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Western Digital WD TV Live Hub review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £152
inc VAT

The built-in hard disk might not be ideal for everyone, but either way it’s still an incredible media player, with gorgeous menus and a sleek appearance.


As well as playing locally stored content, you can stream media files to the Live Hub from PCs or NAS devices with UPnP support, it will also see Windows shared folders. Alternatively, you can stream files from the Live Hub to other devices in your home, say a DLNA-enabled TV or a games console. There’s also iTunes server support, so the Live Hub appeared as a shared device in iTunes on our PC, and we could play music from it.

One small concern is that the WD TV used 8W of power, even when in standby mode, probably due to the fact that it can still act as a server in this state. If you care about every watt you’ll want to turn it off at the mains overnight.

It’s a great device, but we’re not convinced that the Live Hub is a must-buy for everyone. Most people store their media files on their PC or laptop. This provides easy organisation of your files via Windows, and you can then stream them to a media player for viewing on your TV. If you want to store files on your network, then a NAS is the best option, and again streaming you can stream files to a media player in the living room.

The Live Hub combines streaming and network storage in one device. If you just have laptops in your home, and no desktop PC, then it would be a decent repository for all your media files, making them both available to view on your TV and still accessible from your roving laptops. In the end it’s the slick menu system, relatively large hard disk, breadth of features and stylish hardware that make this our ultimate media streamer – and all at a surprisingly reasonable price.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Media Streamer type hard disk streaming multimedia device

Audio Compatibility

Audio MP3 playback Yes
Audio WMA playback Yes
Audio WMA-DRM playback No
Audio AAC playback Yes
Audio Protected AAC playback No
Audio OGG playback Yes
Audio WAV playback Yes
Audio Audible playback No
Other audio formats FLAC, AIFF

Video Compatibility

Other video formats MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, WMV9, XVID, DIVX, VC-1

Image Compatibility

Image BMP support Yes
Image JPEG support Yes
Image TIFF support Yes

Network Interfaces

Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support Yes

AV Interfaces

Minijack line outputs 0
Minijack headphone outputs 0
Stereo phono outputs 1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs 0
Optical S/PDIF outputs 1
Total SCART sockets 0
HDMI outputs 1
Component outputs 1
S-video output 0
Composite outputs 1
Other connectors 2x USB


Size 32x198x100mm
Power consumption standby 8W
Power consumption on 11W

Server Compatibility

Software included none
UPnP Yes
iTunes No
SlimServer No

Buying Information

Price £152
Warranty one year RTB

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