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WD TV Live

Wombat

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#1
A friend has an old WD TV Live that is failing.

He has looked for a more up to date equivalent that accepts portable external usb HDDs of any format plus an up-to-date range of video codecs for the portable usb ext. HDD stored files.

The acceptance of the various HDD formatting is not shown in specs of products making product searching fruitless.

He has a large library of movies in various video codecs on ext. HDDs of various formatting.

He doesn't stream or WiFi.

Usb or HDMI into the TV only

Help needed, please.

Please keep replies to a one-box stand-alone solution, if possible.
 
Last edited:

Soniclife

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#2
Do you know what format it saved the recordings in? Most of these boxes don't do much clever when they record, and things like VLC will often play them, I would get him to try that first. If that works it will be simple to convert (probably without re-encoding so fast and just disk limited) to a general format any new box can cope with.
 
OP
Wombat

Wombat

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Thread Starter #3
He doesn't want to re-encode his collection of movies, or have a computer near his TV - just a versatile media player box thingy to plug his USB ext. HDDs into so that he can watch the stored movies whatever the encoding or HDD formatting.

The WD box did the job but was not compatible with some more recent codecs or some ext. HDD formats.

There are BR players that handle multiple video codecs on 5" discs but the specs don't specifically say which codecs are also playable via the USB/ Ext. HDD connection. With Covid-19 lockdown he can't go to a store to try one.
 

Dj7675

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#4
A friend has an old WD TV Live that is failing.

He has looked for a more up to date equivalent that accepts portable external usb HDDs of any format plus an up-to-date range of video codecs for the portable usb ext. HDD stored files.

The acceptance of the various HDD formatting is not shown in specs of products making product searching fruitless.

He has a large library of movies in various video codecs on ext. HDDs of various formatting.

He doesn't stream or WiFi.

Usb or HDMI into the TV only

Help needed, please.

Please keep replies to a one-box stand-alone solution, if possible.
Two options that may work:
1-AppleTV 4K+ Infuse6 app. I just found this not too long ago. You will need a network however, and the hard drives shared on your network. Infuse6 sees the shares on your network and seems to play every kind of file format out there. It will also automatically download cover art and descriptions of movies. I have mpg, ts, mkv etc and they play great.
2-Nvida Shield- This device I believe is a bit more like the WTDV in that it accepts hard drives directly via usb.
I have both and Infuse6 via the Apple TV 4K is the winner for me unless I want to play an MKV file that has atmos. The Apple TV 4K does not currently play atmos (It will play all other formats).
 

sweetchaos

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#5
I remember my WDTV Live, with custom interface that I flashed to get a new skin. I remember that WDTV Live played all formats I threw at it.
Too bad they stopped supporting it. I shed a tear when I sold my unit several years ago. Now I use Apple TV 4K with Infuse and I love it.
Now, I'm streaming 4k movies (uncompressed MKV ISO rips of 50-75gb in size) over 1gbps network from my NAS with no issues, using Infuse app.

The Apple TV 4K does not currently play atmos (It will play all other formats).
Only partially true.

I have 5.1 speaker setup, but don't have dedicated Atmos speakers in the ceiling. I'm playing mkv files with "Dolby Atmos" track which is typically "Dolby TrueHD with Dolby Atmos". In theory, this lossless soundtrack encompasses 8 channels (L R C LFE Ls Rs Lb Rb) and either 13 or 15 dynamic objects which get sent to the Atmos speakers. Since both my receiver and Apple TV can process lossless audio (in the form of Dolby TrueHD), when I play mkv files with "Dolby Atmos" soundtrack, the "Dolby TrueHD" lossless audio get sent to my 5.1 speakers and I'm experiencing the full lossless sound.

There's 2 types of Dolby Atmos:
- Lossy (which is used by services likes Netflix and Apple TV+, to save bandwidth at the cost of audio quality)
- Lossless (comes in the soundtrack labelled Dolby TrueHD with Dolby Atmos, used in 4K blurays, and quality is the best)

The lossy Dolby Atmos can be processed by Apple TV (with Infuse support as of Infuse 6.3 or later). To do this, Infuse looks at the second audio track, usually labelled as AC-3 (which most mkv files should have) and plays lossy Dolby Atmos tracks with no problems.

However, Apple hasn't added support for the lossless version of Dolby Atmos yet. There's a petition on how to get Apple to do that here.

Best!
 
Last edited:

restorer-john

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#6
or have a computer near his TV
A tiny Intel NUC running an OS of his choice would do all that and more. Multiple USB ports, SD card slots, full networking (wired/wifi/BT) and digital outs/HDMI etc all running from an SSD. With a small wireless backlit keyboard trackpad combination (I use a K830 logitech), he'd be future proof and have access to the internet too.

VLC will play anything pretty much and it's free.

We use a little Dell Zino which is about as old as the WDTV and have no good reason to change it for any and all movie watching, internet, BluRay/DVD or pulling movie files from my NAS.
 
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Wombat

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Thread Starter #7
My mate is a retired aeronautical engineer who carries the 'no extra features or complexity' doctrine into everyday life(more of a Luddite than myself).

USB ext. HDD > a 'box' > a dumb TV is all he wants. (No network, no WiFi, no streaming).

There are many cheap devices available but they still live in a decade past. The hard part is modern codec and larger ext. HDD compatibility.

I'll pass on all of your kind suggestions.
 

Dj7675

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#9
I remember my WDTV Live, with custom interface that I flashed to get a new skin. I remember that WDTV Live played all formats I threw at it.
Too bad they stopped supporting it. I shed a tear when I sold my unit several years ago. Now I use Apple TV 4K with Infuse and I love it.
Now, I'm streaming 4k movies (uncompressed MKV ISO rips of 50-75gb in size) over 1gbps network from my NAS with no issues, using Infuse app.


Only partially true.

I have 5.1 speaker setup, but don't have dedicated Atmos speakers in the ceiling. I'm playing mkv files with "Dolby Atmos" track which is typically "Dolby TrueHD with Dolby Atmos". In theory, this lossless soundtrack encompasses 8 channels (L R C LFE Ls Rs Lb Rb) and either 13 or 15 dynamic objects which get sent to the Atmos speakers. Since both my receiver and Apple TV can process lossless audio (in the form of Dolby TrueHD), when I play mkv files with "Dolby Atmos" soundtrack, the "Dolby TrueHD" lossless audio get sent to my 5.1 speakers and I'm experiencing the full lossless sound.

There's 2 types of Dolby Atmos:
- Lossy (which is used by services likes Netflix and Apple TV+, to save bandwidth at the cost of audio quality)
- Lossless (comes in the soundtrack labelled Dolby TrueHD with Dolby Atmos, used in 4K blurays, and quality is the best)

The lossy Dolby Atmos can be processed by Apple TV (with Infuse support as of Infuse 6.3 or later). To do this, Infuse looks at the second audio track, usually labelled as AC-3 (which most mkv files should have) and plays lossy Dolby Atmos tracks with no problems.

However, Apple hasn't added support for the lossless version of Dolby Atmos yet. There's a petition on how to get Apple to do that here.

Best!
All true of course. Infuse is really amazing. I just stumbled on it not long ago and can’t believe how good it is. I only have the Shield to play local lossless atmos/dtsx.
 

sweetchaos

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#10
Checkout:
https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=332180
Which shows a list of 4K HDR capable hardware and capabilities.

I’ve personally tried Xiaomi Mi Box, but found it buggy/unstable to use, so I settled on Apple TV 4K.

IMO, Nvidia shield is worth getting, over DIY route (with Raspbery Pi or Odroid) and cheaper Chinese hardware (like Xiaomi).
 
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