Is WD media player a dead product? If so, can some one recommend

To me it looks like after the crippling 2.02.32 firmware update and absolutely NO response from the powers that be at WD to a fix anytime soon I was wondering if users here at the forum could recommend another media player that they like. Also maybe list the pros and cons of the media device they like.

Thanks in advance!

1 Like

Haha…one would think that would be a better question asked NOT on a WD Forum.  Have you followed any of the recommendations to rollback to the earlier firmware?  Seems a lot of people are finding that rollingback allows them to use the SMP again while WD works on a non-broken firmware release.

Just my 2cents…

Rob

I think it a good question since we are in the unique position of knowing first hand the weakness of our WD boxes.  I see a lot of tv boxes based on android mini pcs.  I don’t really know much about them but the concept of an open OS instead of being stuck with a closed OS is a big positive.  I’d be interested in others’ experiences with those boxes.

No Autoframe on Android so no dice.

rspierenburg wrote:

Haha…one would think that would be a better question asked NOT on a WD Forum.  Have you followed any of the recommendations to rollback to the earlier firmware?  Seems a lot of people are finding that rollingback allows them to use the SMP again while WD works on a non-broken firmware release.

 

Just my 2cents…

 

Rob

Rob,

I’m not trying to be rude but I really don’t have respect for a company that has essentially bricked (to some degrees) their product by releasing without question a horrible update, then from what I can gather, totally ignoring its customers and providing no information to when these problems will be fixed, if ever.

And yes, I have already downgraded my firmware. But just in case, this product is dead, I would like to find a replacement product for my massive media collection.

Any suggestions out there? Thanks.

I think the same…

rspierenburg wrote:

Haha…one would think that would be a better question asked NOT on a WD Forum.  Have you followed any of the recommendations to rollback to the earlier firmware?  Seems a lot of people are finding that rollingback allows them to use the SMP again while WD works on a non-broken firmware release.

 

Just my 2cents…

 

Rob

We could discuss how irresponsible it is to your customers to keep out (in other words not auto-roll back via the wire) a firware a company released that essentially broken for 100% of customers–there are plenty of people saying it “works fine” but even they have to do stuff like reboot it a lot and accept certain big quirks.  

But lets put that aside if anybody thinks that would have been too big a move.  A smaller but appreciated one would be a single official acknowledgement that they’re working (presumably hard) to fix this.  If that’s happened, I haven’t seen it and apparently neither have most folks.

Most products at big companies have what’s called a Product Manager.  A single person who’s ultimately in charge of a specific product or a product line.  This person should be pushing the coders to fix major issues and should also be making sure consumers are reassured. Yes, they already have our money.  But most of us are repeat buyers of a lot of different WD products (including potentially newer Media playing devices).  So even an older product like this deserves some monitoring like that, because if you ■■■■ off people bad enough, they start buying their hard drives or cloud storage elsewhere becauses they don’t trust your support.  This Product Manager is horrible at his or her job if this has gone on for months, and there’s not only no new firmware, but no statement here.

1 Like

Bad advises produce more effects than good ones.

And not only on small WD media players market.

WD is more known on other products, it will produce bad effects on these as well.

Amazon Fire TV or upcoming Nexus Player and XBMC (Kodi). Download XBMC now for your PC/ Android device and give it a try.

I agree, although after rolling back the firmware I have no problems, so the product is not dead. I guess it depends on what more do you want from it. If you already have a massive media library and if the current WD (with the previous firmware) works, what is the problem?

Don’t take me wrong, I am not happy about the way they do the updates as well. They could have at least  release the older update as a new one and force everyone to rollback until they fix it.

BTW, I’ve just started testing RaspberryPi with XBMC and so far it seems great, the only thing is, that R-Pi doesn’t have optical audio output :frowning:

I own 3 of these devices and I’m tried of the quirks introduced with each new version.  

I have a Nexus player on order.  It’s due to arrive in 2 to weeks.  

I have over $400 invested in these boxes, so I really don’t want to waste that investment.

habskilla wrote:

I have a Nexus player on order.  It’s due to arrive in 2 to weeks.  

Not even a comparison.  The Nexus Player doesn’t stream any local media (yet.)  

From what (little) I’ve been reading, the pared-down Play store at launch time didn’t have any apps that allow UPnP (DLNA) or Samba streaming – so you’re limited to video available in online stores (Vudu, NetFlix, Play Store, etc…)

Let us know how that goes for you, though!

MarekN87 wrote:

 

Don’t take me wrong, I am not happy about the way they do the updates as well. They could have at least  release the older update as a new one and force everyone to rollback until they fix it.

Exactly. They could done EXACTLY that.  And haven’t.  

The reason is either that they don’t give a **bleep** (the most likely explanation is that there is nobody at WD paying attention to the product–there’s no responsible Product Manager and the last new firmware only got released because some developer had been playing around with it and didn’t need any approval to push it out), or that some ■■■■■ at the company decided that rolling BACK a Firmware would be more of a P.R. disaster than leaving a completely broken one out there indefinitely.

Except that this firmware that some of you describe as broken, crippled, bricked, etc., works fine for many people.  For example, we have two WD SMPs and have been using our two units with the new firmware since right after it came out. We consider it a big improvement over previous firmware, and would never rollback.  Love the new interface and browsing of Media Library is much faster due to faster thumbs handling.  We use our two units around 20-25 hours combined per week for Netflix and Samba-served videos, and are quite pleased with them.  Yes, they do have to be rebooted about once a week or so (other than that they are never shut off), but I don’t  find them being unusable for around 3min per week a huge burden.  Sorry that some of you are having issues, but extrapolating from your very limited sample to all owners is clearly false.

And yet it happens all the time, bummer.

ncarver wrote:

Except that this firmware that some of you describe as broken, crippled, bricked, etc., works fine for many people.  For example, we have two WD SMPs and have been using our two units with the new firmware since right after it came out. We consider it a big improvement over previous firmware, and would never rollback.  Love the new interface and browsing of Media Library is much faster due to faster thumbs handling.  We use our two units around 20-25 hours combined per week for Netflix and Samba-served videos, and are quite pleased with them.  Yes, they do have to be rebooted about once a week or so (other than that they are never shut off), but I don’t  find them being unusable for around 3min per week a huge burden.  Sorry that some of you are having issues, but extrapolating from your very limited sample to all owners is clearly false.

If you only have to reboot once a week, you must not be using the Youtube Leanback app much.  It’s not the only thing that kills performance on the unit, but if you want to verify that the rest of us aren’t putting you on, go into the app and play a few videos–especially long ones.  For maximum effect, link it to a Youtube account and control the video via pairing from your PC.  Admittedly this is all challenging stuff for a little box like the WD, but the problem isn’t how the unit performs these actions (quite well, actually) but that the resources it takes are never released when you exit the app and try anything else on the WD.  So using the WD like that, you have to reboot the WD each time.

After this last FW update I pretty much gave up on WD.  I have better things to do in life than fight untested FW and shares not found. I go weeks and then at the most inopportune time that stupid spinning wheel and once again shares not found.

I had 4 WDs, sold 3 at about $60 each on Ebay and wound up replacing them with Rokus and Plex.  I tried the Amazon device, it is pretty cool, but I am not an Amazon prime user so in the end I decided I liked the Roku better, so the FireTV went back.  If you are sold on XBMC then you may want to look at the FireTV or the Nexus player when it ships.

I’m also using the Chromecast mainly because I got a refurb for $15. Using a smartphone or tablet to drive it is a negative to me and I really haven’t done enough with it yet to have an opinion. The fact that the Nexus Player doesn’t even have an Ethernet port speaks volumes about how much technology has changed since the WD shipped. I have no issues streaming bluray on N 5 ghz, on the Roku but having AC 2x2 MIMO is going to be pretty sweet.

Bottom line is even though I kept a WD no one in my house wants to use it. Roku/Plex is so much better/easier and no one can tell a difference when watching bluray or HD quality content between the WD and Roku.

The consistent theme in these threads are someone coming in and saying “works fine for me” implying that the poster doesn’t know what they are doing.  The other is pointing to some supposed super technical capability that the WD has, that other devices don’t as a basis for why only a fool would get rid of WD. Call me a fool I guess, but I am not looking back.

Borgo wrote:

The consistent theme in these threads are someone coming in and saying “works fine for me” implying that the poster doesn’t know what they are doing.

Actually, it’s the other way round: people having trouble with the device claiming that the decive is bricked, that WD **bleep** for daring to release a “crippling” update and that of course everyone must be experiencing this despite them only being a vocal minority. And why should they get to frame the debate (on a user to user forum where noone has any sway over WD, no less)? Should people like ncarver and me lie about our devices playing perfectly fine on our networks?

Also, if Roku/Plex does the trick, good for you. I’d hate to have a DLNA server running just to play back files from shares.

WileyCoyote wrote:

If you only have to reboot once a week, you must not be using the Youtube Leanback app much.  It’s not the only thing that kills performance on the unit, but if you want to verify that the rest of us aren’t putting you on, go into the app and play a few videos…

I don’t doubt that some apps may not work properly. The problem is the scale of the language being used. An app causes the box to have to be rebooted frequently ==> unit is dead/bricked/crippled/etc.  Hey, a particular webpage I needed to view during a meeting the other day repeatedly instantly crashed Chrome on my Android tablet. so I could not get the necessary info.  Oh, dear, I guess my tablet is “bricked.”

Then there is all this discussion of how irresponsible WD is for bricking/crippling all their users SMPs and how could a company behave like that? How indeed?  Of course when your conclusions don’t seem reasonable, one ought to consider that perhaps it is one’s premises (that the latest firmware broke the SMP for virtually all users) that are actually to blame.

Oh, but’s that right.  The complainers don’t even want to hear about any data points that disagree with their version of reality.  Same old, same old.  Ho hum.  Back to happily using our SMPs–just as we already have for hundreds of hours with the new firmware.

And you have the data? I believe that there are tons of user that don’t complain about it, even though they’re experiencing problems.

Also me, for example, I don’t use ANY of the apps/services (besides the weather on the home screen), I only play videos from HDD or a network shares, and this only doesn’t work properly with the latest firmware. 

What if you are the minority that it works for?