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How to Stream Online Movies and Internet Content on your non-Smart TV

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by Mike Bowser

Editor’s Note:  We’re giving away a Western Digital Home Entertainment bundle, valued at $400!  See below to find out how you can WIN IT!

 

 

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The WD TV Live Streaming Media Player is probably one of the coolest pieces of technology to come out in the last couple of years. It competes directly with a popular device you have probably heard of, the Roku.

There are a number of features included in the WD TV Live:

1.)  You have access to all your online media services through your WD TV Live.

Online Subscriptions

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2.)  The player itself comes with a built in RJ45 network adapter just like you would have on the back of your home computer to hook into your home network.

3.)  If cables are hassle, no worries the WD TV Live also supports WiFi (b,g,n) speeds.
4.)  You have two options to hook up WDTV Live to your TV. 

The WD TV Live hooks directly into your television via 2 options. You have standard component cable which comes with the device (for older televisions white, yellow and red wires) and HDMI which you will have to purchase on your own (not a big deal as you can find a decent HDMI cable for under $10 online). If you have an HDMI connection on your television I would highly recommend using that so you can take advantage of the High Definition content available for download online.

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5.) Stream your content from your computer to your TV.

The best feature that makes the WD TV Live player stand out for me is its ability to stream your personal content from an external drive or a shared drive on your home network. You can either directly connect a USB external hard drive to your WD TV Live via the 2 open USB ports or connect to a network drive on your home network to access your personal content.

I decided to hook up my WD external hard drive to my WD router and make it shared on my home network as a test to see how well the video played.  I was able to play a Phineas and Ferb episode and the Lorax movie flawlessly with no delays and no wires!!! One thing to note though is if you plan on streaming media wirelessly, I highly suggest you have a router that can support the bandwidth as video especially high-definition takes up a lot.  I recently reviewed the Western Digital MyNet 900, which I used to stream these two shows.  It’s ideal for video streaming.

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6.)  Support of multiple file formats.

The player supports multiple formats which really makes it stand out among its competitors when you look at all the different types of video and audio formats that are on the market today. It can be so frustrating to have to convert your media to one specific type of format in order to play it, but with this player, there is not one type of audio/video format  I own that it could not play.

File Formats Supported
Video – AVI (Xvid, AVC, MPEG1/2/4), MPG/MPEG, VOB, MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG1/2/4, VC-1), TS/TP/M2T (MPEG1/2/4, AVC, VC-1), MP4/MOV (MPEG4, h.264), M2TS, WMV9, FLV (h.264)
Photo – JPEG, GIF, TIF/TIFF, BMP, PNG
Audio – MP3, WAV/PCM/LPCM, WMA, AAC, FLAC, MKA, AIF/AIFF, OGG, Dolby Digital, DTS
Playlist – PLS, M3U, WPL
Subtitle – SRT, ASS, SSA, SUB, SMI

 

7.) You can hook up a wired/wireless keyboard.

Another nifty feature I appreciated very much was the ability to hookup a wired/wireless keyboard to the WD TV Live. It can be extremely tedious to sign into accounts with only a remote control that lacks a qwerty keyboard forcing you to arrow to all the letters/numbers to enter your login information for Netflix or Hulu Plus. I hooked up my own wired keyboard and it worked perfectly saving me the headache of using the remote to enter my account information.

 

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8.)  Netflix in full streaming color!

I also tested my Netflix account on the WD TV Live and I had no issues logging into my account or streaming the movie Rat Race with no delays or skipping in the video. The picture looked beautiful in full 1080p.

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8.)  There’s an App for That!

One final feature I really enjoyed about the WD TV Live media player was the free WD TV Remote app that you can download through iTunes or Google Play for the Android that gives you wireless capability of your player. You can login to your online accounts using your smartphone’s keyboard which is a great convenience and you can even use the gesture screen to navigate through the menus on your player with ease.

WDRemote             WDRemote2

 

Pricing

The WD TV Live is available on Amazon.com with Free Super Saver Shipping for $$89.99  or Bestbuy.com for $99.99 with free shipping. This is a solid media player and is well worth the price you pay!

 

A Dad’s Perspective

The WD TV Live is a solid and well-rounded streaming media player. The only thing I think Western Digital could improve upon is to widen their channel selection to also include HBO Go, Disney, Amazon Instant Video and NBA Game Time. I’m not a big online service streaming consumer so it was not that big of a setback for me.  The ability to stream my own content to my television far outweighed the online service options. I can see how someone might like a specific online service like Disney and may lean toward another competing media player; however, if the online options available on the WD TV Live meet your needs, then the WD TV Live player is definitely for you.

 

Win It!

Interested in trying out the WDTV Live?  Western Digital is generously offering to one of our readers a digital home networking bundle, valued at $400.  The bundle includes:

wdfMyNetN900_250               MB_Live_1_250               WD TV Live

 

  1. My Net N900 Router  Model: WDBWVK0000NSL-HESN   $159.99
  2. My Book Live 1tb Model: WDBACG0010HCH-NESN $139.99
  3. WDTV Live   Model: WDBHG70000NBK-HESN   $99.99

Sign up below to enter, with lots of extra chances to win.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read more about the My Net N900 in our review on our sister site, The WellConnectedHome.com:  WD My Net N900.  A Router for a New Generation.

 

 

 

 

 

*  I was given the WD TV Live in exchange for my honest review.  All expressed opinions are my own.



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71 comments
Frank
Frank

This is a direct competitor to the roku

michelle tucker
michelle tucker

What an awesome contest. I have to admit that most of it sounds greek to me, but hubby states it's awesome.

LauraLaura
LauraLaura

My fiance and I are always playing MMOs, streaming movies, and running multiple systems at the same time (one Wii in each girls bedroom, PS3 in the living room, my tablet, my computer, his massive gaming PC).

Steven McCuan
Steven McCuan

I am very computer savey I can think of many ways I can link this to my gaming system pc and my hd tvs ho the fun i can have .

Daniel M
Daniel M

been wanting some kind of streaming solution, looks great!

jeanne conner
jeanne conner

this looks like a great system and easy to use..

Miz Vickik
Miz Vickik

I'd love to have a better router and more storage!

Angela Cash
Angela Cash

I currently have movies, TV shows, etc. stored on my laptop, desktop, and a very old external hard drive. I would love to be able to consolidate all of my files in one location and stream them to my TV. Using my Android phone as a remote would be the icing on the cake!

valerie
valerie

Need a new router - the other stuff would make it all extra fun.

Susan Smith
Susan Smith

I would like to have the system so I could watch Netflix in my bedroom.

Stacy
Stacy

I would just love to be able to watch YouTube videos and other online content on my big-screen TV

Laura Bradley
Laura Bradley

I would love for my son to be able to have netflix in his room!

Kathleen Smith
Kathleen Smith

I would love to be able to stream my own content, as well as online streaming and all the other bells and whistles

Valerie Mabrey
Valerie Mabrey

We only have network tv and it is sometimes very complicated to watch what we want. It would make it so much easier!

buttmuffin
buttmuffin

id stream all my movies from my computer without having to burn dvds! awesome!

Betty C
Betty C

I'd love to have the new router. I'm constantly having problems with mine. All the rest of the package would be a huge bonus.

Robin
Robin

We watch a lot of netflix so this package would be an awesome answer to our viewing movies in our living room

Theresa Pettit
Theresa Pettit

I would use it for my sister who doesn't have a smart TV.

Justin
Justin

I love technology, I'd love to connect it all with a network.

jsc123
jsc123

I would love to have this setup so that I can stream our movies and programs to our television for the whole family to enjoy together instead of being huddled around our monitors. It even sounds simple enough for me to be able to hook up on my own. jweezie43[at]gmail[dot]com

Michael Jones
Michael Jones

I would like to win Because we don't have cable and stream 90% of our television watching(and love it) but need some better equipment to make a better experience.

Dave M.
Dave M.

Our router is ancient! This one would be a great upgrade, and improve our household connectivity. The external HD is also a big need for us. All of our important family photos are are a single computer, and this would allow us to backup our data and store 'off-site'. The WDTV just looks cool ...never tried one, but would like to!!

kelley roach
kelley roach

We recently ditched cable for a Roku, with mixed results. I'd be curious to try this system out and see how it compares. Especially with an upgraded router!

Tim
Tim

The cable companies are a ripoff in my area. I have been looking into the online streaming option but have been hesitant to make the investment.

Geoff K
Geoff K

I'd use this bundle to upgrade the media set-up in our bedroom -- we just got a new TV but have no media accessories for it yet, so this would be perfect. Thanks!

Lesley F
Lesley F

We are Netflix subscribers and lately have been having a lot of trouble with it due to cable. I would like to try this to see if it works better.

kismetchris
kismetchris

I would like to have the system so I could watch Netflix and choose what I want to see instead of hoping for something good on cable.

Carl Cederlund
Carl Cederlund

I need a new router. The other things would be the fun stuff.

sandra davis
sandra davis

i would love to be able to stream my computer to my tv since i have a really small monitor this would be awesome

steve stone
steve stone

technology is the greatest and can always use an update.

Rhonda Grisham
Rhonda Grisham

I would be able to do so much more than now. Streaming Media!!!

Lori L.
Lori L.

Looks like a great prize for my family. We'd love to win it!

shari
shari

Would love being able to stream everything to my tv!!!

Jean Parks
Jean Parks

Being able to stream content to the TV in my bedroom would be great, being able to control the device via my smartphone would really rock. WD makes great products!

Christine W
Christine W

Would love to use it for Netflix....so fun! Thanks for the chance.

Jennifer B.
Jennifer B.

I like the idea of being able to stream my entertainment whenever I want.

David Haug
David Haug

We have some old tv's and some nice ones. it would be nice to easily be able to access netflix, instant amazon, hulu, etc on all the tv's.

Ivan92116
Ivan92116

I'm in need of a new router and I would setup WDTV Live in my bedroom tv to stream Netflix.

Jeremy
Jeremy

I have a PS3, so I have some similar capability with that, but it's time for me to upgrade my router and get that extra 1TB of storage.

Andrew
Andrew

Would love to add the WD TV Live to our media center! The hard drive is a plus as well.

Kim
Kim

I would use it to watch Netflix!

Tricia Andrews
Tricia Andrews

Honestly I would like to LEARN how to use all this stuff if I won it. My husband is the one that knows how to use all the gadgets and gizmos in the house! I'd like to learn how to hook it all up and use it all to it's fullest capacity!

Bill
Bill

I could use it to connect streaming media to my TV.

wellconnectdmom
wellconnectdmom

Tricia, it's really quite interesting and the more you learn about installing these products, the more knowledge you have for installing future gadgets down the road.

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