I own two WD TV Live (Gen 3) media players. Since discovering earlier today during a conversation with WD Technical Support that the devices neither sold nor supported any longer, I am concerned about being left in the lurch if my device(s) should fail in the future.
The feature of this media player that is of most value to me is the ability to stream MKV files from my NAS device. I don’t use these WD players for much else. When I first chose the WD players, and decided to encode all my media as MKV files, there didn’t seem to be many other choices available. Since time has passed, I’m not sure if that has changed.
I realize that an option might be to build my own HTPC boxes to replace some of the WD functionality, but at this point, that is more effort and complication than I would prefer.
If anyone can recommend other off-the-shelf devices that can do a good job of performing the function I described above, I will be very grateful. Sad that WD has decided to abandon this facet of their product lineup…
Another idea is to get an Amazon Fire TV stick or box. Stick costs less, $40. Load a free app on it called Kodi and it discovers your NAS and other devices you share and can play MKV (even ISO files). Box is wired, stick is wireless so needs a good 5G signal it can use. I have added two to my TVs in place of non-existing WDTV. Almost as good, but if I needed to actually replace the WDTV on one TV I would get the wired box, not the stick. A stick is easy to travel with, too, and it has Netflix and Amz Prime video as well.
Thanks for your suggestion, and for the info about the Kodi app. I had looked at the Amazon box, but couldn’t determine for sure if it would be able to stream MKVs from my NAS. I searched for the keyword ‘MKV’ in the questions/answers on the Amazon product page, and it did not look promising. Nobody there said anything about the Kodi app. I’ll definitely check this out!
After thinking about replacing the WD TV Live with Amazon Fire / Kodi app (since first reading your suggestion), a couple of questions have come to mind, and I wonder if you or someone else in the community can answer them - they all relate to certain features of the WD player that I make use of when watching my MKV files:
Some of the movies I’ve ripped and transcoded end up with the annoying trait that the audio track is not properly synchronized with the video. The WD player allows some adjustment for that, by advancing or retarding the audio in 100-millisecond increments (I believe). Will the Kodi app allow the same?
I sometimes produce MKV files with multiple audio/subtitle tracks, and the WD player allows me to select among them (and disable the subtitles altogether, if I want). Will Kodi do this too?
Thanks again for your suggestion, and for any help with these questions.
I dunno, since I have very few MKV files. I just make ISO files, or m4v files with Handbrake for tablet use. I have not noticed audio synce issues w/Kodi as much as I have with WDTV. Anyway, the entry level cost is minimal; if you can find either FireTV on sale at Amazon, price is good, and price of Kodi is even better – free. Even if you use FireTV infreequently for streaming your content, the inclusion of Netflix, and Amazon Prime can be handy.
My WDTV remains my main home media player, and the Roku is still our main internet media streamer. I have three Fire TV sticks (all w/Kodi), and the original one is in my travel gadget bag in case we ever want to use it on vacation trips (to stream movies from our WD Wireless drive) , but still haven’t used it that way much since we haven’t the time to watch many long videos during vacation.
We also have Comcast cable that can now stream content on to our iPads so we can watch videos from them (including the DVR content), either at home or away, and seem to favor that when we have time on a vacation.
We have a lot of streaming choices to select from today.
Thanks for that info! If I should choose the less expensive approach, and use the Rasperry Pi 3 / LibreELEC combination you recommended instead of the Fire TV, is Kodi still applicable?
I also have a Synology 1512+ NAS box, which, though not blazingly fast, is capable of running Plex Server. I think there must be some combination of Raspberry Pi/OS that would support Plex - true? If so, would that serve as well or better than the Kodi approach?
If I choose the Fire TV approach, I suspect there might be a Plex app for it also. Do you happen to know?
Yes, Kodi runs well on an RP3, but Tony would know best what to install on RP3.
Yes, there is a Plex app for the Fire TV; obtainable from Amazon app store. Not so for Kodi, It has to be downloaded and installed using ES File Explorer app (also on Amz app store) as described in the video I sent you…
Just popped in after a while to check the place out, glad to see some (yet minimal) activity.
I am a nearly-10-yr user of WDTV Live products; last one was the WDTV Live Plus. Thought it was a great solution then, still worked Ok today. But it was clear its time was due.
I just replaced it last month with PlexTV. I used an old desktop (you could probably go with a Rasberry if you have nothing to use) and it pulls the media from my ReadyNAS. Streaming is much smoother and better, no more stuttering and pixellation.
One major downside is that I have to rip all my VOB stuff to MP4; it was a big advantage being able to simply copy the DVDs to the NAS and retain all the DVD extras. But while it was a PITA to do all that I’m actually using much less space now.
So, good-bye and thanks WDTV, it was good while it lasted.
Is this info still valid? I am also looking for a replacement for the WD TV and something that will play the most file types from a networked drive on my local network. I’d like to manage it on a closed and private network (not hooked up to Google, Apple, Amazon with any of their “talk magic” but to just view my own private network media files like with the WD TV. Not really interested in controlling the box with a smart phone or tablet, just a small remote control like with the WD TV. What should I look for? THANKS!
The Amazon Firestick is a good bargain but I have read that it requires Internet to bring up the main menu and I plan on using Kodi to read only from the local network. Is there something to make the Firestick work without Internet access? Thanks.