WD TV Mini Media Player offers cheap big-screen playback

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Western Digital have announced their newest compact media player, the WD TV Mini Media Player, which replaces last year's unit with the same name.  A palm-sized box with 1080i HD resolution support and the ability to play content both from an attached USB hard-drive including RealNetworks' RealVideo support, the WD TV Mini offers image, audio and video playback complete with a remote control.

Unlike other media players we've seen, however, the WD TV Mini doesn't offer an HDMI port.  Instead you get a choice of component or composite, together with a single USB 2.0 for your hard-drive and an optical digital output.

Supported file types include AVI (Xvid, MPEG1/2/4), MPG/MPEG, VOB, MP4/MOV (MPEG4), RM or RMVB 8/9/10 video, MP3, WAV/PCM/LPCM, WMA, AAC, FLAC, MKA, OGG and APE audio, and JPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMP and PNG images. The WD TV Mini Media Player has an MRSP of $99.99, but is already available to pre-order from Amazon for $79.99.

[Thanks Ian!]

Press Release:


SINGAPORE – Aug. 17, 2009 – WD® (NYSE: WDC), the world's leader in external storage solutions, today introduced a new version of its popular WD TV media player. The new WD TV Mini Media Player now enables playback of RealNetworks®, Inc.'s RealVideo™ content and provides a more affordable way for consumers to play their stored digital content in up to 1080i HD resolution directly on their HD television.

The WD TV Mini Media Player connects to a user's TV or home theater and plays digital movies, music and photos stored on USB drives such as the best-selling WD My Passport portable drive. As with other WD TV models, the WD TV Mini Media Player supports playback of digital media on most USB mass storage devices such as digital camcorders and digital cameras. The new compact design is small and portable enough that users can easily take it with them when they travel and play their digital media anywhere on any TV in up to 1080i HD resolution.

According to research firm Parks Associates, the average consumer household currently has approximately 298 GB of digital media, which will reach approximately 898 GB of digital media by 2012.

These large personal digital libraries are all but trapped on users' computers. In order to play their content on their TV, consumers have struggled with clumsy solutions such as copying onto multiple CDs and DVDs or connecting their PCs to their TVs via wires or complicated home networking solutions. The new WD TV Mini Media Player perfectly suits the needs of those with a large media collection that are looking for an easy and affordable solution to watch their digital media on their TV.

"The popularity of the RealVideo format and its compatibility with the WD TV Mini Media Player makes it an excellent solution for consumers who wish to enjoy their RealVideo content on their TVs," said Scott Nelson, director of business development for RealNetworks.

"For those who desire an easy, affordable and portable solution to enjoy their digital media on their TV and who have content in RealVideo format, the new WD TV Mini Media Player fits the bill," said Dale Pistilli, vice president of marketing for WD's Branded Products Group. "The new WD TV Mini Media Player unlocks the content from their PCs and storage devices and makes it simple for people to enjoy their media on their home theater system, without the need to spend time configuring a complicated device or transcoding files to make them compatible."

Features of the WD TV Mini Media Player include:

Play video, music and photos on your TV in up to 1080i HD resolution;

Supports widest variety of file formats including RealMedia Variable Bitrate (RMVB);

Rich HD 1080i advanced navigation and user interface;

DVD-like navigation with chapter support, trick modes and subtitles;

Expandable: buy more storage, delete fewer movies;

Photo slideshow with unique transitions and music on your HD TV;

Thumbnail support including photo thumbnails and music album art;

Ability to preview your video during navigation (480 and 720 mode only);

Video, music and photo auto-play for users digital signage solution;

Subtitle support including multi-language subtitle support for video playback;

Picture Transfer Protocol to view or backup content from your digital image device;

Compatible with USB Camcorders and USB mass storage devices;

Component and composite video output;

Digital optical audio output via SPDIF;

Ultra-compact design making it perfectly portable for travel; and,

1-year limited warranty


Pricing and Availability

The WD TV Mini Media Player is available now at select retailers. MSRP for WD TV Mini Media Player is $99.99 USD.