TOTAL Newbie with Some Basic Questions (Assessing WD Live Hub)

What a great board!  I found the answers to most of my questions but with a couple of configuration options I am hoping to see if the WD Live Hub is the way to go … I will try (hard) to be brief … I only have about 1.5 hours of experience studying the hub so forgive the basic questions.

  • I have two tube (YES TUBE!) Sony Trinitron TVs each with Component and Composite inputs on different floors but basically one on top of the other
  • I have many DVDs that the kids are scratching up
  • I will buy new LCD or LED TV(s) when my tube(s) die … (if it ain’t broke …)

Will the Live hub or other WD TV products would allow me to:
1.  connect to two TVs (I could connect to one via Component and one via Composite for now until I buy new HDMI input TVs) at the same time? I do not need to view videos on both TVs at the same time but it wouldn’t hurt either (it would have to be the same file I would assume). I would be accessing my video files from both TVs at different times >>> GUESSING that I can from the posts, connect one ancient Wega via component and one Wega via coposite OR split either one … will a splitter ruin the ‘video quality’ of the signal?  I also read that there is a workaround to get the hub to play 480i over component for my Wega(s)
2. can the remote go through floors as I have one TV in the basement and one on the main floor (understanding that I need AV cables to connect through the floor/ceiling)?
3. back up my DVDs (e.g. Video_TS/Audio_TS folders) to the WD TV media player/hard disk(s) and be able to navigate the DVD collection in the interface?
4. POSSIBLY (not totally necessary) browse YouTube on the HD TV product and play online videos for fun

  1. and … can I stream from an external USB hard disk to the TVs?  Does the quality of the disk or even the RPMs matter when playing, say, a standard DVD to a TV via the hub?  I see that there is some ‘auto-sync feature’ that copies the files from the external USBs to the hubs internal drive but that can apparently be overridden but I wanted to make sure

I understand that the WD TV players can play DivX and Xvid/AVIs (nice) but for now I am looking at accessing my DVD collection on both (ancient) TVs with the option to go to one tube/one LCD or LED to two LCD/LED TVs.

Thanks very much for all of your patience.  Again, great forum folks!

Others may have better answers, but here’s my crack at it:

 

Will the Live hub or other WD TV products would allow me to:
1.  connect to two TVs (I could connect to one via Component and one via Composite for now until I buy new HDMI input TVs) at the same time? I do not need to view videos on both TVs at the same time but it wouldn’t hurt either (it would have to be the same file I would assume). I would be accessing my video files from both TVs at different times >>> GUESSING that I can from the posts, connect one ancient Wega via component and one Wega via coposite OR split either one … will a splitter ruin the ‘video quality’ of the signal?  I also read that there is a workaround to get the hub to play 480i over component for my Wega(s)

 

Not sure about splitting re: quality but I’m assuming you could run out to one TV via Composite and another via Component.  Someone would have to test this though and I don’t have a second TV nearby to help.

  1. can the remote go through floors as I have one TV in the basement and one on the main floor (understanding that I need AV cables to connect through the floor/ceiling)?

 

Again, someone would need to test, but I’m going to say it’s unlikely as I find the remote isn’t exactly very responsive in the same room a few feet away.  Not to say it doesn’t work well, just not amazingly quick or responsive.  Depends on your house/setup etc. as well I suppose.

  1. back up my DVDs (e.g. Video_TS/Audio_TS folders) to the WD TV media player/hard disk(s) and be able to navigate the DVD collection in the interface?

 

Yes, you can do this.  Many have also found that using something like MakeMKV to output to MKV rather than VideoTS is also a good option.

  1. POSSIBLY (not totally necessary) browse YouTube on the HD TV product and play online videos for fun

 

Yes, can do this.  Youtube for sure, other services (HULU, etc.) depending on where you’re located.

 

  1. and … can I stream from an external USB hard disk to the TVs?  Does the quality of the disk or even the RPMs matter when playing, say, a standard DVD to a TV via the hub?  I see that there is some ‘auto-sync feature’ that copies the files from the external USBs to the hubs internal drive but that can apparently be overridden but I wanted to make sure

 

Yep, you can use an external USB drive.  Unless you’re streaming Bluray quality 1080p stuff, I’d be surprised if you find the video playback suffers, however if you’re using really old drives, you might run into problems.  Depends on your hardware, I would think.

Thanks very much, liverubber!  Much appreciated.  This little device may be exactly what I am looking for!  I’ll leave the question open for a bit longer to see if anybody has tried connecting it to two TVs.  I would imagine that one would need a splitter to hook up two HDMI TVs (a guess only as I don’t even have one HDTV).  I like how this hub can grow from my museum TVs to HDTVs.

I would be interested in hearing from people who have hooked the hub up to compoent and composite TVs and if the quailty is any worse than any typical component/composite device (e.g. DVD players) assuming the source being the same quality.  I am guessing that splitters and longer cables could prove to degrade the video signal as well.

No problem, hopefully some others chime in with their ideas/experiences.

I was thinking about your ‘remote in other rooms question’ and it occurred to me that some people have been successful hooking up wireless keyboards and mini keyboards etc. to the Hub, so I’m wondering if anyone would have a suggestion as to a low-cost wireless keyboard or usb device that might have a better signal.  Not sure if the keyboard itself can even navigate through the Hub’s menu or if people are just using it for typing/searching instead of the virtual keypad.  Hopefully others can offer something for the ‘keyboard as remote’ option for you.

Just in general, I bought the Hub about a year ago now, never updated the firmware (don’t need any of the services or updates really) and I can wholeheartedly say I endorse it… I couldn’t live without it.

In relation to this question…

- I have two tube (YES TUBE!) Sony Trinitron TVs each with Component and Composite inputs on different floors but basically one on top of the other

I have my Live Hub Connected via HDMI to my TV.

and also have it connected via Composite to my Dvd Recorder (for Screen capture purposes)

and it works fine. (have not noticed in Picture Quality Reduction)

Shouldnt be a problem using Component and Composite at the same time.

Also the Remote Control Question… just buy an IR Extender if there is a problem.

Thanks again very much Joey and to livehubber (again). I am glad I stumbled on this device and this board! I was looking at PC and to upgrade my old TVs to HDMI input HDTVs but I can put that off a bit thanks to WD. Now I realize that I am not dealing with great HDTVs here but wonder if I am better off using component and composite or splitting the component output between the two TVs. Yeah, this is VERY specific and there is a better than good chance that nobody has done this (who the heck has two tube TVs? I actually have three in total but only really care about streaming to two). I will look into the IR Extender too but I also have a Harmony One remote (still in original packaging … a gift) so I may have better luck with that. I also wonder if the hubs internal drive fails if one could simply swap it in with a new one. I seriously would have voted to have the hub a bit bigger to accept 3.5" drives for larger capacity but that’s my thing :wink: Thanks again!

One more thing … a question about what livehubber said:

"3. back up my DVDs (e.g. Video_TS/Audio_TS folders) to the WD TV media player/hard disk(s) and be able to navigate the DVD collection in the interface?

Yes, you can do this.  Many have also found that using something like MakeMKV to output to MKV rather than VideoTS is also a good option."

Forgive my ignorance but what are the beneifts of MKV files over DVD backups?  Are they smaller?  simpler to maintain/easier to play?  Would I lose the menus and bonus features of each DVD or can I still keep those with MakeMKV?

Again, many thanks!

ladrex wrote:

One more thing … a question about what livehubber said:

 

"3. back up my DVDs (e.g. Video_TS/Audio_TS folders) to the WD TV media player/hard disk(s) and be able to navigate the DVD collection in the interface?

 

Yes, you can do this.  Many have also found that using something like MakeMKV to output to MKV rather than VideoTS is also a good option."

 

Forgive my ignorance but what are the beneifts of MKV files over DVD backups?  Are they smaller?  simpler to maintain/easier to play?  Would I lose the menus and bonus features of each DVD or can I still keep those with MakeMKV?

 

Again, many thanks!

Question about component: I’d say take your chances and split the component.  I’m sure that if you’re just watching one TV at a time the quality is gonna definitely be better than composite.

Re: MakeMKV: There’s no major gain other than yeah, it can compress the size (without any really discernable loss of quality) and also makes it a bit cleaner to just have the movie (title) file rather than the somewhat messy TS folders.  It’s also fast at doing what it does.  Some people use a combo of DVD Shrink and MakeMKV or just one of those, depending on what they want.  There’d be a bit of googling involved to see if they have features you’re interested in, but if you generally want everything that’s on your DVD disc, don’t bother about messing with programs.

I personally only ever want the actual movie and english subs along with the audio track that works best with my setup, so I use MakeMKV to create a file from my DVDs that suits my needs.  Sometimes, for things like concert DVDs (where I don’t mind about trying to compress it a bit for a smaller size) I’ll use DVDShrink to compress and then create the MKV after.

Basically, if storage space isn’t a problem and you are ok with all the fluff on DVDs (menus, other audio tracks, foreign subs, extras, etc.) then just go the TS route I’d say.  Alternately, you could also make them ISO files, which again just cleans things up by having just the ISO file contain the TS folders.

Saved once again … thanks LiveHubber!  I felt that may be the way to go (splitting the component over one composite and one component) as component is simply better.  Thanks very much again.

as for the going through floors part… if you have an ipod, you can download an app that acts as a controller for your hub… it interfaces thru the network, so you don’t have to have line of sight.

Actually, the WD TV Live HUB has a webserver on it… log in (default pw is admin) and there is a remote control in the browser. :slight_smile: I just did it… Trying to figure out how to use this and what I want to do to it… Just cut my cable tv today.

:slight_smile: chris