Is the WD TV Media Player been discontinued? I cannot not find any new players either in my local Best Buy or Staples stores, nor can I find any on-line. Only refurbished versions are available on-line, some for outrageous prices. Hope someone can clarify this me as to what is going on.
You say you searched stores, etc. but did you search this WD forum? There have been hundreds of questions posted just like yours! If you can’t find any new ones, logic ought to indicate they don’t exist anymore. If WD ever makes them again, the news will be plastered all over this forum…
Since you are a professor, you should be able to find the various posts here.
But yeah, surprised to see how inflated the prices are for refurbished units.
New units are still available in Middle East at around US$100 - for example:
(Others would have to say if the Middle East spec is same as for other areas of the world).
You can use a service such as Shop and Ship:
to get a UAE delivery address and then get forwarded on to an international address. There are online vouchercodes to subscribe to Shop and Ship for reduced cost if you search around (try FREESNS100 which may still be working).
I would check with the warranty terms. Buying an oversees model, or an oversees vendor may make seriously complicate the warranty process (if not void it completely). Than again, it’s only $100…
If it isn’t discontinued then you may want to consider alternatives. The WDTV is no longer a viable option for popular streaming services and its capabilities for streaming your own media are very limited.
The latest models are mostly the same older hardware with no speed or memory improvements and have no support for Netflix or Amazon Prime. The result is a very slow and often frustrating experience navigating libraries of movies with a very cumbersome interface. It can be modified but nothing will make it smooth and snappy.
My WDTV Live, which previously supported Netflix and Hulu had those features removed after the latest firmware update. I reverted manually but the services no longer work. Trying to access them times out returns error messages from the service saying that the device is unsupported and to contact the manufacturer. In many cases the device just locks up requiring a reboot.
As a set-top media streamer it is marginally functional but does not have support for newer changes to mkv or newer codecs. Additionally it seems that some support has been downgraded. Movies which used to play smoothly now stutter or fail to load. Many larger HD movies with low compression play so poorly that they are unwatchable.
The best option now, for people with the time and capability, is to build your own HTPC with support for all media types and preferred streaming services. The WDTV is no longer a viable option for having access to everything in one easy package.
I agree that WDTV or WDTV Live is no longer a viable for the popular streaming services, but it is the only viable option I have found to support streaming my personal collection of over 10K media files of which 85% are in the .avi format. Roku does not support the .avi format. As a result I have a Roku box for external streaming and I use the WDLive or WDTV box for my internal files. I have had no problems with mkv files on my current WDTV players which are 3 years old. I like the easy to use menu system on the WDTV to access my NAS files that I get to use the Network Shares option on the WDTV streaming box.
I recently purchased a certified refurbished WDTV box on Amazon. Even though they indicated it was out of stock, I placed an order and got one with 1 week.
Amazon: Western Digital WDBYMN0000NBK WD TV Media Player, with Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity (Certified Refurbished)
Still I would have liked WD to be manufacturing newer models of this device rather than discontinuing them. Western Digital is still showing WD TV on their main web (Not the WD Store): http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=1270
I fully understand. I’ve also been searching high and low for an alternative to streaming my huge collection of movies.
I’m about to build my own dedicated HTPC and NAS system to solve the problem. The WDTV has just become too cumbersome and sluggish to deal with anymore. Although, for the price, it’s clearly still a cheap option if you have file formats it can play.
Unfortunately for me it no longer plays about half of the movies I have on my system (though a year ago it did just fine). Most of the MKVs and mp4s just fail to play and avi’s (which I have few of) tend to stutter very badly. I also end up with “out of memory” errors after watching anything for more than an hour or two.
It’s unlikely we’ll see any major companies making a similar device again. Most have given in to the big media corporations and don’t want to be seen as upsetting the apple cart. It seems as though Netflix and other shave put pressure on them to offer streaming services and minimize the ability to play local content. Even the Xbox 360 and One can only play a handful of antiquated formats and refuses to even show (let alone play) about 90% of my content.
Similar competing boxes were bought up and then never brought back to market. I think that’s very telling of the direction companies are going in.
Fortunately I haven’t yet run into the problem you have re the MKV and mp4 files. If my WDLive boxes die then I will be forced to build my own dedicated HTPC and switch to Kodi (which has a good menu system) for viewing files and playing subtitled movies.
Kodi is what I plan to use also. I’ve tried a lot of menu styles for WDTV but the ones that look the best (big covers, lots of metadata info, etc) are often very sluggish and loading a folder with many movies can take a while.
Agree, this does seem a bit weird since they are not selling them today. WD just adds to the confusion rather than clarify what’s going on with this practice…
I have two WD Live Plus units that can perfectly play my collection of ISO, MKV and mp4/m4v files. Until smoke emanates from either, I will be good to go for a while. I even have a new Live Streaming player still in sealed box if I need to break into it.
An alternative could be to use a Fire TV stick/box with Kodi app installed on it. I have done this, and for most DVD ISO and MKV files it works OK, but any MKV files from BDs are challenged and unusable this way. I have no avi files with my movies on them, but I would suspect Kodi could do a decent job of playing them like a WDTV can.
I have a Fire TV stick on one TV with Kodi which works perfectly. Also using Firestarter (aka AppStarter). Amazon is trying to eliminate Kodi in their more recent updates of the Fire TV/stick. I’ve blocked any updates to my Fire Stick in order to keep Kodi from vanishing.
Also I haven’t used any BDs. Trying to keep my file sizes down on my NAS.
I have not checked Kodi on Fire stick lately; really don’t use it. Nevertheless, how does one block auto update of the FW? I also minimize BD mkv files on my NAS and drives as well, since they hog around 22GB of space, whereas the DVD ISO takes up around 8GB. But, in a few cases I have made a m4v file from BD-mkv to play on iPad. Given excellent conditions, I can remotely stream them from my My Cloud NAS and virtual Pogoplug cloud to my iPad with excellent clarity.
BTW, a handy app for the Fire TV is simply called Twonky. It was released as a Fire TV version by the new Twonky owner back in the fall. Just last night I was fooling around with my Sandisk Connect wireless stick and casting movies from it to the TV by using Connect app on iPad to cast to both the Fire stick w/Twonky app running and to a Chromecast2 device. Both finally worked well. Must be due to improvements in the Connect app and FW updates. This will be handy for travel purposes, but totally unnecessary at home since I have WDTV and other less geeky ways to get my movies playing.
I have blocked Five Stick updates directly on my Netgear Router
Netgear Router Menu > Advanced > Security > Block Sites then entered the following URLs
Check out the following link using method 3: Block updates via Router
So far it has worked for me.
OK, will check it out. Later on I will check on the Kodi app on the Fire Stick. Darn well be still working! I don’t like AMZ messing with my apps.
I’m using a Raspberry Pi 3 which is quite zippy and plays all the formats i need (mkv, mp4, avi etc)
And it’s a lot cheaper than a HTPC @ around $100 for all the bits’n’pieces (rpi3, powersupply, micro sd card, case etc)
but, i had to buy a FLIRC case cus the RPi3 gets HOT … but now no higher than 50°C (even playing 1080p HEVC) … but using around 35~40°C with H.264
FLIRC CASE (Basically it’s one big passive cooler made of aluminum)
I’ve been looking into buying a Raspberry Pi 3 board etc. Didn’t realize the RP3 gets hot. I like the case you chose. Where did you buy the stuff?
Check out the discussions on the xda developers website re the Fire TV/Stick
Yeah, the RPi3 gets hotter than the RPi2 (which i also own) … but the RPi3 can handle HEVC (H.265) better + other things …
FLIRC Case ? … i’m Aussie, so i bought mine locally here
For UK users … they can get one here
Thanks for the info. I’m in the USA. I just found it on Amazon. Any suggestions for the initial programming of the RPi3. I am assuming you are using Kodi as a media streamer for avi, mp4 and mkv files.