WD Storage: Great For Movies, Not Social Media

  • Up to 1TB of storage
  • Ideal for streaming movies and music
  • Plays Full-HD content

Western Digital's WD TV Live Hub media center is suitable for streaming movies, music and photos, but not so good for social media.

Although it offers a reasonable 1TB of storage, at a pretty good price, when asked how long a single photo would take to upload, the spokesperson said about 30 seconds. This is too long for those who are social networking gurus who use Twitter, Facebook and Myspace to communicate to friends and family. However if a music or movie file is already loaded to the unit, then it’s not a bad deal.
The unit plays a variety of media file types, including Full-HD 1080p video formats such as .mkv, .mp4 and .mov. The hard drive enables users to centralise their digital media from multiple sources for smooth, glitch-free playback of even the highest resolution videos.

Digital media can be easily transferred to the internal drive from shared folders on PCs and Macs on the network or directly from external hard drives, thumb drives, camcorders or cameras connected via one of the two USB ports. Users also can stream videos from home network drives with a DLNA/UPnP server such as the recently announced My Book Live home network drive.

The WD TV Live Hub media center is also a media server: HD video, music and photos can be streamed from the onboard hard drive to any DLNA/UPnP-compatible TV or multimedia device, anywhere in the connected home, including theWD TV Live Plus HD media player, connected TVs, Blu-ray Disc players, Xbox 360, and PS3 game consoles. Users also can stream content from their WD TV Live Hub media center to iPads, iPhones or Android smartphones using third-party applications. 

The unit also offers Facebook integration, which lets users upload photos and videos, share their status, view their wall and get the latest newsfeed from their network of friends – all on the big screen TV – bad as mentioned, the company probably needs to work on upload speeds to satiate the wants of the Me Generatoin. It also provides viewing of YouTube for user-generated videos and Flickr for photo sharing.  Additional content includes MediaFly daily video podcasts from CNN, NBC, MTV and ESPN.
The customisable user interface enables personalisation of screen backgrounds and user interface themes, as well as setting of favourites and content ratings. Standard wired or wireless USB keyboards can be used for simpler text input for activities such as searches of local content and YouTube and Facebook interaction.

Other features include: 

  • Compatibility with virtually all TV sets due to an HDMI 1.4, composite video and component video output;
  • Automatic sync of shared digital media folders from PCs and Macs on the network with the internal hard drive to provide easy playback of new content.
  • Customisable user interface and programmable remote;
  • Ultra-compact design that easily fits into almost any entertainment centre;
  • Two USB ports that allow seamless media playback from USB drives, camcorders and digital cameras;      
  • WiFi-readiness (with adapter)