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WD TV Live Hub
The WD TV Live Hub is an option for those who want both the ability to stream content from the internet directly to their TV, and also to store their own files on the device for TV playback. This is similar to the WD TV Live, though comes with a hard drive and no Wi-Fi internet connection, so is it worth paying the extra cash for this device?
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WD TV Live Hub Specs At A Glance
Average Price: $199
Size: 7.8 x 6.1 x 1.3
Connection: HDMI, Composite Video
Resolution: Up to 1080p
SD Card Slot: None
USB Ports: 2
Storage Space: 1TB
Web Browser: None
Amazon Video: No
WD TV Live Hub: The Good
Storage Space: The main difference between the WD TV Live Hub and the newer and less expensive WD TV Live is the fact that the former boasts a 1TB hard drive. Hard drives are what Western Digital are famous for, and 1TB is a lot of space for storing your media files. This is excellent for those who have a very large digital media collection, and who want to be able to house it on the one multimedia device, instead of attaching an external hard drive or streaming across the home network.
Supported File Types: The WD TV Live Hub supports a huge range of different file formats, which is what makes this such an attractive option when compared to devices like the Roku.
Range of Content: The WD TV Live Hub is excellent for viewing your own local content, but it’s also great for streaming content from the internet. Services include: Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, YouTube, Flickr, Blockbuster and DailyMotion. This is an excellent selection, although not quite as big as competitors such as Roku – some users may be disappointed that Amazon Video isn’t on the list.
Design: Because of the fact that the WD TV Live Hub comes with a hard drive included, it is a bit bigger than some streaming devices such as Apple TV and Roku 2. However, it’s still small enough to easily fit into your current entertainment unit, and the glossy black design makes it look sleek yet unobtrusive.
The connections on the box itself mean that you can connect older SD TVs as well as HD screens. This is something that devices such as Apple TV simply don’t offer, and is a bonus to users who want to bring some life to older standard definition screens.
Streaming Content To And From Networked Devices: The WD TV Live Hub can connect to other devices on your network, whether that means other computers or games consoles set up on your home network. This makes it easy to access multimedia files stored on your PC to stream them through your television. DLNA support makes it easy to connect to a whole range of devices as long as they also have DLNA support.
But it’s not just streaming to the WD Live TV Hub that’s a benefit, you can also stream and transfer files from the Hub to networked devices. This means that you can access all the content stored on the Hub’s 1TB internal hard drive while browsing from your PC. This is an excellent way to transfer and even back up your media files with no wires and virtually no setup.
USB Ports: There are two USB ports included on the WD Live TV Hub, which makes it easy to connect up an external hard drive if you need even more space. You can also connect items such as cameras and a Wi-Fi adapter if you need to.
WD TV Live Hub: The Bad
No Wi-Fi: One of the biggest downsides of this product is the fact that it doesn’t come with the ability to connect to Wi-Fi networks, like the cheaper WD TV Live model. Rivals such as Boxee come with this built in as standard, and still have the ability to play a wide range of different file formats. That said, it isn’t too difficult to connect a USB Wi-Fi dongle if you can’t easily connect through the Ethernet port.
Price: The included 1TB hard drive on the WD TV Live Hub certainly bumps up the price of this product in comparison to the WD TV Live, Apple TV and Roku. However, it’s well worth paying a little more for a place to store your media collection if you have a lot of files.
Is The WD TV Live Hub Worth Buying?
Although the WD TV Live Hub is undoubtedly more expensive than options such as Roku, and it doesn’t come with Wi-Fi like the cheaper WD TV Live, it does have some features that will make it appeal to more advanced users. You can’t beat the 1TB hard drive when compared to rivals such as Boxee and Netgear’s NeoTV 550, and the WD TV Live Hub also boasts as excellent range of online streaming services. All in all, these factors make the Live Hub worth its price tag.