Excerpt: Western Digital has been making streaming set-top boxes for several years now. Their WD TV line has consistently packed a lot of value into their little black boxes. The latest, called WD TV Play, continues in that tradition, offering a plethora of content options at a lower price-point than some of their competitors.
Excerpt: This week, Western Digital has released the WD TV Play Media Player. This player is continues Western Digital’s established tradition of providing quality set-top boxes to those looking to get the best out of their home theater. Priced at $69.99 shipped , the WD TV Play is designed to be a very versatile box that streams tons of internet channels, but can also play your personal multimedia that is housed on your network.
Conclusion: We suppose $70 is the right price for the WD TV Play, since it delivers 1080p video resolution plus the USB and Ethernet ports that the Roku 2 lacks for $10 less (Roku has two players with even lower price tags, but they’re both limited to 720p and are missing the same I/O ports). We’re just having a hard time being enthusiastic about the WD TV Play’s video quality.
Pros: Very small, Built-in Wi-Fi, Dedicated buttons for popular video services
Cons: Dull, washed-out video, Doesn’t support USB keyboards, Directory listings don’t display file types or dates
Excerpt: Tim Cook recently boasted that Apple TV has been selling like hot potatoes. His company has sold around 13 million of them, with half of those flying off the shelves in the last year. The WD TV Play is Western Digital's boldest attempt to grab itself a Luis Suarez-sized bite of that particular Apple.
Pros: Low price, Decent mix of online and network streaming, Customisable interface
Conclusion: In many ways WD TV Play is unremarkable. The design is pleasant, though the build materials are cheap. The codec support is wide, but has key omissions and the streaming services by and large are well done and user friendly. The breakthrough price of the Play is also appealing which suggests a bargain, but in reality the cost to step up to a more accomplished media player isn’t great.
Pros: Attractive, intuitive UI, Wide range of integrated streaming services, Very cheap
Cons: No support for DTS audio, Poor navigation for local media, Remote has questionable layout