Multiple WDTV LIve Plus' experiencing playback issues over network share

Hello.  Sorry for the long post, but I thought it would be better to put in too much detail rather than too little.  I am running Firmware version 1.06.42_B.  It is the most up-to-date firmware according to system update.   I have experienced these problems through 3 different routers of different brands so I don’t think that matters.  I primarily use it to access videos on my HP Mediasmart home server through the network share option.  (I am not having a problem seeing the network shares as many others have reported with this new firmware.)  I have done a factory reset both from the menu and from the button on the side of the unit with a paperclip.  The problems I am having are still persisting.

Once the videos on my network share are accessed, I am having two different problems which are limiting my enjoyment of the boxes:

  1. If I watch more than one video of roughly any length, at the end of the 2nd video, the box will go to a black screen and not return on its own to the menu, even if given 15 minutes.  I can hit the BACK button to get to the menu, but if I attempt to select any other program, the “working” circle appears and the new file is never loaded.  In fact, I will not be able to load another video for playback no matter what I do at this point.  Even if I go back to the home screen, and re-enter the network share and navigate through the folders, no other video will play.  The only solution is to power cycle the box.
  2. If I pause the video for any length of time above 1 or 2 minutes, the box will most times have an error when unpausing.  Specifically, when I hit the play button, the box will display an error that says something to the effect of: “Unable to play video file.  See manual for supported video formats.”  NOTE, once I hit the pause button and this screen shows up, the video has actually started to play again in the background as the audio can be heard while the error screen is shown.  Once I hit the ENTER button to dismiss the error screen, the video is now being shown playing BUT there is a “working” circle in the middle of the screen.  From this point on, no matter if I go back out to the menu and start the file again, or attempt to start any other video file, this working circle will stay on the screen.  The only solution is to power cycle the box.

From both of these issues that have started happening, the only solution is to turn the WDTV Live Plus off and on again.  As you can imagine, this can be very annoying when trying to settle in for an afternoon of catching up on recorded TV.  My wife and I had to reset our box no fewer than a half-dozen times today.  I’ve had a total of 4 of these boxes over the years and currently have 3 of them running in our house.  The 2 Live Plus’ that were upgraded to the new firmware both suffer from these problems.  They have been a part of the same setup with the HP Mediasmart Servers which have not been upgraded or changed in anyway over the last few months.  The only things that have changed are the firmwares of the WDTV Live Plus’.  I have been a strong advocate for sharing them with people who are interested in such a box, but I can’t say I’m enjoying them right now.  It’s hard to convince people this is the way of the future of television viewing when I have to mess around, fidget, and reset the box every other episode.  My wife would like me to dump them and get Rokus instead, but I thought I’d attempt to see if there is anything we can do to fix this issue and go back to our old, functioning boxes, or at the very least, get an explanation of why this has started happening.

The moral of this story is if you are happy don’t mess with the player by updating.
Unfortunately WD have it very difficult to rollback to the old firmwares as they believe it may damage your player.
However you could try the one offering WD gives at the link below.

Now that I’ve used the box with Pandora I can say that I’ve found another, similar error.

  1.  If I let the WDTV Live boxes play Pandora for roughly 45 minutes or so without interruptions, the music will eventually stop after a track and not play the next one.  It will show the new song, but it will be stuck at the 0:00 mark.  If I try to back out to the menu, this works, but if I select any channel or try to do anything else to get the music playing again, I get a black screen with the “working” circle.  Again, as with the other errors, once this happens, the only way to get the box working again is to power cycle it.

I am sincerely hoping from a response acknowledging that they are having a similar issue or that it is a known bug in the new firmware.  I will rollback if need be, but I think it’s a shame that I would have to keep my multiple Live boxes set up to an older firmware and have to ignore the constant reminders to update.

The Pandora thing sounds almost like a buffer getting full that they aren’t flushing

I am replying to update on my issues as things have changed.

  1.  My boxes are now starting to experience the “Network Issues” problem where I cannot click right on the menu to access any network shares.  I have not attempted to try the fixes listed here yet as it seems to be random.  I keep restarting the box until they appear.

  2.  The Pandora issue is getting worse.  I can go maybe 5-6 songs before it fails to load a new songa and I am forced to reboot the whole box.  I’m not sure if this is due to an issue with ads or not as that is probably how long it takes to get an ad on the website version of Pandora and I never hear any ads on the WD boxes.

No other major changes have occurred during the time between my last post and now.  

Have you rolled back the firmware yet?