WD TV HD Media Player

Western Digital (WD) is today unveiling their new HD media player that’s designed to work with the company’s line of My Passport portable drives, as well as third party USB storage devices. The stand alone unit connects directly to your TV or HDTV and provides media center style navigation and playback of photos, music, and videos. Prospective buyers will also be happy to learn that the WD TV HD Media Player provides an HDMI connection and resolution support up to 1080p. Suggested retail price is $129.99 and is available now at select retailers.

Supported Media Formats
VIDEO: MPEG-1/2/4, WMV9, AVI (MPEG-4, Xvid, AVC), H.264, MKV, MOV (MPEG-4, H.264)
Playist: PLS, M3U, WPL
Subtitle: SRT (UTF-8)

WD TV HD Media Player Brings Digital Media Collections to the Big Screen

New Product Turns WD® My Passport™ Portable Drives into HD Media Players

WD® (NYSE: WDC), the world’s leader in external storage solutions, today introduced a simple way for consumers to play their stored digital content on their HDTV in Full-HD 1080p resolution. The WD TV™ Media Player connects to a user’s TV or home theater and plays digital movies, music and photos from WD’s My Passport™ portable drive or other USB mass storage device. The WD TV Media Player is available now at WD’s online store (www.shopwd.com) and select retailers.

According to research firm IDC, nearly 334 million GB of photos and more than 3.1 billion GB of video will be stored on consumer desktop and laptop computers in 2008. The research firm expects that to increase to 400 million GB and 5.8 billion GB, respectively, by 2010.

These large personal digital libraries are all but trapped on users’ computers. In order to play their content on their TV, consumers have struggled with clumsy solutions such as copying onto multiple CDs and DVDs or connecting their PCs to their TV via wires or complicated home networking solutions. The WD TV HD Media Player enables consumers to easily and elegantly access their high-definition content on the biggest screen in the home.

Users leave the WD TV HD Media Player connected to their TVs and simply plug in up to two My Passport USB drives or other USB mass storage devices loaded with HD media. Using the included remote control, they can navigate and play their content with the media player’s high-definition on-screen menu. With My Passport drives now available in 500 GB capacities, users can build large collections on multiple drives, all playable by WD TV.

Navigating content on USB drives is fast and easy with WD TV HD Media Player’s remote control and on-screen menu. Content can be viewed either by filename or thumbnails of photos, album covers or movie cover art. In addition, automatic media aggregation lets the viewer see all their media by media type in one menu regardless of its location in folders or drives.

“As leaders in external storage, we have become the trusted brand for storing and backing up large media collections for consumers around the world,” said Jim Welsh, senior vice president and general manager for WD’s Branded Products and Consumer Electronics Groups. “Our best-selling My Passport portable drives help customers carry their media library with them anywhere but until now, there has been no easy, affordable way to access and play all that content in their living rooms. The WD TV HD Media Player effectively unlocks all that content from the storage device and lets people enjoy it on their biggest screen and best sound system.”

Features of the WD TV HD Media Player include:

  • Designed for WD’s My Passport portable drives, it also plays content from WD My Book® family of drives and most popular USB drives, digital cameras, camcorders, and portable media players that can be recognized as mass storage devices;
  • Full HD video playback and navigation – up to 1080p – to experience the spectacular picture quality of HD video and crystal clear sound clarity of digital audio;
  • Remote control to navigate through entertainment choices using the crisp, animated HD menus;
  • Dock and play convenience: just plug in a My Passport drive or other USB storage device with HD content to play it on a TV or home entertainment system;
  • Collect without limits by adding more USB drives for more accessible content;
  • Advanced navigation options such as thumbnail and list views; WD’s Media Library™ feature lets users view all media by media type in one menu regardless of its location in folders or drives; ability to search by genre, title, artist, filename and partial filename;
  • Photo viewing features to create custom slides shows; ability to zoom and pan; search photos by filename, partial filename, most recently viewed and date;
  • Movie viewing with ability to fast forward, rewind, pause, zoom, and pan, view subtitles and search by filename, partial filename, most recently viewed and date;
  • Music playback with fast forward, rewind, pause, shuffle, repeat and search by filename, partial filename, most recently viewed and date;
  • Two USB ports on the player connects up to two USB mass storage devices and access them simultaneously while the Media Library feature aggregates the content on both drives into one list sorted by media type;
  • High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI®) port connects to the highest quality HDTV or home theater; additional composite (RCA) outputs ensure compatibility with virtually all television sets;
  • Free ArcSoft MediaConverter™ 2.5 software to easily convert photo, video, and music files into formats optimized for use on the WD TV HD Media Player;
  • Ultra-compact design that fits easily into a home entertainment center; and,
  • 1-year limited warranty.

Pricing and Availability
The WD TV HD Media Player is available now at select retailers and WD’s online store (www.shopwd.com). MSRP for WD TV HD Media Player is $129.99 USD.

About WD
WD, one of the storage industry’s pioneers and long-time leaders, provides products and services for people and organizations that collect, manage and use digital information. The company produces reliable, high-performance hard drives that keep users’ data accessible and secure from loss. WD applies its storage expertise to consumer products for external, portable and shared storage applications.

WD was founded in 1970. The company’s storage products are marketed to leading systems manufacturers, selected resellers and retailers under the Western Digital® and WD brand names. Visit the Investor section of the company’s Web site (www.westerndigital.com) to access a variety of financial and investor information

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Filed in: Peripherals, Streaming Media Devices

11 Reactions to “WD TV HD Media Player”

  1. Scott Weaver says:

    H.264 and MKV support are a big plus I would think. Room for a internal drive would have been even sweeter.

  2. Greg Wishart says:

    This would be PERFECT for me if it supported Component video (not Composite video) and supported .ISO files of DVDs.

    Is there such thing as an HDMI->Component cable?

  3. Scott Weaver says:

    Greg, from what I have read, it *does* support .ISO files with one big exception: no menu/chapter support. Big problem there, but I am sure it’s easily fixed with an update.

  4. Greg Wishart says:

    I just bought one of these little boxes. They’re cute and small, and work pretty good but no .ISO file support. The ISO files show up in the menu but when I click on one, I get a message that the file is unsupported.

    The documentation doesn’t mention what file formats are supported, so I’m going to try FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, Mac OS Extended, ext2, FAT32ex, etc.

    I ripped a DVD using DVDDecrypter and it plays the VOBs but no menu/chapter support as Scott Weaver mentioned.

  5. brett says:

    Hey Greg W. I have questions about the HD. Can you shoot me an e-mail at Brettg83@gmail.com so I can talk to you directly?

  6. Mitch says:

    I have had two different units now and I have been having trouble with the remote and the menus skipping files. It has been happening more regularly, but the remote and unit do not respond to each other. Not sure what is happening here. Also, when I scroll through files it sometimes starts scrolling through on its own.

  7. Doodlebot says:

    Just got one, BestBuy has a deal going on for $99, pick up from store, avoid shipping costs. Try looking for online coupons. BestBuy Reward Zone coupon will knock this price down by another 12%. Mine did not work as I found one for a future date >:(
    Very tough to find them in store, each BB store gets just few, I had to really work hard to get hold of one, since I didn’t want to wait.

    Mitch, there’s a “RESET” option in settings that you can use to reset the drive to factory defaults. That’s like hitting the reboot button :) that worked for me when it refused to play avi and mpg all of a sudden.

    Mighty happy with the capabilities, I wish DVD playback had menu/chapter support. I will try to upgrade firmware and see if future versions support that. There’s a tad bit lag in loading the thumbnails of pics. Really like the search feature, saves a lot of time when you have 500 GB of data to mine :)

  8. Greg Wishart says:

    I gave my WDTV box to my dad as a Christmas present. So far he’s happy with it but I might get another one for myself eventually. I want to wait until my MvixPVR shows up though.

    There is a firmware upgrade to the WDTV:
    “We’ve received tremendous feedback on WD TV and some great suggestions to improve the product even more. In response to your requests, we’re pleased to offer product enhancements to make your viewing experience better than ever. We’ve also added support for additional file formats like .MTS, .TS and .TP. Updating your media player is simple. Just follow the instructions below, grab your remote and enjoy the show!”

    What’s New?

    * Even more video file formats supported
    * Improved subtitle support. Additional advanced features added
    * Enhanced Matroska (MKV) support for chapters and subtitles
    * Enhanced media playback and navigation
    * Improved power management

  9. Thiru says:

    I was looking for a device like WDTV which would support play list (m3u/wpl) which would play video clips. After reading the WDTV User Manual I bought a WDTV. Then spent a day trying to play video clips (of various formats) via playlist (both m3u and wpl) without any success. Took WDTV back to the store and the technical person there tried to do what I did. He too could not do it. I contacted WD technical support and they did not provide any solution.

    I would be interested to find if any one of you have tried this feature.

  10. Birdie says:

    Same with me, I also need to find how to create playlists.

    One other thing I need to find is, how I can keep the WDTV from showing this status window for a few seconds on beginning and end of a clip.

    I want to use it for homecinema trailers, and this status thing is a no-go here :-(

    Anyone any idea?