Netflix Details for Live Plus?


#1

I’m looking for a Netflix device now and although I’ve sworn off WD several times before, I’m trying to be as unbiased as possible. I’ve looked at the manual ( http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/UM/ENG/4779-705043.pdf) to determine if I can search all Netflix streamable content or if I can only access stuff that’s already in my streaming queue. There’s a section title “Netflix Navigation” in the manual which consists of a single sentence followed by one note.


Netflix Navigation

Once you have accessed your Netflix, navigate using the remote control to choose
from a variety of categories of movies and TV shows.

Note: To deactivate Netflix on the media player, reset the device to factory defaults. See “Reset to Factory
Defaults” on page 160. To deactivate the media player from your Netflix account, log in to your Netflix account.
Navigate to “Your Account & Help.” Under “Manage Netflix ready devices and computers” locate the WD TV
device and select “Deactivate.”


  1. I’d like to assume that based on the first sentence, it means I can access all categories and movies and TV shows but I’ve burned by making assumptions about these devices before. (For example, that vob and iso support also meant DVD menu support, or that mp4 support mean that audio/video would be in sync. A naive assumption based on the Gen2 as it turns out.)

  2. I seriously have to do a factory reset to deactivate Netflix on this device? Who came up with this??

This doesn’t bode well in my mind and all I can think is that WD really hasn’t learned from all of the mistakes they’ve made in their first 4 devices. Has anyone put this thing through it’s paces and can vouch for the quality, both firmware and hardware, both Netflix and otherwise? If it’s being sold on the assumption that future firmware will fix any issues it has, I’m not even going there. But if anyone who has had issues with their past devices and can tell me they’ve got it right this time, I may consider it.


#2

I’ve got a Live Plus and can confirm that when you first log in, the initial view is of your Instant Queue.

Pressing the Left or Right arrows on the remote will navigate that list.

Pressing Up will access a menu strip above the Instant Queue, which lists other content / genres:

  • New Arrivals: Movies
  • New Arrivals: TV
  • Comedy
  • Action & Adventure
  • Drama
  • Sci-Fi & Fantasy
  • Independent
  • Romance
  • Thrillers
  • Television
  • Children & Family
  • Horror
  • Documentary
  • Foreign
  • Movies You’ll Love (will need to sign in and rate some movies on the site to help Netflix guess your film taste)
  • Plus additional tabs that seem to be based on your film taste (e.g. “fight-the-system movies”, “movies like [film you watched]”, etc.)

Pressing Enter on one of those replaces the Instant Queue view with the entire list of that new genre.  From there you can either Play, Rate or Add to Instant Queue and of the films in the list.

Works very well.  Shows stream fine even on my 1.5Mbps DSL connection (no excessive buffering, no glitches or pauses, and quality usually equal to watching a DVD).

By “Deactivate Media Player”, why would you be wanting to completely disable Netflix on the box with any regularity?  

The only bug that’s affected me in the Netflix interface is that the Back button won’t let you exit Netflix; you have to press the Home button to close the Netflix module.  


#3

Thanks. I don’t think I’d need to regulary deactivate my device but it’s weird that if I did need to, I’d have to reset every other setting as well.

Can I do a text search for a specific movie? It sounds like I can’t but a direct yes/no answer is always good.


#4

I agree, there should be a more elegant way of disabling it.  The more features they add means yet more usernames and passwords to add 1 character at a time, every time you have to do a clean reset.  

As for your question, I just checked and no; there is no search function within the Netflix UI on the Live Plus.  

You’ll have to run to your PC (or open your netbook) and search /  add to your queue from there.  ;)


#5

Thanks. I think that’s pretty much a deal breaker if I can’t search Netflix. I realize they could release some firmware upgrade in the future that adds this but I think a pretty good majority here have been burned by that kind of thinking (any Gen1 early adopters??). I’ll go with a Roku instead.


#6

The behavior for the WD box is the same as on the XBOX, PS3, Roku, etc.  I don’t believe that any of the devices listed by me offer this functionality.  The only one that I’m unsure of is the Roku box, but the only device that I’m aware of that offers a search funtion is the PC/laptop machines.

This is more a limitation of Netflix than any type of device.  Previously the only way to have Netflix on the WD box is using soemthing like Playon software which was fine but limited compared to the native Netflix application now built into the WD box.

The reason for removing the Netflix function from teh WD box is in the event of returning the unit, sending in for warranty repair, or to sale then unit.  You would not normally disable the Netflix functionality on a regular basis.

I suspect that the WD live box will be discontinued very soon, as there is no reason to still sale the old unit, especially since they are at the same price point.  I believe that this is the replacement for the old WD live box.  The only thing that I don’t care for is the DVD menu functionailty which can only be accessed from the option menu instead of it being a default function from what I can tell.

Also the Previewfunction sound better than what it is because you would be better off just selecting the content that you want to play, it take just as long to preview the content,  there is no time saver that I could see from using the preview function

Oh,  I forgot to mention the Internet Media channel, which is actually pretty good, lots of content can be found there


#7

duckeedoug wrote:

The behavior for the WD box is the same as on the XBOX, PS3, Roku, etc.  I don’t believe that any of the devices listed by me offer this functionality.  The only one that I’m unsure of is the Roku box, but the only device that I’m aware of that offers a search funtion is the PC/laptop machines.

 

 

 

http://techcrunch.com/2010/05/05/the-new-roku-netflix-experience-adds-search-instant-queue-modification-features/ 

The New Roku Netflix Experience Adds Search, Instant Queue Modification Features

“The best thing? You can now add movies to your queue from the box.”


#8

The Roku Search feature looks very handy but isn’t a deal-breaker for me.

Might need to get one of the WD staff to confirm but I think the Netflix UI is actually made by Netflix, not WD.  It’s possible we might be getting Search further down the line in a firmware update.

But by now we know not to take anything for granted.  ;)

Will the Roku box do everything else you want, or is it purely to play Netflix?


#9

Yeah, I’m done buying things for what they could be instead of what they are…

The Roku will only play Netflix for now (and some other online content that I’m not too concerned with). From what I’ve read in forums, the USB port on the back of the XR will be enabled for local media in the upcoming SDK but Roku has no plans to  write a channel that takes advantage of it. It’s up to Joe Public Developer to write something that uses it (interesting business model) so it’s a possibility that it could replace my Gen2, but I"m not counting on it. The Roku’s sole job would be to hold me over until some good Atom D525 w/ ION2 Mini-ITX motherboards start rolling out at which point I’ll build a 100% silent HTPC. Anything else that the Roku does in the future is just extra as far as I’m concerned.


#10

duckeedoug wrote:

 

I suspect that the WD live box will be discontinued very soon, as there is no reason to still sale the old unit, especially since they are at the same price point.  I believe that this is the replacement for the old WD live box.

 

I hope you’re wrong about that, but it makes my idea of a rebate for people who bought the original unit even more important. See the link to my Idea Lab posting in my signature.

Bill_S, who works for WD, says the Live will be kept alive and still supported, but who knows what that means.

duckeedoug wrote:

Oh,  I forgot to mention the Internet Media channel, which is actually pretty good, lots of content can be found there

Huh? What’s this, something else included in the Plus?


#11

TheTooleMan wrote:

 


duckeedoug wrote:

 

I suspect that the WD live box will be discontinued very soon, as there is no reason to still sale the old unit, especially since they are at the same price point.  I believe that this is the replacement for the old WD live box.

 


I hope you’re wrong about that, but it makes my idea of a rebate for people who bought the original unit even more important. See the link to my Idea Lab posting in my signature.

 

Bill_S, who works for WD, says the Live will be kept alive and still supported, but who knows what that means.


duckeedoug wrote:

Oh,  I forgot to mention the Internet Media channel, which is actually pretty good, lots of content can be found there


Huh? What’s this, something else included in the Plus?

The WD TV Live will continue to be sold and supported because it’s the unit that the “rest of the world” is buying / using.  The Live Plus is US-only.  

The Internet Media Channel is where you access MediaFly on both the Live and Live Plus.  You’ll need to update to the 1.03.22 prerelease / next official firmware to see it on the Live.

As has been mentioned before, the only difference between the Live and Plus (for the end user) is Netflix support.  Which, btw, works really well on the Plus.  


#12

PixelPower wrote:

 


TheTooleMan wrote:

 


duckeedoug wrote:

 

I suspect that the WD live box will be discontinued very soon, as there is no reason to still sale the old unit, especially since they are at the same price point.  I believe that this is the replacement for the old WD live box.

 


I hope you’re wrong about that, but it makes my idea of a rebate for people who bought the original unit even more important. See the link to my Idea Lab posting in my signature.

 

Bill_S, who works for WD, says the Live will be kept alive and still supported, but who knows what that means.


duckeedoug wrote:

Oh,  I forgot to mention the Internet Media channel, which is actually pretty good, lots of content can be found there


Huh? What’s this, something else included in the Plus?


 

The WD TV Live will continue to be sold and supported because it’s the unit that the “rest of the world” is buying / using.  The Live Plus is US-only.  

 

The Internet Media Channel is where you access MediaFly on both the Live and Live Plus.  You’ll need to update to the 1.03.22 prerelease / next official firmware to see it on the Live.

 

As has been mentioned before, the only difference between the Live and Plus (for the end user) is Netflix support.  Which, btw, works really well on the Plus.  

Gen2 hasn’t seen a firmware upgrade since December of '09 and it’s riddled with bugs. Don’t be too surprised when one day you wake up and realize WD isn’t supporting the Live anymore.


#13

nijaju wrote:

Gen2 hasn’t seen a firmware upgrade since December of '09 and it’s riddled with bugs. Don’t be too surprised when one day you wake up and realize WD isn’t supporting the Live anymore.

That is a real concern for many people but, in all honesty, I have so few issues with my Live (and now Live Plus) that it genuinely doesn’t bother me.  The Live and Plus play all my ISO, AVI and MKV files without issue (and even my few MP4 files with minimal sync issues *touch wood*) and the web streaming content works great.  

I do admit that I seem to be in a minority.  :D

But, for now, the Live will continue to get support, simply because WD like making money and the only Live product they can realistically sell outside the US is the original Live.


#14

PixelPower wrote:

 


nijaju wrote:

Gen2 hasn’t seen a firmware upgrade since December of '09 and it’s riddled with bugs. Don’t be too surprised when one day you wake up and realize WD isn’t supporting the Live anymore.


 

That is a real concern for many people but, in all honesty, I have so few issues with my Live (and now Live Plus) that it genuinely doesn’t bother me.  The Live and Plus play all my ISO, AVI and MKV files without issue (and even my few MP4 files with minimal sync issues *touch wood*) and the web streaming content works great.  

 

I do admit that I seem to be in a minority.  :D

 

But, for now, the Live will continue to get support, simply because WD like making money and the only Live product they can realistically sell outside the US is the original Live.

WD is just chasing cash with these things and they don’t really know where they’re going. For example…they release the Gen2 after the Live. People went to the Live so the Gen2 has been dropped. If people go after the Live Plus, and they have no reason not because they’re the same price, then WD will drop any support for the Live and spend time on the Live Plus. Any time not spent on box number 6 that is.


#15

nijaju wrote:

 

WD is just chasing cash with these things and they don’t really know where they’re going. For example…they release the Gen2 after the Live. People went to the Live so the Gen2 has been dropped. If people go after the Live Plus, and they have no reason not because they’re the same price, then WD will drop any support for the Live and spend time on the Live Plus. Any time not spent on box number 6 that is.

As the live and the live plus are reasonably the same except for netflix then I would assume that it will not be hard for WD to keep both live and live plus up-to-date at the same time. We have already seen that everything on the plus will be on the Live with the exception of Netflix.


#16

richUK wrote:

 

As the live and the live plus are reasonably the same except for netflix then I would assume that it will not be hard for WD to keep both live and live plus up-to-date at the same time. We have already seen that everything on the plus will be on the Live with the exception of Netflix.

 

I told myself similar things about the Gen2 and the Live with the fact that the only difference is one has networking and one doesn’t. Now, if I understand correctly, one has properly synced audio/video for mp4s and one doesn’t. One has DVD menu support and one doesn’t. If they really wanted to, they could have added network support to the Gen2 and not even made a Live. The Live supports Wireless USB devices, the Gen2 doesn’t. It’s only a matter of time before the Live and the Live Plus go their separate ways.


#17

But you keep forgetting that WD cannot sell the Plus outside of the U.S. and, since they do sell a lot of product outside our shores, they will keep the Live going until it gets replaced by whatever is next (but it WON’T be the Plus, which will undoubtably get replaced at the same time).

So stop worrying.  The Live will continue to get supported at least for the forseeable future.


#18

nijaju wrote:


richUK wrote:

 

As the live and the live plus are reasonably the same except for netflix then I would assume that it will not be hard for WD to keep both live and live plus up-to-date at the same time. We have already seen that everything on the plus will be on the Live with the exception of Netflix.

 


I told myself similar things about the Gen2 and the Live with the fact that the only difference is one has networking and one doesn’t. Now, if I understand correctly, one has properly synced audio/video for mp4s and one doesn’t. One has DVD menu support and one doesn’t. If they really wanted to, they could have added network support to the Gen2 and not even made a Live. The Live supports Wireless USB devices, the Gen2 doesn’t. It’s only a matter of time before the Live and the Live Plus go their separate ways.

If you look at the Live and the Live plus you will see that they look exactly the same and they even now share the same manual. The latest firmware (at the moment pre-release) adds DVD Menus and Mediafly etc and has everything as the Plus except Netflix. The gen2 does not have a ethernet port and therefore it would be a bit difficult for it to become a real network unit.


#19

PixelPower wrote:

 


nijaju wrote:

Gen2 hasn’t seen a firmware upgrade since December of '09 and it’s riddled with bugs. Don’t be too surprised when one day you wake up and realize WD isn’t supporting the Live anymore.


 

That is a real concern for many people but, in all honesty, I have so few issues with my Live (and now Live Plus) that it genuinely doesn’t bother me.  The Live and Plus play all my ISO, AVI and MKV files without issue (and even my few MP4 files with minimal sync issues *touch wood*) and the web streaming content works great.  

 

I do admit that I seem to be in a minority.  :D

 

But, for now, the Live will continue to get support, simply because WD like making money and the only Live product they can realistically sell outside the US is the original Live.

Actually, I’m fairly content with how the Live works in my environment now, but I haven’t taken any new firmware because I don’t want to spoil it. Yes, things could be better, but I’ve seen a lot of heartache around here after firmware was installed, and the idea of going through all that again for minimal improvements is not too appealing.

That said, tell me please what MediaFly does and why I’d want it. I need to consider whether I’ll go for the next firmware or not. (No thanks, I’ll avoid the Beta)


#20

TheTooleMan wrote:

 


PixelPower wrote:

 


nijaju wrote:

Gen2 hasn’t seen a firmware upgrade since December of '09 and it’s riddled with bugs. Don’t be too surprised when one day you wake up and realize WD isn’t supporting the Live anymore.


 

That is a real concern for many people but, in all honesty, I have so few issues with my Live (and now Live Plus) that it genuinely doesn’t bother me.  The Live and Plus play all my ISO, AVI and MKV files without issue (and even my few MP4 files with minimal sync issues *touch wood*) and the web streaming content works great.  

 

I do admit that I seem to be in a minority.  :D

 

But, for now, the Live will continue to get support, simply because WD like making money and the only Live product they can realistically sell outside the US is the original Live.


 

Actually, I’m fairly content with how the Live works in my environment now, but I haven’t taken any new firmware because I don’t want to spoil it. Yes, things could be better, but I’ve seen a lot of heartache around here after firmware was installed, and the idea of going through all that again for minimal improvements is not too appealing.

 

That said, tell me please what MediaFly does and why I’d want it. I need to consider whether I’ll go for the next firmware or not. (No thanks, I’ll avoid the Beta)

http://www.mediafly.com/Welcome

You can watch videos, and listen to podcasts etc from various sources.