Disappointed - What other media player should I buy?


#1

I’ve just bought a WDTV Live Media Player because I want to see all my TIFF-pictures and my AVI/DV-videos on my wonderful new TV. Now I understand that I can’t use the product for this (although it said AVI and TIFF on the box).

Of course I’m disappointed, but maybe it’s my own stupidity. I don’t know much about codecs and resolutions.

But it’s time to move on: So can anyone recommend another device that can do what I need?

Or: What format should I convert my AVI/DV-files to? I still want the quality to be the same.

I will appreciate any help.

Thank you,

Jesper, Denmark


#2

Most folks here are going to recommend you use HandBrake and convert to .MKV container and .h264 codec, using the “High Profile” preset that comes with HB.


#3

I am also disappointed with this device. I would also appreciate a recommendation for a competing product.


#4

Indeed the web page states that it can play AVI files.  AVI is a container.  The web page states the codecs supported within the container.  It pays to have a little bit of a knowledge of what codecs do you have inside these AVI files that you have.  Get MediaInfo and run it on the AVI files that are not playing.  Report back here with the info.  Issue is that if you do not have some aprreciation for the codecs used the next device you buy may disappoint you also.


#5

Can you post an example of an AVI that doesn’t play ? I have no problems at all playing AVI’s. 


#6

SjefDeKlerk wrote:

Can you post an example of an AVI that doesn’t play ? I have no problems at all playing AVI’s. 

Well, my video-files are a bit too large to post :smiley:

I don’t know much about the technicalities - what you apparently are supposed to if you want to buy a modern video-device.  But I understand from other posts, that AVI isn’t just AVI. There are different kinds, and WD says that the device onlys plays some of these types - and not the kinds that come from a DV-camera. Of course thats were mine are made…

Even worse it won’t show my TIIFF-pictures and a lot of my JPG-pictures. I understand that their resolution is wrong.


#7

As Lunar says, AVI is a container and while the Live does support that container type it does not (and could not) support all the thousands of combinations of video and audio codecs that could be contained within it (many of which are not supported by almost any device).

The good news is there is an easy fix – nearly any video type can be conformed by simply running it through a program that can change the codecs to something more mainstream.  My own program of choice is Handbrake (freeware and runs on all platforms).  It *does* re-encode, but does it so superbly that you’ll never notice it.  I recommend using the High Profile preset and outputting to an MKV file.  The one and only drawback is that it takes some time to do this (to maintain the quality) but your computer probably isn’t doing anything else while you sleep or work, is it?


#8

For an easy reencode with WDTV-Profile i prefer Xmedia Recode.

Easy to use and its free.

http://www.xmedia-recode.de/

(Use 2.2.1.6 , the newer one has a bug,Bitrate calculator does not work perfectly)


#9

My WD TV Live can play the raw .DV files produced by my Sony video camera.

:angry:

Sorry, I tried to verify my above claim, now that I am back home, but I also find that it is unable to play raw DV and DV-AVI files now. I must have mixed up the .dv files with some .mpeg files that contained the same raw video scene, generated by accident during the editing process, and remembered that wrongly.


#10

"So can anyone recommend another device that can do what I need?"

"…I would also appreciate a recommendation for a competing product."

Coming to WDC’s house and asking for recommendations on a competitor is bad form.  

C’mon.  When it comes to choice of products, do your own research instead of asking people to do it for you.


#11

I just find it weird, I have quite a few AVI’s, ranging from XVID to DVIX to MPEG and I can play them all without problems.


#12

Did you try to copy your AVI’s to an USB stick and play them via USB ? If this works, then you have security issue’s on your network (and it will SEEM like the AVI is unsupported instead).


#13

I have been looking through the forum and have found many examples of problems that have not been resolved in a timely manner. I just figured with all the complaints and problems on this forum, that many folks would know about a better product.

I hope WD reads this thread. I want them to know that I am unhappy with the present state of the device.


#14

The problem with the WD TV Live is that is DOES have a number of outstanding issues / bugs and, if you’re affected by several of them, it makes the Live an unsuitable purchase.

Personally, the Live works well for the files I play and for the uses I have for it.  It’s used daily and I rarely have cause for concern.  But my uses are limited to watching MKV files and AVI files, only occasionally MP4/M4V.  I don’t listen to music much (apart from Pandora, which works great, as do other radio stations streamed via TVersity) and I never view pictures.

If you want a box that does movies, music and pictures, all exceptionally well… I’m not sure one exists yet.

My gut feeling is that the most promising media player has yet to be released (D-Link’s Boxee Box).  But it will be considerably more expensive than a WD TV Live (same as a high-end Popcorn Hour).  It’s essentially PC hardware running Boxee, a software solution that should have no trouble playing the vast majority of files and should cope well with most internet video / audio streams.  You can even download Boxee and test it out on your PC for free.

My opinion is that WD made a mistake in marketing the WD Tv Live as an all-in-one wonder box.  It’s not.  If you accept the limitations, you’ll be very happy with the unit.  If it simply doesn’t do what you want, you definitely need to look elsewhere.  Good luck in your search and be sure to update us if you find anything you feel is a better alternative.  I’m happy with my Live but perhaps others would benefit.  ;)


#15

SharpBarb wrote:

I have been looking through the forum and have found many examples of problems that have not been resolved in a timely manner. I just figured with all the complaints and problems on this forum, that many folks would know about a better product.

 

I hope WD reads this thread. I want them to know that I am unhappy with the present state of the device.

Did you try to play from USB ? Like said, this sounds like you’ve done something wrong yourself instead of it being a bug


#16

And btw, I think the WDTV *is* the best mediaplayer out there. It’s stable, it boots in a few seconds & plays 99% of the files. Show me any product that’s better, I don’t think there is any. Even the C200 and Dune3.0 have their fair share of problems.


#17

The WD TV Live is no different than it’s competitors from Popcorn, Seagate, D-Link, as many use the exact same chipset from Sigma. I’ve tried them all…to understand why the WD HD Live can’t play certain files some codec explanation is in order.  Codecs can be divided into two broad application categories: Acquisition and Distribution (there are also Intermediate codecs used in editing but that isn’t the issue here). RAW photo and DV are Acquisition codecs meant to acquire media, not distribute media for playback.  These Video Acquisition codecs like DV and DVCPro-HD have a high bit rate and stream poorly. Distribution codecs like DIVX-wrapped in an AVI container, MP4, M4V and MKV on the other hand are highly compressed, low bit rate and stream well over networks–they are meant for playback.  An HD acquisition file like DVC Pro HD is 50 or 100mbps which is going to have trouble streaming over say WiFi–or even 10/100 ethernet while an MKV file with the same 1080p resolution might be only 10 or 20 mbps because it is more compressed. The acquisition file is more robust because it will be edited while the distribution codec is more highly compressed, streams well and relies more on hardware decompression.  It only makes sense that these companies, in designing hardware, pick codecs used for distribution as they are more ubiquitous and stream well.  You couldnt stream acquisition codecs over most home  networks so why build it into the hardware? The good news is that new HD acquisition codecs like AVC-HD based on MPEG4, M2TS (MPEG 2 similarly used in DVDs) are modifications of low bit rate distribution codecs having very good quality for recording and editing, thanks to new technologies like H.264, and stream fine on the WD HD. 


#18

My issue is not with codecs, I’ve been able to play all my media files *IF* the content is on a hard drive directly connected via USB.

When I first got the device, I immediately tried to access my content on my PC via the network. Many, many hours later, I still could not access the network drives on my computer. After two days of trying every trick I could find on various forums, I finally gave up. I was frustrated and had not played a single file. I eventually connected an external hard drive and I could access all my content.

So I was already in a bad mood when I started noticing all of the “quirks” this device has.

There are just so many small “bugs”.

Also, I shouldn’t have to install 3rd party firmware to attain basic functionality that should already be there.

I would gladly have paid more for a device that just works.


#19

SharpBarb wrote:

My issue is not with codecs, I’ve been able to play all my media files *IF* the content is on a hard drive directly connected via USB.

 

When I first got the device, I immediately tried to access my content on my PC via the network. Many, many hours later, I still could not access the network drives on my computer. After two days of trying every trick I could find on various forums, I finally gave up. I was frustrated and had not played a single file. I eventually connected an external hard drive and I could access all my content.

 

So I was already in a bad mood when I started noticing all of the “quirks” this device has.

 

There are just so many small “bugs”.

 

Also, I shouldn’t have to install 3rd party firmware to attain basic functionality that should already be there.

 

I would gladly have paid more for a device that just works.

 

I think you mistakte ‘bugs’ for normal network behaviour. If you want to share files over the network, you unfortunately have to setup your network environment correctly, which is TOTALLY independant of your player. If you haven’t configured your server & router correctly, you just can’t access your network shares. Getting another player MOST  probably won’t change anything.


#20

there are a few options in the $100 price range, but none are perfect.  To me, the deciding factor was VIDEO QUALITY.  i didn’t care about youtube, netflix, dvd menus (would have been nice, but whatever), and ease of setup.

the WDTV LIVE, from what i understand, has the best video quality of any of the $100 or so boxes (oplay, patriot etc) who knows about popbox, it’s still not out.

video quality is A+++ on this thing. 

good luck in your search.