Netflix HDMI issues

[EDIT - conclusion]

The Netflix HDMI issue was not solved. But, we have decided to keep the WD Hub and will not be sending it back. After talking about it, we concluded it is the absolute best at what it does. I don’t think we will find anything better at this point in time and we’ve fallen ‘in love’ with it overall. The solution to our problem follows. If we do want to watch Netflix, we will use component video instead of HDMI. As one of the posters mentioned below, there will be no noticeable quality hit using component video for this medium. We have concluded, the small compromise in convenience of switching inputs will not be a deal breaker. I am personally glad we are keeping the WD hub, we really do like it a lot

[ORIGINAL unedited follows]
First of all, kudos on the WD TV Live Hub; it is a great device. However, we have Netflix/HDMI issues. Everything works except Netflix. I bought this to replace a Panasonic Blue Ray player. I never had any issues with Netflix playing over HDMI with the Panasonic device; It always worked. Our TV (a Panasonic tbm2ax01801) is able to handshake with Netflix on other devices via HDMI. But, we were dissatisfied with the Panasonic blue ray player because it started to break down after 1.5 years; auto rebooting / quitting out of Netflix movies, etc… On the WD Media Hub, all internet services such as you tube work. We can also use the Netflix queue; view recent items, Netflix suggestions, etc… But, when we attempt to play actual content from Netflix, we see the following… Loading progress bar, black screen (2 seconds), snow (2 seconds), actual move content (1 second), snow (2 seconds), actual move content (1 second), and so on… I have spent over 8 hours scanning all message boards and this seems to be a problem with many of these WD units. Composite cables are an unacceptable solution due to aesthetics; my entertainment center is a TV on a wall, a glass shelf, and this device. During my research, this seems to be a problem others have experienced so I assume there is no solutions on the horizon… I place the primary blame on the MPAA but, it is within WD’s grasp to fix this problem; technical resources need to be thrown at the issue. Alternatively, there should be a compatibility page on the WD site along with places where these units are sold. Either a global stmt such as “Does not work well with manuf XYZ”, or “Does not work well with HDMI spec version x.xx” etc. That all said, I will unfortunately return this. Other than this one issue, this device is outstanding. On a side note, I’m a programmer and will say your guys have done a brilliant job with this device. The only thing I would add is a few suggestions. 1. Enable the customization & removal of items from the main user shell. If we were going to keep the unit, we wouldn’t want to see so many of the items such as RSS, Games, WD special offers, etc…). Although the green, red, yellow, blue, 1-10 hot buttons would have taken care of much of the navigation. 2. Make it so the web interface to the device can control every function including entering account log in info for services, removing and modifying interface items, assigning hot buttons, etc… PS: I primarily blame the MPAA for this inconvenience. Their paranoid copy protection schemes will never stop the pirates who are much smarter and have more time than the mpaa. But, this paranoia inflicts huge quantities of frustration on paying customers. WD and Netflix must also take part of the blame for not spending the resources on these issues and not being very clear about what exactly is the problem. For instance, what HDMI spec does it work with/not work with. etc…

Be sure to have the latest firmware update.

First thing I did was install the latest firmware. (and reset to factory defaults, etc…) I spent over 8 hours researching and attempting to fix. Using the composite RGB connectors, Netflix streams fine. But, the WD Hub just doesn’t work with my TV via HDMI. It’s a pity because otherwise, it is an outstanding unit.

Have you tried using other HDMI cables?

See video below for an example:

I have spent well over 10 hours attempting every fix found on the web. I have expert experience and knowledge about many fields in technology (I’ve been a programmer for the past 20 years and into computer entertainment devices since the Slim Devices first hit the market a long time ago). Also,  I just upgraded to the newest firmware 10 minutes before shooting the video ( July 28, 2012 at 11:30 AM). I have spent over 10 hours now going through every single fix mentioned on the internet. To date, there are no fixes for my Panasonic TV. Unfortunately, the device is going back Monday., an absolute pity because it is stellar in every other area. Also note, while viewing an mkv file using HDMI, that file is 30% sharper than when viewed through component cables. My wife even made note of the difference.

This video clearly displays the problems. Netflix and the WD Media Hub work fine using Component cables. But, the WD Media Hub is not compatible with certain TVs when played through the HDMI port.

ref: (same video as above):

It sounds like you have taken the proper steps to try to fix the problem, but unfortunately, it looks like the WD box is not compatible with your TV. Netflix checks to see that your TV has HDCP copy protection, and it sounds like that handshake is failing.

With a lot of TVs, there is not too much difference between using the HDMI vs the component inputs, especially streaming with Netflix. Even if you have a very fast internet connection, the maximum bitrate from Netflix tops out at about 3600 Kbps. Component video should handle that full bitrate with no problems. Are you sure that when you set the video output to component, that you also set the frequency/resolution to 1080i (or something appropriate for your TV)? Even though you see a difference between HDMI and component while playing mkvs, there should be virtually no difference while streaming Netflix.

You may not be missing anything at all quality wise by using component with Netflix. It might be sensible to just stick with component for Netflix.

We have decided to keep the WD Hub; we won’t be sending it back. After talking about it, we concluded it is the absolute best at what it does. I don’t think we will find anything better at this point in time and we’ve fallen ‘in love’ with it overall. The audio & video codec performance is stellar, absolutely perfect. The speed performance is excellent; not instant, but excellent and better than a computer.

PS: I think our TV is about 8 years old; it’s a 32" & cost close to $2700 way back then, that’s how old it is. So, although our expectation is reasonable it should work, we won’t fault the WD unit 100% for not working with this issue. Also, agreed, Netflix quality is not the best in the world. Netflix is a ‘convenience luxury’ more than a medium for optimum viewing. Switching inputs is more a Q of convenience than potential functionality in the unit. But, as it turns out, we are rarely watching Netflix these days because of the excellent codec performance offers much higher quality along with more rapid, instant viewing.

I am having the same HDMI issue here I cannot watch Netflix anymore using the HDMI connection since my DLP TV is slightly old Netflix will not display any video the TV.  All other apps on the WD TV Live work with the HDMI connection. 

I just wanted to confirm before buying the RGB cables (Component) that when setting the WD TV Live to composite which is the only option in video setting option one has listed that I will get to watch Netflix in HD using RGB (Component) connection.  I know this should work since my cable HD box is setup the same way.  Just the fact that on the WD TV Live there is nolisting for component in the video setting only composite.


No, Netflix only does HD via HDMI, not component.  

As stated it will only work with the WD HUB Live 1TB since the HUB has components out.

Luckly I am in the Amazon 30 return period so the WD TV Live is going back to Amazon, and the WD HUB is coming.

what does the WD player down scale to on component?  I 've noticed on the Xbox it will output 1080I  which is the same as my cable box. Does the WD out put 1080I or 720p? 

Don’t really care it if it is down scaled to 720P,  my Reciever (Yamaha) upscales the signal to 1080I  to the TV.

Hello desiguy2447, Have you tried this? If you are still connected the WDTV Live to your TV via  the component out, the one WD provided, One end has mini 1/8 inch jack and the other end has three RCA type jacks (RED, BLUE and GREEN). From the WDTV Live  go to “Settings”, “Audio/Video”, from there you should see three choices:  Composite, Component and HDMI. Please select “Component”. After that you should have choice to select your video resolutions.     

Thanks I cannot try the above because I do not have the WD TV Live Hub yet. I have the WD TV Live! I am returning the TV Live since it has no Component out. Before I buy the WD TV Live Hub I want to know what Netflix will output it at via Component I don’t want to ended up with the Hub to find it is outputing at 480P do to some odd agreement between WD /Netflix Which will be highly annoying. 

If I recall, it downscales NetFlix to 480p.  But it was a LONG time ago that I looked into that – well over a year, probably.

Thanks for the reply! 

Before I returned the WD TV LIVE I did a test using the composite cable, and my HDTV (DLP) was upscaling the the picture. From what I saw via composite was pretty decent in 4:3 HD content from Netflix (old Hawaii five - O), and the standard 16:9 HD stuff.   My Main concern was the PQ if it was down scaled. (how will the Netflix PQ look will the video be smaller in size, and etc) for which no changed occurred when going composite but the PQ which was still very decent  Since Composite looks very decent going component on the WD TV live HUB will result in even a better NetFlix PQ if it still going to 480P.

Will update once I get the HUB this weekend and connect it up!

I got my hands on the WD TV Live Hub late last night, and got it all set up which is fairly simple since the power input, and remote are the same as the WD TV Live.  Only thing I had to do is run component cables to my Yamaha receiver and an optical audio cable for the Netflix viewing.  Everything else built into the WD I can view using the HDMI port in my Yamaha to the TV’s HDMI input.

To finally clear this question up for everyone using the WD TV Live HUB who’s TV is not compatible with the Device as stated all over the Net (that is the HDMI port) or like me your TV is 8 years old and is not HDCP compliant!

Netflix will work via component, and it will automatically change the video output to 480P @50hz.  It is something internal on Netflix’s end.  I can enter Netflix at 1080I (HDMI port) or 720p@50hz on the component input.  As soon as the streaming video finshes loading one will see the picture blink as Netflix changes the video signal from 720 or 1080I which ever you enter Netflix at down to 480p @50hz!  (There is nothing you can do about it).

On a good note for Netflix streamers who have the HDMI issue: There no different in PQ using component or HDMI I was shocked I was expecting a PQ downgrade since it was at 480p@ 50hz.  I cannot tell any difference on any HD feeds I watch from Netflix streaming everything extremely sharp with no blurr or anything.

Which as stated before begs the question what is Netflix actually streaming at for video?

When I tested the composite output for kicks Netflix was still very sharp and I compared to my Analog cable channels for which Netflix at 480I is miles a head since my analog cable channels are also coming into my TV at 480I (with out a cable box). There is a noticable difference my analog cable channels are blurry and fuzzy.  Where as Netflix is totally sharp even on composite cables.  Again I wonder what is Netflix video really encoded at?

There is the summary which should for any future, and current WD TV LIve HUB users answer the question on Netflix Streaming!

Finally, I use the HDMI input for everything else WD offers, and most importantly all my MKV encoded movies with out any issues!

This also has been my experience. I am very pleased we decided to hold unto the hub. The apparent quality through the composite cables is about the same as it was through HDMI (we used to have a Panasonic streaming device). The only downsides are the large swath of composite cables you have to look at and also remembering to switch to HDMI when you want to view high quality video files from the drive. Other than that, the Netflix “experience” is top notch through the hub.

[Edit: I placed a video online of what it looks like here:


Was this issue ever resolved ?

I am having the same issues with my wd live no netflix via hdmi but composote works fine