Summary: Final Thoughts
From all of the media players I have seen in the past year the Western Digital TV Live Hub is one of the best. The first thing that stands out is the user interface. Every other media player we have looked at has some crap basic interface. They are hard to navigate, they look ugly and the features are just not there. With the WD Live TV Hub the interface is just gorgeous and extremely easy to navigate.
Pros: Small compact design, 1TB hard drive included, Beautiful user interface, Easy to use, Plays pretty much any type of media, Included online services
Cons: No AV cables included, Weird online service issue on our unit
Summary: In the beginning Western Digital gave us the WD TV which was a great little media player but required the user to bring their own media and also didn’t support any sort of networking. Western Digital did release several other versions with variety of added features but the Live Hub really feels like it got the best of the entire lineup, it really feels like it should be the main piece of your home entertainment setup.
Summary: The WD TV Live Hub was my first exposure to a network set top box for my living room – and it has left an overall positive impression on me. Of course, the Live Hub does a lot of other things with media streaming and online services, but there are a lot of game consoles and Blu-ray players that do those things as well.
Western Digital WD TV Live Hub Interface Walkthrough Hands On
3 March 2011
Excerpt: Western Digital’s WD TV Live Hub is it's successor to the WD TV Live (which was also reviewed here before) This media player has a built-in 1TB drive inside capable of storing 200,000 photos, 76 hours of videos or 250,000 songs . It also features online services from NetFlix, Blockbuster, Pandora (US only), MediaFly as well as standards like Youtube, Facebook and Flickr.
Summary: This is possibly the best HD media player out there. The price of around Rs 12k, you get superb HD upscale quality for videos, a 1TB hard drive pre-installed and the best interface among all media players. This is the one to buy for that flat panel television at home.
Pros: 1TB storage built-in, Superb video upscale quality, The interface is far better than offered by the rivals, Simple setup to access files from media servers, Extremely sleek form factor
Cons: Slightly expensive for some buyers, Wireless connectivity capability still not integrated, Remote bigger than predecessor; not very comfortable
Conclusion: Internally, the WD TV Live Hub is powered by the Sigma Designs SMP 8654AD Video decoder which is fast enough for decoding 1080p movies. Gigabit Ethernet is also a great addition, however, Wi-Fi is lacking which I think should have been included for a box targeted towards the casual user.
Summary: Overall, the WD TV Live Hub shapes up as a versatile and (with the exception of the problem of accessing network shares) user-friendly media streamer and storage device, both for streaming media to a connected HDTV and serving it throughout the home. For people who want to access media in multiple locations in a home, it's worth the $200 cost.