WD TV Live - how-to insure it SEEs everything you have on HDD

I own several of these now. And, I find that, when adding new VIDEOs to a USB HDD that is attached, it can, in-inexplicably, not only FAIL to recognize the new videos, but; can also appear to LOSE several existing ones. Particularly after copying over WiFi. I developed a somewhat annoying, but; WORKS EVERY TIME procedure - which prevents this from being an issue. As follows:

  1. Either by WiFi or direct copy to HDD, add any and all new videos you want on WD TV
  2. CLEAR the MEDIA LIBRARY - this will FORCE a rebuild of the media library
  3. Do a SYSTEM->DEVICE->REBOOT after the rebuild.
    (Because, after the REBUILD, it will NOT have a proper count.)

Sadly, when you have THOUSANDs of videos, as do I, this procedure can take 1-hour.

But it does keep the video library “in tact” and “reflects all videos” that I have attached.
My WD TV Live has a USB HUB attached, with 4-WD full height hard drives attached to the USB hub. Following the procedure above - seems to consistently work for me.

Hi RKMukai,

Thank you for sharing your experience. Apart from mentioned 3 ways, Did you check after updating the firmware version of WD TV Live?


I have tried ALL available versions of the firmware (1.08.17 … 2.03.20). And, I am staying with 2.01.86 because, 2.02.32 is horrible, and; the one that followed after that, 2.03.20, does not present any useful improvements that I can see. It is really quite sad this device was let fall by the wayside by WD. I can tell you, that as a professional veteran 40+year software developer, I’m rather shocked, that WD allowed the many FLAWs and BUGs to actually “go over the wall”.

In some instances, I believe it was angry developers who threw the bugs out there – “just because”. Something I would have personally fired the managers and developers for (Managers for NOT being aware – Developers for being Un-professional)

Even with the many bugs in the user interface, 2.01.86 works well enough for me. There were several things this device NEVER DID, but should have, and; I tried to get WD to listen, but; they never tried, not once, to add any of the enhancements I recommended, which included:

  • Allow for SHUTDOWN timer other than merely 3-hour (1,2,3,4 for instance).

  • Allow for SCREEN SAVER DELAYs beyond the 5/10/15-minutes it is locked into

  • Give option to Display TOTAL ITEMS/VIDEOS, not TOTAL NEW since a period of 1-day/week/month/year.

  • Provide a CLEAR cheat sheet that tells how to CUSTOMIZE backdrop photos and thumbnails

(I learned how, but; it took a lot of web searching)

  • Allow user lock-out of unused services – for instance, if you accidentally select obsolete Flixter – it CRASHES the box.

  • DOCUMENT the XML that is UNDERSTOOD by the movie box

(I know what XML it appears to know, but; that was pure guesswork from LOOKING at it)

  • Provide HOW-TO “VIDEOS” right on the FIRMWARE, or an included USB thumb drive, for box features/usage.

( they missed the boat by NOT doing something like this )

  • Put a tiny “HINT” for the COLOR BUTTONS on the remote

( Y=View G=Sort R=Src B=Dash )

( I did so with a 6-point font printed sticker on the back of my remotes )

When it comes to playing personal video libraries, there is NOTHING as good as the WD TV Live. I’ve tried most of the boxes out there including: Roku, Netgear, Amazon, Mica, Sling, and MediaSonic. NONE of the other available media players supports playing VIDEOs as well as does this one.

THE MAIN FEATURE it has that NONE other support??? The Play QUEUE. You can “Que-Up” as many as 50-videos, and therefore, the WD TV Live is your own “On Demand Channel”. THAT is the single most valuable feature it has.

(And the only reason it is only up to 50, is the idiots who programmed this, did not INDEX the play list in the SQL-Lite database. So, after 50-videos or so, the box gets so SLOW to respond to the USER that it makes you believe the box is broken.) And DELETING all those videos in the QUEUE – another missing menu item: CLEAR ALL. Really, there should have been an easy way to say: CLEAR ALL IN THE QUEUE. But there isn’t.

God bless you, and thank you, so very much, for the follow-on.

Most sincerely,

Roger Mukai


I have been away a while. WORKING, and most recently, MOVING.

I now live in St Louis Missouri. Was in Manassas Virginia.

Not sure what the question here refers to. I intentionally stuck with firmware 2.01.86 on my 8-WD boxes (2-in use - the rest are BACKUP for when ever these things finally DIE). I found a very expensive device that allows me to NOT require multiple WD TV Live on multiple TVs. It is an IoGear repeater.

Anyway, Firmware 2.01.86 works best of all those I saw through the final release, for this device. Simple truth is, for most of the bugs, that the box has, the solution to insure proper counts is simply: Power OFF the WD TV Live. Plug your HUB/HDD drives into your laptop. DELETE the folder named “.wd_tv”. Unplug the WD TV LIVE from power. Re-plug the drives into your USB HUB or your USB HUB into your WD TV LIVE.

Power up the WD TV LIVE. No matter how many new movies or tv shows I have, this procedure guarantees that it will reflect ALL content on the drives. But, it does take about an hour to rebuild the database with the content that I have. I spent 23-years COLLECTING DVDs. Currently this is on a 10-TB drive and an 8-TB drive.

Spent the past 11-years converting ALL of those into MP4 on HDD, using 5-DELL Precision Laptops, all RIPPING DVDs 24x7x365 for 11-years. It was well worth the effort. I now have DECADES of ON DEMAND video. I am currently making a FULL BACKUP of the same - which takes a bit of time.
And still, the BEST solution for PLAYING my personal video content, is the WD TV LIVE Streaming player, known as the SMP.

The most valuable features are that it does the MOVIE DATABASE+Thumbnails, and; the PLAY QUEUE. The former gives you “virtual DVD boxes”, the LATTER is your own ON DEMAND TV CHANNEL.

I can live with the minor bugs, and; the many annoyances: It is rather SLOW at times - because - it has to wait for drives to spin-up. And that slows it down even more. There are bugs in the user display refreshes, but; they are minor annoyances. It doesn’t know how to re-count the library, but; my solution for that works.

The play queue does NOT work well with more than about 30-items queued. I think it is a single linked list - or an un-indexed table. It should have been double linked list, or perhaps a dedicated array. But, that’s a guess. However they implemented it, it is painfully slow to DELETE items from the list. It also has this annoying prompt, where it says, “My memory is full and I need to reboot”. Which, frankly, is both strange and somewhat ridiculous. (grin and smirk)

My complaints not withstanding - I LOVE the device overall. But, as a veteran software engineer, I would never have allowed these FLAWS to remain - across many releases - as was done with the WD TV Live. It presents a bad reflection on WD, their programming teams, and their quality assurance - or lack there of.