Difference between mini and hd units?


#1

Hey Guys,

I am looking at buying a unit soon. Can everyone give me there opinions on the two units.

I will mainly be downloading torrents and would like to just watch them in AVI files so I can stop converting then burning them!!

I will be watching them on a 1080i plasma.   Any suggestions would be great

THANKS.


#2

mini cant play mkv,if you wanna just play avi then buy a mini,If you wanna dowload hd720p movies with far superior quality get the mkv compatible hd model


#3

Since I have owned them all, here’s the basic rundown of each unit:

WDTV Mini

Supports fewer codecs and file types (no ISO, MKV, or VIDEO_TS support).

Composite and Component output via external plug adapters.

Maximum resolution is 1080i (does not support 1080p).

Supports Real Media RMVB format.

Only 1 USB port.

WDTV HD Gen 1

Supports most video and audio formats, including ISO, MKV, and VIDEO_TS

Composite and HDMI output built into unit.

Max resolution is 1080p.

SPDIF digital audio output for multichannel sound support.

2 USB ports.

Continues powering USB ports when unit is on standby (some hard drives don’t spin down).

Does not support Real Media RMVB.

Does not support DTS audio (downmixes and passes through).

WDTV HD Gen 2

Supports most video and audio formats, including ISO, MKV, and VIDEO_TS

Composite and HDMI output built into unit.

Max resolution is 1080p.

SPDIF digital audio output for multichannel sound support.

2 USB ports.

Does not support Real Media RMVB.

Full support for DTS audio.

Allows file management (copy/paste/delete) on the unit itself.

Slightly more powerful chipset.

Cuts power to USB ports when unit is on standby (lets hard drive spin down).

**As of this writing, currently has a known Firmware bug that causes audio sync issues**

WDTV Live

Supports most video and audio formats, including ISO, MKV, and VIDEO_TS

Composite and HDMI output built into unit.

Max resolution is 1080p.

SPDIF digital audio output for multichannel sound support.

2 USB ports.

Does not support Real Media RMVB.

Full support for DTS audio.

Slightly more powerful chipset.

Cuts power to USB ports when unit is on standby (lets hard drive spin down).

Supports Network connection allowing media storage on a NAS or PC.

Online connection allows access to YouTube, Flickr, and Live365.

WiFi ready (requires optional USB adapter).

Which one is best is up to you, depending on your needs. The Mini is, in my opinion, not worth it when you can pick up a Gen 1 WDTV HD for $60 at major retailers right now. The only thing you lose going from Mini to Gen 1 WDTV HD is the Real Media support, but frankly, that’s next to useless. Meanwhile, you gain a LOT from going to the full 1080p model.

I would caution you to avoid the Gen 2 for now, as they haven’t fixed the firmware problems that have plagued users for the past six months, and they don’t seem to be willing to acknowledge that it’s a problem on their end. The audio sync issues are very real, though, and can completely ruin the experience if you plan to use MKV or MP4 videos with AAC audio codec in them.

The Live is pretty cool, too. It has similar hardware to the Gen 2, but doesn’t have the firmware problems. The network support is OK, but it doesn’t support thumbnails via network connection. Having the ability to watch YouTube videos is nice, and if you have friends on Flickr, that’s kind of interesting, too. Live365 is only useful if you plan to subscribe, though (the free channels are somwhat limited).

For my money, the WDTV HD Gen 1 is the best choice at the moment. The extremely low price (thanks to clearance sales across the country), solid firmware, and broad capabilities make it an excellent value. The only big negative to the Gen 1 is the fact that it doesn’t cut power to USB when the unit is in standby, and that means you must either disconnect your hard drive, or find one that spins down on its own even when it’s got power, lest you put undue wear and tear on your media drive.

I would definitely not bother with the Mini right now, unless you’re getting it for $20 or so.