WD LIve vs. Plus


#1

We’re looking into the whole world of media servers, players, etc ( just bought our first LED-LCD TV)

So - trying to decide what’s best for us and the WD products look great - but having seen the reviews, not sure we need the Plus version ( this review is from last year, July 2010) - what can some one answer about this?

Review:

Before I get started, let me give you some background. I’ve owned 2 WD Live (non-plus) models for about a year. I upgraded the 2 non-plus models to (2 of them, so you can’t blame faulty hardware) plus models, which was a big mistake. The reason I did this was that the WD Live is a great product and I wanted to add Netflix support.

So let me start with the positives
*It plays practically everything
*The interface is simple and straight forward
*Support for Youtube, Pandora, Netflix
*Streams 1080p with no issue
*Really easy to setup

Now for the negatives
*The firmware is buggy. There hasn’t been a single firmware released since the product has been out either.
*If your networked drive is asleep, the Plus will hang at connecting 95% of the time (non-plus wouldn’t do that). You have to do something else on the device before trying again or turn it off and on again to try to connect again - It’s like it caches the info
*Takes like 30 seconds to turn on (non-plus takes like 2)
*Menu navigation is slower compared to the non-plus
*It won’t remember the place you stopped in a movie/show if you turn off the device (non-plus didn’t have this issue)
*Netflix - you can’t ‘search’ for a movie. You can only pick from the selection that is presented. If you want add other movies, you have to do that from you computer.
*If you drop connection while connecting to Netflix, then the device will not try the connection again after you fix network issue. You have to shut off the box and turn it back on
*You can’t customize what network devices to show on the menu. It shows all devices on your network (same issue with non-plus)

So I would suggest skipping the buggy Plus version getting the WD Live Non-Plus, because that is a great unit, and do netflix via your tv, wii, ps3 or 360.


#2

I have only had a plus version, I agree with the positives and here are my thoughts otherwise:

The firmware update seems buggy across the board with their TV prodcuts, from what I have read you can use non-WD firmwares on the live which are quite an improvement. However that being said, other than the two most recent updates the WD firmware has been just fine, so if I have any issues I just roll back to version 1.03.49 since everything works fine for me.

So far I haven’t tried to use it when the PC was asleep. However given that if my PC is powered off and I try to access files, it will boot up the PC, I would think they would have some of the sleep issues worked out. It does take some time to turn on, but once powered up I have had no issues with navigation. Personally I really dislike when it asks you to resume every movie you click on, however I am unsure if it saves these once you turn it off.

You are still unable to search on netflix, I read somewhere that they are working on it, not a huge issue for me since I can add content with my phone if need be. I have watch a few movies over netflix and never lost my wireless connection, so this has not been an issue for me. I have had it buffer because I was downloading files on my PC, but thats an issue on my end. And the limited customization of the menus is unfortunate, not a deal breaker but I would appreciate if WD put some effort into this going forward.


#3

Now for the negatives
*The firmware is buggy. There hasn’t been a single firmware released since the product has been out either.
*If your networked drive is asleep, the Plus will hang at connecting 95% of the time (non-plus wouldn’t do that). You have to do something else on the device before trying again or turn it off and on again to try to connect again - It’s like it caches the info
*Takes like 30 seconds to turn on (non-plus takes like 2)
*Menu navigation is slower compared to the non-plus
*It won’t remember the place you stopped in a movie/show if you turn off the device (non-plus didn’t have this issue)
*Netflix - you can’t ‘search’ for a movie. You can only pick from the selection that is presented. If you want add other movies, you have to do that from you computer.
*If you drop connection while connecting to Netflix, then the device will not try the connection again after you fix network issue. You have to shut off the box and turn it back on
*You can’t customize what network devices to show on the menu. It shows all devices on your network (same issue with non-plus)

So I would suggest skipping the buggy Plus version getting the WD Live Non-Plus, because that is a great unit, and do netflix via your tv, wii, ps3 or 360.

The firmware is buggy

Yes, it has bugs…  And it always will, as will every other product on the market.

Takes like 30 seconds to turn on… (non-plus takes like 2)

Not true…  Both the Live Plus and the newer Lives take exactly the same amount of time to turn on…  This was a European Union-mandated design change for some “Green” certification.

 *It won’t remember the place you stopped in a movie/show if you turn off the device (non-plus didn’t have this issue)

Again, like the 30-second issue, is not true any more.  They both behave identically.


#4

You cant update a live to a plus. Thats probabally why some many problems wrong firmware


#5

palebo wrote:

 

Now for the negatives
*The firmware is buggy. There hasn’t been a single firmware released since the product has been out either.

There was a firmware update recently

http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/updates/?family=wdfwdtv_liveplus

and there was another one the month before that.

• Version 1.04.17_B 

• Version 1.04.10_B 

• Version 1.03.49_B  


#6

Looking on Amazon, the Plus is cheaper than the Live right now ($99), so regardless of whether you even want Netflix / Blockbuster, you might as well be buying the Plus.  WD seem to be pushing the Plus as their main media player in North America.

The Live and Plus firmwares seem to be in sync now; the last few releases have been numbered the same and added the same functionality (and bugs!) to both units.  

If you know you will never use Netflix or Blockbuster and find a sweet deal on a Live, sure, go for it.  But it would need to be significantly cheaper than $99 to be worthwhile.