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Western Digital WDTV Live Hub review

It may be small, but the Western Digital WD TV Live Hub is incredibly versatile

Our Verdict

For

  • Good file support
  • Plenty of storage
  • Online content
  • Can be used as a NAS drive

Against

  • Better online content would be welcome

Western Digital's latest, the WD TV Live Hub, may be slimmer than its predecessors, but it leaves a far more impressive footprint.

Despite being only twice the size of an Apple TV, it includes a 1TB hard drive and multiple other extras. With USB ports on the front and rear, this unit can stream in 1080p from DLNA/ UPnP PCs, has a 3D-ready HDMI 1.4 output, can act as a NAS drive or UPnP/ DLNA client in its own right, and is even accessible via a web browser.

Insert a USB stick and it offers to transfer files, which appear automatically in iTunes. The Mochi interface takes a while to learn, but we soon got the hang of the four function buttons on the chubby but tactile remote.

They seem to have random features assigned to them, and although it's possible to re-jig their functions and assign commands to the numbered buttons, Western Digital should have made a better first attempt.

The remote lacks shortcuts for video and music, and would benefit from a dedicated input changer.

We threw many files at the WD TV Live, and it played everything from DivX HD to AVC HD in excellent quality. Video can be scanned through at up to 16x speeds, and music and videos can be added to a queue.

Online content stored under the 'Services' tab includes reasonably slick software for AccuWeather, YouTube, Flickr and Live365, plus a Facebook service (upload photos and videos, update status and read newsfeeds) and placeholders for US services Pandora radio and MediaFly.

The stubby remote may lack charm, but speed and versatility win everywhere else in this excellent package.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNetwork Audio/Video Player
EthernetYes
HDMIYes
Internet StreamingYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Brand NameWD
Audio FormatsMP3, WAV, WMA, WMA Pro, AAC, FLAC, Matroska (MKA), AIFF, OGG, M3U, PLS, WPL
Video FormatsAVI, XviD, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MPG, MJPEG, VOB, MKV, H.264, VC-1, TS, TP, M2T, MOV, M2TS, WMV9, AVC
Scan Format1080p
Hard Drive Capacity1 TB
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
USBYes
Component VideoYes
Number of Digital Optical Outputs1
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Height31.8 mm
Width154.9 mm
Depth198.1 mm
ColourBlack
Video SystemPAL
Sound SystemDolby Digital, DTS
Image FormatsJPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, PNG
FeaturesPC Streaming
ManufacturerWestern Digital Corporation
Product ModelWDBACA0010BBK
Product NameWD TV Live Hub WDBACA0010BBK Network Media Player
Product LineTV Live Hub
Manufacturer Part NumberWDBACA0010BBK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.wdc.com
Marketing Information

Watch the things you love on the screen you love.
Get your family and friends together, sit back, and enjoy! Whether it's your own videos, music, and photos or Internet entertainment and games, you can play it all in the comfort of your living room.

Watch popular movies and TV episodes instantly.
Choose from over 10,000 titles from Hulu Plus, CinemaNow and Blockbuster On Demand, or access your Netflix unlimited membership and watch TV episodes and movies on your big screen.

Access popular Internet content from the comfort of your living room.
Play YouTube videos, access Facebook, play games, see your photos on Flickr, play music on Spotify or Pandora, and watch daily video podcasts from CNN, NBC, MTV, ESPN, and other online content.

ProtocolsUPnP
Package Contents
  • WD TV Live Hub WDBACA0010BBK Network Media Player
  • Remote Control with Batteries
  • AC Adapter
  • Quick Install Guide
Scanning ModesProgressive Scan
Limited Warranty2 Year
Weight (Approximate)553.4 g