WD Media Player Alternatives

NOTE: A query of the word alternatives shows the most recent post is from 2017 and since its Dec 2019 I don’t consider this post a duplication of existing posts.

As we all know the popular and robust WD media devices were discontinued several years ago and most of us have been finding ways to keep using our (potentially) decade old WD media devices and or find alternatives and so this post is about what are WD media players owners current options for alternatives as of Dec 2019? What are some consumer friendly and readily available alternatives to these beloved but long discontinued devices?

I for one have 2 WD Media Live devices (but only 1 remote and its on its last leg) and an older WD Plus which the remote no longer works with. For years we have loved and enjoyed our WD devices but its getting more and more problematic to use these because the Box will lock up (and have to reboot) or we’re having issues with the remote. For someone who is looking for a consumer friendly device that is an alternative to the WD media devices what is available as of Dec 2019 that others would recommend and why?

My goal is to replace my own WD media devices but also to start a thread that others will benefit from in the future if like m,e they come to this site looking for advice on what to do now that their own WD media device is in need of replacing.

Thanks

depends on what you need and your budget.

want the best ? get a Nvidia Shield TV

personally, i use a Raspberry Pi 3 (with Kodi) which has been a great little device and works perfectly for 1080p and is less than $100. Gonna upgrade soon to a Raspberry Pi 4 for 4K and 10 Bit HEVC.

last advice … don’t touch China Android Boxes (unless you can install LibreELEC (Kodi) on them)

Unfortunately, The WD Media Player, like the Pi3, can not do HEVC/x265/h265.
That said, the Pi3 should not even be considered anymore.

All the below are capable of FullHD/4K@30/HEVC/x265/h265/VP9 (10-bit) playback.

Plug-n-Play Boxes with Remote:

  • Nvidia Shield TV, (Android TV box, very pricey, overkill)

  • Vero 4K+, with Amlogic S905X (one of the best, non-Android, affordable OSMC boxes)

  • Android Zombie TV Boxes, ;), multitudes of them, and are the cheapest out there.
    But if you do go for one of them, make sure you first read this guide:
    https://koditips.com/android-tv-box-guide/
    Most utilize Amlogic, or RK33** chipsets with varying quality, and performance.
    Also, not all Android TV boxes allow rooting it with a LibreElec installation.

For example:
I grabbed a cheap ($36 Canadian) Android TV box, from amazon.
Model/HW: T95 S1 with Amlogic S905W
Andriod version: 7.1.2
Kodi version 18.5 Leia, (after logging into Google Play, and installing latest Kodi).
Memory: 2G/16G
Amlogic Chips: Quad Core CPU, S905W (FullHD/HEVC/x265/h265, but only 4K@30 max).
Note: The Amlogic S905X is a better chip than the S905W, and can handle 4K@60.
Pros: It plays all my HEVC/x265/h265/10bit files, and was dirt cheap.
Cons: Compared to the UI-freindly functions and remote of my WD Media Player, I hate this kluggy, messy Android UI. Also, most of these cheapo (China) Android TV boxes, including this one, have poor quality remotes.

DIY Builds:
(you’ll need to install LibreElec, …, and purchase Remote, and/or Case/Power separately):

  • Pi 4 (or higher), but with no Sata ports.

  • ODROID-C2/N2 (Amlogic), ODROID-H2 (x86_64), but with no Sata ports.

  • Intel NUC’s (x86_64), but with No Sata ports.

  • Intel Gemini (low-power) mini-ITX-boards, (x86_64)
    ie. Asrock J4105-ITX (Intel Quad-Core Gemini Lake CPU with Heatink, and 4 Sata ports included, -which are handy for building a nice local RAID5 system for massive storage).

  • AMD: (new) low-power AMD Ryzen V1000 SoC’s ?
    (Should be similar or better than Intel).

Personally, my next purchase may be either the Vero 4K+,-mostly because they have excellent support for their product,
Or, utilize a more DIY approach with an Asrock J4105-ITX, or similar low-power mini-ITX/HTPC RAID5 media storage solution.
The beauty of the low-power HTPC with *ELEC/Mint/Ubuntu, is that I never have to worry about not having the latest working codecs, Netflix, …, or the hardware to play it on, it’s basically futureproof.

But,
most importantly, I do NOT need Microsoft/Windows for anything.

Happy hunting.

I mostly have all my Video media files on a few 4TB USB3 drives, and the one thing I miss the most about my WD Media Player, imho, is it’s functionally friendly UI, and Remote.
I’ve tried to slim-down, and configure my Kodi app, on my HTPC, or my cheap Android TV box, to look and act just like the UI in my WD Media Player, but to no avail. ;(

It seems that the WD Media Player uses a closed-binary customized Kodi, or OSMC, UI. ?
Anyway, since it’s now discontinued, I wish WD would simply release/opensource the software API of that WD Media Player UI, and hopefully some kind Devs could build an installable App package, for ARM, x86/64, … and maybe even incorporate it into a slim-downed *ELEC version.

We could call it “WDMediaELEC”
:wink:

If you don’t want to fool around with hardware and assembly, take a look at the OSMC Vero 4K. Nice little unit that does it all.

Thank you for the recommendation, I will check it out.