Cons: Take it from someone who has had the WD for a week, and the Roku for about 6 months, there is no comparison. I thought "well, they make decent HDD's, so I'll try one. It cost more, but it probably is better."
Cons: I bought the WDTV Live SMP 3 days ago. It stops in the middle of a MKV or AVI (or any file) after about ten minutes, loses sound and says it is 'Unable to play the selected file' and that I should 'check the User Guide for a list of file formats'!
Summary: I have this thing setup to connect to my network share folders. Flexibility with this thing is pretty good. There are several options you can fine tune for it to suit your needs. The video and audio quality from this unit is great. The codec support is vast and viewing options are plenty. It may be my unit that's having this issue - as I'm not reading many other complaints about this; BUT - this thing CONSTANTLY freezes.
Summary: I own the original WDTV and love it. It plays .mp4 (h.264) encoded files without issue. The WDTV Live I picked up from Bestbuy does pretty well EXCEPT after a few minutes the audio is out of sync. This can be easily fixed by pause then play, but the problem starts again after a few minutes. This is a very annoying problem that happens both over the network or using a USB drive.
Summary: This thing does NOT support DVD menus. If you have a DVD ripped with the original Video_TS / VOB file structure, then you've got a disaster on your hands if you want to use this box. All you'll see in the All Videos menu is a big long list of generically named VOB files, which are impossible to navigate. DVD ISOs are cleaner, but you still don't get any menu support. That means no subtitles, scene / episode selection, extra features, etc...
Summary: The WD TV Live has one big problem: It can't skip chapters on DVD files! If you want to verify, check the other reviews here on Amazon or the Western Digital forums on their own website. You can watch a DVD file but you can't use the buttons on the remote. If you do, it won't advance chapters. It will go to the next movie in your directory. The manual clearly states on page 36 that the WD TV Live is capable of chapter support but it's not.
Summary: I own 2 WD HD media players. I have the non-networked version first and I really liked it. Great picture quality, flexibility, and codec support. I wanted a network version to access my library of DVD on a Windows Home Server device. Everything that can be said about the picture quality, flexibility, and codec support still hold true. However, the network function absolutely stinks. I used a wired network, and this device simply would not reliably connect.
1.01.12 Firmware update is bricking these units! BEWARE
B. Coots "VFXGeek", Amazon
6 December 2009
Summary: These units are very cool when they work, for all the reasons that you've already read about. The problem is, a recent firmware update (update 1.01.12) bricked many user's units, rendering them totally useless and requiring that they be returned. A month later they issued new firmware that should prevent this from happening again, but it is a sign of poor software development and testing on their part, and the way they handled the issue was even worse.
Summary: I have owned this product since it was released, it is great value for money and easy to use. I have a 100Mb wired ethernet connection into a Netgear hub / router and link via HDMI into a HD TV. Video storage is via two x 2TB NAS devices which connect via uPnP into the WD box. Common video formats are fine for MD (DVD) and I have never encountered any issues with AVI that are encoded for the DVD type resolutions.
Pros: Straightforward and easy to use, nice interface
Cons: It does a bad job playing most HD (720p or 1080p) videos