Western Digital HD TV Media Player

If you’re a fan of putting your feet up and watching a good flick, and in particular, movies stored on your computers hard-drive, with the ability to view in full HD, then this little black box may well be the ultimate electronics gadget you’ve been looking for.

In addition to playing your favorite movies, you can view images in a variety of different formats as well as playback audio files, through the on screen interface with animated HD menus – read on for a complete list of supported file types!

In the past if you wanted to watch a movie file stored on your computer from you had to…..

* Watch it on your computer (oh my aching eyes)

* Burn the file to a disc, the problem here is, if your DVD player hasn’t got the correct Codecs for your video file (I’ll touch on Codecs shortly) then chances are the disc won’t play anyway, then you’ve gotta convert the file to a format your player can read & re-burn it! (yawn)

* Plug your laptop directly to the Television via S-Video connection, problem here is a substantial loss of audio/video quality, not to mention it’s a right pain in the butt hooking it up every time you want to watch a movie.

* Transfer the video file onto an External hard/flash drive, or SD card and connect via USB to the TV/DVD (provided the TV/DVD has USB ports of course).You’ll find many DVD Players & Digital Televisions nowadays have USB or SD card connectivity but you can run into the same problem as with the “Disc Playback Errors” due to the absence of certain Codecs.

I’m going to try and keep this description as simple as I can, because this subject can get confusing very quickly and frankly the average person doesn’t really give a flying nun, so….. A “Codec” is a piece of software, that gets its name from the function it performs, ie.enabling Compression/Decompression of a video file. So lets take your average run of the mill DVD from down the local video Store, it is created with the standard MPEG4 codec e.g. “Xvid” and can then be played back using any other standard MPEG4 Codec, such as “DivX” or “FFmpeg” codecs and so on, and all reside within your household DVD player.

This is where problems can arise when trying to playback a video file obtained online, because of the huge variety of different file formats out there and their associated Codecs, many DVD players just can’t recognize them and they subsequently won’t play.

Enter the, Western Digital WD TV HD 1080p Media Player.

You can connect to your Television using either a standard AV cable(red,white,yellow) or a single HDMI cable, assuming your TV is HDMI capable that is, and that’s it! All you need now is to plug in your external Hard Drive, or Flash Drive.Two USB Ports is a great feature but the addition of an SD Card Slot would have been a nice for photo viewing.


If you didn’t already know the 1080p basically means “Full High Definition” and that’s exactly what you get, when using the HDMI cable connected to a HDMI Television. 1080 refers to a screen resolution of 1080 pixels High X 1920 pixels Wide, under the assumption of a 16:9 Widescreen Aspect Ratio.

Supported Video File Formats/Codecs Include – MPEG1/2/4, WMV9, AVI (MPEG4, Xvid, AVC), H.264, MKV, MOV (MPEG4, H.264),


What this means is that the Western Digital will handle most of the popular video formats you will encounter on the Internet today, including MKV (or Matroska) a format becoming increasingly more popular for it’s versatility, having said that there is a few formats absent that other media players in its class support, including FLV, & RMBV.

Supported Image File Formats Include- JPEG/JPG, GIF, TIF/TIFF, BMP, PNG

* JPEG only supports compressed RGB format files. BMP only supports uncompressed files. TIFF only supports single layer files. BMP, TIFF/TIF, PNG, and GIF have a max resolution of 2048×2048. JPEG/JPG has a max resolution of 4096×4096 unless it is in a progressive format, then maxes out at 1280×720.

Supported Audio File Formats Include – MP3, WMA, MPA, M4A, MP4A, OGG, WAV/PCM/LPCM, AAC, FLAC, Dolby Digital, AIF/AIFF, MKA

Other Formats Include –

Playlists – PLS, M3U, WPL

Subtitles – SRT, SMI, SUB, ASS, SSA

Pros –

Ease of use, setting up is child’s play and with all the controls at your finger tips, watching High-Def content couldn’t be easier.

The playable formats available on this unit are more than sufficient for accessing most popular media including “MKV” video, which is absent in some other media players in this range.

Full 1080p HD compatible.

The addition of two USB ports, connect two drives simultaneously.

Cons –

No SD card slot, which is available on some of its competitors units in this range.

Cannot play FLV (Flash Media Files)

Reports of, no audio on some files.

Does the WD TV HD Media Player earn the prize for the ultimate electronics gadget when talking about playing removable media at an affordable price?

I think for the money you really can’t go past these types of Media Players, without splashing out a lot more money for the built in Hard Drive versions, if you already own an External Hard Drive or Removable Media that’s all you need, I might add, the physical size of your Hard Drive makes no difference, there is no size limit!

Western Digital WD TV HD 1080p Media Player, has made accessing digital files on an alternate media, easier than ever before.There is however one change I would DEFINATELY make to this media player, is its long winded name, I mean SHEESH talk about being literal, why not simply call it the “ultradocious” & give me a 5{e31915232f627aba387f5fbf94f9a250ae116cee0c2da27b298f0b4ae14d446f} kick-back! Now that’s innovation!