Complete noob needs advice

First off, I currently have multiple 1st gen media players with external hard drives attached throughout my house. However, my current hard drives are nearing capactiy. So I figured a large library storage unit that can wirelessly connect with each tv in the house would be my next upgrade.

As I did some research I came across the WD Sharespace. If I understand correctly, I can connect the Sharespace up to my wireless router and then connect a WD Mediaplayer Live to each TV and thus create a network that will allow me to play all my media on every tv? Is this correct? Can I play the same file (e.g. movie/music) on 2 different tvs at the same time?

When ever I ask someone these questions in person (i.e. at a store) they don’t know the answer. But when I scoure the internet for the answers I am swamped with technical jargon that I don’t fully understand. So please forgive me if these questions are really obvious. But I need to know these answers before buying. I wont need the NAS for anything other than my own household media library.

It’s hard to give a precise answer without knowing which media players you have connected to your television. For example, I use a Sony PS3, which can see and play material in various formats, from various media servers. The media server that is pre-installed on the ShareSpace is called “Twonky”. Although I have not tried it with every available media format, I found it somewhat limited in functionality, and clunky to browse, especially if you have a lot of material. In addition, Twonky requires that you place your media in certain preset shares on the Sharespace - that did not work very well with my existing directory structure. With help from this forum, I finally disabled Twonky permanently.

What I use now to stream media to my PS3 / TV is a freeware called PS3 Media Server. You install it on your computer (Mac, Windows or Linux) and It works quite well, lets you define whatever drives / folders you want to show up on your PS3. It also works with other devices, e.g. the XBox, and some Internet-enabled TVs. Has some technical problems here and there, but basically plays most kind of video and audio files without a hitch.

So to answer your question, it’s certainiy possible to set up media streaming with the Sharespace. However, I would argue that the Sharespace is perhaps not the best solution: Transfer speeds over the network are notoriously slow, as many posts on this forum will attest to. I’m actually in the process of phasing it out, since I also need it for work, and have become very dissatisfied with the performance. My next RAID device will be a  connected directly to the main computer via Firewire or USB 3 - I can serve out my shares from there just fine, and usage will be low enough not to cause undue stress on the processor.  For the price of the Sharespace ($400 - $500 for a 4TB used), you can probably do better.

Thanks OttoW for your response.

To answer your query, I have the original 1st generation WD Media Players that you directly connect to an external hard drive and to your tv. I think they are wonderfull. I seriously don’t even bother looking to see what is on the tv free to air channels anymore.

As I mentioned previously, it seems that the next major upgrade to my system is to get a centralised NAS and then attach a wireless receiver to each tv. I figured the 2nd generation WD Media Player Live would act as a good wireless receiver to access the content on the NAS on the tv. I was going to buy a WD Media Player Live for each tv that I wanted to watch/listen to my library on.

If, as you attest, the transfer speeds are too slow for simple video streaming, can you suggest a system set up that would serve me better? I don’t want to have a PC on all the time just for this purpose if it can be helped. I was originally looking at the Netgear ReadyNAS systems when I stumbled across the WD Sharespace. I figured I would stay loyal to WD if possible since I was so happy with their 1st gen media players. Would the ReadyNAS or a rival system be better  for my purposes? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I was never able to get consistent quality playback using any wireless connection.  I had an Apple Airport Extreme which I believe is a dual band wireless N device and I had the D-Link Xtreme Wireless N adapter at the unit only room away.  Any large high quality video would run choppy.  I ended up running hard wired connections from my wireless router to each of my WD HD Live units and the problems went away.  Not sure what kind of accessibility you have to put hard wires in but my hunch is that you won’t be happy with the wireless.

The sharespace worked fine for me using it for the same purpose you are talking about with the hard wired connections.  However, there are better options out there with more speed and certainly ones with more flexibility and support behind them.  The last firmware update bricked many units and WD was no where to be found on the support side and left a lot of people hanging looking for data recovery services.  I ended up selling my sharespace on ebay and building a small linux server for my purpose.  I was able to put a 3x3TB raid machine together for a little under $600 before the hard drive spike.  It requires a lot of tinkering and some knowledge to make it all work, but I personally enjoy that kind of thing.  If its not for you, then I feel confident that there are better solutions out there for you other than the sharespace.

Good luck!

I use iTunes and an Apple TV to watch movies and TV shows on my TV.

My idea was to first transfer all my medias to the sharespace and stream it to the Apple TV.  I decided otherwise after reading the horror stories on this forum.  I use my sharespace as a Time Machine backup for my three Apple computer but my media drive (another well built and reliable WD external hard drive call MyBook Essential 2TB) is plug via USB to the sharespace.

The sharespace is plug to my Airport Extreme via Ethernet but the Apple TV is WIFI.  It works great because the Apple TV buffer the content of the media your are watching/listening to it’s 16GB flash memory so I do not have issue watching a movie or show (even a 3GB file).

the problem with the ShareSpace is that is very slow for me when I transfer media from my computer to the MyBook Essential it takes hours to transfer compare to when the hard drive was dirrectly plug on my computer.

Also when I try to open my iPhoto album it takes a very long time to be accessible because of the readying speed of the ShareSpace.

I will stay away from the ShareSpace if I was you, there is other solutions out there, I’m sure.  Problenm for me it’s the investment of another NAS drive, I can not afford $500 to $800 on a Qnap or Synology drive or even the new DX4000 that WD came up with:  Lets hope this one will be better that the ShareSpace.

All my drives over the years (external and internal) are WD and I had no issue since 1999 I had my first Internal drive upgradde with there products (knock on wood). The ShareSpace gave me more trouble and frustration than any other WD product in the last 6 months than all other products in the last 12 years, problem is I purchased it on OCtober 2010 and put it to work around April this year, way to late to return it to the merchant.

What bother me the most is that they still sell it: and still mention that it’s high speed, I wish I could get 30 MB/s, I’m probably around 5 to 8 MB/s and I can not trust the RAID partition on this machine either.

Good luck