WDTV plus B-Rad Firmware equals Many New Possibilities
I purchased the original WDTV (Western Digital HD Media Player) over 12 months ago – they are a fantastic little box that will play just about anything and have full 1080p HDMI output with 5.1 digital out – needless to say it has served me very well.
My only negative comment is that it required a lot of sneaker time (copying files from my torrent server onto USB drives and then plugging them into the WDTV player to view them on my HDTV).
Well, Western digital recently released a new version, the WDTV Live – the best new feature is that it includes is ethernet (on board) and wireless support (with selected adaptors). I’ve upgraded to the WDTV Live and I have to admit – I think it’s worth it.
Not only is the new WDTV Live faster than the original version it also supports DTS decoding and I’ve also found it’s able to play a larger variety of file formats than the original.
A couple of things worth noting:
1) WDTV is awesome – It plays just about anything, it’s silent and when connected via HDMI and Optical 5.1 (audio is also via HDMI if you don’t have optical) the picture and sound is fantastic – it also has a remote.
2) I recently built a MythTV box and the new WDTV Live plays the MPG files with no stress – it takes it about 2 secs to sort out the transport stream files but it plays them perfectly – so much better than having a noisy PC in my living room.
3) Saving the best to last – it’s runs Linux — yes — Linux — So I have a new WDTV Live – what should I do with the old one – Well, it runs Linux so the potential uses are endless…
Yesterday, I bought my first Apple accessory, not because I’m an Apple fan, but because the $39AU Apple USB ethernet adaptor is 100% compatible with the WDTV and the B-Rad Firmware.
So, tonight I took the 5 minutes required to install B-Rad unofficial firmware on my original WDTV following the simple instructions and it works with no problems.
IP address assigned via DHCP, login via Telnet – Hello Linux prompt – my familiar friend – now I can really start to stretch the WDTV into new areas such as an rtorrent backend, computer alarm, maybe a MythTV master backend – or many, many more options… stay tuned and I’ll let you know how I go.
In the mean time, if your looking for a really good, cheap, silent front end media player for less than $200AU – look no further than the WDTV Live.