[This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Stephanie, comment #12. Thank you to all who entered.]
The ability to play Netflix movies and show the pictures from my laptop on a TV is so prevalent at this point, I get annoyed when I can’t. With the WD TV Live Streaming Media Player from Western Digital selling on Amazon for a price so low they wouldn’t even show it to me unless I put it in my cart, there’s little excuse not to have every TV in your home connected to the internet and your home network.
My favorite thing about this box is its size. Its footprint is smaller than a standard square napkin:
In fact, it’s so small and light that you can hang it on the wall with just a couple of screws or nails.
Setup was extremely easy. I hooked up the included power cord and RCA cable and put the batteries into the remote. It scanned for WiFi signals (you can also hook it up directly to a modem if you don’t have WiFi), and I chose mine and put in my password. I have to admit I was worried at this point – the WiFi signal was only showing one bar. I’ve never gotten anything to work on one bar. To compare, my laptop in the same location gets four or five bars.
I went right to Netflix and signed in with no problem, and started streaming an episode of The Office I’d been watching the night before. It loaded quickly and played all the way through! On one bar!
Now, I wouldn’t recommend using the included RCA cable long-term if you’ve got an HD TV, because the picture will not be as good as it can be. Get yourself an HDMI cable (and don’t pay a fortune for it – stay away from those overpriced cables, you’re throwing money away! I use these HDMI cables). That way you can take advantage of the HD streaming and Dolby True HD sound. However, if you’re trying to get a really old TV connected, this will do the trick.
The next thing I wanted to do was set up my photos to play in a slideshow. I went to the Photos tab and chose Network Share, then Windows Share, and saw both of the PCs that I have set up for sharing on our network. (I also had the option of grabbing photos from Facebook and other online services, or by attaching external storage to the box via USB.) I added the folders I wanted to something they call My Media Library,
and in a few minutes there were about 2,500 pictures playing in a slideshow.
You can set the duration for each picture, the transition, the shuffle mode, and more. You could even set the box to play a slideshow as soon as it turns on.
The number of services accessible by this box is huge. Just a sampling:
- Hulu Plus
You can also watch live TV via SlingBox, if you have one.
The WD TV Live is perfect for getting a crisp streaming picture onto an HD TV that isn’t otherwise online, or for bringing an older TV into the 21st century. And for under $100, it makes a great gift!
I was able to figure out what I wanted to by trial and error – most functions are self-explanatory – but there’s also a very good pdf user manual online.
The best part of this review is, one of my lucky readers will get a WD TV Live of their very own! Just leave a comment on this post saying what you would use it for. I know we’ll be using it for Netflix a lot. (You must answer this question for your entry to qualify. Simply writing “I want it!” or something like that does not get you entered.)
For a second entry, you can tweet about the contest with a link back to this post. The tweet must contain [email protected] (but should not start with it). Or, you can just copy and paste this:
Want to get your TV online w/a WD TV Live Streaming Media Player? @SelfishMom is giving one away! Enter here: http://slf.sh/MmVvZV
Make sure to leave a second comment with a link to your tweet, or it won’t count (instructions on how to find and post the url of your tweet can be found here).
That’s two entries per household, please. You must be at least 18 years of age to enter, and prize can only be shipped within the continental US. This contest will close at noon-ish on Tuesday, June 26th.
The winner will be chosen by random.org approximately 24 hours after the contest closes; the winner will be emailed and the winner’s name will be posted at the top of this post once the winner is verified. It is each entrant’s responsibility to make sure that their entry appears in the comment section, and to contact me before the drawing if there is a problem. Entries that do not follow the rules stated in this post will not be approved. See my complete Giveaway Rules page for more information.
Good luck, and stop by again tomorrow when I’ll be reviewing and giving away another great Western Digital product!
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 10. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.