Introduction and Specifications
Western Digital's WD TV Live Hub, which is what we're looking at today, is the company's fourth generation media streamer, and it's the most fully functional to date. Unlike the previous generation WD TV Live Plus, as well those that came out before it, this latest iteration adds several welcome additions, including a built-in 1TB hard drive, a built-in media server to stream content to multiple rooms, and more apps than before, including the ability to download movies and TV shows from Blockbuster On Demand.
The idea here is simple. Just plop the WD TV Live Hub into your home theater, connect it to your home network, and proceed shuttling movies, photos, and music back and forth from any of your network-connected PCs to the set-top box, and/or from the set-top box to any of your network-connected PCs. And while you're at it, you can tap into your Pandora account, Facebook news feed, watch Netflix videos, and a whole bunch more all without the complication or cost of integrating a true home theater PC into your living room.
Perhaps most impressive right off the bat is the number of video, photo, and audio formats the WD TV Live Hub supports. Western Digital warns that you won't be able to play "protected premium content such as movies or music from the iTunes Store, Cinema Now, Movielink, Amazon Unbox, and Vongo," but pretty much everything else is fair game.
We also like that Dolby Digital DTS is thrown in the mix, and the various connectivity options are a definite plus. It's clear that Western Digital put a lot of effort into making sure its latest media set-top box would integrate seamlessly into just about any home theater/network setup (sans Linux).