Issues with playback while network cable is connected

I’ve owned a WDTV Live Gen 1 for a couple of years and have been very pleased with it.  Recently, I purchase a WDTV Live Plus for my basement and it, too, had been working great.  A few months ago that all changed.

Both devices were on the latest firmware (1.06.15 and .16) when I began to notice I wasn’t able to pause movies.  After hitting the return or stop button on the remote, I’d be returned to the menu only to hear my movie’s audio continuing to play in the background.  If I attempted to play another file, all I’d receive is the spinning blue “loading” circle.  Only a power reset of the device would allow me to play a file again.

However, even after the power reset, although I could play a movie file (MKV) I still couldn’t pause the movie.  All I’d see if I tried was the progress bar but with 00:00:00/00:00:00 for the “time played” and “total time” counters of the file.

I tried rolling back the firmware to a previous 1.05 version but the issue still persists.  It occurs if I play a file from an external USB HDD or from a Windows share.

To make things even weirder, if I power cycle the device but unplug the ethernet cable, all files on my external drive play flawlessly!  I can immediately pause the movie, change subtitles, see the accurate “time played” and “total time” of the file by the progress bar, etc.  I can even stop the movie, select another one, and it, too, loads instantly and works perfectly.  The moment I plug the ethernet cable back into the device all my issues return.

What could this be?

Is it possible for you to connect the WD TV to another router?