WD TV live smp is not quite good enough yet

I have been through a number of different ways to watch my movies over the past few years. I started with XP media centre, moved on to the popcorn hour, had a brief fling with the Apple TV and then hit the WD TV live smp, of which I have two.

All except the Apple TV have been using wired connections - the Apple TV does not work at all well over a wired connection. To be honest it works pretty badly over wifi too but that’s another story.

My movies are on a synology NAS and on XP and the popcorn hour I did not use their jukeboxes, I used yamj.

The bulk of my movies are in .ts format, others in .mkv, .iso and some ripped to .vob files.

Only the popcorn hour deals with all of them without a hiccup. On this one I also have the luxury of using a yamj skin on my iPad so I have brilliant access to my movies.

The WD TV live smp is still my favourite, even though the jukebox is slow it has some great features.

BUT (and it is a big BUT) although I can forgive the slow jukebox and even the odd problems if I do a lot of fast forwarding… **bleep** I can even put up with the fact I have to access the .iso files via a share… What I cannot hack is the fact that I generally cannot watch a complete movie without hitting a problem. It is so rare. I am sure it was better when I first used the product, which is how I came to own two. But even rolling back to the previous firmware only made a marginal improvement in stability.

So, I am now resigning the WD live TV smp to the bedroom and the popcorn hour gets restored to pride of place in the TV room.

I will watch for improvements in stability of this WD product because I really like it, but right now it just doesn’t cut the mustard.

andym2009 wrote:
I can even put up with the fact I have to access the .iso files via a share…

Which is no fault of the WDTV whatsoever. Isn’t anecdotal evidence fun? Here’s mine: no hickups. (HD) files play fine from USB and network shares.

I’m not claiming to be scientific about this, but at a very superficial level I have a setup that is serving up movies from one place across one network to four different ways of streaming and viewing them and I can see obvious differences in the success of each option.

Granted the world of Ethernet and IP mixed with router, switch and windows server set-ups can introduce effects that create a different impact on different devices but at the end of all that I am simply presenting my anecdote - for what it is worth.

I truly do love the WD TV live and one day I hope it will work well in my network so that I can use it as my number one choice.

You’re right, apart from people’s different levels of proficiency the various hardware combinations make for mixed results. The other day someone on a German forum claimed to have fixed his old Live’s network issues by turning off Bitdefender.

True enough. Even though I’ve been developing network related software for over 30 years I sure as **bleep** can’t find all the answers to get my network perfect.

But as I said at the outset right now the WD product does not manage to overcome the difficulties as well as the PCH one. I long for the day that it does, because it is a much better product in so many other ways.