Author Topic: WDTV Live woes: or how to get 1080p over COMPONENT  (Read 20197 times)

October 25, 2009, 03:24:50 AM
Read 20197 times

swartz

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Sup y'all :)

This might not be interesting to anyone who got WDTV Live to work over HDMI without any issues.
But there are some (like myself) who had the misfortune of not being able to enjoy WDTV Live to its full potential.

First, without going into much detail, I could not get WDTV Live to work in HDMI at all. WDTV Live boots to WD logo, screen flickers, and then  TV says no HDMI input error.
More info here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=17370554#post17370554
I have tried everything, different cables, different settings, etc. I have tried it ALL. Does not help. My HDTV works with Bluray player and laptop over HDMI, but not WDTV Live. WDTV Live works fine with another TV. So its not broken per se. I returned one WDTV Live box to the store and got another one. Same problem: can't connect over HDMI.

So when I say I tried it all I really mean it. So the conclusion is that either my TV or WDTV live (or both) suffer from the dreaded HDMI handshake problem. When I contacted both device manufacturers they blamed each other and no one wanted to do anything. So much for support. Once they got my money, it's mission accomplished for these guys. Why care anymore, eh?

I waited for WDTV Live to come out for a while. Heard plenty of god reviews about the original WDTV and the hacked firmware appeal.
But I wanted network right out of the box. Needless to say, wen I finally got WDTV Live and couldn't get it to work was a HUGE disappointment.

If I were to keep WDTV Live I wanted 1080p on my TV to work, period... or WDTV Live would be punted out the bloody window. Why should I settle for less, right?
Oh I nearly smashed the damn thing after countless wasted hours. But... it didn't all go to waste it turns out.

I discovered what I think is a bug. I now believe there is an artificial limitation that prevents WDTV Live to just have an option of 1080p over COMPONENT cables.

For whatever reason (hollywood interests prolly) WDTV Live officially does not support 1080p over composite cables.
Coz' you know that's like unprotected hi-def video and all... Like HDMI/HDCP ever stopped anyone really serious about pirating content.
All this protection nonsense only prevents legit consumers (like myself) from enjoying their products.

See official WD knowledge base answer ID 3798 for WD answer regarding 1080p over component.
http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=3798
No explanation as to why, just not supported. Dare to explain? Surely, there is no physical limitations.
For doubters, 1080p is possible over component. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Component_cable

But I digress...
To see this bug/glitch at work, try this:

1. Connect WDTV Live to a TV capable of 1080p over component (you can leave HDMI cable disconnected)
2. While using component input on your TV, go into A/V Settings on WDTV Live box
3. Select Component as source
4. Select 1080i @ 60hz (the highest option for me)
5. Select RGB for color space. If you select YUV this glitch wont work fully (only lasts in confirm resolution screen, when OK-ed, reverts back).
6. Click OK to confirm resolution change. And confirm that your TV is now 1080i over component.
7. Now go to A/V setting again and select HDMI (yes now go to HDMI even tho HDMI might not be connected)
8. Select 1080p@60Hz (the highest for me).
9. Select AUTO in Color Space (although RGB High or Low should both work, not sure about the last option there).
10. Your screen will flicker and you will get the Confirm Resolution change - check your TV's info what resolution it is in. BAM! 1080p over component, something WD says is not supported.
11. Don't forget to click OK in this screen. The screen will stay in 1080p over component (if you hadn't set Color space in step 5 to RGB, but rather to YUV this step will revert back to 720p over component)
12. You can now play 1080p content over component at full quality. Counter to what WD is officially "supporting".

After following these steps my TV confirms it's getting 1080p over component. I can also visually confirm difference between 1080i and 1080p modes on the TV. In 1080i I can visually spot interlaced lines especially when there is a lot of action on TV with high black/white contrast. While 1080p does not exhibit this interlaced line effect.

There is one limitation however:
WDTV Live does not save this setting properly when powered down.
So if you turn your WDTV Live off or place it in standby it will revert back to 720p when back on.
So you have to do this sequence of steps every time it turns on or never turn it off (duh!).

I hope someone like b-rad would be able to make this setting save properly. I have little hopes of WD officially supporting this. And, unfortunately, my bet is this glitch will be fixed in the next official firmware release from WD.

So if you're like me with a 1080p TV and WDTV Live not cooperating with each other, there is still hope to get full 1080p picture on your HDTV although not through HDMI like you might want.

So far I confirm this bug existing on two separate WDTV Live boxes with either the official firmware from WD or with b-rad's hacked firmware v0.1.4.

I hope that some may find this information interesting so that is why I post this.

I just ask that if someone could test this out on their set ups and either confirm or deny it would be most welcome to myself and others, I'm sure.

Thank you!
« Last Edit: October 25, 2009, 03:39:13 AM by swartz »

October 25, 2009, 10:53:28 AM
Reply #1

GuyWD

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About your issues with HDMI - can you do me a favor? If you boot up your WDTV Live with a USB drive connected, it will create a file named EDID.bin in the .wd_tv folder in the root of your drive. This file contains data for debugging HDMI handshaking problems. If you can provide this file and tell me what model TV you own, it might be possible to fix this.

October 25, 2009, 11:54:07 AM
Reply #2

jayallan

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swartz,

You wrote a very informative post here.  Thanks for taking the time to share your findings with the community.

Be sure to follow up with the info for GuyWD.   I can assist you in posting the file if you have any problems. 
WDTV LIVE with current official FW > HDMI > DVDO > Sony CRT Projector 150" 16/9 screen.  Toslink audio to Yamaha DTS receiver. No Network set up yet.

October 25, 2009, 12:46:03 PM
Reply #3

jayallan

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WDTV LIVE with current official FW > HDMI > DVDO > Sony CRT Projector 150" 16/9 screen.  Toslink audio to Yamaha DTS receiver. No Network set up yet.

October 25, 2009, 03:43:31 PM
Reply #4

fred_be9300

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you've yet to mention the brand and model of your TV.

I had a similar problem a year ago when I just got my WDTV. Turned out the problem was in my TV. It got fixed under Warranty, luckily. Read more: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=15471779#post15471779

October 27, 2009, 03:22:45 PM
Reply #5

swartz

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Oh thank god the forum is back.
I was desperately waiting for the errors to go away so I could contact GuyWD.

I have a follow-up...
There is no edid.bin file being created when I use my HDTV. There is only a .cas file (SQL lite db?) and a md5 checksum for the .cas file.
There are no other files besides those two. I have attempted to pull the usb drive out at various stages of the boot process, the same story: no edid.bin file being created.
I even checked if its a hidden file... nothing. I tried a different usb drive, still nothing.

Is this a symptom of something that has a known cause?

My HDTV is a Cineplus (made by Prima), model LC-47R27CP2.
I believe there is also a clone made by Vu with the same model LC-47R27

What I can add is when I connect WDTV Live to my LCD monitor model Acer x263wbi it works. That is I can see edid.bin being created.


October 27, 2009, 03:34:06 PM
Reply #6

GuyWD

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So no matter what HDMI cable you use or which HDMI port on the TV you use, all you get is the WD logo briefly appearing on the screen? And no matter what combination of cables or ports, you never see the edid.bin file being generated on your hard drive? This is strange. Thanks for telling me the model of your TV.

October 27, 2009, 09:50:09 PM
Reply #7

swartz

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So no matter what HDMI cable you use or which HDMI port on the TV you use, all you get is the WD logo briefly appearing on the screen? And no matter what combination of cables or ports, you never see the edid.bin file being generated on your hard drive? This is strange. Thanks for telling me the model of your TV.

That is correct.
Is there a set of circumstances where such file would not be created?
Any way to log the process of the HDMI handshake?

To sum up my attempts:
- 3 different cables of different lengths 3, 6, and 20 feet (versions 1.3, 1.3b1, 1.3b)
- 2 different USB drives connected in various combinations at at different times.

November 06, 2009, 12:11:17 PM
Reply #8

swartz

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Hi GuyWD,

Any updates on this issue?

November 17, 2009, 02:46:20 PM
Reply #9

swartz

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To GuyWD and entire WDTV Live staff,

You still have not fixed my issue with HDMI connections.
I have opened an official ticket, but you keep blaming my tv for this. It works with everything else but your WDTV Live box.

On top of it all, the new firmware (1.01.11) now closes the 1080p over Component process as I described above.
So you artificially prevent me from enjoying my goddamn equipment to its fullest potential.

If you can't fix my HDMI problem, why can't you just add 1080p over Component???????? I have proof that it is possible. But you purposely disabled it.

You bunch of cowards.

I'm returning the two WDTV Live boxes back to the store.
I will never buy another WD product and will strongly advise others from buying WD.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2009, 02:55:24 PM by swartz »

November 17, 2009, 04:06:39 PM
Reply #10

jayallan

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Swartz,

I understand your frustration, but do you really need to cross post this in at least three places???  Not cool :(

As far as the 1080p issue.  You know as well as I do (you say as much in the first post of this thread) that Hollywood frowns upon unprotected 1080p. 
It may even very well be against licensing agreements that WD has.  But you already know this and are the one who brought this to their attention. 

That being said, having the ability to watch your own 1080p content over component should be your right.  But, it is very rare to have anyone need this feature of course since 99.99% percent of all TVs that support 1080p have not only an HDMI (which WD fully supports) but several HDMI inputs. 

I highly doubt they disabled it just to piss you off.  More likely it is against their manufacturing agreements. This is the real world and WD is an AMERICAN company. 
They have to follow rules that don't apply to the Chinese manufacturers. 

It is totally your right to bitch about it, and it is your right to seek another product if this one does not satisfy your specific needs.  Just be aware that all products of this type come with limitations.  and the less limitations they have, the bigger the price tag.   


WDTV LIVE with current official FW > HDMI > DVDO > Sony CRT Projector 150" 16/9 screen.  Toslink audio to Yamaha DTS receiver. No Network set up yet.

November 17, 2009, 06:41:16 PM
Reply #11

swartz

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Swartz,
I understand your frustration, but do you really need to cross post this in at least three places???  Not cool :(

Duly noted. Just felt a wee bit ticked off. I'll explain.

As far as the 1080p issue.  You know as well as I do (you say as much in the first post of this thread) that Hollywood frowns upon unprotected 1080p. It may even very well be against licensing agreements that WD has.  But you already know this and are the one who brought this to their attention. 
I may understand this issue. But why don't they outright come out and say why it won't work. Something like:
 "we cannot support this because current legislation, treaty, or agreement with X, Y, and/or Z prohibits us from allowing this feature to be enabled. If you feel that this is hindering you in any way, you may find more information by contacting X, Y, and Z for more information".
This way they explain that it doesn't work and why. And that any issues and/or concerns arising because of this should be forwarded to the proper organization. This is just basic PR 101.

That being said, having the ability to watch your own 1080p content over component should be your right.  But, it is very rare to have anyone need this feature of course since 99.99% percent of all TVs that support 1080p have not only an HDMI (which WD fully supports) but several HDMI inputs. 

I highly doubt they disabled it just to piss you off.  More likely it is against their manufacturing agreements. This is the real world and WD is an AMERICAN company.  They have to follow rules that don't apply to the Chinese manufacturers. 
Then just explain why they don't support 1080p over component... not just patch it silently. Notice that this patch doesn't even appear in the release notes. The fact that they kept it all quiet makes them a sleazy company.

  Just be aware that all products of this type come with limitations.  and the less limitations they have, the bigger the price tag.   
But that is just retarded. Wouldn't you agree? Putting artificial restrictions takes more time (time=money) than just to leave it unhindered. But that must say something about our society in general...

November 17, 2009, 08:34:06 PM
Reply #12

opentoe

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Swartz,

I understand your frustration, but do you really need to cross post this in at least three places???  Not cool :(

As far as the 1080p issue.  You know as well as I do (you say as much in the first post of this thread) that Hollywood frowns upon unprotected 1080p. 
It may even very well be against licensing agreements that WD has.  But you already know this and are the one who brought this to their attention. 

That being said, having the ability to watch your own 1080p content over component should be your right.  But, it is very rare to have anyone need this feature of course since 99.99% percent of all TVs that support 1080p have not only an HDMI (which WD fully supports) but several HDMI inputs. 

I highly doubt they disabled it just to piss you off.  More likely it is against their manufacturing agreements. This is the real world and WD is an AMERICAN company. 
They have to follow rules that don't apply to the Chinese manufacturers. 

It is totally your right to bitch about it, and it is your right to seek another product if this one does not satisfy your specific needs.  Just be aware that all products of this type come with limitations.  and the less limitations they have, the bigger the price tag.   





What's up. Chinese Manufacturers? Where's the WDTVLIVE made?  :)   Just kidding.


November 17, 2009, 09:13:26 PM
Reply #13

jayallan

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Swartz,

I agree with you that it is a frustrating issue.  If my TV only took component I would be pretty upset.  All I am saying is that there are things here that may be out of their control at WD.   Retarded or not.  The bigger the company, the more they stick their neck out on issues like this.  It is also often the case that the left hand (tech dept) does not know what the right hand (publicity/legal dept) is doing.  I can tell you first hand that the tech guys are sticking their necks out just contributing to this board.  WDs publicity dept probably does not know that we exist.  Remember the WDTV is a very small portion of their product line. 

BTW The HD Fury would solve your problem.  I was just looking at it on http://curtpalme.com/HDFury2.shtm It takes and HD 1080p (or less) signal in through HDMI, strips the HDCP and outputs full 1080p via component.  There are 3 versions and the #2 is what you would need.  They are pricey but it is an option. 
WDTV LIVE with current official FW > HDMI > DVDO > Sony CRT Projector 150" 16/9 screen.  Toslink audio to Yamaha DTS receiver. No Network set up yet.

November 17, 2009, 11:39:36 PM
Reply #14

liveuser

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Have you tried flashing back to original firmware?