Help with a buying quandary please

Hi all - Please can I have some advice. I have been using a WDTV Live (WDBGXT0000NBK-UESN) here in the UK for 11 months now, and have been really pleased with it. It’s mainly set to only show files on an attached USB disk, as this keeps things nice & simple for the kids (they can’t get lost in my server folders & shares).

Unfortunately the box has become increasingly unreliable. It periodically drops its HDMI output, or refuses to play nice with the TV on startup. Have tried the obvious fixes: new HDMI cable, rolling back firmware; plugging in direct to TV (not through an HDMI switch). I seem to be always rebooting the thing, or replugging cables to get it to behave itself. That’s a level of maintenance the family won’t live with, and I’m constantly returning from work to the complaint “That black box is broken again…”.

Amazon UK have been very good, and as it’s (just) in warranty, I can return it for a refund. This leaves me with two replacement options:

  1. Another old-model WDTV Live from an Amazon marketplace seller.

Plus side

  • I know the box and that it does exactly what I want (when it’s functioning correctly)

Down side

  • Who knows if this replacement WDTV Live will eventually go the same way as the last one?
  • I (probably) can’t expect as good aftersales sales service 11 months down the line from a marketplace seller, assuming they even exist then.
  1. Buy the new WDTV box that Amazon are now selling direct.

Plus side

  • It’s the newer model
  • Gold-standard aftersales from Amazon direct.

Down side

  • It’s an unknown quantity to me, no idea how it performs or if it will last.
  • If I decide several months down the line I should’ve gone for the old WDTV Live, I probably won’t be able to get one at a competitive price (you know how legacy products tend to spike in cost).

Options 1) and 2) will cost me the same when you include P&P. I don’t use Netflix, so that’s not a factor for me either.

Dilemma! I guess my basic question is to those of you with experience of both boxes, and a few months use of the new WDTV under your belts: has it proved generally reliable? If you could go back in time, and have a new one of either model, which would you go for?

My Amazon returns window closes soon, so I need to jump one way or the other. Sorry for the longwinded post - any opinions / advice would be gratefully received!

By all accounts, the boxes are identical other than NetFlix support.

You could try reinstalling the firmware or updating on your old box first. I have had to do that before after a thunder storm. It mostly worked but started having similar glitches.