WDTV Live Killer?

Just saw this at Gizmodo:

Sybas will introduce the Popbox at the CES on 01/05/2010.
It will be capable of: 1080p, 2 USB ports, SD slot and a Netflix channel among other things… Price will be targeted at $130.00…

Popbox @ Gizmodo

Western Digital better get on the ball… Do you hear that Western Digital?

Looks interesting, hopefully it will be released soon. 

However, WD doesn’t need any help killing the WDTV Live.  They are doing a fine job of that all by themselves.

I have one sitting on my audio rack, powered off and useless due to its inability to properly and reliably network.  I was going to give them the benefit of the doubt and try and wait for a firmware release before my Amazon 30-day return period was up, but the more I read on this forum, the more I realize I might be wasting my time…

Perhaps they are hard at work … on the WDTV3 !

I have to agree this does look like it will be a great system. I might have to put my WDTVlive up for sale and get one. I hope WD is watching and has some BIG plans for improvement or they will lose a lot of sales. I have stopped recommending the WDTV’s to all my friends already.

early adopters get their fingers burned more often than not. I bought a PH A100 when they first came out…thankfully there was a huge demand for them and I managed to dump it on fleabay. It was a piece of ■■■■ IMO.

who knows, maybe this one’ll be better. 

I would not rush and buy this one yet - it is clear in the article that the box is not trying to compete with the popcorn box, and there are indirect hints that it appears to be an inferior hardware - I wouldn’t be surprised that they are using a lesser chipset than the one used in WD Live.   What is killing the WD Live is WD’s utterly bad support  of it, not the hardware itself.

ditchy1 wrote:

I have to agree this does look like it will be a great system. I might have to put my WDTVlive up for sale and get one. I hope WD is watching and has some BIG plans for improvement or they will lose a lot of sales. I have stopped recommending the WDTV’s to all my friends already.

Yes, I have to agree. It does look like everything I thought my WDTVlive would be. I can’t say I’ve had any problems with mine, though I wish they’d hurry up and fix the bugs.

Most forums are saying that the new Popbox is using the same chip as the PH-200. So if this is true, I think the hardware will be more than OK?

I remember a long time ago on the WD twitter site the guy from WD said there were great things coming for the WDTV before the end of 2009. I guess the firmware fiasco may have set that date back a bit :-)  Maybe they actually have a new SDK from Sigma and are planning a new GUI with a lot more features?

WD will definately lose a lot of customers due to their lack of info on what they are working on, no firmware roadmaps, no teasers of what’s coming, and complete lack of replys in this and many other WDTV related forums. I don’t understand why they don’t spend more time replying to their loyal customers. We are the ones that are helping their bottom line. And we are the ones that can negatively affect their bottom line as well.

I would be very happy to keep my WDTVlive if they can supply us with a GUI similar to the PopBox and all of my movies actually work well (which they don’t at this time) MP4’s have audio sync issues. (I repack all my MP4’s into MKV packages so they function).

So…What does WD have to say about the future of WDTV Live???

They better hurry up and get some fancy firmware updates out real soon now, or they might as well consider dropping this experiment.

Perhaps their experience form harddrives is that you just make one firmware and then that’ll last the duration of the product - that is NOT how it works with these kind of devices.

They are using SMP 8643 which IS superior then the one used in WD TV Live…

For me, the issue is not really hardware-related…

Would an SD slot be hella-cool? Sure would… But not a deal breaker…

Would I like a more robust chipset? Sure, but I have no major complaints about the one present…

But when we start asking about web connections-- here’s where things get ugly in my opinion.

Many internet connected devices (BRdisc players and media players) have many more options for web video than the WDTV Live does at present. Specifically Netflix and/or Hulu. I mean I know that we get YouTube as provider and that is neat… But more devices would sell if these other services are added.

If Best Buy can manage to have their own Insignia Brand Blu-Ray players with Netlix-enabled, why not this device? Realistically, that feature is an add-on meaning, a secondary way to play media… But the WDTV Live is Live , what good internet connectedness (besides your own network shares) if it’s not really put to use?

I won’t dump my wdtv live so easily but wd should really have a closer look at the ces 2010 competitors in this segment.

A simple firmware roadmap or gui teaser would be quite a good point to start the new year.


I agree with foo fighter above. I am trying out one wd tv live  but woudl purchse thre more for our other dislpays if I knew they were serious about the competion.Youtube is gimmick. I can’t see why they can’t announce plans to get netflix.

True. I don’t think I want to dump mine. Frankly, because anyone who is savvy enough to consider one now; will certainly find out about the firmware issue and appearance of lack of support from WDC. That being said, it also makes me not want to buy and other WD units for my other TVs also…

Looks like they got till march to make it right with the WDTV Live (Too bad they don’t read these forums).

Right now Popbox has the edge. $130 and you get more features then WDTV Live.  Add $20 and you get built in Wi-Fi.

Lets see, my wireless adaptor cost me around $75 and the WDTV Live $129 for a total of $204 before taxes.


Now it all depends on the reviews after release.


Specs here: http://ces.cnet.com/8301-31045_1-10426722-269.html

It looks that way.

It’d be nice if WD is reading their own support forums…

Typical that after finally deciding on (and getting) a WD TV Live after months of deliberating, a seemingly better alternative shows up for the same money.  :(

The EnGadget hands-on coverage seems to show 3rd party advertisements within the media library…?   Obviously that doesn’t impact on viewing actual media but it seems a bit irritating to purchase a product only for it to push advertisements on you when you’re just browsing your own files.  It’s not like you’re paying less for an ad-subsidised product.

That aside, the interface looks pretty slick, although it doesn’t seem to offer anything that makes me regret getting the WD TV Live; Shoutcast and Netflix look nice but they might find their way onto the Live at some point (wishful thinking?).  The Popbox specs make no mention of ISO support either but no doubt someone will hack that into a new firmware.

Plus, we need to see some reviews and get some actual end-user feedback.  I’d be very surprised if this thing was bug-free from day one given the feature set… 

Are these reviews for the popcorn being written by the same people who hyped up the WDTV Live. Lets all remember that this player is not yet on the market and any problems are as at yet unknown.

Check the popbox specs… I was initally tempted until I saw that it doesn’t support composite or component output.  I need both for older TV support, so the WD TV Live still is my choice…

Boxee also looks good except for only HDMI support like the popbox.

We with older equipment still tip towards WDTVLive for the component and composit interfaces built in.  It would be better if it had S-Video…lol

Well, the PopBox isn’t the first piece of hardware made by the company so I think it’s mildly save to assume that they’ve worked out some bugs with their previous products, the Popcorn Hours. And for the Boxee Box, they haven’t done any hardware but they should probably have many bugs ironed out in their software because that’s been around for a while. It’s kind of a toss up and I think we’ve all learned a lesson to wait and see. Right now you could probably read reviews or see demoes of Boxee’s software or the Popcorn Hour and whatnot.

In theory, each time a company releases a follow on product, it gets better with each generation. Sure there might a few bugs at first but they get ironed out quickly. You could say that WD is on a 4th generation product because they’ve done so many…I don’t think that’s really the case though. I think they just have 4 generation one products.