|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, FLV (h.264)|
|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|
|File Formats Not Supported|
|Does not support protected premium content such as movies or music from the iTunes Store, Movielink, Amazon Unbox, and Vongo|
|Interface||Ethernet, USB 2.0, HDMI, Composite A/V, Wi-Fi, Optical audio|
|Operating||41° F to 95° F|
|Non-operating||-40° F to 149° F|
|Operating||5° C to 35° C|
|Non-operating||-40° C to 65° C|
|AC Input Voltage||100-240 VAC|
|AC Input Frequency||50-60 Hz|
The device is quite small and light. It’s so small and light that when all the wires are plugged in, it can sometimes be tipped backwards like an unbalanced see-saw. That’s something to look out for when installing it in your home entertainment setup.
A Closer Look
The outside of the box shows some of the services that the TV Live can access. Western Digital has a full list of accessible online services on their webpage. Inside we find the device nicely packaged and waiting to be put in our entertainment rack.
The front of the unit has a USB port for connecting either a flash drive or external hard drive. It also has an indicator light that will not only tell you when the device is on, but will let you know when it’s indexing files in the background. The back of the unit has all the rest of the connectors that make this device awesome. The HDMI and Optical connection take care of all of your high def audio needs, while the 3.5mm jack gives you legacy compatibility with composite connections. They’ve also thrown in an additional USB port in case the one on the front wasn’t enough.
We can see on the top of the unit, it sports its certifications.
Western Digital has copied the UI that they used for the WD TV Live Hub. This isn’t a bad thing as the “Mochi” interface is quite nice. The layout is intuitive and shouldn’t give you any grief when trying to find a feature. One thing that I do find peculiar is that the on screen keyboard is in alphabetical order instead of a standard QWERTY layout. When the biggest complaint about the interface is that the on screen keyboard layout is in alphabetical order, you’re probably doing alright.
Because they reused the same interface from the Live Hub, it makes sense that they would reuse the remote as well. The button layout is laid out nicely. One complaint I do have is that the buttons seem a bit high up. It takes more effort to press a button than it does with other remotes. This is a real pain when you have to type something with the on screen keyboard. Fortunately the TV Live is compatible with USB keyboards so you can avoid this problem if it bothers you that much. The other solution is to pick up an IR universal remote and program it for the TV Live.
The Western Digital TV Live will play any format that the Hornettek Fantasy Media Player that we reviewed will play and then some. It’s not advertised on the box, but the device can even play ISO files of DVDs. This is a nice way to keep a digital archive of your DVDs, along with all the extras, and still be able to play them back without worrying about getting the disks scratched.
In our testing we sent a barrage of files at the device and it was able to play everything that we sent at it, including the subtitles and alternate audio tracks as well. It was even able to play back PGS subtitles (the kind found on Blu-ray releases). This is something that the Hornettek player wasn’t able to do. +1 point for Western Digital.