Western Digital WDTV Live Hub: first steps to a connected home

If you hang around the Dabs team for more than about 3 minutes, you’ll undoubtedly hear the phrase ‘connected home’, in fact, you’ll probably hear a few times, the reason being is that we think it is not only the future but an imminent future in homes across Britain.

In forthcoming posts, we’ll look at the devices you may already own and how they could be brought together to form the basis of your own personal connected home.  But in this post, I’d like to consider a device that could form the cornerstone of a connected project.

The Western Digital WDTV Live Hub isn’t the newest device. Before you lose interest, this is a good thing, it has been tried and tested (and seen a price reduction) and is still a solid addition to your home entertainment system.

Western Digital have risen to the top of a bunch manufacturers and are widely considered to be one of the leaders in the industry when it comes to format support and built-in Wi-Fi.  Their devices are among the best media streamers, being simple to use and producing high quality playback for even 1080p video files.

The Live Hub provides access to YouTube and some other online video options, but sadly, unlike the US, there isn’t access to some of the bigger on-demand TV services.  We hope that at some point this will change because our ‘cousins over the water’ have access to some great content, whereas negotiating a deal with the likes of the BBC and ITV seems to have proven to be more difficult for Western Digital.

The design of the product is nice and the user interface is intuitive.  There’s very little that you’ll throw at it, that it won’t be able to handle. Actually give it a go, it might be a fun game, see what format you currently use for your multimedia and make a list of the ones the WD TV Live can’t cope with, I’ll give you 10 points for each failed format.  The bonus trick of the 1TB hard drive hub is that it doubles as a basic NAS device, all that for a very reasonable price.

I level with you all, I am writing this as one of the Dabs team, so no doubt you’ll be thinking that I’m bound to be positive about this device. But actually, there’s a multitude of devices I could suggest if that’s all I wanted to do and also, if you don’t believe me, just look at all the positive reviews there are for this thing. You’ll be hard pressed to find a bad word said about it.  So give it a go, it’s good.

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