WD TV live vs latest Sony TV


I am really happy with unit,except some networking problem which were really an XP settings issue…

Now I wanted to buy a new LCD TV but saw that every new SONY LCD TVs has  LAN / USB ports  and on its USB port can be run external HDD.

I am vandering if I made right decision to buy WD Live specially when I see that SONY TV has support for LAN/USB…

What do you think how capabilities of WD Live compare with these of SONY TV ?



It’s not just Sony – EVERY modern HDTV nowadays has media playing capability built-in.

On my Samsung I started off trying to play media – and quickly dumped it.  The interface was clunky, the capabilities were limited, and ultimately the Live worked so much better at what I wanted to do it wasn’t a contest.  But everyone has different needs and desires.  If the Sony works for you, then you don’t need a Live.

Asking others what they think doesn’t matter – in the end it’s like asking people what kind of vehicle should you buy.  Only you can determine what you need and want.


I agrre with you.  I think that WD Live is custom made to the the job  and it is not the case with HDTV.   A friend of mine just  has an LG HDTV  and its USB  port can read only USB flash drive but not device such as external HDD…



I am actually looking for my next Sony TV NOT have a USB interface.  They are worthless.  Does not support many video formats.  Stick with the Live.  So far, the Live I have is capable of playing whatever I throw at it except for the occasional beta encoder and other variants.  Usually end up fixig them in either AVIDemux or HandBrake.  TV USB interfaces does not even come close.

That is exactly what I thought !

I have one of the new Sony LCD TV’s and they are great for sure, and they even update their firmware periodically and have been adding features. I am impressed that SONY is paying a lot of attention to this new media and playing digital content. SONY is going to be a big player in this area, and eventually render all these devices unnecessary. SONY plays internet video fine, and it support Netflix and Amazon playing of movies. It also has great links to their own media with special previews, etc of their own movies. There are some very unique movie links that I had not seen before.

However, right now SONY has some ways to go to replace media players like the WD TV Live. I should say that all my media is in a QNAP NAS and I am hard-wired to a fast router from DLink. SONY plays very few digital video files and it requires a “Media Server” (uPnP server for media, which for the QNAP is Twonky). SONY does photos just fine, but it does not do many video files at all. I don’t think I have tried music as I currently use a ROKU Soundbrige to play my music.  I suspect this will be solved with new SONY TVs.


You have a point there but many people, like me, buy a Sony (I have a Bravia for example) and are not willing to ‘update’ their TV for years to come.  The greatest advantage of a Live is that it is dlna-enabled at a cheap price.  Those from Sony with dlna are so expensive.  I have two WD Lives in separate rooms with a USB drive connected to one.  This DLNA capability is quite nice.

Which Sony model do you have?

dedicated devices will always outperform muliti-use devices, your tv in this case.  

if you consider the WDTV’s main purpose being to watch movies, is great and works almost flawlessly, but once it gets into the YouTube aspect and some other functions, it’s flaws start to show.  as far as movie playing, it has played everything i throw at it, has great picture and great sound, quite user friendly as well, even my wife and 5y old can pick up the remote, turn it on and navigate to my network shares (kids movies section)

it’s a great device for watching movies, not for surfing the net, not for playing music, not for email or checking the weather.

only think you could do is try out the TV functions and see if it meets your needs, if you want more, the WDTV might fit the bill, like you said it’s cheap enough.

aljimenez wrote:

SONY is going to be a big player in this area, and eventually render all these devices unnecessary. 

From previous experience I’d call that an overly optimistic point of view. We’ll see

There’s something else to consider depending on your audio setup – if you play media directly through your TV, you may find it difficult (if not impossible) to properly get surround sound.

For sure you’d need to route the audio back out of the TV to your audio receiver, so you’d want to make sure the Sony had an optical audio out (unless it passed through the correct audio through HDMI).  And you’ll want to mute your TV speakers when you do this.  All things being equal, this should be a more complicated setup than simply routing the Live video and audio through an AV receiver which can properly decode DTS and AC3 5.1 surround.

I found I *could* get the routings correct, but it was a PITA and even with my Harmony remote required so much tinkering to get switching properly (with my other devices) that it just wasn’t worth it.  So if audio is important to you (and it should be – it’s at least half the experience of a proper setup) then playing media via your TV may not be the best choice.

I’m skeptical of Sony or any TV maker to properly provide all that is necessary in an HDTV – for one thing, no maker thus far has done it with audio (which is to say, I have seen NO HDTV that has proper surround sound audio).  If they can’t get audio right, then I’m skeptical they will be able to bring together all the parts to fully realize a media center.  My own hunch is that some third party maker (probably not WD but you never know) will get it *right* and we will think of a media player component the way we think of a proper AV Receiver component – namely, needed for a total theater experience.  Just IMHO.

Luna07 asks: Which Sony model do you have?

My SONY is from Costco, Model KDL-52W5100. I connected it to the Internet from day one via wired connection. I have a 100Mbs switch behind my entertainement system with the ROKU Soundbridge, the WD TV Live, and the SONY all connected to the switch, and the switch is connected to a high speed router to the internet. The SONY has asked permission to update itslef twice since installation about 5 months ago.

Since my post I tried using it to play music and it does just fine. My grandson was visiting and he used it to search YouTube and it worked great.

If you are skeptical that SONY will indeed provide a reasonable replacement for devices like the WD TV Live, I totally understand, since I was among those who were in the camp that these companies don’t do software well. However, if your needs are modest, the new SONY TV’s may already provide all you need…  Al

so does the music you stream, play thru the TV speakers, or can you get it to play thru a receiver?

It plays through the receiver. It has an out port and I have its own speaker muted. It plays Pandora by the way…  Al

This is a NICE Sony model.  But as you said it all depends on your needs.  I need to get another Sony but the 40-inch not the 52.

For me, I prefer the TV set is be just that, a monitor.  And all other connected components to be DLNA enabled (like the WD Live).  I have my eye set for the latest Panasonic Blu-ray player.  But no go so far.  They are promising DLNA support in a future firmware update.  When they do, I’ll get it.  I can wait for the bells and whistles of TrueHD as long as it takes Panasonic to update their firmware :smiley: otherwise it is good old DTS and AC3 for me :slight_smile: