I just signed up to make this one post. No need to reply as I probably wont check back on this post. But I thought i’d post a solution that worked for me for anyone else who may have the problem.
For the short story:
my diagnosis is that my samba server, and mediatomb server were all using the same name (eg. workgroup was homer, samba server was called homer, and mediatomb server was homer). From what i can tell, the wdtv was having problems with everything named the same.
For the long story:
For the last 3 or 4 days for no reason, my wdtvlive had problems accessing network shares on a debian samba server. I had made no changes to my setup, except that I had updated my debian box to the squeeze version (apt-get dist-upgrade). On the same debian server, I also have a mediatomb server. this was also prior to installing the latest firmware on the wdtv. i did update the firmware after having this problem in the hope it would help, but didnt.
I initially figured it must be an updated version of samba that is affecting the wdtv. So i went through and completely uninstalled and reinstalled samba through apt-get.
i just installed a basic stripped down smb.conf, and I also changed my workgroup name and netbios name from what I had in my previous setup. I was then able to connect through the wdtv. once i changed my names back to the way my old setup was, I could no longer connect.
so without anything scientific to back me up, in my case it was to make sure you name all your nas shares and media servers with different names.
hope this helps someone else.