WD TV Live Hub


The last time we came overseas, we saved space by simply ripping DVDs and putting them on a hard drive.  This time, I didn’t want to have to either watch the movies on a computer or figure out how to hook the computer up to a TV.  So I went looking for alternatives.

At first, I stumbled across Roku.  I was going to do it just for the online functionality; however, then I saw the Western Digital WD TV Live Hubalt in a store.  In addition to the online functionality, it included a hard drive.  Ahh!  It even has 2 USB ports you can hook other hard drives up to.  My initial thought was to get it and use it for online streaming as well as a backup hub (it comes with a 1 TB hard drive).

After being here and using it for a bit, I thought I would write about it.  The quality is excellent.  I have it hooked up with an HDMI cable and it looks good.  The movies I’ve put on it…no so good.  Some of them are encoded in a low quality so this isn’t the fault of the WD box.  In fact, the one movie I have that is decent quality looks really good.  The remote is simple and easy to figure out.  You can rate your movies and do tons more I haven’t figured out yet.

There are two things I don’t like about it.  First, it doesn’t have wireless built-in.  That isn’t a problem in our temporary home now; however, it means that I will have to make sure the ADSL modem is installed close to the TV.  Second, the built-in categories (movies, pictures, etc…) don’t seem to actually filter anything.  When I pick movies, I have to browse on the device to where my movies are located.  Either I haven’t figured something out or it doesn’t do it.

I haven’t yet hooked another hard drive up to it.  I think this will be a task for once we move into our permanent house in a few weeks.  Once I do that, I’ll update this post with information about that.

I can’t speak for things like the Roku or Apple TV, but I would recommend the Western Digital WD TV Live Hubalt to anyone looking for an IPTV solution.  The hard drive is a good bonus and comes in quite handy too.

Full disclosure:  The links in this article are through my Amazon Affiliate account.  if you order the device from that page, I’ll get credit and a small kickback from Amazon. 

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