Newbie Looking for Advice


With the kids growing older (11, 9, 9, and 5) and now that everyone has their own iPods, computers, and phones (not the 5 yr old yet), I have begun to setup a home network for a central location for music, photos, videos, etc.  I am an engineer so I won’t hesitate to try (and probably break) anything.  I have always been partial to HP computers and WD hard drives.  Thus, I am on my way to purchasing a new My Book World Edition to plug into the cable router to start the network.  As I was looking at things, I figured I might as well look at streaming the video while I am at it.  I have Ethernet ports at every TV location so I don’t need wireless for the TV’s.

This is where I am asking you for advice (I have done lots of reading for the last month all over the internet).  I am not seeing the best reviews for the WD TV Live.  I first thought this would be a good option since it would be the same manufacturer as the Network drive (maybe not the best rationale).  We will not be doing much wireless streaming and we are a very busy family, so for the most art we will store and watch movies with the device.  My co-workers are dead set on convincing me to hold out for the Monsoon Vulkano or look at another device.  The Vulkano looks very promising and if the extra features are there I am sure my family will use them.  However, we have multiple TV’s throughout the house and I am not opposed to buying more than one piece of equipment for video-streaming.

Is the Vulkano worth waiting for?  What other devices would suit my needs at a reasonable price or is the software the key (I can convert to any video type and all computers are currently Windows 7)?  Is the WD TV Live as bad as it sounds in the community from a lack of options, luster, and interface (I understand that TV, networking, and streaming may not be WD’s forte).

Thanks in advance for any help!

Welcome to the forums.

As a former software engineer and video enthusiast (I had my first VCR in 1975, which was well before more folks even knew what one was – it weighed 50 pounds and was solid metal) I’ve also done my fair share of research and ended up buying a Live.  I liked it so much I bought another one (and now I have three) so that might tell you something.

As I like to say, if you visit a hospital you’d think there were no healthy people in the world.  Folks don’t come to a forum to say how wonderful things are – by and large the ones who come here have issues that need fixing and by and large they get the answers they need.  But there is no question that media players in general are going to be the most problem prone hardware devices you can imagine.

If you are going to wait for a player (and you might well do so) then I’d wait at least two to three years – by that time they should have shaken most of the issues out of all of them, and we’ll see them the way we see DVD players now (mainly, brainless).  But it WILL take that long, and if you want to enjoy media in the meantime it would be foolish to wait for the holy grail (because any new player will have as many or more issues than the ones already on the market).  The Live is what I would recommend for almost anyone with the caveat that you understand its limitations.

The main limitation of the Live is that it requires a certain set of parameters to operate correctly (this is true of any media player, though – AppleTV is so restrictive I don’t even have mine hooked up anymore).  You can’t play every single file type out there, nor every codec around (true of every player, again).  You have to use the approved wireless adapters (again, ditto).  And so on. 

You don’t sound like someone who will have network problems.  And, truly, the net setup ain’t that bad (I HATE hardware issues and my network works fine).  And if you simply attach an NAS then your issues will be minimized (most problems come from the @#$!! Windows file sharing system, whereas NAS sharing works perfectly and is really just plug and play). 

But in the end you pays your money and you takes your chances.  That’s always been the way it is in life.  Buy it from some place you have a good return policty (like Amazon or Best Buy) and I don’t think you can go wrong.

I am in the same situation as originator of this post. I have purchased an WD TV Live media player and want to stream wireless from PC to TV in another room. I purchased a USB which I thought would do this but it now turns out that this one has a revision number which is not covered. Has anybody any idea which one will work and give a decent signal.


I love my WDTV Live. I really think it’s the best player out there. Sure, development could always go faster, but there’s a VERY vivid homebrew development aside. Especially if you’re a bit technically skilled, like you say you are, then this is awesome: