WD TV Live and WD MyBook Live setup

I just bought a 3TB MyBook Live and a WD TV Live. I’m having trouble with the set up and would rather get it figured out now than find out later I need to re-rip all my DVD’s to the MyBookLive.

  1. I used to use Handbrake to burn my DVD’s and have been using it on this as well, but what’s the best file format for the output? 

  2. What settings do I need on the MyBookLive? When I try to use the “Dashboard” view on the WD TV, it says I need to be pulling from a source that is using a media server.

  3. What causes/allows the WD TV to pull in the movie data? I can see and play the movies, but I get no jacket cover, no data about the movie (stars, producers, etc.)

  4. When I get all of that working (I assume it’s basic settings/file formats), I’d like to have a section of movies for kids, movies for adults, whatever the “categories” may end up being. Is there a good way to do this?

I debated between the WD TV and Apple TV and I liked the looks of the interface in this one…but without getting all of this set up right, I don’t get that flashy interface. I get a list of movies in alphabetical order by file name. 


I have the same setup, i am also new to these devices, had them around 2 weeks.

i have updated my wdtv to latest version but left my my book live on firmware version it came with,

i use my MBL as a straight NAS, this means ive tured off twonky, file sharing, itunes ect, because then

these things are turned on the mbl doesnt powerdown at all, i think were all waiting for the next firmware to hopefully

fix this issue, that said…

1, 99% of my media are ripped to xvid with a file size between 700-1500MB, my device says they are 1.1mbit.

thrus far with a 2 bar wireless signal on my wdtv has not stuttered a single movie. i get a transferre rate via wireless of around 3.5MB stable to my wdtv shared drive from my pc, my router is downstairs and my wdtv is upstairs in my bedroom. The distance is approx 35 feet.

  1. once your shares are setup on your mbl (users and shares) you need to enter the videos folder on the wdtv and press the yellow button on the remote, choose network shares and them windows shares, wait for the dashboard to update then choose a folder, if the folder is not public the wdtv will ask for the username and password. You can set up different shares on your mbl like Kids movies, My Movies ect and assign each user read privelidge rights on the mbl, this is where all the user account settings are stored.

  2. in my wd tv i have this option set to manual its in settings / operation or system / i forgot the name of it off the top of my head but its above meta data its something like get media info or something. i actually use the list view and i use page down to flick through my lists quickly ( my list is extensive)

  3. this is all done with user accounts and shares on your MBL. ( my book live )

hope that helps.

  1.  With DVDs, I ripped them as full ISOs.  The only modification to the rip I make is to remove “prohibited user operations.”  I leave everything else intact.   I then use the ISOs in Handbrake and rip to MKV files with audio passthrough for all audio tracks and subtitles.  (except foreign language tracks).    I put the ISOs on one NAS (for backup), and the MKVs on my primary streaming NAS.

  2. You don’t really need any special settings on the MBL.  Just make a Share with your Media in it, and set up users that the WD can use with WRITE access.  And no, it’s not saying it needs a source that is using a “Media Server.”  That’s something different.  It’s saying it needs a source that’s part of the MEDIA LIBRARY.  The Media Library is created via SETUP / SYSTEM / MEDIA LIBRARY / MEDIA LIBRARY MANAGER.   

  3. It can be done automatically, manually, or “off-line.”

   Automatic:  This is an option in the Setup screens that will scan the WDTV and look online for metadata, cover-art, and backdrops, and if found, will add them to the share.

   Manual:  When selecting a video file, you can press OPTIONS and select GET CONTENT INFO. 

   Off-line:  You can use third-party software like The XML Fetcher, Hubgen, ThumbGen, etc. to create the files for you; the WDTV will import them automatically when scanning the library, presuming there wasn’t content info there before.  If there was, you’ll need to clear the media library to get it to purge the old info and import the new.

  1. Yep, just create separate users on your NAS with access to the appropriate content.


TonyPh12345, Is there any percific reason to allow WRITE access on shares, i mentioned read access only because

he/she is wanting to have a kids movie share, this implies that he/she will let his kids handle the remote at some time to pick there own movies, i certainly wouldnt want my kids pressing options then delete by accident, so i set my kids share to read only, i also have a share for my other son on his pc, which only has read access to my media.

should i be allowing write access for any percific reason?


never mind, i guess is because the smp writes some data to the folder for various things.

Thanks for the replies.

I’ve made some definite progress. Right now I’m using Handbrake to rip my library to the WD MyBookLive in .mkv format, and I’ve got a large number of them done. 

The WDTV Live is now running mojo as a theme.

I’m generating my images and xml files using ThumbGen and I’m pretty happy with the results overall.

I now have two more new questions.

  1. When displaying the moviesheet, the background changes and shows different images from the metadata. One of those images is the disc cover. That typically looks horrible as a background and I’d like to NOT have it as one of the images for that background slideshow. Unfortunately, it looks like that image is the same one used in conjunction with the moviesheet, so I don’t think I can just delete that file or I won’t have a disc cover on the movie sheet?

  2. All of my metadata appears to be getting pulled into the xml file great. It’s using IMDB and the art, the description, the genre, etc is all there and working well. The one exception is the actor field. It always displays “N/A” even when I’ve looked at the xml file and the data is all there. I’d like to be able to search my movies by actor and right now, the actors are all in one row (ie: Actor 1/Actor 2/Actor 3/Actor 4) so searching returns a long string of actors, all separated with the slash. That means I can’t narrow the seach down to one actor and see all of their movies. I can only see the movies where the list of actors is the exact same…which is almost never. How can I get the actors to display individually? I started breaking them down into their own lines (ie: Actor 1  Actor 2) but it appears to only return the first actor in search results.