Many problems with WD TV Live Streaming

  1. Failure to stream more than 7 or 8 minutes of an MPEG video without breaking up when using Network Share.

  2. Lack of Artist and Album metadata unless using Media Server.

  3.  Streaming of audio stops after 15 minutes when using Media Server. This is regardless of the setting of the 15 minute setting in Setup. It requires a complete factory reset to enable Media Server again.

I am very disappointed at the moment. It all points to under-tested firmware, but perhaps these problems can be fixed in future.

I have firmware 1.06.04. I am trying to stream from my PC using Tversity and/or PS3 Media Server. Both work fine with my PlayStaion 3, but the limitations of that device are unacceptable.

I have been using a WD TV Generation 1 for some time, but it has developed the habit of what sounds like drop-outs on some music. Anyway, I was attracted by the facilities of the Generation 3 box.

Am I to be permanently dispappointed?

1 Like

You have not provided enough information to make an informed technical evaluation.

First thing; you have to determine is whether you have a faulty box or bad video.

Virgin rip a DVD and bluray (do not use a copy) to a USB hard drive and play both the video you are having issues with and the ripped titles directly on the WDTV LIVE SMP; do any of the movies stutter?

If yes, you may have a faulty box, try a few more virgin rip titles. If the stutter is consistent, I would contact the WD service centre or return the box where you purchased it for a replacement.

If the movies play smoothly, then your network is the culprit.

I don’t own a WDTV Live SMP; I can confirm that PS3 Media Server works without issues on the WDTV Live. You don’t mention what OS you are using; I assume Windows. Play a virgin rip movie through your computer using PS3 Media Server, open the task manager and observe the network resources. PS3 Media Server will stream a virgin rip DVD through a 100mbit wired network, without trancoding using around 20 to 30% network resources. The CPU resources are around the same. If the CPU resources are higher, consistent around 50%, check for any programs running in the background. If your network card is 1gbit around 1% network resources use. Depending on the bluray title you may have stuttering issues, try the PS3 Media Server transcoding.

What happens when you use the Windows native network instead of PS3 Media Server?

I am comparing like with like. Streaming the same videos via PS3 Media Streamer to a PS3 is faultless.

The videos I’m trying are recorded directly from DVB-T 720p transmissions into MPEG video and have never shown any problems in any other use. 

The two problems are: 1. Streaming ceases after 15 minutes using Media Streaming and this necessitates a factory reset and 2. Network Share streaming causes severe stutter after a couple of minutes.

I don’t post to forums like this unless I have done extensive tests to eliminate other factors. My PC, running XP SP3, is fine, the network is fine. My PS3 can stream fine over the same network. It is only the WD TV which malfuntions.

I thought I had posted this to a forum section on issues. Why was my post moved to General Discussions?

1 Like

I used to work in the electrical and electronic servicing industry. The tests and claims you posted are amateurish. That is probably why the WD moderators moved your post from Issues to General Discussions. You should read the WDTV Live specifications and carry out extensive tests before complaining that the WDTV Live is defective.

According to the publicly available Sigma specifications, the Sigma chips used in the WDTV Live/SMP are manufactured compliant to the international digital video recording, playback and broadcast standards.

Professional digital video production is produced and edited on expensive commercial machines compliant with the international digital video recording and broadcast standards. Professional digital video recording and playback does not require computer processing anywhere in the record or playback chain.

“I am comparing like with like. Streaming the same videos via PS3 Media Streamer to a PS3 is faultless.”

“My PC, running XP SP3, is fine, the network is fine. My PS3 can stream fine over the same network. It is only the WD TV which malfunctions.”

There is big difference between the PS3 and the WDTV Live. The Playstation PS3 is a computer and costs between 4 and 5 times the price of a WDTV Live. The WDTV Live is a video streaming box. Computers use the CPU and GPU and software to bit map the video graphics into mimicking a dedicated hardware digital video chip.

The WDTV Live does not contain a GPU and is incapable of bit mapped video playback. The video playback is by detecting the video stream and passing through the video stream to a dedicated hardware digital video chip.

A digital hardware video chip is far superior, faster and will outperform a computer CPU and GPU provided the playback video is compliant to the international digital video recording and broadcast standards. If the digital video recording is outside the standards, the digital hardware video chip will lock up.

Windows software and applications are not perfect. Non-compliant video streams will play on Windows machines and the PS3 because of codecs and sloppy hardware timing signals.

Manufacturers are not legally obliged to support a video stream non-compliant to the international digital video recording, playback and broadcast standards.

The issue you are reporting is a classical case of the hardware digital video chip locking up due to an incompatible video stream or digital artefacts imposed on the video stream.

You have not answered my questions.

What happens when you virgin rip a DVD and bluray to a USB hard drive and play the ripped titles directly on the WDTV LIVE SMP; do any of the movies stutter? If the movie plays without locking up then your WDTV LIVE SMP is functioning correctly.

I have performed some more substitutions to track the problem down.

The videos I want to access play perfectly from a local hard disk through the USB port. They are also fine on an Ethernet connection. Finally, I tried the WiFi about three feet from the router. Still OK.

Therefore The WD TV is behaving as if the WiFi connection is poor where it is situated. Surprising that the PS3 which is the same distance away from the router, in fact about 2 feet away from the WD TV, seems to be able to deal with it. The PS3 reports that the WiFi signal is 100%. However, since the router and my listening room are in different buildings, I use a  repeater for the WiFi network. The PS3 shows both signals, the router at less than 20% and the repeater at 100%. I can choose which to use, the repeater, naturally. The WD TV only shows one network. Is it possible that it is getting its WiFi signals crossed?

I am now trying the Media Server, close to the router, to see if it fails after 15 minutes as it did before.  Still going after 20 minutes so that test passed. 

I didn’t do quite as extensive a set of tests as I should have done to start with!

Meanwhile, I still don’t see the Artist and Album fields in Music unless it is using a Media Server.

So, WifFi signals?

If it’s any consolation, I have the exact same problems. I cannot stream any movie from my Windows XP SP3 PC over Wifi. Signal is 80% and i have no trouble streaming HD video from the Services and the movies play just fine from local USB. It’s some protocol issue. My guess is the box had to be out before the Christmas season. Still waiting for WD to fix the bugs :slight_smile: After all it’s a Streaming Media Player right?

1 Like

Thank you for corroboration. From what I have already posted you can see that the WD TV is the culprit. It is not coping with a strong WiFi network that gives no trouble to the PS3.

The SMP is a fine little machine, but it is full of bugs. WD should not use its customers as testers, but this is becoming very prevalent in the market place. Reviewers don’t have the time to test a new machine fully so don’t reveal problems that might occur in extended use in a variety of circumstances.

However, if we are testers, WD should pay attention to issues raised in forums like this and reassure us that they are being taken seriously and that bugs are being tracked down and fixed for a release of firmware.

This thread really should not have been moved from ‘Issues’.

I agree, this is an issue. I can not stream movies from my WD NAS. Starts to stutter after a few minutes then just locks up and I have to power cycle the SMP.

1 Like

How are you all connecting to the shared source? NFS or SMB/CIFS?

I had these issues while using SMB/CIFS but when I switched to NFS everything works perfectly.
SMB/CIFS has performance issues and can cause stuttering/freezing with higher bitrate files.

Try switching it up and see if that works. If not you could possibly have a faulty SMP (bad antenna or something)

Thanks for the tip, but I can’t see how to get access to a choice using XP SP3.

I used to stream exclusively to the PS3. When I switched over to the WD I had some issues, I don’t remember how close there were to yours, however I can tell you this…

  • The PS3 wont play **bleep** without special encoding or transcoding through Tversity. I’m not bashing anything, just saying that it required “non standard” files… I mean “non standard” by not what is widely used by mainstream video streamers at this time (mkv etc.) Video always had to be recoded to play on the PS3.

  • Tversity did not work with the WD… Found that out real fast.  DO NOT USE it wih the WD’s. 

Network sharing is the way to go with these units.

I have 2 WD TV LivePlus boxes (1 wired, 1 wireless) and a WD Hub. I can stream MKV files at up to 1080p without issue over my network.

Actually I just plugged a usb drive with Killer Elite (1080p 12g .mkv)  into my WD Hub and streamed it to a wired WD TV Live Plus ***WHILE*** streaming the same file to my WD TV Live Plus over a wireless “N” connection (Dlink usb NIC)… No issues. That is the WD TV Hub was doing double duty using the same file, coming of the same connected USB thumb drive.

I then cross streamed. Pulling that  same 1080p movie from the Hub to the wired WD TV Live Plus, I then start a stream of Harry Potter 1080p.mkv from a USB drive plugged into that same  wired WD Plus and streamed to the wireless WD TV Live Plus. No problems. 

|-----------> killer elite ------------------->|            |---------> Harry Potter---->|

  usb drive=WD Hub------------>wired WD Tv Plus--------------> wirekess WD TV Live Plus

     w/usb thumb drive               w/usb thumb drive

I’ve included a shot of the network

I just use network shares to stream videos… It’s easier for me than media servers anyway.

Now I’m starting to wonder about the wifi in the newer units… 

Thx for the info… 


WD Hub <> wired WD Plus <> wireless WD Plus