Considering WD TV Live; have n00b wonderings

I haven’t yet bought one but best I can tell it’s best for me. I have searched this sub-forum and done much other reading. But I am a simpleton when dealing with new stuff and am not clear.

What I have: G4 iMac (10.5.x), i7 MacBook Pro (10.6.x), Airport Extreme n, Airport Express n. Cable modem>Extreme. iMac wired to Extreme. Express on network cable at Hi-Fi/TV set-up. For some reason I made the Extreme one network name and the Express another. I am fine playing some things through iTunes/AirTunes. But I want to play non-iTunes/Apple friendly files (e.g. MKV, FLAC) without having to convert and import. There’s some stuff I know I’ll always want to have around. There’s some stuff I’ll most likely just play/see once. The WD TV Live seems perfect. (I know the AppleTV is hackable, but …) Also, I intend to buy more external drives of course.

So, how to hook all this up? Leave as is and the WD TV connects to home network wirelessly? Buy a switch and have Express and WD TV both plugged into it? Will Express need to be reconfigured?

Remember, I’ve never actually even seen one of these. More, I do not know anyone with one.

Is there a way to play a file on my laptop through the WD TV?

Is it possible to play FLAC (any non video) without the TV being on? Is there software associated with the WD TV that I would use on the laptop or desktop?

I suppose that’s enough. Thank you if you are still reading!


Well thats a ton of information (thanks for providing it)…

The first thing (a bit unrelated to your issue) I would do is replace the Airport Extreme. It (like all Apple routers) is an extremly flakey router that does not play well with non-apple stuff.

Secondly you might want to consider the Live Hub - it has a built in 1 TB drive so you can store more data without having to add an additional drive.

As for how to hook it up it’s really simple.

Connect the Mac, and the WD TV, and any NAS drives you have to your router (I wouldn’t use a switch if possible). Reboot the computer and router (not needed but helps resolve certain network issues on Mac OSX) and it should appear without any real interaction under Bonjour. From there you can make an alias to the drive and drag/drop your videos to your network storage and than instantly play them on the WD TV. It’s extremly simple to set up.

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Thanks, The Aardvark. I still haven’t bought yet, and though I didn’t mention it am still considering the AppleTV2, though just barely. Best I can tell theWDTV does what I want out of the box and it’s still early days for jailbreaking the ATV2 (only Plex is a solution and it requires a media server be setup on another computer).

So with your info, and, really, reassurance, I’m about ready to pull the trigger on the WDTV. I’ll still try the AE and WDTV on a switch because I’d prefer to also have the ability to stream straight from a Mac (iTunes/AirTunes), especially to use my Radium/Airfoil, which I use daily. 

I know I can use the WDTV for my iTunes library bt I’d rather bypass the TV.

I don’t think the WDTV can do just any radio station’s streaming.

Again, thanks much.


One happy man here. AirportExpress and WDTV plugged into a switch on the home network. All is great.

iTunes>AirportExpress is fine.

Also fine is the WDTV serving up all other stuff, mostly from an HFS+ formatted USB drive attached to the AirportExtreme router by which all else connects to the network.