I am long-time fan and user of WDTVLIVEHUB. I find (in spite of occasional gotchas) that it still beats ROKU and my Smart TV for a easy, usable interface to my locally stored movies. I access 2500+ movies, 1000’s of TV episodes, 100’s of documentaries (PBS, History Channel, etc.), and 100+ online education courses. (Its also a simpler NETFLIX interface than my Smart TV provides.)
After 6+ years, my internal drive started making a ominous clicking sound (!), and a few valiant weeks later it died.
I wasn’t quite ready to give up on WDTVLIVEHUB, so I bought a reconditioned one off e-Bay. For me at least it was a grand success. It works like a charm, and I have all of my functionality back.
I decided to make my original WDTVLIVEHUB a testbed. I opened up the case (search YOUTUBE). First I noticed that there is a battery (!). Remember this is a six year old unit. I changed the battery, and while I can’t be 100% sure, this seems to help the performance of unit. For the last few years, I had noticed that the unit - if turned off - would take 15-20 minutes or more to re-compile libraries (remember I have many 1000’s of videos, many on network drives). Now it seems to refresh the Media Library in just a few minutes, so leaving the unit always turned on is no longer necessary. But I’m getting ahead of the story - the internal drive was still dead. After much research on WD Community, I was still unsure how to proceed and what would work. The original WD 1TB drive is no longer manufactured, so I bought a WD 1TB that was a close relative: WD Laptop Mainstream WDBMYH0010BNC-NRSN 1TB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 2.5" Internal Hard Drive. It arrived and I wasn’t sure how to proceed, so (using a docking station), I renamed the drive to WDTVLiveHub and then installed it in my WDTVLIVEHUB. (The rename was probably unnecessary.) The install just takes a minute. Voila! The firmware recognized the drive, asked if I wanted to reformat. Poof! It works.
I recopied the original 150-200 movies (I have always maintained backup copies of my movie hard drives.) I was completely back in business - as good as new.
Since I now own two WDTVLIVEHUBs, I decided to keep experimenting. I bought this: Seagate ST2000LM007 2TB 128MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5" Internal Notebook Hard Drive. (The Seagate 2TB drive cost about $10 less than the 1TB WD Drive!). This time I did not rename the drive. While there is lots of scuttlebutt that “only WD Drives will work”, it doesn’t seem to be true. I installed the Seagate 2TB; the firmware asked if I wanted to format it. 5 minutes later I now had a 2TB WDTVLIVEHUB internal drive.
Bonus Good News:
For years I have run a 3TB external drive off the back USB port. It adds about 500+ movies to the collection (although still only fraction of the grand total of movies). With my new “testbed” WDTVLIVEHUB, I experimented with an inexpensive (relatively) SEAGATE 5TB Drive. Works fine. So my old “local storage” was 1TB+3TB=4TB, but now I have local storage of 2TB+5TB=7TB. Love it!
Thanks for sharing this info. I have two, 2TB drives attached to my WD Live Plus. and a couple of years ago I got 4TB more of storage via a WD NAS. It has two, 4TB Red Drives. It came setup as RAID 1, so one 4TB drive backs up the other 4TB drive automagically. So, I have a total of 8TB storage for music and videos. And did I tell you the NAS is FAST, so when adding new data via a gigabit network, data travels at 133 MB/sec.
Save your money on buying additional HDs, get a high end WD NAS, e.g. today’s PR series. My WDTV loves pulling media from the NAS (which can be larger than you can imagine).
My main WDTVLIVEHUB (currently the e-Bay refurbished unit as described in my post) has the internal 1tb drive and an older WD ELEMENTS 3tb drive. We keep our favorite movies on those two drives. It’s convenient having the local drives, 'cause even if I’m playing with home Ethernet stuff (things were in disarray for a couple of days when I upgraded a switch to gigabit, etc.) my wife can still watch a favorite movie. But other than that I - like you - gave up on local drives.
Our 2nd TV is an inexpensive non-smart Samsung, so it has a WD TV LIVE box. No storage attached to either USB, because it can “see” the WDTVLIVEHUB drives (and all my other network drives) and also acts as that TV’s portal to NETFLIX.
For my network drives, I went a different direction than you. No fancy NAS, tempting as it may be:
a) 6tb WD MY CLOUD, with what I call my COLLECTION drive. Lots and lots of folders like JIMMY_STEWART_ COLLECTION, MARVEL_COLLECTION (all the MARVEL Comics movies), JAMES_BOND_COLLECTION, STAR_WARS_COLLECTION, STAR_TREK_COLLECTION, etc.
b) 4tb WD MY CLOUD drive is my COLLECTION_EXTENSION; even more of similar movies in related folders like above.
c) 3tb WD MY BOOK LIVE with TV SHOWS. Now running out of room, so being upgraded to 5tb.
d) 4tb USB WD drive with about 100 Teaching Company Great Courses. This drive is on one of the MY CLOUD USB ports, so the drive is network-visible to the WDTVLIVEHUB and WD TV LIVE media libraries.
e) Older 2tb WD MY BOOK LIVE drive with a BBC folder (my shorthand for 100’s of BBC, PBS, History Channel, Discovery Channel documentary videos), a Shakespeare folder (all of BBC Shakespeare play productions), and WOODWORKING folder (videos for my other hobby).
That’s most of my videos, 24tb total at the moment. Every one of the drives has another USB 3.0 drive connected to my PC that serve as backups. So that’s another 24+ tb (more than 24 because my network drives are currently all WD, but my USB backups are various capacity WD, Seagate, and TOSHIBA drives, acquired over time as drive capacities went up, and various models/brands that had good sale prices.
Uploading a new movie is a multiple step process. No RAID taking care of “free” backups, etc. BUT: all of my backups are physically and logically separate from my network drives (off on their own power in my network closet). And my USB backup drives aren’t even spinning 99.9% of the time (all consumer-grade drives sleep after a few minutes of inactivity). My network drives are also mostly asleep, except for the one or two streaming us a movie in the evening. And “consumer” drives are often cheaper than NAS Boxes, bare WD RED drives, etc.
I have “lost” two drives over 6 years. Both happened to be WD drives, but my sample size is - in the big picture - so small, that I don’t give that much weight.
Still wishing WD was still in the Media Player business,
Yes, all my original movies are on the drive I made them to, and the ones we watch are dups copied to drives on the WD drives or now, the NAS.
I too, wish WD still made media players, so when I needed another media player for a TV added to a guest room, I installed the Kodi app on an Amazon Fire TV stick. It works great; almost like using a WDTV. App is free and Fire TVs cost lots less than the WDTV was.
I see you like documentaries. I do, too. This summer I ran across a streaming service called Curiosity Stream (division of the Discovery Channel). It has an app for viewing on tablets, or Roku, Apple TV, etc. It cost me $6/month for HD streaming for “all I can eat” viewing. Check it out, and one gets a free month for signing on, OR, if a member sends you an invite you get TWO months free!
If it looks good to you, let me know and I can send you an invite for two months free via a PM here.
what other 1tb drives work beside the original model drive
Check my first post. When I describe replacing the 1tb drive, I cut-and-pasted the exact description from NEWEGG.com of the WD 1tb drive I successfully used.