The thing that struck me about the press release for the WD TV Live HD Media Player wasn’t the ability to stream your HD content over your network to your TV (my PS3 does that for me), but more the fact that it apparently allows you to stream Pandora internet radio here in Australia.
I was so surprised that I even double checked with WD’s PR rep, who confirmed that Pandora, along with YouTube and Flickr, all work with the WD box. That alone – if it really does work – makes this box worth checking out.
Here’s a list of features for the box:
* Full-HD 1080p video playback and navigation with the included remote control and crisp, animated navigation menus;
* Play a wide variety of file formats including support for a wide variety of the most popular file formats with no need to spend time transcoding;
* Play videos, music and photos from the Internet on your big screen TV and discover new music with Pandora Internet radio or listen to thousands of radio stations via Live365 Internet radio;
* Ethernet port for wired or WiFi connection to access files anywhere on the network to play movies, music, and photos from any PC or drive on a home network;
* Turns a USB drive into an HD media player and plays content from most popular USB drives, and digital cameras, camcorders, and portable media players that can be recognized as mass storage devices;
* Unlimited media collection, just add more USB drives for more space;
* Two USB ports for seamless media playback from multiple USB drives and ability to access them simultaneously while a media library feature collects the content on all the drives into one list sorted by media type;
* Transfer files by copying, moving or deleting files stored on a USB drive, a network drive, camcorder, or a camera to the attached USB drive using the on-screen menus;
* Picture Transfer Protocol support to show photos and movies directly from digital camera or video camera and or any digital imaging device that supports Picture Transfer Protocol;
* Advanced navigation options including thumbnail and list views, media library and search;
* Photo viewing to create custom slide shows, zoom and pan and search;
* Movie viewing with fast-forward, rewind, pause, zoom and pan, view subtitles, and search;
* Music playback with fast-forward, rewind, pause, shuffle, repeat and search;
* File copying between USB devices;
* HDMI® 1.3 port, composite video and component video output for the highest quality HDTV or home theater;
* SPDIF digital output that sends digital signals to your AV receiver for the best surround sound experience; and,
* Ultra-compact design to fit easily into a home entertainment center.
The box costs $199 and works with both PCs and Macs. The question now is whether potential Pandora access is enough to convince you to purchase?