The story of "The Electronic [Deleted]"

Hi folks, ive been reading posts here for the last month, I just registered, and this is my 1st post.

A little background on me… I’m 46 years old and I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. Since 1993, I have owned a company that specializes in advanced home theater and commercial A/V systems. We also do a lot of work with networking, voice communication and IT. From day one to this very day, I work in the field every day, not behind a desk, and I have worked with electronic products from Bose to Zenith and everything in between.  I am considered a highly technical and advanced user of complex electronics.

In my own home, I am known for having some of the coolest electronic toys and state-of-the-art electronics available, as well as the same everyday CE stuff that everyone else has. I installed an RF distribution system in my home many years ago that was still in use until recently when I decided it was time to stop piping the movies from an external HDD, connected to my living room Blu-ray player throughout the house in analog 480i RF.

I did my homework looking for a reasonable media server system that could simply hold all my movies in a central location, be accessed and maintained via PC, and stream my movies to 3 TV’s. All my TV’s are Toshiba smart TV’s, which in my professional opinion, have the best 240hz LED technology out there, but the built-in media players just flat-out [Deleted].

Anyway, after careful consideration of features and user-friendly GUI for the far less tech savvy individuals in my house (my wife), Nothing I found was exactly what I wanted, but the closest thing (on paper) turned out to be the WD system.

So, About 1 month ago, I spent a small fortune on the 2TB N900 Central router, the WD Range extender, 2 WD-TV “Play” units and 1 WD-TV “Live“ unit for my main home theater system. It was certainly reasonable to assume that WD’s boasting of their current range of products working together so well would be true.

For the most part, everything does work pretty well, besides the N900 being an unbelievably sensitive device that doesn’t react well to interaction at all. God forbid I copy an MKV file from my PC to the internal drive (via Ethernet), the wireless crashes? And of course if I’m downloading some huge file on the PC, nobody can watch anything on any of the players OR have decent wifi speed on our iPhones. Since I assigned static IP’s to everything in the system, I don’t have much aggravation from the “Play” units anymore, so I don’t have anything more to say about them, except that the low-res GUI is lame, and its very hard to read tiny white text on huge neon pink tiles since the designers apparently felt it was more user-informative to reserve 80% of the tile image to accomidate the gigantic icon of a folder!

My point? All that rambling is leading up to my rant about this [Deleted], WD-TV “Live” device, that has earned the honor of being the first ever electronic device in my home to be given a nickname… “The Electronic [Deleted]”.

The primary problem is the design by where there is multiple ways to access the same [Deleted] information from the same source, which is something (thank god) they did NOT utilize in the “Play” unit. This “feature” is redundant, useless and just plain [Deleted]!!

To create user-friendly functionality with these units, the “favorites” feature is infinitely critical, but you cannot favorite anything unless it’s in your “media library” which is the MOST unstable “source” in the system, I can always get to my files in from the “media server” source, but I can’t use the dashboard or favorites in this mode… WHY??!

WHY can’t we favorite any file/folder from ANY “source”?

WHY can’t we use the dashboard with ANY “source”?

WHY can’t this thing load xml’s and metathumbs when I access THE SAME FILE from the “media server” source?

WHY can’t I use simple mkv chapter jump on the “Live” when I can on the “Play”?

Lastly, WHEN is WD going to decide to write a firmware that will simplify this [Deleted] and allow it operate reliably and efficiently?!?!??!!

On the rare occasion when “The Electronic [Deleted]” is not saying “There is no media in this folder” and lets us watch anything other than a yellow spinning arrow, the entertainment experience can best be described as a screenshot slideshow with a 40 second delay between slides, mixed with an occasional 4x scan burst through 2 minutes before the next screenshot.

This device has removed ALL possibility of spontaneous movie watching in my home, every time we want to watch a movie, it takes 1 “the previous device has been removed” error, 2 “unit restarts” at least 1 rescan of the entire media library before I can use the dashboard, and THEN 15-20 minutes of “there is no media in this folder” BS before I  am allowed to access my “media library” files and POSSIBLY stream a movie… seamlessly.

So, in the end, I spend more time on my sofa pissed off than I do happily watching my movies, and my wife has been totally deprived of her movie collection because she hates “The Electronic A_hole” so much, she won’t even attempt to use it anymore.

Western Digital should be ashamed of themselves for even selling such an unstable, unreliable device to the general dipchit public, even the most experienced and tech savvy people can’t get this thing to function with any degree of stability that could be remotely defined or considered acceptable. It’s painfully obvious that none of the Dev’s at WD use any of these products in their own homes, or even beta test in a “pseudo-realistic” environment, because if they did, I would have a product that functions as designed and intended!! Oh, and one last thing, there is NO WAY in [deleted] I would ever recommend any of these devices to any of my customers, well, unless I hated them! lol

Closing plead… Dear WD, keep it simple [Deleted], lose the low-res, lame GUI in the “Play” unit  and replace it with the GUI from the “Live” unit AND add ONLY the xml & metathumb features from the “Live”.

OR build what I just described as a full rewrite to the “Live” firmware… adding of course, MKV CHAPTER SKIP!!!

Seriously WD, how proud can you be, that your consumer products are being given nicknames like “The Electronic [Deleted]”?? In the digital and information age, its more critical than ever that you’re products dont [Deleted], otherwise the whole world will be alerted to it, so after 3 years, finally get your “stuff” together and get this WD-TV “Live” product working!!

Sorry to be so long winded, but I hope you at least enjoyed reading this, and perhaps feel better that you are not alone in your contempt for the [Deleted] WD-TV “Live”!


Contempt, my [Deleted] You shouldn’t have wasted your time on this pointless whining but build yourself a HTPC instead. Also, the fact that many people - including me - have no such problems with their LIVES completely destroys your argument from authority (which by definition had no credibility in the first place).

I think you fail to understand the technology you say you’re an expert in.

 WHY can’t this thing load xml’s and metathumbs

… Same as almost every other DLNA rendered out there – because DLNA doesn’t account for that in the standards.   DLNA is “read only”… even if it COULD read the metathumbs and XML, how would they get there in the first place?   The WD can’t CREATE things on a Media Server.  The only media receiver that does these displays (that I’m aware of) is Plex, and Plex requires Plex Server because they do “proprietary” extensions to DLNA.  Plex Client won’t display XMLs if you’re not using Plex Server.


Wow, are you the guy who designed the WD-TV Live? You sure seemed to take all that personally! Even though your last statement makes no sense, are you suggesting that because you dont have the issues that i’m having, AND you proclaim that NOBODY else does either, i’m a liar and I made the whole thing up because I enjoy whining and wasting my time?

You must be the guy who designed the “Live”, because apparently YOU are the only guy who has a “Live” that allows simple mkv chapter skipping, and YOU are the only guy who has a “live” that allows use of the dashboard with ANY source, and you are the only guy who’s “Live” lets you favorite any folder, from any source. And of course… you’re the only guy who’s NEVER seen the message “there is no media in this folder” popup on YOUR “Live”!

This certainly didnt expect hostile feedback from this, but at the same time, most of the super-geeks I know, dont have a sense of humor either.


For the record, I never claimed to be an expert with any of this DLNA streaming stuff, I’M NOT! I made a point to SPECIFY that my expertise is in HOME THEATER and commercial A/V DISTRIBUTION.

What that means is, I install high-end home theater equipment in celebrities and rich people’s homes, I engineer and install audio and video control rooms and distribution systems in large scale commercial environments, like the hotels and casino’s on the Las Vegas strip.

My point was simply that if I can do THOSE things, I should be able to get this WD-TV Live unit to function with some degree of reliability that is to be expected with a consumer electronic device!

I am confused about your theory though, the “live” does “fetch” the thumbs and xml files and writes them to the drives on the N900? I have edited a few of them, but I didnt put them there!  

TheOnlyest wrote:

Wow, are you the guy who designed the WD-TV Live?

Nope, I’m just a regular who’s getting tired of all the annoying bigmouths that seem to demand their tantrums to have any impact on WD’s decision making.

TheOnlyest wrote:

You sure seemed to take all that personally!

That’s rich coming from the guy who appears to take the LIVE’s failure to work the way he wishes a little too personally.

TheOnlyest wrote:
You must be the guy who designed the “Live”

No, I’m simply a guy who (like many others) has no problems with the LIVE’s GUI, “no media in this folder”, an endless spinning arrow, an entertainment experience that can be described as a screenshot slideshow or to understand why some improved features of the newer device - the WDTV Play - haven’t been backported to the LIVE yet.

TheOnlyest wrote:
My point was simply that if I can do THOSE things, I should be able to get this WD-TV Live unit to function with some degree of reliability that is to be expected with a consumer electronic device!

My point was simply that if members of the “general dipchit public” can get this thing to function with any degree of stability that can be remotely defined or considered acceptable, you’re maybe - just maybe - not one of “the most experienced and tech savvy people” .

TheOnlyest wrote:
I certainly didnt expect hostile feedback from this

So what did you expect for coming up with the most clever nickname ever and the polite way you addressed WD on their forums?

I think you are on your way out. Best get back to your other cool stuff.