Author Topic: Quick Pro/Cons from 1 night with the WDTV Live  (Read 4181 times)

October 15, 2009, 05:15:43 AM
Read 4181 times

Well99

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So I picked up the WDTV Live at Best Buy on my way home last night.

I have been running 2 WDTV boxes with ext3-firmware, apple usb ethernet and no local drives.
All of my media is stored on my home server, which runs Windows Home Server.

So... I plugged the WDTVLive into the TV... set up the cables the same as before... and off I go.

First thing is that it played all my files.  I know I am behind on firmware on the old system, but the Live played my MKV files with Vorbis audio and was very quick to bring up the menus and even show previews on all my files from Small TV Rips to 10+GB Blu-ray rips.  It plays the DTS that the old box would not, so I have less converting to do.

Now on to the real problems, some of which may be deal breakers for the box.

1.  My home server has 15 shares on it.  Some for software, some are the user folders... about 7 have data for the WDTV.  Those are things like photos, movies, tv-shows, etc...

** The WDTV Live will not see more than 6 shares on the server **
There seems to be this max limit that I have no idea how to change.  Also, it randomly picks which 7 shares to show, and sometimes only catches a subset of that 6.  Meaning I can hit the shared folders once on the server and it shows 3 folders and the next time it shows 6.  However, if the video folder I wanted wasn't in that list of 6 it would never show it.  I tried resets, restarts, changed the login used to access the server, nothing changed the list of folders to larger than 6.  I made a bunch of the folders unshared, and it shows me a different group of 6 folders from the server.  OK I know this won't affect most people, but its really painful for those of us that use a file-server to do more than video.

** The WDTV Live will not index any remote data **
On my current setup with the old WDTV boxes I have data indexes of all the files in my mounts.  I am happy to pick folders to index.  I am happy to provide local storage for the index.  But I am not happy that I have to sort through my 5000+ video files by hand.  The search features, list all, etc... need to be able to be setup for network shares.

** The WDTV Live has a terrible interface for network interaction **
You go through the menus... and you get to Video.  You push the right arrow and then go down until you get to the shared folders... you go right again... and you get a random one of your network machines.  In my case it was the older WDTV box.  I have at least 5 computers showing on the network, but the menu in the WDTV requires that I just randomly go up and down in a list until it shows the name of my server.  Then when it enters the server... I get a folder list... but now instead of the left and right arrows moving me around... I have to use the OK and BACK buttons.  That is bad planning.

In addition... all files... video, music and photos are in the same menu on network drives.  This is nice enough, you can start a slide show or play a music playlist, or watch a video.  However, it is completely strange that you are choosing those things at the top level of the menu and then getting the full list of files at the next level down.  If you are going to setup menus like this you should just put the network share as a top level menu.

So my final complaint is that there is no way that I can set network shares to be the defaults.  I would use an on screen keyboard to say these are the shares I want on the server, but it needs some settings.

So after all that I turned the WDTV Live off, and I put my old ext3-firmware box back on the TV.  My wife can use the old listing its easy... go to video go to folders and go down.  The new system involves about 7 more menu changes.  In addition, the old system shows the shares I use instead of randomly picking new ones.  In the end, I am keeping the WDTV Live box in the box waiting for some updates.  It plays more formats than my current firmware, but the use of the new box is not up to par.

-Well

October 15, 2009, 12:09:15 PM
Reply #1

matt314159

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what version of server are you using?  I had a similar problem with shares showing up;  I have about 5 shares amongst a few external hard drives and at first I could only get it to show three of them.   

I went through the steps listed in the thread for windows 7, and after a couple restarts, all my folders now show up.  I will add a few shares to get past six, and see if they show up.   

I think server 2008 is based on a lot of windows 7 architecture, so if that's what you're using the same or similar might apply for you. 

I 110% agree about the network shares being cumbersome to get to.
on ext3-boot, I just hit video and voila, all my shares were listed there. 
with WDTV Live, it's Video > over > down > okay > ......wait for it to load the list of folders....wait some more...it's probably a 30 second endeavor with 7 or 8 button presses to get to the network shares, instaed  of 2 seconds and one button press to get to the same thing using ext3-boot.

October 15, 2009, 12:26:48 PM
Reply #2

Pennhaven

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Informative write up. Thanks. It seems that our modders did a better job with networking the original WDTV than the WDTV developers did with one they supposedly designed for networking!

Sounds as though not very much time was spent thinking about or working on the networking aspects before releasing the WDTV Live to market. If they had asked for some testing  help from a few of us already using modified firmware with home LAN / NAS setups these issues you're reporting might have been addressed already.

Unfortunately though it's paying customers like you now doing that testing and hoping that some indeterminate time in the future the box they paid for will be capable of doing what its supposed to in a sensible fashion. :(

October 15, 2009, 01:27:48 PM
Reply #3

matt314159

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I've been trying for the last half hour to get this thing to see more than my 5 original shares that I got working yesterday.   I don't think there's any hard limit necessarily on shares, but it sure seems like it just sees what it wants to see.  I am clearing all shares on my 'puter and starting over to see what it takes to get these to show up.

*update* I removed all shares, and refreshed the network list on the Live and it showed they were gone. 
Then I added a share.   Refreshed the Live, and a share showed up. 
Added another share.  Refreshed the Live, and the new share showed up.
Added another share.  Refreshed the Live, and the new share showed up.
Added another share.  Refreshed the Live, and the new share showed up. 
Added another share.  Refreshed the Live, and the new share showed up. 
We're back up to five. 
Added another share.  Refreshed the Live, and only the first five shares showed up.
Added another share.  Refreshed the Live, and only the first five shares showed up. 

time to restart these things a few times, and see if I can kick-start it somehow to get it to see them. 

It's weird that yours showed six while mine only seems to show five.   
« Last Edit: October 15, 2009, 01:52:29 PM by matt314159 »

October 15, 2009, 01:57:36 PM
Reply #4

Well99

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So my server is the 2003 based Windows Server.  And it is strange that you can only show 5.  I really think they needed to think about how to setup the WDTV.  I understand they are aiming for the less informed consumer, so they want to make it easy.  I mean the giant display at my Best Buy proved that.  However, they need to have hooks for those of us that are willing to delve into setup, via menus or something else.

I will say based on the price the WDTV is still the best solution on the market, but the WDTV Live (even at the $99 I paid) needs to use its new features, rather than tacking them on.

I wonder if the share limit is based on some sort of time-out problem... except my shares load in under a second.

Also... to add to my original post.  The Live box is really fast.  I would say it starts video faster and runs through the menus much faster than the previous setup.

All we can do is keep testing.

-Well

October 15, 2009, 02:15:21 PM
Reply #5

matt314159

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yup it is so weird, I can't figure out why this thing seems to limit th shares. 

Once I get that figured out, I'd really like to be able to "map" the network shares directly to the level directly beneath the video tab like they were on the old WDTV with ext3-boot.   

I think the main hope is going to be when they release the gpl code, which, if I'm not mistaken, will let the modders and coders get after cooking up a new bin for this thing.  If that happens this box will be a MAJOR force to be reckoned with.

October 16, 2009, 09:12:19 PM
Reply #6

3dxr

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WDTV live is working with TVersity Free edittion [is showing NFS:TVersity]
myIhome was not working for me butshare was visible probably my firewall problem - I will test it again
WDTV live is working fine with http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?DriveID=587
this HDD has DLNA server also

Sharing over NFS should be more effective then SMB now (first fw releases)

Someone above wrote network GUI is.... yes its true
Browsing over whole menu is not so easy like in WDTVv1 my personal opinion its like playing PACMAN game up-down-left-right
back button not working like go up/on previoous level arrows keys are always required.

Some VIDEO/AUDIO sources like local HDD or DLNA are deep in menu etc [TOPLEVEL->Video->Local Video->(date recent....)
its too deep in rotating menu ... :(

I am adding my disappointment network radios are usable play from user defined sources/URL
Only after registration on live365.com or pandora.I am EU user and Freestations arent working for me - bleeeh registration for free stations - nope never (finger)

EU users/IP has limited access on some radios on Live365.com and our local stations arent there (in my language) - short testing probably is there any workaround how is possible solve this I have idea play with router and rewrite URL request and change to my local radio and play with this hack ( only in TODO I am too busy now...iptables and rewrite )

if you want listen own local net-radio stations based on shoutcast you need have uPNP server with transcoding feature
its stupid today(2009/10) workaround but is working its stupid becouse player is fully capable play streams without PC[/font]


I am listenning net radios on pc becouse WDTVlive is first fw isnt usable for this job
PC consuming 18W energy WDTV live like previous model but ....need PC for listenning.
6W+18W=24W blee why isnt possiible has only 6W net radio player ? becouse some one need listenning statistics

WDTV live has same remote like WDTVv1  its good becouse if one will fail old model is working fine

Youtube player part - is working fine only zooming is missing for me there  or custom  stretching for SD CRT
and create own playlist without youtube registration=login and have account

WDTV live is better then WDTVv1 but need add some features and will be perfect ;)
small fanless and silent only black model should be also I  have all devices black one and this box is gray

October 17, 2009, 11:25:56 AM
Reply #7

Pennhaven

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WDTV live is better then WDTVv1 but need add some features and will be perfect ;)
small fanless and silent only black model should be also I  have all devices black one and this box is gray
Me too. Black is beautiful for me. Gray is just grey. So, I wonder, are the dimensions the same as the WDTV1?  i.e., Can the cases be swapped?

October 17, 2009, 06:11:21 PM
Reply #8

mrbill

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WDTV live is better then WDTVv1 but need add some features and will be perfect ;)
small fanless and silent only black model should be also I  have all devices black one and this box is gray
Me too. Black is beautiful for me. Gray is just grey. So, I wonder, are the dimensions the same as the WDTV1?  i.e., Can the cases be swapped?

Yes they can be swapped. Just the front/top cover.

I am also seeing all 8 shares I have on my system.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2009, 04:18:13 AM by mrbill »
Running Win 7 Ultimate 64 and no problems anywhere.