New WDTV Live, 3 x NAS and many issues!

Hi all, after reading many reviews I have finally purchased a WDTV Live and my feelings right now are very mixed.  When it works, it works really well, but this is currently only about 25% of the time.

I have a Synology DS211J and two ICYBox 4220’s, all of which work perfectly if I am accessing them from a number of PC’s around my house.

Two of the NAS’s are directly connected to the same switch as the WDTV, the other via Devolo Powerline Network adapters, both typically work fine.

The issue list I am having is as follows :-

  1. My NAS’s all power off overnight and it sometimes takes 30 minutes for the WDTV to ‘browse’ for these devices and make them available again. Annoying when my son gets up at 0600 and badgers me because he cant view his cartoons!
  2. If I try to stream some WMV files created directly using Windows MM from home a digital video camera (8mm DAT), the video is perfect, but after about 30 seconds the audio drops out and may or may not ever come back (50/50).
  3. If I stream some audio files (typicalli AVI’s), they completely ‘hang’ the WDTV…I accept that these may be encoded in an unsupported way, but the WDTV should tell me this instead of trying to play them.  I dont think my 8 year old son will understand when I tell him he needs to check the file type and encoding before he hits ‘play’ !!
  4. NetFlix sometimes just ‘hangs’, after I get the red ‘NetFlix’ screen.  A hard reset is necessary.
  5. I frequently get an ‘updating media library’ message (or similar), and as my NAS boxes are pretty big (2Gb/2Gb/4Gb), this seems to make the WDTV slow and unresponsive for hours at a time.

Overall, as a techie I’m impressed with what this can do, but as a ‘consumer’ device it is way way way way off the mark, I have read these forums and seen endless advice about ‘encoding’ and video formats etc etc, which I can understand, but I wanted to use the WDTV as a way to make hundreds of family videos, films, cartoons and pictures available to very young and technically chellenged (the wife!!) people.  It fails here quite miserably.

What would I like to see to make this a viable piece of kit?

  1. A way to manually configure a list of ‘shares’ which does not rely on some arcane and buggy ‘browsing’ code, forget the media centre configuration, this **bleep** and shares just keep disappearing.  I want to manually add a list of UNC paths, using IP’s (not NetBIOS or DNS names), and I want these to persist, relaibly and forever.  If they are not available, just skip them.
  2. If I try to play a video format that is unsupported and unlikely to play, or just ‘hang’ the box,  pop up a message and tell me so,  dont just hang the box trying to make the best of a bad job.
  3. If I try to play a vide file which is long (15 mins plus seems to be a good point), dont just show me a black screen as you stream/buffer the content…show me some kind of meaningful feedback.  My wife has a tolerance of about 30 seconds when it comes to technology, if she has to wait longer she’ll just switch the WDTV off in disgust.
  4. Allow me to switch off or at leat cancel the ‘library update’ feature, I’ve been waiting for 3 days for this to complete and it’s driving me nuts.

I’m afaid to say that although I am a big WD disk fan, this device has made me realise that I should perhaps have shelled out the extra cash for an Apple TV or similar, from a vendor who knows AV technologoy, and not a disk vendor whos main strengths are bits/bytes/rotational speed and TB per square cm !!

You can turn off the media library

about the other suggestions you might want to suggest them on the ideas board

The SMP is not without some issues… which media player isnt ?

I tend to stick to converting to M2TS files for Bluray and DVD and have no issues at all. I have a number of TV shows converted from my DVD Collection in AVI format also without issues. Occassionally a MKV file will give me issues of Lip Sync issues but that is it. DVD ISO also work fine every time.

I run 3 x WD 3TB NAD (My Book Live) and 2 x SMP. Also have a standalone set up 1 x SMP and 1 x 3TB USB 3 (CONNECTED to the FRONT USB) and also no issues (don not use the rear USB with USB3 drives).

Also I find that if you load a new theme, make sure you power off the SMP and then re-boot. Allow it time to rebuiild your Media Library (5 minutes from Boot up should be fine (I have about 7 TB of my Movies/TV Shows backed up)).

So try to stick to MT2S or AVI and all things should be sweet !

  • LB