WDTV Live and USB Drives >3TB: not compatible

Pretty well confirming that the WDTV Live media player will not work with USB drives that are greater than 3TB and directly connected to the player. I have been using everything from old 120GB WD USB drives to 2TB WD Passport drives and even a 3TB Hitachi drive (powered by wall adapter) with no problem. I just purchased a 4TB Seagate Backup Plus drive from Costco (powered by USB connection) and no go. Searched the forums and some say yes, some no to 4TB+.

I tried splitting the 4TB drive into 2 GPT partitions formatted as NTFS. Removed the partitions and formatted the drive as an MBR single partition at 2TB, which meant 2TB of space was unusable. Still no go. Regardless of format or partitions, the media player does not seem to like WDTV Live boxes (have three of them in different generations, Plus and non-Plus versions). It tops out at 3TB.

Finally called WD technical support and the response was quick and point blank: 3TB is the upper limit for WDTV Live.

If anyone has a solution, other than connecting the drives to a NAS box or server (not interested), I’m all ears.

Unfortunately, this is a hardware limitation (This unit was introduced to the market in 2009). Even when partitioned, the actual bridge of the hard drive will be detected as over 3TB, limiting access.

A NAS or a router with a USB port are viable solutions, but you have explained you are not interested in exploring those alternatives.

Thanks for input. NAS is not totally out of the question, but it’s just more convenient and simple to use small, high capacity USB drives directly connected. We have three WDTV Live boxes, and sometimes take them on the road. It’s real convenient to rip our DVD library to a single hard drive, especially since the WD box can read and display full menus.

So I bought a 3TB Seagate USB drive at Costco yesterday, per tech support saying 3TB was the limit. Result: will NOT read the drive. Then tried a 2TB Seagate: WORKS.

There are plenty of posts saying they are using 3, 4 and 5TB drives with the WD box. My Hitachi 3TB (plug adapter powered) works. Possible there is new technology in the Seagate drives which is no longer compatible with the aging WD boxes.

We’d like to have a box that can read ISO/VOB files. Roku apparently doesn’t plus going that route means converting the DVDs to MP4, which is a lot of work. Is there a current box that will read ISO/VOB files and connect to large, self-powered USB drives?