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Western Digital WD TV Live Hub review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 152
inc VAT

The built-in hard disk might not be ideal for everyone, but either way it’s still an incredible media player, with gorgeous menus and a sleek appearance.

We’re big fans of Western Digital’s media players. The WD TV and WD TV Live have both won awards from us for their diminutive designs, slick interfaces and wide format support. With little reason to mess with a great product, Western Digital has instead created something a little bit different, the WD TV Live Hub.

This sleek slice of consumer technology is certainly designed for living room use. Like its predecessors, you can stream media files to it across a wired network from a PC, laptop or NAS. However, the Live Hub also contains a 1TB hard disk, so you can store files locally; plus it acts a media server, so you can share those files to other devices on your network.

We plugged in the Live Hub and it set itself up with no problems, automatically detecting our TVs resolution, setting up a network connection and alerting us to a new firmware update. The only thing we had to do was change the time zone to UK time.

It then scanned the USB hard disk we had plugged in for media files, and asked if we’d like to sync the files with the internal drive – you can select either all files or supported files only. You can also choose to sync files with a Windows shared folder over the network connection, and thanks to a Gigabit Ethernet port, this won’t take forever. Alongside that port are HDMI, component, composite and optical S/PDIF outputs. There are two USB ports, one front and one rear, for connecting external storage devices.

Western Digital WD TV Live Hub ports

There’s something terribly seductive about the Live Hub, the menu system (called Mochi) is colourful and easy to navigate, with a stylish font and simple animated icons. The device itself is a brilliant piece of minimalist design, and yes, you can turn of the illuminated Western Digital logo on the fascia if you want.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Media Streamer type hard disk streaming multimedia device

Audio Compatibility

Audio MP3 playback Yes
Audio WMA playback Yes
Audio WMA-DRM playback No
Audio AAC playback Yes
Audio Protected AAC playback No
Audio OGG playback Yes
Audio WAV playback Yes
Audio Audible playback No
Other audio formats FLAC, AIFF

Video Compatibility

Other video formats MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, WMV9, XVID, DIVX, VC-1

Image Compatibility

Image BMP support Yes
Image JPEG support Yes
Image TIFF support Yes

Network Interfaces

Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support Yes

AV Interfaces

Minijack line outputs 0
Minijack headphone outputs 0
Stereo phono outputs 1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs 0
Optical S/PDIF outputs 1
Total SCART sockets 0
HDMI outputs 1
Component outputs 1
S-video output 0
Composite outputs 1
Other connectors 2x USB

Physical

Size 32x198x100mm
Power consumption standby 8W
Power consumption on 11W

Server Compatibility

Software included none
UPnP Yes
iTunes No
SlimServer No
SMB Yes

Buying Information

Price £152
Warranty one year RTB
Supplier http://www.scan.co.uk
Details www.wdc.com

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