Should have bought the AppleTV

Dear WDTV team,

Let me rant here for a minute - that is, if you even exist. I spent a full 8 hours tonight trying to set up a pair of your products, the WDTVLiveHub and the WDTVLive SMP, to behave like I thought they would when I bought these devices. I’m not trying to do anything fancy. I just wanted a way to view movie genre’s, tv episode plots, and movie covers. I don’t even mind that your products use the same exact picture for every single episode of my tv shows. I’ll go ahead and list the problems I had.

  1. The HUB media library never stops “getting content info”. I monitored the databases and files on the drive to see what was going on and I found that absolutely nothing was happening except the modification date was changing. This wouldn’t be such a problem if browsing the library while it is “getting content info” wasn’t impossibly slow.
  2. Same problem with the SMP. Monitored it and found the same thing was happening. Same slowdown of the device.
  3. When I realized that getting content information automatically simply wasn’t going to work, I changed it to manual.
  4. After browsing the media library, I noticed a lot of my files were still showing as simple filenames with no added information. Thinking this was a scraper problem, I thought I’d switch to IMDB - oh wait, you can’t. Eventually I found that my problem was my files weren’t named exactly how your devices wanted. I went ahead and named everything as such so everything got renamed to and
  5. This pleased your devices for the most part. Everything but some obscure shows showed up - no big deal. But I noticed it completely flubbed The X-Files. You gotta be kidding me. So I renamed the files from the.x.files.s##e##.ext to the.xfiles.s##e##.ext.
  6. Assuming I had to update this information somehow, I went ahead and rescanned the x-files base folder. This didn’t work. What a surprise. 
  7. The only way I can get these files into the media library I found was to “get content info” on each file individually. There is over 70 files - a user should not have to do that.
  8. Since I didn’t feel like doing that, I tried activating “get content info automatically” again.
  9. Device predicably became unusable and the x-files remained unincorporated in the media library.
  10. I decided forget it - who cares. It’s just one show.
  11. The default theme does not have any views which feature a large cover so I downloaded and installed a custom theme.
  12. Things were good until it started bugging me again that a quarter of my videos had no media library information. I deleted my .wd_tv folders to begin my libraries from scratch.
  13. After I did that I realized I accidentally deleted my custom theme - oops, that’s my fault. No big deal, I’ll just install it again.
  14. Installed the same way as before and wouldn’t you know it? The machine completely froze and now will not allow me to install custom themes anymore.
  15. Who’s bright idea was it to not allow sharing of media libraries? My libraries on the HUB and SMP are exactly the same because they both use the HUB as the source. I should be able to use one library database and share it so changes are mirrored instead of wasting time “getting content info” and “compiling media library” on the slower SMP.

I have never had to troubleshoot so many different things with any consumer electronic I’ve ever bought. The Media Library functionality on these devices is clearly broken or at least not working as intended (I hope) and you refuse to fix them. Even with all this incompetence, all would be forgiven if you would just allow the WDLXTV team to support your newer devices. But you intentionally sabotage their efforts by providing them with partial source code and encrypting the firmware partition. Why do you do this? So you can get deals with HuluPlus/mlb/? Not only are you purposely hindering the firmware modders, it appears you are also disabling some modifiable aspects of the themes so themers don’t have as much control either. You do not deserve my money and I don’t plan on recommending you to anybody until you stop showing indifference/incompetence/contempt to your customer base and modder community.

  1.  You’re right – it’s difficult to navigate while it’s getting content info.   This is one reason why LOTS of people use third-party tools  (Thumbgen, Hubgen, XML Fetcher, etc…) to do the content scraping offline.  It’s MUCH faster, and frankly, more reliable.    But by the way, if the modification date is changing, then it IS doing something.  You just may not be able to see what it’s doing.

  2.  Yep, same.

  3. The best naming convention is Show Name.SxxExx.ext    No dots in the series name, no dots between SxxExx.  But again, tools like the XML Fetcher work best for TV show scraping because you have more control over which covers and backdrops are used.

  4.  A Factory Restore may be needed to purge out the old theme files from flash on the SMP.  But on the Hub, they’re stored on local HD – you really don’t need to use the Web Tool at all.  Just load them on the Hub’s HD via your network and switch to it.   I do this all the time.

  5.  The libraries *ARE* shared.  If you compile the media library on one device, the other device doesn’t need to do anything but a rescan whenever it’s powered up.  (And it does that because there’s no way of knowing if filesystems changed for EITHER box until it is rescanned.)

Out of interest can you Apple TV do all the things that you want? You also give a ‘list’ of problems but they all seem to be about the same thing. You also believe that this reasonably cheap player should automatically know exactly what movies you have 100% of the time and you can’t see why you should have do anything manually. Perhaps you should have used this forum to ask how other users name their files before taking a huge chunk of your time writing your rant.

From what I remember reading at the time the AppleTV can run XBMC. I didn’t get it because the WDTV was at a huge markdown - now I know why. If free software like XBMC and MediaPortal can handle my filenames with 95% success, yes I do believe a commercial device should be able to do it as well.

Im pretty sure the AppleTV cant play all the formats that the Hub can, so yeah XMBC is nice, but I like to watch 1080p Blurays.

Its the same with all these boxes, but the Hub does the majority…could the scraper be better, yeah course it could.

A comparsion between AppleTV / WD Hub etc.


Video codecs supported : H.264, MP4, M-JPEG

WD Hub

Video codecs supported : H.264, MPEG2 / H.262, AVI, MP4, MKV, MOV, VOB, M2TS, MPEG-1, VC-1, AVCHD

From what I have quickly read I believe that you have to jailbreak the AppleTV to get XMBC.

Yeah its basically a fancy box and you mirror your Ipad to it, Netflix is bad etc…formats are **bleep**, so yeah XMBC interface, but when you are streaming **bleep** quality items to it, its a nicer interface, but you can do a lot less with it.

I hear your frustration, do a search for “ xml converter for wdtv live hub” it can update the thumbs and data for an entire series in less than a min.  for movies you can use “WDTV Live Hub XML-Editor” just google it to find it. and I agree with you, I think the hard ware is fine, its the software thats messed up. and just incase the author of either software reads this, thanks bunches :slight_smile:

Out of interest ‘I cannot find xml converter for wdtv live hub’, I can only see a few people who use it. Is it the same as Tony’s TVDB XML Fetcher for the WDTV Live Hub?

Get a Ford.

foetus wrote:

Get a Ford.

He still wouldn’t be happy…

richUK try these links

for the xml editor see belowe



In order to use WDTV Live Hub XML-Editor, you need to have Microsoft .NET 4.0 Framework installed!

Download it here:

Microsoft .NET 4.0 Framework




  1. Unzip the downloaded file to to a folder of your own choice!
    The zip file should contain 2 files:
    W** DTV Live Hub XML-Editor.exe** (Main program)
    WDTV Live Hub XML-Editor Help.chm  (Help file)
    Keep both of them in the same folder, otherwise application help won’t work!

  2. Execute  WDTV Live Hub XML-Editor.exe  and you’re ready to do some Movie info editing!
    Remember that this application requires Microsoft .NET 4.0 Framework installed in order to work

Thanks but I did not want it, I was asking if the program mentioned was the same as Tony’s. You may also notice that I added Tony’s link myself. Thanks anyway as it may help somebody else who reads this thread.

My original post was rudely put and I apologize for the insults.

I left my SMP to get content info for over 10 hours and it is still showing “getting content info” message. I looked at some things and found out what is actually happening to the database files wdtv.cas2 and the associated union.cas. Every 18 seconds, the row IDs in the db_info tables of each database are increasing by 7 - which also happens to be the amount of rows in the db_info table (related?). 

For instance at 1:00:00 wdtv.cas2 will look like this:

id, name

9752, benchmarking

9753, last_scan_time

9754, db_info_state

9755, last_scan_folder

9756, product_name

9757, db_update_count

9758, version

Then at 1:00:18 it will look like this:

id, name

9759, benchmarking

9760, last_scan_time

9761, db_info_state

9762, … and so on

Also noticed last_scan_time is always 0.

I think that this might be related to why the “getting content info” message never goes away.

Hmm, the more messages I read about the Hub and SMP here, the less inclined I am to want to “upgrade” my Plus units for an SMP.  They sound more complicated than the Plus.  I don’t mind “complicated”, yet I really do not have a desire to keep a clone of IMDB in my WD media player.  I don’t have a pile of movies downloaded via Bit Torrent (I have zero) . The stuff on my hard drives I know about; thumbnail pictures of the videos and creating “themes” hold no interest for me. 

I just want to find our videos on the List View and watch 'em.  If I need more info from IMDB or whatever, I can look it up on the iPad sitting on the coffee table.  Better yet, my wife looks it up for us on her iPad. which seems permanently attached to her lap when she’s on the couch  :wink:

Serious question to the long-timers here who have had many different models of the WD player:

In “100 words or less” can you give me your best reasons I would want to upgrade from the Plus to the SMP?


Just looked at mine… the last scan is also zero on mine – but mine compiles quickly.

You can look in the SQL to see the last file it’s indexed by doing:

sqlite> select id,name from video order by id desc limit 10;
368|Men in Black 3 (Premium).wmv
367|Batman Begins.mkv
366|The Dark Knight.mkv
363|Apollo 13.ts
362|Iron Man 2.m2ts
361|Iron Man.m2ts
360|The Avengers (2011).m2ts
359|The Fifth Element.m2ts
358|The Avengers.mkv
356|Batman Begins.iso

 there’s all kinds of nifty stuff you can do with that DB file.

Just remember… there will be a wdtv.cas2 file for every share in your media library.   But there should only be ONE union-DB per WD.

My database fully builds in about 15 minutes from scratch – and updates in about 20 seconds.  But I also don’t index Photos or Music…  Just videos.  I have about 4000 videos in my collection.

ah sorry i should have paid more atention, yes I was refering to tony’s. I found it to be extremly useful. and it provides a very versitle nameing options to match what ever format your saving your episodes by.

I found that frequently if you have something it cant identify it can stay on the “getting content info” for a very long time, even if the file is correctly named, for instance do you know how many movies have the title “the three musketeers” its like 6 or 7 going back to 1920 something. but the point is it cant tell which is which. I added about 600+ movies at once to my WD live tv hub. After it got most of them i turned off the auto feature and manualy went thru select the get content info. I find i’m not as stressed and less frustrated now. and if it fails to find a movie be sure to go to the “” site and verify its listed there and how, some times they are listed by alternet titles like how they were released in germany of some other country. I’ve personaly added over 15 titles to that data base that didnt exist. hope you find this helpful. :slight_smile: