Well, I can kind of see it both ways. Seriously…if I were to buy a DVD player or some other piece of consumer electronics, I wouldn’t be too happy if it was as flakey as these devices have been and would be more than likely to return it. From the standpoint of someone who has connected a computer to my TV for a while, there are certain conveniences that the WD TV offers which make me more than willing to put up with a little bit of ■■■■. If WD wants to survive in this rapidly maturing and expanding market, they’re going to have to keep up and meet the demands of people expecting their devices to work as advertised right out of the box.
At the same time, WD isn’t a media company. They’re a storage company. I’m 99% sure that they put this thing together so they can sell more hard drives. If the market continues to mature as expected (Boxee Box, PopBox, etc), then they don’t have to put a penny more into these and they’ve accomplished their goal because people will still buy more storage for whatever brand media device they have.
The investment that WD would have to make to stay competitive in this market is much more than they’re currently at. Especially as other companies start offering devices with more features at a comparable price, WD is going to have to cut their margins to stay competitive which means that their return on investment would be even lower. So, with all that, I wouldn’t be surprised to see WD join all the others that have abandoned the WD TV as well.
At the same time that I’m slightly disgruntled by these devices, I’m happy that WD was willing enough to open the market a little more and show other companies what can be done. I realize that they weren’t leaders in every area, but they certainly received more exposure than other more obscure devices ever did. I’ve never seen a popcorn hour on the shelves of my local BestBuy, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the PopBox locally available to me. Thanks WD.