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Does anyone have any experience with the new media players in combination with theie home theater? I've read about a few, but I'm not sure how they would work within my system. I know someone with a Western Digital WD HD TV Media Player and he has it hooked directly to his LCD TV, but not his receiver. The main reason for this post is that I need to find a way to get at my brothers 10,000 albums that he has collected in MP3 format. I have portable media storage devices that would hold lots of music and hook into a media player via USB. So, Here are some questions for anybody with the knowledge to help.
1.) Can I HDMI this media player directly into my receiver?
2.) Is this what I'm looking for to play all of my music that's stored on my laptop?
3.) How is the sound and video quality?
4.) What are my other options?
Any help would be much appreciated.
Greetings! I have to disagree with Chad K on this one.
The Western Digital WD HD TV Media Player is a really great device. At $149.00 it is a steal as well. It is designed primarily to play media as opposed to Apple TV which is designed primarily as a means to sell content. The Apple handles fewer audio and video formats as well. It has a smallish internal hard drive, but you can use your external storage with the WD and have more storage for less money.
What you are getting with the WD unit is a sweet little Linux PC with an excellent GUI that is attractive, easy to use and functional. You can access content on line, from your networked PC's, from USB thumb drives and USB hard drive. You can add a USB wireless NIC if you want to network wirelessly. The device plays practically every audio and video file format you can throw at it, including FLAC for lossless audio. It can also display images and do slideshows.
Since this is a Linux device the networking is handled via Samba, which means easy set up and rock solid reliability.
To answer your questions:
Yes. Using HDMI you can get full 1080p resolution and surround on files that support it.
Yes. If your laptop is on your network this device will be able to access your files and play them. You can also use this device to transfer files from your laptop to a USB hard drive or a networked storage device.
As good as the source allows. Lossless FLAC files will be identical to the original, low bit rate MP3's will sound like...well...low bitrate mp3's. The same holds true for video. Keep in mind that music that has been ripped to minimize file size may sound fine with ear buds but be disappointing on a good set of speakers. At any rate, you don't have to worry about this unit not being up to the task of high quality audio and video reproduction.
You could build yourself a Linux HTPC. What you would gain is...well you'd gain a lot in terms of flexibility, and PC functionality. If you have never built a PC or tweaked a Linux OS before you would also gain an education and an appreciation of just how great a deal the WD Media Player is. For accessing and playing all types of media files on your networked PC, USB drives, and networked storage devices, I haven't seen any other black box media player that can touch it.
I've seen this done various ways. One of the easiest ways i've seen it done is with a shared external hard drive on a network and his PS3 accessed all the movies, music etc. Another way that's pretty practical is:
There's plenty of ways to use this. You can put your own modded software on this device and basically do whatever you want with it. There is plenty of tutorials out there about it.
I've seen the Western Digital Media Player device they have and I wasn't impressed with it, I worked at Best Buy for a few years, and we were always getting these returned and they would end up going with the Apple TV.
Ways to do this:
1. PS3 + Networked External Hard Drive = Streaming Video/Audio
2. Apple TV + Software = Streaming Video/Audio (Maybe limited to iTunes Store if software is not changed)
3. XBOX 360 also has a Media Extender but, I would personally have to say that I liked the PS3 interface a little better.
The link below shows a few different ways you can stream with the gaming consoles, multiple softwares, and configurations.
XBOX 360 & PS3 Tutorials
Hope this helps bro!
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I've seen the WD unit as low as $79.00. Let me just tell you what I want to do. I want to hook a media player to my receiver via a HDMI and hook a WD My passport data storage system to it via the USB. I will copy tons of files from My laptop(an my brothers collection) to the MY Passport to play through the media player. How does the WD unit display a menue? Simply on the TV? Then I would access my files using a remote? Is that it?
Thanks for the help.
It has a menu GUI. Easy to use and easy to navigate. IMHO
Ok, more questions. The new WD Live unit can be connected to the internet. They say you can play Youtube and Pandora on it. Can you go anywhere on the internet? There are a lot of streaming concert sites that would be great to play through my receiver (sugarmegs would be great). So, does the media player only allow specific sites or does your TV become a way to browse the internet??? So many questions!!!
No browser as far as I know. But it is open source so there may be something available out there.
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