Media Streamers and Hubs Guide
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Great Live Performance
The inclusion of so many web-based services makes the WD TV Live an interesting proposition for those sitting on the Smart TV fence. And let's not forget that it is at its core, a media player designed to play your music, videos, and photos, which it does pretty darn well too. So if you're living in the U.S., and have access to all the on-demand services that the WD TV Live supports, buying the media player is a no-brainer. In Singapore however, the incentive is somewhat diminished as not all services are available here. It also doesn't have a web browser, which makes the Smart TV experience incomplete; though some may argue it isn't really needed since there are already a whole host of services to get content from. But to give credit when it's due, we feel that its Facebook app is the best we have come across in any media player. If you're curious and want to find out more, you can go the WD TV Live product page, click on Online Services, and select your region or country to see what services are applicable for your locality.
All in all, the WD TV Live is a compact media player that takes up very little space among your A/V setup. Yes, you can't fit a hard drive in it, but if that's important to you, then you owe yourself to check out the WD TV Live Hub. Take note though, the latter doesn't have built-in Wi-Fi support. In practice, setting up the WD TV Live is simple; the Mochi GUI isn't only attractive but also easy to use. And perhaps most importantly, the player handled all the files we threw at it with aplomb.
All things considered, at a price of S$189, the WD TV Live represents good value for the money. Strong format support, integrated Wi-Fi, a more than decent remote, support for Dolby TrueHD, 1080p/24 playback, the WD TV Live of 2011 has ticked most of our check boxes. Sure, an additional USB port, faster USB speeds and support for 3D would be great, but so far, we don't really miss them. If the player's inability to play RMVB files is a deal-breaker for you, a good alternative is the ASUS O!Play Mini Plus.
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