgraded stock FW on a wired connection, no external HDD's attached. This thing also acts as a NAS if you have one connected to it ;)

2009-11-21, 09:23 AM
What location is your local BB?

2009-11-23, 10:53 AM
Ordered a WDTV-live from Amazon.com; us$119 w/ free shipping to a US address. :)

BTW, correction to my earlier post. I spoke to my colleague with the Patriot and he confirmed that while is able to share the internal drive across his home network, he is not able to share external USB drives via the Patriot box. He was hoping to use the machine as a NAS.

2009-11-23, 07:23 PM
still can't get my WDTVLive to see my XP shares (but easy workaround with Tversity) but I'm still amazed with concept of these devices. Lovin' my WDTV Live, no complaints.

2009-11-23, 08:45 PM
Well, I jumped in a bought a 'Live' from NCIX. $129 with instant rebate. I didn't want to wait till Black Friday...these things seem to be hard to come by.

Why can't it see the XP shares? I didn't see that as a common complaint when I did my research.

I run XP SP3.

2009-11-24, 06:39 AM
I was ready to buy the WD Live but not if there are XP share issues. These sharing issues appear to be quite common. I have a Win XP server with all my content on it, so seeing the data is critical.

2009-11-24, 07:23 AM
For general discussions and issues related to the WDTVLive, please use this thread
Western Digital WD TV Live HD Media Player (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=114131)

I picked up the Live when it first came out (and I am happy with it), but the last couple of times I've been in my local supplier I've seen people walking out with the Patriot Box Office unit. Seems popular, although I haven't done any research on it.

2009-11-24, 02:55 PM
I bought the O!Play a few weeks ago, and have no complaints about it. It plays pretty well anything I point it at, I get full dvd menus from ISO files and video_ts folders when I point it at a folder full of mp4 or .mov files from my point and shoot cameras it plays them all in sequential order. The preview screen is nice as well. I have run into one time where some downloaded content gives an error, but it's only been on one file out of the hundreds I have.

I am still on the original firmware, perhaps the upgrade will fix that. As far as PQ, I watched a 6gb mkv file of the new Star Trek movie and it was as clear as the blu-ray I saw playing of the same movie. Plenty good enough for these old eyes anyway.

I am looking for another one of these for my other set, and for comparison reasons I want a different type. I was thinking of the wdtv live or the patriot, the patriot having a slight edge with its drive bay and the ability to serve as another NAS once you have a drive in it, but the wdtv live runs on a different chipset so I may go that way just to compare. As I was writing this, a co worker just sent me this link for the new offering from Lacie (http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?pid=11389), which looks pretty attractive with its 1tb of storage included, selling for $250 - making it easily worth the extra $100 or so over the others, considering I just paid C$200 for a 1tb WD nas drive.

2009-11-24, 05:32 PM
With the hacked firmware the WDTV Live can act as a NAS when you attach an external HDD to it.

Something to consider ;)

In on Vancouver Island and picked up a second one for a buddy for the same price 119.99.

I'nm on XP sp3 and have no issue with network shares (only have 1). I did have issues when I had shared a folder with LOTS of sub folders and files. I could see the share and folders but always told me there was no media. I moved the files into another share with no sub folders and the WDTV saw everything and plays them all.

2009-11-24, 08:31 PM
My WDTV Live can act as a network server as well. I updated the firmware last week and the network is a lot more reliable. However, the speed is pretty slow.

Actually, I was re-installing a terabyte hard drive from an XP machine to a Vista machine...that drive was a LOGICAL drive that Vista didn't like and actually screwed it up as I was trying PC Doctor data retrieval. My XP machine could not read it anymore !

I popped the drive into an enclosure and the WDTV Live recognized it and saw all my 500GB+ of ATSC recordings. Whew!

I decided to move all content out of that drive and reformat it. Took more than a day to move stuff over my gigabit network.

2009-11-25, 01:17 PM
I think there is also hacks for the asus that let you treat a connected drive as network storage as well, but I haven't tried them yet. Adding a WD mybook world edition made that a moot point for me.

However the patriot and lacie units offer that out of the box, which may be a consideration when looking at one, depending on your needs

2009-12-04, 09:28 PM
I am picking up a Patriot just for the simple fact that it is portable with an internal drive. On long trips, i can attach it to my in car lcd screen and have two quiet kids for a few hours with no issues or concerns about an extra external device.

The fact that it supports BD ISO's is an other bonus feature.