WDTV Version 1 better than Version 2 in important areas

I have been using a WDTV HD Player since launch to play all my DVD’s (and now Blu-rays) as lossless mpeg2 (DVD) and m2ts (Bluray) on my Mian TV via a 2TB WD Elements and it has done a perfect job. Once the drive has been scanned the first time after connection (when periodically adding new media) The WDTV remembers ALL the thumbnails, files and importantly last watched points of all movies EVERY SINGLE TIME THE UNIT IS USED!

In short, I have a vast catalogue of movies at my finger tips that are ready to watch in seconds from pressing the ON button. Job done.

I finally decided to get another player for my Bedroom so bought one yesterday which is obviously a Version 2. As this has the Digital Sound support (which is main track on all my Blu-Rays) the plan was to put this in the Living Room and move the original upstairs.

It wasn’t long before I regretted my purchase, boy do I wish I’d snapped up one of the last Version 1 units.

  1. The unit does NOT select my “HD Ready” (ie not 1080p) Bravias optimal 1080i setting when set to AUTO. Version 1 would go straight to 1080i but Version 2 opts for 720p. Trouble is, even when manually setting it to 1080i, the Version 2 fires up into 720p and then resets itself into 1080i taking time and is really generally amature performance. A win for Version 1 here.

  2. The menus on Version 2 are horrid, really dark, lurid over-saturated colour & contrast. Version 1 is far superior here.

  3. Not sure if it’s an effect of the darker menus but when you finally get to watching a movie that to seems darker and not as good looking as it plays back on version 1. Movies just look better on my Version 1 and that is after all what it’s made for!

  4. MAJOR  STEP BACKWARDS - Every time the Version 2 is brought out of standby it states “No Storage Present” and has to re-scan the drive and as a result it has to re-locate all the files, reload all the thumbnails and has lost ALL the last watched points of the movies from previous sessions. This is so rubbish I can’t believe it was allowed to slip through the net. Version 1 may be slower to scan a drive and load thumbnails BUT it only has to do it each time the HDD id removed “or” the WDTV is removed from the mains power. In normal use, Version 1 retains all the drive info between uses so the drive is instantly accessable and thumnails are instantly present so despite a slower chip and less memory it destroys Version 2 for day to day operating speed and performance.

  5. There are also stability issues not present with Version 1, stopping movies & rewinding can often lead to the unit returning to the library view but the movie sound continuing to play in the background and only returning to the home page and then selecting another movie clears it.

I have noticed that the latest downloadable firmware 1.01.77 for Version 2 is now about 9 months old and anyway my player came with 1.01.79 pre-installed so I am concerned that WD are going to leave these faults and not release anymore firmware updates.

I shall keep my version 2 for now to give WD a chance to sort these failing but if they don’t then I shall never buy another product from them and will switch to a rival product and advise all to do the same

Really good, objective comments, A-B…

You’re the second person in as many days to say yours shipped with .79 software when .77 is the latest on the net.  That’s curious; no indication anywhere on what the .79 “upgrade” did, and why it’s not available to the masses…

Perhaps version .79 hasn’t seen the light of day for download because it isn’t any good.

I bet it’s a beta and they’re watching to see the feedback before making a decision to release

it officially.

Let’s hope not and that we see a .80 that sorts out the issues this thing has.

First up, auto detection. This must be a simple task to make it default to the optimal setting

for the TV connected and failing that, at least go straight to the manually selected resolution

when switched on.

The issues I have that I assume are due to the implementation of USB power down when in

Standby mode. I fully understand why this was added as numerous version one users kept

moaning about it not powering down the drives. (although most didn’t seem to realism it did

spin down the drives!) Now powering down is all well and good for casual media display use.

However, for those of us that have chosen to make the WDTV our main means of movie viewing

(and a real alternative to disc based players) the re-scan required on restart is a real backwards

step for slick movie library delivery. The simple solution would be to make this an option in the

settings page between total power down or spin down.

Lastly, please get the menu and general output levels for colour, contrast & brightness sorted

out as they were in version 1.