Western Digital today introduced the WD TV Live Hub media center (photo), a Full-HD 1080p media player with a 1 terabyte (TB) built-in network hard drive that gives users the freedom to play all their personal media on any screen in the home. The WD TV Live Hub media center brings new experiences to the WD TV family, including instantly renting or purchasing the newest releases through the Blockbuster On Demand service, the same day as DVD/Blu-ray release, as well as interacting with personal Facebook communities. In the U.S., the WD TV Live Hub media center is initially available exclusively at Best Buy online and at all 1,093 Best Buy stores nationwide.
The WD TV Live Hub media center plays a wide variety of media file types, including popular Full-HD 1080p video formats such as .mkv, .mp4 and .mov. The integrated, compact and quiet 1 TB hard drive enables users to centralize their digital media from multiple sources for smooth, glitch-free playback of even the highest resolution videos. Digital media can be easily transferred to the internal drive from shared folders on PCs and Mac s on the network or directly from external hard drives, thumb drives, camcorders or cameras connected via one of the two USB ports. Users also can stream videos from home network drives with a DLNA/UPnP server such as the recently announced My Book Live home network drive.
The WD TV Live Hub media center also is a media server: HD video, music and photos can be streamed from the onboard hard drive to any DLNA/UPnP-compatible TV or multimedia device, anywhere in the connected home, including the WD TV Live Plus HD media player, connected TVs, Blu-ray Disc players, Xbox 360 , and PlayStation 3 game consoles. Users also can stream content from their WD TV Live Hub media center to iPads , iPhones or Android smartphones using third-party applications.
The WD TV Live Hub media center offers unique Facebook integration, which lets users upload photos and videos, share their status, view their wall and get the latest newsfeed from their network of friends – all on the big screen TV. In addition, the WD TV Live Hub media center provides viewing of Netflix for movie streaming, YouTube for user-generated videos and Flickr for photo sharing, as well as listening to Pandora , a personalized Internet radio service. Additional content includes local and international weather forecasts from AccuWeather.com , and MediaFly daily video podcasts from CNN , NBC , MTV and ESPN .
The customizable WD TV Live Hub media center’s user interface enables personalization of screen backgrounds and user interface themes, as well as setting of favorites and content ratings. Standard wired or wireless USB keyboards can be used for simpler text input for activities such as searches of local content and YouTube and Facebook interaction.
“The WD TV Live Hub media center lets users create a personalized media jukebox that brings your entire personal content collection and the best of Internet content to the biggest screen in the house,” said Dale Pistilli, vice president of marketing for WD’s branded products group. “With the WD TV Live Hub media center, consumers can take their home entertainment experience to the next level, streaming personal content to multiple rooms at the same time, so they can play a Netflix video on their HDTV screen in the family room, while sharing vacation slideshows on the computer in their home office.”
“People are looking for a versatile, easy-to-use media player that gives them a smooth streaming experience regardless of where they are in the home and whether they’re viewing Internet content or personal media content. That’s exactly what the WD TV Live Hub media center delivers,” said Frank Bedo, merchandise director in computing at Best Buy . “We are excited to collaborate with WD on this innovative entertainment product.”
“Connected media players are an exciting new category that is helping to redefine home entertainment,” said Wendy Fritz, senior vice president, computing, at Best Buy. “The WD TV media player series’ broad ability with personal content has made it a leading seller. Add to that the premium content services, and the new WD TV Live Hub media center is bringing a whole new dimension to home entertainment.”
Other key features of the WD TV Live Hub media center include:
- Compatibility with virtually all TV sets thanks to an HDMI 1.4, composite video and component video output;
- Automatic sync of shared digital media folders from PCs and Macs on the network with the internal hard drive to provide easy playback of new content;
- Customizable user interface and programmable remote;
- Ultra-compact design that easily fits into almost any entertainment center;
- Two USB ports that allow seamless media playback from USB drives, camcorders and digital cameras;
- WiFi-readiness (with adapter); and,
- A 1-year limited warranty in PanAm.
- The full set of features and list of file compatibility is available on WD’s website.
Capacity and Compatibility
The WD TV Live Hub media center is available in 1 TB storage capacity and supports a large variety of the most popular file formats, including HD camcorder video formats. It is also compatible with Windows 7, including the Windows 7 Play To feature, and any DLNA/UPnP-enabled device.
Price and Availability
The WD TV Live Hub media center is available worldwide (Netflix, Blockbuster and Pandora services are available only in the U.S.) and can be purchased in the U.S. exclusively at Best Buy and online at wdstore.com. MSRP for the WD TV Live Hub media center is $199.99 USD.