Before I finally throw mine out, is there any reason to keep a WDTV Live Hub?

I just found my old WDTV Live Hub in the back of the closet. t hasn’t gotten a firmware update in 2 years. It’s missing too many of the online services that I use every day, like Amazon. I pulled the hard drive and installed it in my desktop machine about a year.

It was a great little gadget that was probably ahead of its time–and I still love the UI–but I think it’s time to recycle my WDTV Live Hub, but before I do, is there anything I can do with it?

I have a Roku, a Chromecast and a Raspberry Pi 2 with Plex. (These are on different TVs throughout the house.)

I know you can’t put XBMC (sorry, Kodi) on a Hub. There is alternative firmware for some WDTV boxes, but I can’t find anything one that works on a Hub. I tried selling the Hub on eBay (before I pulled the hard drive), but I couldn’t find any takers.

Is there anything I can do with the Hub that I can’t do with a Roku or a Chromecast or a Raspberry Pi just as well if not easier?

If nothing else, is there a trick to saving the default background image? The Live Hub really does have the best UI of any streaming device I’ve tried, and I’d love to reuse that image somehow, maybe as a background for Kodi.

Heck, are there any parts, other than the hard drive, that I can recycle and use on other projects?

I don’t like the idea of pitching any gadget if there’s still some life left in it.

put another hd in it, format it within the hub, resell it, err no useful parts…sell it as multimedia sensation box

notmyrealname wrote:

If nothing else, is there a trick to saving the default background image?

You can unpack the firmware file and get all the images out of there.  I haven’t looked, but it might even be the in the GPL package.

notmyrealname wrote:If nothing else, is there a trick to saving the default background image?

right-click “save image as”

I don’t use my Live Hub much either … but i do have a 3TB usb drive attached to it, which the WDTV Live Hub media shares (via Twonky) to my other devices eg. phone, tablet, Rpi2 etc

p.s. if you’re gonna throw your WDTV Live Hub away … you can throw it my way :smiley:


JoeySmyth wrote:

notmyrealname wrote:If nothing else, is there a trick to saving the default background image?

right-click “save image as”




I don’t use my Live Hub much either … but i do have a 3TB usb drive attached to it, which the WDTV Live Hub media shares (via Twonky) to my other devices eg. phone, tablet, Rpi2 etc


p.s. if you’re gonna throw your WDTV Live Hub away … you can throw it my way :smiley:

Yeah! That’s what I did with mine. Pulled the drive and installed it in my Zotac BI320 and moved ALL my music to it then added it to my Kodi library! Then I gave the Hub to someone that really loves the device and his had died. So he put his Hub’s drive in it and is loving life again!

I’ll take it!

Have been in the mood to watch my 4:3 content on my CRT TV in my game room. Was trying to think how to stream my Plex content to it and I remembered I had my Live Hub in a drawer. Pulled it out, connected through composite, connected an ethernet cable (yech) and bewm…streaming my fav old shows like Fresh Prince, News Radio and Home Improvement in 4:3 streaming goodness which looks nice on my old Sony 27" Trinitron than watching on a 4K TV.

And If I don’t want to stay connected by ethernet, i could throw a 2TB drive in there and just copy all my 4:3 content to it…but remembering how painfully slow it copies files over, I’ll stick to streaming it through DLNA from my Plex server

So that’s one reason to keep it :slight_smile:

I also saw there were old Roku versions that had AV out to connect to composite…i’m curious if that means I can easily connect to composite and it will display 4:3 content correctly (connecting my 4K Roku stick through an HDMI > AV adapter > Composite and watchign through Plex, there’s no option to scale/stretch the image so there’s black bars on the side of 4:3 content). People are asking ridiculous prices for them on Ebay now…as much as $150-200. Happened to find one for 38.99 NEW…so we’ll see if that works too.

Your 2nd comment contradicts the 1st.

Black bars on both sides of 4:3 content is the correct way to display 4:3 Aspect Ratio on a 16:9 TV.

The incorrect way to display 4:3 content on a 16:9 TV is to use scale and stretching options which result in losing image information and distorting the image.

I should have clarified that I’m connected to an old CRT 4:3 TV and hoping that the Roku with Composite with display 4:3 content correctly on my 4:3 TV as opposed to the non composite optioned Roku not displaying correctly connected thru an HDMI to composite AV adapter.

You’re kidding right? I concede that they are old and have many quirks, but so am I. I have not found another Media Server solution that preserves my pause/stop location (for day, months, years) for both local storage (I have 7TB) and DLNA-network drives (I have 7 Drives hosting 1000’s Movies, 1000’s TV episodes – approximately 44TB of videos). I can resume any video that I’ve paused anywhere/anytime. I can host and view Blu-Ray movies – a technology that wasn’t even invented when WDTVLIVEHUBs were available!

I can pause and resume like you do with Kodi. But you’ll need a mini PC to run it on. I tossed all my Hub’s years ago and went Mini PCs and Kodi in each room where there’s a TV. The Hub is dead man get with it :wink:

Can u really pause/resume on Kodi? I only have tiny personal experience with Kodi, so I can’t be sure. Can I come back to a movie two weeks later, and pick up where I left off? The web forums on Kodi seem to imply not. Would love to know for sure…

I can. I also use one of the HTPCs to run MySql. This allows all the other Kodi installs to access the database and keeps things in order, like resuming and adding new stuff. This way ALL the HTPCs are in sync with the database.

BTW since Kodi is cross platform it runs on just about any OS so you don’t have to use a Windows box. A lot of people use an Android based Nvidia Shield and love them. I just like Windows better, its a personal choice.

Wow! Would you mind sharing which HTPC can talk to KODI and MySQL. I’ve dreamed about a SQL-based interface to my 10,000+ online movies. I’d love to do sorts on Director, Year, Oscar?, Actors — feats that I only sort of accomplish via things like Folder Names.

And - not to pester you, but - does it really do long term Pause/Resume? I’ve bought two low-price Android Media-players - both ran some preinstalled Kodi build, and both always restarted any movie. So I threw them in the junk drawer. A $40 eBay WDTVLIVE box can resume any movie/TV episode weeks later after everything has been rebooted etc. Frustrating that they don’t seem to understand you have to write a permanent record to record progress within the movie…

Again Thanx for the info and Thanx for any further details you may be able to supply,
Robert Bradley
Prescott, Arizona

I would never, this is MY opinion, run a preinstalled Kodi from any device. Nor will I run what is known as a “build”. There are a lot of nefarious things that you don’t want in your Kodi, not all, but a lot of them. I still have a couple of Android clunkers stowed away in the closet simply because they were no longer capable of being updated to the latest Android version and therefore could not run Kodi after Version 17. This is when I decided to NOT use Android based TV boxes. You might get one or two OS updates and then you’re on your own. I switched to Windows based boxes and haven’t looked back. A lot of other people on here might be offended by what I’m saying but this is MY choice as it is YOURS. So do what YOU think is best for the situation you are in.

I bought a refurbished Dell XT3 laptop for 125.00 and it runs MySql server 24/7. I have 2 Zotac HTPCs (ZBOX-BI325) that do a fine job and one Dell 3070 Mini. All run Windows 10 which is always kept up to date. Therefore I should be able to use any newer releases of Kodi! To me Android is an OS that should only be used on a PHONE. I tried an Nvidia Shield (Gonna take some heat for this, I know) that was a total waste. It lagged so bad on my network that I sent it back. Other people love them to death. Just wasn’t for me. I didn’t even like the user interface on it.

You can go HERE and probably get ALL you KODI questions answered. This is to the Kodi Forums. You can find out everything there just don’t talk about the 3rd party addons as they (Kodi) consider them as illegal pirate software and they probably are.

One other Media Server you might want to look at is Plex. Very well accepted and works pretty darn good. I just don’t like that the user interface has no continuity between using on a TV app, Windows, Android or whatever. When you setup and get Kodi going on one PC, you can copy that ENTIRE setup over to another PC or even an Android device once you figure out how to. I set mine up on a desktop and get it just like I want it and then install Kodi on the other boxes and copy over the one folder that contains my Kodi setup.