The Western Digital WD TV Play Media Player is part of the streaming media player & service
test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, streaming media players
models like the WD TV Play Media Player are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.
Picture quality includes image clarity, color accuracy, and contrast of streaming video. It's based mainly on the judgments of a panel who compare each device's output to a reference. However, the quality of the video that you'll get is largely dependent on the speed of your wired or wireless network. We tested all the players using a wired Ethernet connection, if available.
This score reflects the presence or absence of features, including the number of streaming video services, other internet services, and the ability to play media files
How easy it is to use on a normal basis.
Features & Specs - Western Digital WD TV Play Media Player
App or channel store Provider for adding addition apps or content.
App or channel store
Streaming video services What premium services are available to watch TV shows and movies.
Streaming video services
Netflix, Vudu, Hulu Plus, CinemaNow
Supports dual-band Wi-Fi Will supports 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks.
Supports dual-band Wi-Fi
Web browsing Has a web browser for accessing web sites.
HDMI input Used to pass through a video signal from your cable or satellite box. HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) HDMI has become the preferred connection method instead of component, etc., as it carries audio and video signals on the same cable. HDMI supports a range of standard- and high-definition video formats, although it can vary for each product. HDMI supports up to eight channels of uncompressed, 24-bit/192kHz audio. HDMI version 1.3, doubled the bandwidth of its predecessor (HDMI 1.2), and added support for 30-, 36- and 48-bit color depth and a new "xvYCC" color standard, as well as the new Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master lossless audio formats (See "Dolby True HD" and "DTS-HD Master Audio") used in Blu-ray discs. HDMI version 1.4 added full support for 3D television, an audio return path, and ethernet network connection. Some Blu-ray discs, in order to be viewed in high-definition, will require that the Blu-ray player and the HDTV/display be connected using an HDMI cable as a copy-protection measure. HDMI allows content providers to limit the quality of the component video outputs, and your ability to record the content.
USB ports Allows a USB memory device ("thumb drive"), external hard drive, or card reader to be plugged in. This allows you to display the still images and video clips, and play audio files stored on the memory device.
Video files can be found online in any number of video and audio formats: mov, flv, avi, wmv, mp4... the list goes on and on. Unlike the others, the WD will play virtually all of them. <br /><br />Find a flick that has sub titles? No problem for this little box. Like your subs in bright yellow rather than white? Or bigger? Or in a different font? Easy Peasy. <br /><br />All you need are the movies (video files) themselves (You can find thousands of newer and older movies online for free or for fee. Choose wisely.) and a way to store them (Generally an external hard drive), which connects to the box via USB 2.0.
How long have you owned it:
More than six months
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
from Columbia, MO
(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)
Slow response to remote
Count to five before pushing a remote button a second time. Only use it to watch netflix. Anytime we push a remote button (pause, play, shutoff, etc. it can take up to five seconds to respond. If you push it a second time before the five seconds it will cancel the first push - very frustrating!
How long have you owned it:
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
from Columbus, Ohio
(6 of 10 customers found this review helpful)
I thought this product was excellent except it kept stalling while loading a video from Netflix or Hulu plus. I have plenty of internet speed (15 mbps)and when I hooked up my Xbox in the same location, it had no issues. I would like to see reviews of these products from CR that contains the processor speed and the amount of memory as these impact buffering.