1st adn 2nd generation: Differences

What are the basic differences between the 1st and the 2nd generation?

I own the WDTV LIve, but a friend of mine has one that he’s never used since November 2009.

I am updating his unit  firmware and noticed it is 1st Generation. What is this unit missing that the other one has?

gen1 - sigma 8635, no DTS downmix

gen2 - sigma 8655, DTS downmix present

Indeed. And that’s a big difference for me. The two pages commercial flyer said DTS compatible. I’m trying an exchange and asked for a RMA…

Note: the Gen2 has no DTS decoder so you will need one to listen in DTS. 

I found this out after purchase. It means that if the video file has a DTS only soundtrack and you have no decoder then you will have no audio. 

woody54 Mistake. gen2 has DTS downmix to stereo. Therefore, to listen to DTS track (without receiver with DTS decoder), you need to install the settings WDTV “stereo” and you’ll hear the stereo sound. And on the gen1 do not.

Lots of differences pointed out in this thread.


Hi, I purchased a “recertified” Version 1 WDTV from Newegg. It seems to work fine in most respects, but has a few bugs. Forwarding through files seems a bit buggy, what’s on the screen doesn’t seem to match where the movie plays.I’m wondering if the better Sigma chip on the Version 2 would make a difference.

It’s got the new (1.03) update too, btw.

On some occassions, the TV doesn’t seem to respond to the HDMI signal when the WDTV is switched on, powering down WDTV and turning it on again seems to work. This isn’t a fault with the HDMI cable, I used it for a while on other devices and it’s fine.

For the most part it works fine.

My question is: all improvements on the new model considered considered, would it be worth getting the RMA, returning the Version 1 and buying a Version 2 instead? Price difference, shipping costs and restocking fees considered it’d cost me 60 dollars more to switch for a brand new version 2.

Also, does that the Version 1 never shuts down the external hard drive reduce the life span of the hard drive any? I have a 1 TB WD external hard drive, fairly new.

I managed to get my Gen1 RMAd in exchange for a Gen2 at the cost of shipping. For me, that was well worth it. For 60 bucks…not sure. You really would just be trading one set of annoyances for another set of annoyances.

As much as I hate to say it on WDs site, the consensus seems to be that there are much better (as in more features, whether they really are better, only time will tell) players coming out. You’d be better off waiting and spending your money on one of those I think, even if they are buggy. Boxee for instance, has been producing software with updates for quite a while so it’s assumed that they’ll still put out fixes for bugs. WD on the other hand…not so good at fixing bugs.

(But I’ve never seen any company as willing as WD to RMA anything. I wonder how much price they build into their products to cover warranty costs. And even more, I wonder how good their products could be if they spend that money on more R&D.)

What annoyances in particlar? Overall I’m quite happy with the machine, despite these minor hiccups.

Well, I’m happy overall considering it’s pretty much the best ~$100 device on the market that does this kind of stuff.

But as far as particular annoyances…

  1. Audio sync issues are probably the biggest problem for me. I don’t remember having nearly as many issues using the WDTV1, but now with the WDTV2, it’s very common.

  2. Typically, I have a 1TB My Book connected and then Corsair 16GB and 2GB flash drives to shuttle content from the computer to the device. If the player is on and then I connect one fo the flash drives, no matter how long I wait, as soon as I go to look at what’s on the flash drive, the player sits there for about 1 full minute before displaying any content or responding to the remote.

  3. When moving files from my flash drive to the external hard drive using the file manager, .srt subtitle files don’t show up. This really hasn’t been too much of an issue, but an issue none the less.

I could probably list more if I tried, but as much as I hate to say it, I’m just learning to live with the annoyances. Some of these issues I’ve never heard of anyone else having but that seems pretty common for these devices.

Generation 1 can not move,delete etc. files.

Generation 1 keep ALL USB ports ON after shut down. Any HD connect will remain ON, sppining.

Generation 1 will never more get firmware updates from WD.

I have Gen1 box. On the drive spin-down issue, the good news is the player supports my BlacX USB 2.0 docking station.  After I turn the WD box off, I press the power button on the dock.   No need to unplug wires.  I get the content to the box by inserting an internal Sata drive into the dock.  I’m using WD Caviar Black 750 GB.