Need help in selecting Media Player

I am trying to select a Media player and honestly I have gotten lost in trying to find the right equipment to match my needs.I have done a lot of research on manufacturers sites and in various forums, but I still can not figure it out. It looks like Live Hub is what I am looking for, but I am not sure. Perhaps if I outline what I want to accomplish then you folks can give the benefit of your expertise.

I have tons of music files (wav and MP3), still photos (JPEG) and some home videos stored on my computer which is located upstairs. My entertainment equipment (satellite dvr, DVD player/recorder,Yamaha HDMI AV receiver etc) is located downstairs and not connected to the computer (wireless does not work in my home and running cables would be a daunting and expensive task). What I want to do is copy the files on the computer and load them on a media player. Since there is no way to link the two units I think I would have to load the files on a USB drive and then transfer the files to the media player. So, the media player has to have an internal hard drive. I will run its output through a Yamaha receiver which is linked to the flat screen TV on the wall.

I have found some devices that seem to fit that need, but they all seem lacking in the flexibility to play back the files stored on the hard drive. I use Media Player to play the files on my computer and am comfortable with its ability to search the computer hard drive and create playlists. I can not get through the technical fog with the various media players to find one that would afford the same flexibility. Seems like they either can not create and store comparable playlists or you have to jump through all sorts of hoops to get it done.

I have no interest in connecting to the internet and streaming files to the media player.

As you can tell, my needs are rather basic; as is my knowledge in this area. So, I guess the question is: does Live Hub match my needs or should I be looking at a different WD device? Any thoughts or advice would be sincerely appreciated.

The Live Hub is somewhat limited in that it does not have the codec support to play everything your PC is capable of playing. Still, the ability it does have should be enough for just about 95% of what you will want to view. Since you will have no network connectivity the only way to move files to/from the Live Hub will be by USB HDD or memory stick. I do this all the time and it is faster than any network connection to the Hub. Unless and until you start getting into HD or BD video content, this will work just fine for your needs.


Most people here will agree with me:  the two WD players have the most bang for the buck.

Others will disagree with this:  If I was buying a WD player for the first time today, I would not buy the Hub, I would buy the diskless model, the Live Streaming (aka SMP) for the following reasons:

Your will spend about the same money as for a Hub if you buy the SMP and a separate drive, but this way you have flexibility.  You choose the drive you want, and if it dies, your media player is not useless (you just hook up your back up drive and keep on playing).  Also, since you will not be transferring data via a network, it is a simple task to eject the drive  and take the drive-only to your PC to put media on it, and leave the media player in place.  In fact, this is the best way if you are transferring lots of data at one time.

Drives today are quite small, don’t have a big footprint, and are affordable – a 1TB drive could cost you less than $100. Check out the latest portable drives from WD and Seagate.  I have some of each, the the very newest ones are quite slim.

Re this comment of yours:   (wireless does not work in my home and running cables would be a daunting and expensive task).

Have you looked into power line adapters that carry the network/internet signal through your electrical wiring?  WD makes the Livewire for this purpose.  Check it out or find other brands.

Good luck.