Adding to the mind-boggling array of entertainment options out in the market is Western Digital’s new WD TV Live Hub full HD 1080p media player that lets users watch all kinds of personal media on almost any screen in the home. The HDMI 1.4 composite video and component video output terminal integrated onto the chassis allows it to work with most TV sets.
Apart from TVs, the media player can also stream HD videos, music and photos from the internal HDD to any other DLNA/UPnP-compatible multimedia device. The player may be hooked up to Blu-ray discs, the Xbox 360, PS3 consoles or even iPads, iPhones or Android smartphones via third-party applications. The UI can be customized with various screen backgrounds, UI themes, favorites settings and content ratings.
“The WD TV Live Hub media center lets users create a personalized media jukebox that brings your entire personal content collection and the best of Internet content to the biggest screen in the house,” cited Dale Pistilli, VP of marketing, WD’s branded products group. “With the WD TV Live Hub media center, consumers can take their home entertainment experience to the next level, streaming personal content to multiple rooms at the same time, so they can play a Netflix video on their HDTV screen in the family room, while sharing vacation slideshows on the computer in their home office.”
For more comfortable text input for activities like searches of local content, Facebook and YouTube interaction, standard wired or wireless USB keyboards may be employed with the media center. It works with Windows 7 and is also compatible with the Windows 7 Play To feature. A pair of USB ports on the exterior of this Wi-Fi ready device accommodate media playback from USB drives, digital cameras or camcorders.
“Connected media players are an exciting new category that is helping to redefine home entertainment. The WD TV media player series’ broad ability with personal content has made it a leading seller. Add to that the premium content services, and the new WD TV Live Hub media center is bringing a whole new dimension to home entertainment,” remarked Wendy Fritz, senior vice president of computing, at Best Buy.
The WD TV Live Hub can play back an array of files such as mkv, .mp4 and .mov formats. Automatic syncing of shared digital media folders from Macs or PCs connected to the network with the onboard HDD allows for convenient playback of new content. Apart from the Facebook integration, the media player lets users connect to Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, Flickr, MediaFly, CCN, MTV, ESPN and other sites.
The WD TV live Hub media center is out globally, though the Netflix, Blockbuster and Pandora services are available only in the U.S where it can be bought from Best Buy and through WD’s online store for $199.99.