WD TV Live Review

WDTVFor anyone who loves network broadcast shows and wishes they could do away with expensive cable contracts and still be able to tune into their favorites TV shows,WDTV may be the magic ticket.

WDTV is a video streaming device that works like a tuner of sorts, picking up live digital broadcasts of network TV. The added bonus is that WDTV also acts as a DVR, allowing the device user to record shows at their leisure.

Amazon Pricing: WD TV Live & WD TV Live Hub

WDTV ControllerWDTV Controller

WDTV offers users an array of controls like fast forward, rewind, X-speed jumping, stop/play, pause and record. With the various controls WDTV devices give a full range of options without becoming a confusing or overly taxing process.

Even Turn your Phone into a Remote Control

Take control of your WDTV Live or WDTV Live Hub experience with the remote app that allows you to control everything using the  touch screen on your phone. Search for movies and your favorite TV shows episodes using your smartphone keyboard. Use the gesture pad for quick and easy navigation to your personal media & Internet entertainment.

If your not interested in using your phone as a remote, I strongly recommend purchasing a wireless mini keyboard. This type of keyboard is a great accessory for your WDTV system. Its small and compact, allowing you to carry it anywhere. It is like having a full size keyboard and mouse that can fit in your pocket. Amazon Pricing: FAVI Entertainment Wireless Keyboard

Compressed/Full Quality

WD TV live tuners attached to the hard drive unit offer two different options for streaming and recording. Should the hard drive be approaching maximum storage, users can switch the record option to “Compress”. This allows the device to store the wanted programs in a smaller storage imprint. The viewing quality drops to 720p, but that is the trade off for the bonus storage in the device.

For those who want the “Full Quality” option, set the WD TV device to the appropriate setting and enjoy up to 1080p HDTV viewing.

WDTV Features

  • Apps: Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Youtube, Facebook, Spotify, VUDU, AOL HD, Sling Player, MLB.TV, CinemaNow, Flixter, PlayJam, TuneIn, Hauppauge, Shoutcast Radio, Vimeo, Picasa, Daily Motion, Live 364.99, LaunchPad, AccuWeather, YuppTV, Deezer, College Sports, WatchMojo, Comedy Time, Skitter TV, Snag Films, & Digital Network
  • Audio: MP3, WAV/PCM/LPCM, WMA, AAC, FLAC, MKA, AIF/AIFF, OGG, Dolby Digital, DTS
  • Video: 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


Amazon Pricing: WD TV Live & WD TV Live Hub

Watch Live TV with Hauppauge

WDTV devices and DVR hubs have offered the ability to stream TV and movies from Internet streaming services. Now, the new WDTV devices allow for Live TV broadcasts to be picked up and viewed on tablets or computers. The WDTV works with Internet streamer Hauppauge to allow live broadcasts to be picked up via the WDTV unit. Anyone who has a WDTV device with the hub hard drive can record the live broadcasts for later viewing. Live broadcasts includes sporting events as well as basic cable programming.

To watch live TV on the WDTV, users need to plug in a USV TV tuner adapter from Hauppauge. Officially, there is only one supported model available (Amazon:  WinTV-HVR-950Q); but it is reported that the Boxee Live TV dongle is also compatible. Once plugged in, the WD TV device becomes a full entertainment center, making the growing list of viable cable TV alternatives.

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The WDTV devices offer a viable and very real option for cutting cable costs each month while keeping the shows you love.


Helen Back