Western Digital managed to wrangle up an update that they could release, officially, today, and it's designed for their WD TV Live HD. Is there anything all that great about this update? There sure is. In fact, this update should make Western Digital pretty happy, considering they can place themselves in the "one and only" category for the time being.
With the issued update, the WD TV Live HD is the first networked media hub that is capable of recognizing Windows 7. There's that one and only category. The update itself is just a firmware upgrade, but it allows you to select media from your computer, and not the hub itself, by showing up as a destination for Windows' Play To feature. That means you won't have to load the media player before accessing movies, music, or photos. So you're basically removing the middle man and saving some time.
The WD TV Live HD supports 1080p HD video (as the name should probably surmise), and the system can still recognize the majority of media formats. If you don't have a WD TV Live HD media player, go pick one up for a cool $150, get the update, and let us know what you think. Oh, and if you've got a Mac, you're supported, too.
Consumers Can Use 'Play To' Feature to Stream Music, Videos and Picture Files Stored on Their PCs and Home Network to Their Big Screen TVs
LAKE FOREST, Calif., May 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WD® (NYSE: WDC), the world's leader in external storage solutions, today announced that the WD TV Live HD media player, featuring network capability and Full-HD 1080p resolution, is the first network media player compatible with Windows 7. The WD TV Live HD media player makes it easy for anyone to play media stored on USB and network drives, any PC on the home network, as well as content from popular websites, on the biggest screen in their home -- their big screen television.
Using the Windows 7 Play To feature, users can initiate and control the streaming of video, music or photos to the WD TV Live HD media player and home entertainment systems from any Windows 7-based PC on their network. Any compatible media file accessible from the PC – located either on the PC or the network – can be played to the WD TV Live by right clicking on the file name in the folder or directly from within Windows Media Player 12 and choosing the WD TV Live HD media player as the playback device.
Current users of the WD TV Live will need to update their WD TV Live HD media player to the latest firmware in order to use the Windows 7 Play To feature. Instructions for updating the WD TV Live HD media player can be found here: http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/updates/?family=wdfwdtv_live
"Microsoft is pleased that Western Digital has earned the Compatible with Windows 7 logo and is supporting the Play To feature with WD TV Live HD media player," said Mark Relph, senior director, Windows Ecosystem Product Management at Microsoft Corp. "Now more than 100 million Windows 7 customers will have an affordable and easy way to play files to their HD TVs and other devices from their PC."
"We regularly engage with WD TV Live enthusiasts in our online community. Many have been asking for a way to "push" media from their PCs to their TV or home theater system, especially from laptops. With the new Windows 7 Play To feature, users can select music or movies from their laptop and play it on an HD TV connected to a WD TV Live HD media player, whether the HD TV is across the living room or in a different room altogether," said Dale Pistilli, vice president of marketing for WD's branded products group. "WD worked closely with Microsoft on this exciting new feature to ensure the seamless compatibility of the WD TV Live HD media player with Windows 7 PCs and deliver WD TV Live users what they want."
WD TV Live HD Media Player
Features of the Windows 7-compatible WD TV Live HD media player include:
- Full-HD 1080p video playback and navigation with the included remote control and crisp, animated navigation menus;
- Play a wide variety of file formats including support for the most popular file formats with no need to spend time transcoding;
- Play videos, music and photos from the Internet on your big screen TV and discover new music with Pandora® Internet radio or listen to thousands of radio stations via Live365 Internet radio;
- Ethernet port for wired or WiFi® connection(1) to access files anywhere on the network to play movies, music, and photos from any PC or drive on a home network;
- Turns a USB drive(2) into an HD media player and plays content from most popular USB drives, and digital cameras, camcorders, and portable media players that can be recognized as mass storage devices;
- Unlimited media collection, just add more USB drives for more space;
- Two USB ports for seamless media playback from multiple USB drives and ability to access them simultaneously while a media library feature collects the content on all the drives into one list sorted by media type;
- Transfer files by copying, moving or deleting files stored on a USB drive, a network drive, a camcorder, or a camera to the attached USB drive using the on-screen menus;
- Picture Transfer Protocol support to show photos and movies directly from digital camera or video camera and/or any digital imaging device that supports Picture Transfer Protocol;
- Advanced navigation options including thumbnail and list views, media library and search;
- Photo viewing to create custom slide shows, zoom and pan and search;
- Movie viewing with fast-forward, rewind, pause, zoom and pan, view subtitles, and search;
- Music playback with fast-forward, rewind, pause, shuffle, repeat and search;
- File copying between USB devices;
- HDMI® 1.3 port, composite video and component video output(3) for the highest quality HDTV or home theater;
- SPDIF digital output that sends digital signals to your AV receiver for the best surround sound experience; and,
- Ultra-compact design to fit easily into a home entertainment center.
Pricing and Availability
The WD TV Live HD media player is available now at select retailers and online at shopwd.com. Covered by a 1-year limited warranty, the MSRP for WD TV Live HD media player is $149.99 USD.
WD, one of the storage industry's pioneers and long-time leaders, provides products and services for people and organizations that collect, manage and use digital information. The company produces reliable, high-performance hard drives that keep users' data accessible and secure from loss. WD applies its storage expertise to consumer products for external, portable and shared storage applications.
WD was founded in 1970. The company's storage products are marketed to leading systems manufacturers, selected resellers and retailers under the Western Digital® and WD brand names. Visit the Investor section of the company's Web site (http://www.westerndigital.com/) to access a variety of financial and investor information.
Western Digital, WD, WD TV and the WD logo and My Book are registered trademarks; WD TV, World Edition and My Passport are trademarks of Western Digital Technologies, Inc. Other marks may be mentioned herein that belong to other companies. All other brand and product names mentioned herein are the property of their respective companies. One gigabyte (GB) = 1 billion bytes. One terabyte (TB) = one trillion bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending on operating environment.
(1) WiFi adapter sold separately.
(2) WD TV media players are optimized for use with My Passport™ portable hard drives.
(3) Additional composite (RCA), and component outputs ensure compatibility with most television sets.