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Introduction

WD TV Live Plus

At a Glance
Product Western Digital WD TV Live Plus (WDBABX0000NBK)
Summary Inexpensive and surprisingly flexible media player with Netflix support
Pros • Extensive video formats supported
• 1080p support
• Works well with Twonky media server
• Silent
• Pandora support
Cons • Can't attach USB hub
• Limited Internet content
• YMMV for DVD navigation

Western Digital may have obsoleted its WD TV Live Network Media Player when it introduced the WD TV Live Plus last month. But the $30 price premium it's charging for the Live Plus over the Live may let folks who don't care about Netflix to opt for the Live and pocket the difference.

WD's WD TV lineup now includes four players (Figure 1). But the networkability of the Live duo makes them the better choices.

WD TV Live lineup

Figure 1: WD TV Live lineup

Jim did an excellent job of covering the Live's feature set in his review. So I'll just add a few comments of my own, cover the Plus' Netflix features and draw comparisons to Seagate's FreeAgent Theater+ (FAT+), which is currently in rotation as our household digital media player.

Although I didn't find Seagate's 802.11B/G/N USB wireless adapter (based on a Realtek chipset) in WD's wireless adapter list, I decided to try it and was pleased that it worked. Figure 2 shows the network scan result, which picked up only my 2.4 GHz network, since the Seagate adapter doesn't support the 5 GHz band.

Wireless network scan result

Figure 2: Wireless network scan result

Once I plugged the Seagate adapter in, the Network setup page (Figure 3) showed a wireless option. The information displayed doesn't include encryption type or wireless channel.

WD TV Live Plus Network setup screen

Figure 3: WD TV Live Plus Network setup screen

You can also store up to five wireless networks and choose among them (Figure 4).

Wireless favorites

Figure 4: Wireless favorites

I also decided to see if WD has decided to allow USB hubs and found they haven't. You actually can attach a hub and a drive plugged into it will be recognized. But the Plus recognizes only one drive per port.

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