WDTV Live DLNA and why you should use it

Many people are butting their heads against windows 7 when really the solution is pretty easy. The WDTV box is DLNA 1.5 certified. DLNA was created so that all the different devices, media players, TV, bluray players, game consoles, picture frames, mp3 players could share media in the home. Most of these devices do not support samba, logins, security or special file systems. So DLNA solves that problem. 

Right click the folder you want to share with the WDTV and pick include in library. It does not move the folder , it merely places a link to it in your library. Then turn on media streaming . On the WDTV box look under media servers and the files will be there. No passwords, security or anything to mess with.  People should get familiar with DLNA now because it will be used in the  future for all devices sold for the home. Things like digital picture frames are not going to come with support for  samba and file sharing . 

Another reason to use it is that windows7 will ask the WDTV box what it supports before it streams. If windows 7 can play a file but the WDTV box cannot then windows 7 will automatically transcode the file . Meaning that if you can make windows 7 play  a file then it will always play on the WDTV regardless of whether the box supports it or not.  It does not always transcode files either, so things like MKV will play in their native format, so don’t worry about windows 7 messing with the picture quality on supported files.

Of course you are free to keep trying to use samba and making all your files compatible with that and having to change things around every time you buy a new device. But I prefer to go ahead and learn how to use DLNA , setup my files and network for it and buy new devices, bring them home, plug them in and they work without me having to mess with settings or my network.

For more info on media streaming open help and support in windows and type streaming in the search , it details the whole process. 

There are also DLNA servers you can install on your pc and they do not need passwords/file sharing setups either.

List showing pros/cons of other DLNA servers if you want something other than the win7 version:


I recommend tversity for new users. It is easy to setup and adds support for hulu . 


I prefer playon if you really want to expand the WDTV  capabilities. It has a free trial but is $40 after the trial.  It adds support for local file streaming along with hulu, netflix, discovery channel, fox news, MTV, podcast, southpark and tons more with plugins:




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Thanks a Tonne. I was struggling with Vista Windows Media Player and sharing, syncing, streaming with no avail. Just downloaded TVersity and within a minute everything is working fine. Super …

I agree with the advantages of DLNA.

When I got my WDTVLive unit I did only 3 things in Vista Home Premium to get my movies on HDD to show on my TV:

  • shared the MOVIES folder on my HDD

  • enabled/started-made automatic the media sharing service

  • did an automatic network setup on my WDTVLive

It took all of 5 minutes to watch my first movie on my TV via the WDTVLive box.

Thank you very much for your post. I absolutely agree - DLNA is one way for Home media.

Want to advise one more Mediaserver :  http://www.wildmediaserver.com/

yeah wildserver is another option. It seems windows media server does not support FLAC files so people will need to use a 3rd party server if they use those files. Wildserver also has been updated with options specifically for the wdtv box. 

For Mac users: the best DLNA server is Playback from Yazsoft. It even allows recordings made with EyeTV to be correctly played (Eyeconnect has problems playing back its own files). The developer reacts fast to problems.

Also it is the cheapest product ($10,93 = €7,00) around. 

I did extensive testing with Playback, Eyeconnect, Twonky, Medialink (did not work at all).

(I have no link with the developer)

Or we could go back to XP :smiley:

Well one downside, I don’t want to have to install stuff on my computer in order to be able tplay stuff on the device i bought to play things.  A share is bad enough.

"don’t want to have to install stuff on my computer "

Well. Why don’t you simple buy an Apple TV? Will only cost a teenie weenie bit more.  :-))

What about subtitles? Is it possible to have subtitles using dlna? divx with .srt?

And… If i use “play to” WDTVLIVE in windows 7 it doesn’t work. The movie is playing on wdtvlive. You can hear the sound but there is no picture.

mac_gebruiker wrote:

"don’t want to have to install stuff on my computer "


Well. Why don’t you simple buy an Apple TV? Will only cost a teenie weenie bit more.  :-))



    • *> Why spend a lot of money when I have a live? Or are you saying apple tv plays a lot more formats?> (Eh, no :wink: )

Yes, for wildmediaserver possible to watch Div}{ and external subtitle.

Maybe you should read the complete message and react to that not to a single sentence?

IF   "don’t want to have to install stuff on my computer "


“buy an Apple TV”


Nobody told me I would have to install a lot of stuff on my PC to make WDTV Live work.

Sounds like using DLNA dumbs down the WDTV Live by doing a bunch of transcoding on the PC, rather than using the built-in codecs on the player itself. This usually results in lost quality on the playback, too.

I found that using Media Center in Vista to share with the WDTV Live player caused MKV files to not play on the player, while playing them from a network share was successful. Apparently, Media Center is unable to transcode MKV’s, but the player’s native capabilities were not being used, either.

If I’d wanted Apple TV, I would have bought it. I bought the WDTV Live instead, based on what I thought it would do for me.

DLNA does not transcode unless the player is unable to play the file.  If you install tversity, it uses next to zero cpu resources and about 50MB memory. In the settings set it to never transcode and you can play back anything the WDTV Live can already play without messing with network settings, passwords or anything else.

Vista does not come with MKV support , neither does Win7 you need to enable it with a reg fix so it recognizes them properly. Or install tversity and it will handle it for you. 

DLNA is the future of media in the home. File sharing is just not a practical way of sharing with multiple devices and platforms.  There are too many protocols and implementations to make the system work easily, which is why people continue having network problems.

Play to from windows does not work 100% on the Live. I suspect WDC needs to do some changes in that area. Right now you can work around it by doing this:

On the WDTV start playing a video file, any file. 

On the pc use playto to send a video file and it will start playing on the Live. For some reason if you are at a menu the video file is playing that is why you can hear it but not see it,  apparently there is a bug keeping the Live from switching from the menu to the video. But if you already start playing a video then play to works fine and you can set playlist on the pc for it to play files in order.