RIP Live Hub

First I should say that I’ve been pretty happy with the WD media players I have (Two Hubs, one SMP, one Live and one original WD TV HD) I will carry on using them for a while yet.

Now that the Hub seems to have finally been discontinued I’m looking at replacing them with “tiny PC” boxes. I think that finally the specs, price and size of some of these boxes are a viable option to use as a WDTV replacement. Some of them aren’t much bigger than a Hub, are quiet and much more flexible. I have the option of installing Linux or Windows and whatever other software I want.

Farewell WD TV, you’ve had a good run but I think it’s time to move on now. Thanks to all of the forum contributors and moderators who are part of the reason that I have stayed with the WD TV players this long.

1 Like

I started with the WDTV gen 1, then had gen 2, then WDTV live, then the Hub. WD media players have always done what I’ve wanted them to do and have been fairly pleased with the Hub other than speed. I’m hoping that WD will at least announce a new player sometime soon. I’ll be shopping around within a month or two for a new player. (Hint hint WD). I too bid fairwell to the HUB. 2010-2014 Goodbye my media storing friend.

Ahh yes, I remember when the hub first came out. The good old days …almost 4 years ago.
A lot has changed since then and the advances in technology in media players as really been on the rise particularly the last year or two. The hub was a great little device back when it first came out. Even though it’s painfully slow and yes I did notice even back then, but there wasn’t much to compare to it that was fast, so it was excepted. I haven’t use my hub now for a few years but I have it stored away in the original box for sentimental reasons and will most likely keep it. I still like visiting here for the community aspect of things and enjoy seeing people create their vision and share it with others. I have always liked what WD has done in the past and I’m hoping the future is as bright as the past. Having something new from WD with modern-day technology would be something I would definitely consider buying. Just as long as it meets the few simple things I liked about past players, like being able to play all formats and UI customization. Combining that with a fast performing media player would be something I would shell money out for in a heartbeat.

It was indeed a good ride, but in think now it’s time for a new ride :wink:

Thanks Western Digital :slight_smile:

So long and thanks for all the fish

It was great tinkering too! But now, it probably won’t be long and I’ll either take it off line, sell it or pull the drive and use it elsewhere.

I’m tinkering with one of those Mini PC TVs on a stick (Tronsmart T428 - There are better ones now), XBMC and my NAS WD MBL. It really is impressive and using one of these on each TV is a very viable option. I have even managed to merge my PlayOn server into XBMC! Very cool stuff going on in this area.

Some screen caps as it is now:


PlayOn


A Movie selected:


The Addon View - Addons are Plugins and there are PLENTY…


Hey, that doesnt seem too bad of an idea. Does the android bar at the bottom disappear when playing a movie? Does is run fairly smooth?


VStrike7 wrote:

Hey, that doesnt seem too bad of an idea. Does the android bar at the bottom disappear when playing a movie? Does is run fairly smooth?


No it does not but there are workarounds for it. HERE This is the version I am using on my device.

 

It is very fluid and has very few glitches. I think I’ve seen it crash back to desktop once in the two weeks I’ve been messing with it and I believe that might have been an addon that caused it since I removed it and it hasn’t since.

 

These “sticks” really have no foot print.Mine is attached to the back of the TV with velcro! I just wish there were more RAM. I think someone is working on a way to do it from external cards and that would be great.

 

Once you have it all setup, you can port your setup over to an XBMC install on a Windowz PC if you want to. :slight_smile: a bit tricky but the info is in the thread I linked you to.

I would go with a ZOTAC ZBOX nano. Their super fast and efficient and can run XBMC or Plex. They are also decently priced for what you are getting which is essentially a PC so you know you have quality and performance for your dollar. Comes with everything you need including a great remote. I doubt anything Western Digital gives us will compare to one of these.

VStrike7 wrote:

Hey, that doesnt seem too bad of an idea. Does the android bar at the bottom disappear when playing a movie?

Root your Tablet / Phone … install   full!screen Android App   problem solved  (it’s free … paid version is under $2)

littleg68 wrote:
I would go with a ZOTAC ZBOX nano. Their super fast and efficient and can run XBMC or Plex. They are also decently priced for what you are getting which is essentially a PC so you know you have quality and performance for your dollar. Comes with everything you need including a great remote. I doubt anything Western Digital gives us will compare to one of these.

Better have some deep pockets…prices start at 200.00! Sure the little stick I use doesn’t get close to this, but for 65.00 it’s the cheap way out :slight_smile:

 

 

The cost of the Zotac starts in the same ballpark as the hub, so if you can afford the hub which is what this thread is about so obviously you owned one …then you can afford a Zotac. I would also not say “need deep pockets” for a few hundred dollars lol otherwise I suggest finding a better job, or saving. It’s worth it.

The bottom line here is you get what you pay for.

I 'm retired on a fixed income and yeah 100.00 is a chunk of change to me. Nice that you have so much though. 

 

Im very pleased with my T428.

 

 

Alas, Poor Hub

The death of the HUB is particularly disappointing to me. First and foremost, maybe I’m old school, but I view WD as a hard drive company, so it only makes sense to me to include a hard drive in the product, instead of having people purchase external ones from other manufacturers. Seems odd to me.

The biggest issue I have is how this effects themes. I like my SMP very much due to some of the updated apps and tech specs, but not having enough space for themes I find to be a severe problem. 30mbs is fine for XML/movie sheet based themes, but obviously does not allow for linksheet themes to be used to their full potential. We are very fortunate to have folks like KAD writing alternate firmware to get around the problem, but I find that extreme that we would want people to go that route as opposed to providing enough space to us the stock FW. Installing a theme and getting your movie sheets made can be intimidating enough for some folks. Having them also have to use workarounds just pushes more folks away from finding a great theme that they enjoy. Perhaps that’s the purpose, but it may also drive people to other devices that do provide those options by default as discussed above in this thread.

Besides linksheets, just not being able to have lots of themes installed at the same time on the SMP I find to be an inconvenience. I have installed almost every theme posted on this board on my HUB, and being able to easily switch between them has been a great advantage.

I love the self contained single unit device that provides everything. A power cord and an HDMI cable and you are off and running. Easy to unplug and bring on a trip or over to a friends house. Obviously I am a huge fan of the WD devices, or I wouldn’t have three of them, but I really think eliminating the option to have an internal drive is a poor decision. I am now wishing I had bought a few more HUBs when they were easily found and readily available.

Most of us have been doing this for long enough that we understand that all products have their lifecycles. This is nothing new to me or most others here. I for one though am not ready to move on quite yet, so my HUB will sit in it’s rightful place in the rack under the living room TV until either WD comes up with something really killer, or the technology advances at a pace where I am forced to pick another product.

@KAD - The work you have done with the SMP firmware and shared with the community has been a true gift. WIthout the option for linksheets, it is possible that I may have moved on to another device instead of buying an SMP as my most recent media player purchase when I was building out a theater / projector room. I know your FW does a lot of additional things (that I also like having), but by giving me the ability to run linksheets on the SMP like the HUB, your work may be the single thing that has kept me firmly entrenched in a WD environment for all my media.

@flhthemi - I feel for you. Regardless of income, every dollar counts in my mind.

-P

pearl wrote:

 

@KAD - The work you have done with the SMP firmware and shared with the community has been a true gift. WIthout the option for linksheets, it is possible that I may have moved on to another device instead of buying an SMP as my most recent media player purchase when I was building out a theater / projector room. I know your FW does a lot of additional things (that I also like having), but by giving me the ability to run linksheets on the SMP like the HUB, your work may be the single thing that has kept me firmly entrenched in a WD environment for all my media.

 

@flhthemi - I feel for you. Regardless of income, every dollar counts in my mind.

 

 -P

  

The comment: " I would also not say “need deep pockets” for a few hundred dollars lol otherwise I suggest finding a better job, or saving. It’s worth it."

 

just put me off a little because there are a lot of folks out here that just don’t have the bucks to drop on a 200.00+ item but would still like to be able to do what they want to do. For someone to just scoff at those of us who don’t just have money to waste on toys seems kind of… well… arrogant to me.

 

Well the alternative is, and it’s a very decent one, to get one of these little 45.00 - 90.00 mini PCs/TV Sticks, Flash a good working ROM to it and install XBMC. Installing the addon “Mashup” to XBMC complements XBMC so well that you most likely wouldn’t need any other video addons. It allows you access to a lot of online content including live streams. So if they wanted to they could cut the cable and save a few more bucks on their entertainment expenses. The only off thing I can find with this setup is there just isn’t any 5.1 pass through, yet. It won’t be long at all before there is as it does exist on SOME of the Android media devices.

 

To further things along, I’m pretty sure I’m going to cease the use of PlayOn Media Server on my PC. I might install XBMC on it but I really see no need unless there is some advantage to having it there I haven’t found out about yet. I am new to this whole XBMC thing. That will save me some more money towards my ELECTRIC bill (PC has 650Watt Power Supply) because that PC can be turned off when PlayOn stops being used.

 

@KAD - Now, yes he has done quite a bit to keep these devices alive! We should give kudos to EVERY post he writes. It amazes me the abilities people have to find these exploits. I sat here wondering, as I typed this post, just how cool would it be if KAD found a way to get XBMC to work on the Hub and the SMP!! Talk about bringing the dead back!

 

 

thank you, very kind words

I agree not every can or wants to spend $200 on a media player

myself included, while I want some quality

so I’ve never gone to one of the android thumbdrives, etc

I’ve also never built a full htpc, although I’ve considered it at times

for me the smp sits in a good range, official release approx $100

and easily available online for approx $80

I think the addition of DTS-MA in the smp has brought some life back to it

at least for me anyways, I would not have worked on the most recent firmware release, if WD had not added that

so at least for the moment I’ll pass on xbmc, my smp is fine for now

as for xbmc for WD boxes, currently not possible

xbmc exist for x86 x64 & ARM

but not for MIPS

although doesn’t the play use an ARM processor, I don’t remember, but there’s a guy on forum, that just put out a firmware for the play, a bit a language barrier for me to understand exactly what he’s done, but I think all he did was add telnet

and I have no clue what his firmware does to encryption keys, etc …

but if it’s ARM, xbmc might be possible on it

anyways, again thanks for the kind words

KAD79 wrote:

thank you, very kind words

 

…I think the addition of DTS-MA in the smp has brought some life back to it  at least for me anyways, I would not have worked on the most recent firmware release, if WD had not added that

 

BINGO! Having DTS-MA was the reason I purchased the SMP instead of a HUB for my “Ghetto Theater Room”. (innnexpensive projector and an open box deal  5.1 AVR, home-made screen etc). Lack of it on living room TV is something I am fine with, so that’s where the HUB prevails, as well as a Live+ on the TV in the bedroom. For the projector room though, the audio became more important to me. Pitty that was not added to a final firmware for the HUB. 

I think you nailed it KAD, that feature was becoming important to a lot of people. Certainly anyone who had higher end equipment for the rest of their setup were going to find an alternate solution had that not eventually been added.

-P

VStrike7 wrote:

I started with the WDTV gen 1, then had gen 2, then WDTV live, then the Hub. WD media players have always done what I’ve wanted them to do and have been fairly pleased with the Hub other than speed. I’m hoping that WD will at least announce a new player sometime soon. I’ll be shopping around within a month or two for a new player. (Hint hint WD). I too bid fairwell to the HUB. 2010-2014 Goodbye my media storing friend.

I’m exactly like you. WDTV gen 1, I then got 2 plus’s and finally the hub.

The 2 plus boxes and hub are still used everyday. My kids are 6 and 8 and tell all thier friends they watch thier “WD’s” and I have to explain what they are…

I’ll keep using them till they die but I was looking forward to so much more from the hub.

Very disappointed in WD to stop updating the hub. I talked atleast 10 friends into buying this product.

I to was looking forward to another hub soon for another room in the house. but with no more updates coming…I’m not so sure I would even buy a used one.

maybe something new comes out…I would hate to buy another named brand :frowning:

"WD´s" - we also use that term. Like turn on the WD, or play a cartoon on WD, or do we have any movies on WD…

And when we have friends at house, usually they ask: what is WD?

foetus wrote:

"WD´s" - we also use that term. Like turn on the WD, or play a cartoon on WD, or do we have any movies on WD…

And when we have friends at house, usually they ask: what is WD?

I just tell them it’s the Wing Ding movie box and they can buy it at WalMart for 19.95! My neighbor called me from WalMart saying they have no idea what the heck it is? :slight_smile:

 

I usually tell them they can order one from me :slight_smile: