WD Live TV Hub Media Center

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WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  Ikon on Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:57 am

This will be a multi-part review and will also include set-up instruction, tips and what to look out for when considering this product.

Media center is not something new, have been in the market for quite sometime but not very popular due to the available contents here as compare to the US market. In particular when I decide to emabark on this trip into media center, my main objective is my photographs since I'm now a DSLR freak. With digital, the problem is sharing them. No doubt you can pass it around or even have it hosted on some server on the internet, but that would restrict access to some people.

Generally you can also have it on your portable harddrive and plug it in on any PC, but the screen size and resolution will not do justice to your images. If yo have your desktop with bigger monitor in the bedroom like me, it would be a bit awkard to have your guests trampling over your personal domain to view the images. With DLNA, actually you can have it hosted on your NAS (Network Attached Storage)and view it direct from your DLNA capable TV.

Considering this option, the NAS will have limited capability when it comes to sharing the media. The next logical step would be the media center hub itself, there are many available in the market, and be careful when choosing the unit to purchase, some media center are as they advertise a "media center". These are just boxes that run media contents (like an user interface) off the internet or from your NAS.

The Western Digital Live TV Hub media center comes with 1 Terabyte of storage space, which actually act as your Media Center combine with NAS capability as well.

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The RRP for this is $319.

To be continue..overview..
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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  Ikon on Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:26 pm

Continue...

Here is the specification for the media hub:-

WD TV Live Hub 1 TB, Full-HD 1080p, network media center ( WDBABZ0010BBK)

File Formats Supported
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
Photo - JPEG, GIF, TIF/TIFF, BMP, PNG
Audio - MP3, WAV/PCM/LPCM, WMA, AAC, FLAC, MKA, AIF/AIFF, OGG, Dolby Digital, DTS
Playlist - PLS, M3U, WPL
Subtitle - SRT, ASS, SSA, SUB, SMI

Note

MPEG2 MP@HL up to 1920x1080p24, 1920x1080i30 or 1280x720p60 resolution.
MPEG4.2 ASP@L5 up to 1280x720p30 resolution and no support for global motion compensation.
WMV9/VC-1 MP@HL up to 1280x720p60 or 1920x1080p24 resolution. VC-1 AP@L3 up to 1920x1080i30, 1920x1080p24 or 1280x720p60 resolution.
H.264 BP@L3 up to 720x480p30 or 720x576p25 resolution.
H.264 MP@L4.1 and HP@4.1 up to 1920x1080p24, 1920x1080i30, or 1280x720p60 resolution.
An audio receiver is required for multi-channel surround sound digital output.
Compressed RGB JPEG formats only and progressive JPEG up to 2048x2048.
Single layer TIFF files only.
Uncompressed BMP only.
For details, please refer to the user manual.

File Formats Not Supported
Does not support protected premium content such as movies or music from the iTunes Store, Cinema Now, Movielink, Amazon Unbox, and Vongo

Physical Specifications
Capacity 1 TB
Interface Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0, HDMI, Composite A/V, Component video, Optical audio

Physical Dimensions

Height 1.25 Inches
Depth 7.80 Inches
Width 6.10 Inches
Weight 1.22 Pounds

[Metric]
Height 31.75 mm
Depth 198 mm
Width 154.00 mm
Weight 0.55 kg

Environmental Specifications
Temperature (English)
Operating 41° F to 95° F
Non-operating -40° F to 149° F

Temperature (Metric)
Operating 5° C to 35° C
Non-operating -40° C to 65° C

Electrical Specifications
Current Requirements
Power Dissipation
AC Input Voltage 100-240 VAC
AC Input Frequency 50-60 Hz

As used for storage capacity, one megabyte (MB) = one million bytes, one gigabyte (GB) = one billion bytes, and one terabyte (TB) = one trillion bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending on operating environment. As used for buffer or cache, one megabyte (MB) = 1,048,576 bytes. As used for transfer rate or interface, megabyte per second (MB/s) = one million bytes per second, megabit per second (Mb/s) = one million bits per second, and gigabit per second (Gb/s) = one billion bits per second.


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First Take - unboxing the WD Live TV Hub

Post  Ikon on Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:13 pm

Unboxing the unit, first impression ~ good.

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This is what that comes in the box...

The Live TV Hub

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Below the hub, you'll find the remote (AAA batteries provided) and the power adapter

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A closeer look at the remote and etc.,

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Front view of the Live TV Hub

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And the rear with all the connectors, which inlcude a HDMI (1.4), components output, network port, rear usb port (and 1 more on the front panel) and SPID (Optical cable).

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Click on the images for a bigger picture.

In the box you'll get a quick installation quide in pictorial, just to show how easy to set this thing up. There's no User Manual, you'll have to download from the WD website.
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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  starstruck96 on Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:41 pm

Nice.HD summore.

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Installation

Post  Ikon on Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:05 pm

Update on the WD Live TV Hub, installation out of the box is very simple, you can either hook it up via component RGB cables, audio out to the TV or you can connect your sound to you amps/decorder or AV receiver. There is also audio out via optical cable. In my case with the new TV, it's HDMI out to the TV ( for now).

Switch the TV to the input channel and plug in the power you are ready to go. What comes with the Live TV Hub, the contents are not relevant, so far I can access only You Tube, 360Live and MediaFly, movie channel such as Pandora is only for US. Also available are Flcker, Facebook.

Tested YouTube, streaming is almost no buffering, although you won't be able to watch some of the clips which is notmeant for TV content. I have yet to try and access Starhub channel on internet, will try that our some other days.

Internet contents are made possible by either wired connection or wireless, I use a wireless N donggle on one of the USB port and setup is very simple, all I have to do is just get into the "setup" menu, select network and auto scan for the available SSID. Then it's just entering the passkey and I'm connected. The first time I got connected, the Live TV Hub immediately prompt for firmware update, so now it's set to auto update and whenever WD comes up with a new firmware for my device, it will automatically update.

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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  Ikon on Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:43 am

It's almost a month since I set up the WD Live TV and so far everything is a okay! The media centre works as advertise except that media streaming is using Wonky and I'm not to adaptable to this as the files listed for video is at root level and abit messy looking for the files to play. Photos and music files no problem and can access from almost any PC and mobile devices. Only thing is that you don't play it off the media but download to your devices.

Since the setup, I have been converting my video collection and uploading them to the media hub. On the average the files are between 3 to 7GB per DVD. Since I'm uploading the files from my PC via wireless, a single upload can take between half and hour to 1 hour depending on my internal traffic. A faster way would be to transfer the files to an external harddrive or thumb drive big enough to hold the entire folder, attached that to the USB port on the WB TV hub, this will be faster maybe a 7GB file transfer will take about 15 minutes. Another way is to attached a LAN network cable which will be faster than the wireless transfer.

Watching movies from the Live TV Hub is also seemless, no lag and you get to enjoy it just like when you watch from the DVD player. Word of note, you watch what you have, i.e. if your original source in recorded for 16:9 then you get to watch it in full screen. I also noted that some DVDs are encoded on 2 channel and you catch it as 2 channel output. Therefore your source is quite important if you want to enjoy the full HD mode.

Now I can bring down my DVDc ollection, by renting rather than buying them. Now working on Blue Ray next Laughing
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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  starstruck96 on Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:54 am

Nice.no nid blu ray liao.better hook up using LAN cable for fastrr internet usage.

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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  Ikon on Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:14 pm

Continuing this review, overall the WD TV is okay however just a few days ago, the remote control cannot work... Sad So did a google, seem to be a known issue. Solution is to turn off the set at the main and restart the unit, wait for awhile the remote should work..sure enough did that and got the remote working again.

Also recently turn on my set and saw there was a new firmware available, update the firmware and got a few more "channels" least to say. Laughing Now I can listen to world's radio and I'm spoilt for choice, unfortunately I don't have the time to go through the listing... or for that matter to listen for one, maybe one of these days, I will find a channel that I can tune too...
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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  starstruck96 on Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:13 pm

Its a world wide web out there.

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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  Ikon on Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:32 pm

Suddenly got renewed energy and decided to wired up my home network. I already have exisisting cable and all I need to do is extend the fibre optic broadband router to the old location of my normal broadband router. Took me a good half an evening to complete the cabling and now I can wired up my LG TV, WD Live TV Hub to my main and kid's PC.

So now I can access internet for the TV, the WD Live TV Hub now gets 100 mb/s connection to the internet as well. Setting up the Live TV Hub on the wired network was as easy as setting up the wirelss network, all I have to do is plug in the cable and everything is auto.

First time I plug in nothing happen, no fault of the WD Live TV fault but my own, somehow I got the cable wrongly terminated, plug in a good cable and everything is back up again. However I got a problem detecting the Live Hub on my Win7 PC, the PC is able to detect the media player on the Hub TV but not the network attached storage function, so I could not upload files on the HubTV. Took a while configuring the network setup and finally manage to set up the NAS. Upload speed is much improve from the wireless setup. Manage to upload a 4 GB file between 6 to 8 mb/s as compare to the previous wireless setup of between 1 to 2 mb/s. Now I canmove files between devices faster if they are wired base.

Will close this review after a few more days or weeks of monitoring and will offer my conclusion on the WD Live TV Hub.
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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  Ikon on Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:28 pm

So this will finalize my review on the WD Live TV, overall I have no problem using this device on my home network and on my entertainment system, seemless streaming for You Tube and playing movies, with the exception of the remote thingy, otherwise this is a cool gadget to hook up. Note of warning, home networking newbies might have some problem connecting this device to the home network if you are not familiar with networking especially if you OS cross between Win 7, XP and Vista. It's not the fault of the WD LIve TV but more on the OS layer as usual.

Overall I would rate Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven out of 5 for ease of use, design and my favorite part would be the auto upgrading of the firmware, no more worries about that being updated!

Moving forward, I'm done with this technology, have a good understanding of how this works. There is a possibility of me letting this device go to fund my next project! Anyone interested please PM me.
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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  starstruck96 on Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:37 pm

Huh...u r done with the project n u are letting go?another new project coming up?Woah sey. .Incredible enthusiasts u gt there.

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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  Ikon on Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:17 pm

starstruck96 wrote:Huh...u r done with the project n u are letting go?another new project coming up?Woah sey. .Incredible enthusiasts u gt there.

Technology interest me la, especially those that we can make use of in our everyday application, in this instance as I fiddle with the WD Live and my home networking, certain things seem to dawn on me and the short comings. For instance, my newly installed WD Live has already use up 1/3 of the available storage space of 1TB. I also noted that my shared drive will only be available if the PC is turn on and when working from another PC, I cannot access my files and also matters about redundancy. Next project will address most of these issues, utilizing the media player, Bit Torrent and accessing my files not only from my home networking but also elsewhere via Internet access and etc. I need the challenge to keep my brain from becoming dormant, and such challenge excite me more than taking a walk along Lor 14 Geylang if you get what I mean Wink
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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  starstruck96 on Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:08 am

Geylang Lor 14?? ...taking a walk only??sure not...patrolling the streets ehh?anyway its beyond ur jurisdiction area lor..
true that technology keeps ur brain moving forward..thinking of wat other gadjets of knowledge will be avail soon.
soon u have a shiny head as ur brain need more "space" to think.. lol!

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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  Ikon on Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:19 am

starstruck96 wrote:Geylang Lor 14?? ...taking a walk only??sure not...patrolling the streets ehh?anyway its beyond ur jurisdiction area lor..
true that technology keeps ur brain moving forward..thinking of wat other gadjets of knowledge will be avail soon.
soon u have a shiny head as ur brain need more "space" to think.. lol!

Not worried about that, I rather have an active mind and a bald head then an inactive brain. Seriously my late Dad, was always reading and fiddling with electronics. In his late 80's he got me setup a PC for him and he learn how to make use of the PC all on his own with a little tip from me here and there. His mind was as sharp as ever and he was never senile till he pass on at 88 years old. Even in his old age, he embraces technology and confront it head on, it may take him longer to understand the concept but he was never afraid and never once did he shied away from technology, I want to live my life like him, never losing my mind to senility and open to changes and moving forward with times.

At my age now, I expect my kids to put up a challenge as they are younger and more in tune with the present technology and I'm happy to say that none of them can match up to me when it comes to the latest technology or gadget, I know this for sure because they are still turning to me to change the light bulb when it blows! Darn! Evil or Very Mad
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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  starstruck96 on Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:05 pm

A prayer of AL-FATEHA to ur late dad...
anyway tts wat a daddy should do....changing light bulbs.
or simply they are fond of u doing work for them..
maybe their interest is not as great as urs u see..although kids do embrace/encounter technology in their course of work/studies,its a tool for them to use..no need to explore more of wat is needed..
for us...inquisitive makes us wonder how does a technology works for us.coz we are the prime examples wen techology first started n makes easier life to navigate. cheers bounce

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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  Ikon on Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:52 pm

starstruck96 wrote:A prayer of AL-FATEHA to ur late dad...
anyway tts wat a daddy should do....changing light bulbs.
or simply they are fond of u doing work for them..
maybe their interest is not as great as urs u see..although kids do embrace/encounter technology in their course of work/studies,its a tool for them to use..no need to explore more of wat is needed..
for us...inquisitive makes us wonder how does a technology works for us.coz we are the prime examples wen techology first started n makes easier life to navigate. cheers bounce

Ya for once you got it right! And I concur Laughing
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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  starstruck96 on Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:37 pm

where got once only..few times i got it right liao...

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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  Ikon on Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:03 pm

starstruck96 wrote:where got once only..few times i got it right liao...

Ok la you got right again Surprised
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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  stoned on Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:16 pm

dis device plays online movies streamingly or we nee to d/load the movie 1st den play it bro?.....
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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  Ikon on Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:48 am

stoned wrote:dis device plays online movies streamingly or we nee to d/load the movie 1st den play it bro?.....

Depending la, if you are streaming You Tube, it's almost instant streaming but if you are asking about Bit Torrent, currently the WD Live do not " support " that but as always, there is a work around it if you know linux, you can configure the bit torrent client on the device, and for this you will need to fully download the movie before you can watch it due to the nature of bit torrent.
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Re: WD Live TV Hub Media Center

Post  stoned on Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:01 pm

Ikon wrote:
stoned wrote:dis device plays online movies streamingly or we nee to d/load the movie 1st den play it bro?.....

Depending la, if you are streaming You Tube, it's almost instant streaming but if you are asking about Bit Torrent, currently the WD Live do not " support " that but as always, there is a work around it if you know linux, you can configure the bit torrent client on the device, and for this you will need to fully download the movie before you can watch it due to the nature of bit torrent.

cool bro....wat i meant was not bit torrent...but those websites dat can play movies streamingly direct from their sites....is it able to do dat?
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