Need recommendation for a WD TV replacement, since support gone


#1

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…

Thanks


#2

It’s not exactly off the shelf, but it is very successful and useful solution. Buy a Rasperry Pi 3 and run LibreELEC on it. Takes all of about 15 minutes to get it running.


#3

Thanks for that tip. I will check it out!


#4

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.


#5

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!


#6

To install Kodi, you need a good video. If this appears outdated, check the authors Youtube site, he may have a more recent one.


#7

Thank you for that tip.

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.


#8

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.


#9

Yes, Kodi allows for audio delay / advance.
Kodi absolutely supports multiple audio/subtitle streams, and obeys the MKV “Default” and “forced” tags, unlike the WD TV.


#10

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?


#11

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…


#12

Pretty simple to do :slight_smile:

https://wiki.libreelec.tv/index.php?title=Installing_LibreELEC_on_the_RPi

to the OP … i would also recommend a FLIRC case because the Raspberry Pi 3 can get HOT

oh and 90% of my Media is MKV … all work flawlessly with my RPi3 :slight_smile:

Also, i personally run Kodi on mine … but if the OP wishes to use Plex, that’s available as well

http://www.rasplex.com/


#13

Oh, that’s a good point, Joey… (You mentioned FLIRC)…

Unless you plan on only using the soft remote (via an iPad, iPhone, or android phone) you’ll need a hardware remote and IR receiver for the PI.

This is the one I use – dirt cheap and understood natively by Kodi without any need for reprogramming.


#14

Thanks very much for confirming this concept is sound, and for the great detail!


#15

I use my Panasonic TV Remote Control via CEC HDMI

Or a friend of mine (without HDMI TV) uses a cheap FM4 Magic 2.4G Wireless Remote (cheap $6 and has all the buttons you need without the clutter)


#16

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.


#17

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!


#18

yes

a media player that supports Kodi … and one that falls within your budget.


#19

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.


#20

dunno, you’d have to ask mike27oct about that as he was the one who recommended them.

i’m using a Raspberry Pi 3B+ and a Amlogic S905X Android box with Kodi … both work fine without any need for internet access. And both cost me less than $100 AUD each.