Review of the Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player

If you have an USB Mass Storage device (external hard drive or USB flash drive for that matter), here is a device made by Western Digital, called “WD TV HD Media Player” , that serves as a bridge between an USB Mass Storage Device and your television.  You connect the “WD TV HD Media Player” to your television and the USB Mass storage device to the WD TV HD Media Player (see below).  The connection to the TV is accomplished either using standard video/audio composite cables (which are included) OR via a HDMI cable (high def cable).

WD TV Media Player

WD TV Media Player

What does this all mean?  Many of us have movies, music and photos stored on external hard drives and really no way of accessing them; except, through the computer.  This device changes all of that.  I purchased a “WD TV HD Media Player” (on sale for $99.00; normally $129.99 at my local BestBuy)  to play around with and to ultimately determine if it was possible for the WD TV  HD Media Player to read photos, movies, and music files from a “portable flash drive”.  The WD TV HD Media Player supports a multitude of video, graphic and music file formats.  My thinking with this device is that with a flash drive I could still store a consider amount of photos, music and a movie or two AND make this device modular and mobile.  In my case, fill the flash drive, plug in the flash drive to the WD TV HD Media Player, and watch the media on my TV (especially the movies).

When I got the WD TV HD Media Player home, I found it packaged very nicely, with a remote control, batteries, composite cables, an installation guide, power supply, and a CD (ArcSoft MediaConverter and Western Digital Info).  The WD TV HD Media Player is a very compact unit (1.5 “H X 4 3/4” W x 4” D) with a black glossy shell.

In my situation I opted to purchase the HDMI cable to make the connection to my TV.  This alone helped alleviate some cable clutter.  After I unpackaged the WD  TV HD Media Player, I had it hooked up and ready to go within 10 minutes.  After loading a 1 Gig flash drive with a divx movie, some music and some photos, I plugged the flash drive into the WD TV HD Media Player.  The WD TV  HD Media Player is designed with (2)-two USB ports. After inputting my TV to the HDMI input (via the TV remote), I then switched to the WD TV HD Media Player remote and powered up the WD TV HD Media Player .  WD TV HD Media Player immediately recognized my flash drive and the content (movies, music and photos).  The WD TV HD Media Player  menu is very slick in appearance and navigation with the remote was breeze.  I found that the WD TV HD Media Player handled the movies, music and photos with no problems.  The only issue I experienced is when I placed the WD TV HD Media Player unit in a vertical position, the flash drive seemed to lose its’ connection; otherwise when the WD TV HD Media Player  was lying horizontal I experienced no problem whatsoever.  My next step is to purchase an 8 or 16 Gig flash drive to use with this device.

You can read more about “WD TV HD  Media Player” by clicking on the links below.

Western Digital – WD TV HD Media Player

Connect Your Hard Drive and HD TV

Review: Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player

WD TV HD Media Player


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14 thoughts on “Review of the Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player

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  1. Very interesting, this may be the solution I’m looking for, (though, I would probably hook up a Terabyte external HD, as “libraries”, not “portability” would be my particular aim [saw one for $100!]) and I imagine.. one or two other people also.
    I am related to a person who loves to show travel slideshows, and most of his shots are high resolution JPEG’s.. I better not show him this article. If he found out he could carry slideshows around on his keychain, and show them on any TV… aaargh!

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  2. TechPaul,

    I’m thinking Western Digital has hit on something here with the WD TV HD Media Player… They should have given it some “catchy” name. I’m finding that many people out there do not know about this and from what I’m seeing it has been out for months. The customer rep at BestBuy never heard of it either and we even had a time locating it. She even looked at it and went “WOW”…

    Rick

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  3. I am terrible at thinking up catchy names, and rely on the following, as their use is never misunderstood – “gizmo”, “doo-dad”, “the whatsis”, and, the ever-popular “thingamajiggy”.
    And “doohicky” always works too.

    You said you chose to use an HDMI cable, and that you’ve looked at different types of media.. can you tell us a little more about image quality?

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    1. TechPaul,

      The TV I connected WD TV HD Media Player to was a cheap end Sanyo, 26″ LCD… The photos looked great (were not grainy). I watched a movie (Divx -avi) and I found the quality of the video to be very good. This was with the default auto detect settings. I experienced no distortion whatsoever. There are options available in the menu settings to change the resolution (dimension) settings. I am quite impressed with this device. Many options I have tried over the years where you connect your PC to your TV; I always experienced some degradation or distortion of some type. I will have to try this unit with the composite cables to see if there is any degradation. Heck, for a $100 bucks and the return policies of most big box stores being 2 weeks, give it shot… So far, I love it…

      Rick

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    1. Carol,

      The WD TV HD Media player acts as a bridge between an external hard drive (or USB Mass Storage Device) and your TV. The capacity is whatever you hook up to it. If you hook up a 500 GB drive, then you have a 500 GB capacity…

      I hope I answered the question the way you were thinking. If not, please let me know.

      Thank you for visiting…

      Rick

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  4. hi rick! we must be living in paralel worlds. i was over at bill’s site and noticed you left a comment about your wd review. great review. i posted a comment at my blog with this post link. hope you don’t mind.

    i really enjoy the wd player. since dish network doesn’t do abc tv right now, my wife is without her desperate housewives and greys anatomy so i have been downloading the episodes, putting them on a flash drive and watching them on the wd.

    i’ve also ripped most of my kids dvd’s to my external hard drive and when they want to watch a movie, i just plug in the external – kids are tough on dvd’s.

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  5. Mr. G,

    I have noticed you are a regular visitor (and writer) at Tech Thoughts and just realized (since you pointed it out) you are maintaining a blog. I visited it and you are so right… We are in parallel worlds; even parallel blog templates. I have added your blog to my blogroll (Launch Pad).

    I love the WD HD TV Media Player (what a name)… Make sure you visit the WD’s website for upgrades. I just upgraded mine…

    Rick

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  6. Thank you for another informative website. Where else could I get that type of info written in such an ideal way? I have a project that I’m just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such info.

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