Get any TV online with WD TV Live–and a chance to win one!

[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:

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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.

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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,

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and in a few minutes there were about 2,500 pictures playing in a slideshow.

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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.

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The number of services accessible by this box is huge. Just a sampling:

  • Netflix
  • Hulu Plus
  • Vudu
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Facebook
  • Pandora
  • Spotify
  • Picasa
  • flickr
  • MLB.TV

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 Giveaway

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 “@SelfishMom” (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.

Comments

  1. says

    What a cool giveaway! I didn’t even know these things existed! But, i love hulu and would totally use it for that! Plus, our tv is kind of old, so to be able to watch with a crisper picture would be awesome!

  2. lorrie pelkey says

    I know for a fact we would use it for Netflix to give our wii a rest. Pandora would be another great feature (we live in a valley, and one radio station comes in clear, and sometimes todays “hit country” is not what you want to jam to). Also, I would check and see if you could watch videos at cbs.com, since hooking up our laptop to do so is a bit inconveniant. Sounds like a nifty device to have!

  3. says

    I love Netflix! Now that I am caught up on Downton Abbey (can’t wait for Season 3) we are watching Upstairs Downstairs and other great PBS shows. Seeing pictures on the television sounds interesting as well. What a great give-a-way!

  4. Denise Traynor says

    i’m sure you will tell me what i will use it for and set it up for me if i am lucky enough to win. thanks. that gingerbread house looks much better on film than in person

  5. Lauren Talbert says

    My husband and I just moved to New York a couple months back and have been super homesick. So in order to get our fill of our hometown Chicago, we have been watching Chicago based Movies on Netflix. We would def love the opportunity to win!

    Thanks!!

  6. Leslie Parish says

    I love these things. I would use the player to get entertainment on all TVs in the house. As a stand alone player I would stream Netflix, Huluplus, Youtube, VUDU, and Pandora. Also,I would copy over my recorded TV, Tivo, and home movies to an external hard drive and stream to all other tvs in the house with a player attached. No more being tied to the main TV. If I want to watch something different, I will just move to the TV in the other room. Winning this would complete my media experience. I love to experiment and see what these can do. I would love to win one. Everyone should cut the cord to cable TV.

  7. says

    Netflix streaming is something we use often in our house, with a stay at home Grandma and a preschooler in her Phineas and Ferb stages, we need all the help we can get to keep the streaming up and running. We would love this :)

  8. Stephanie says

    Awesome giveaway, I know we would definitely use it for Netflix and Youtube. Seems like a great product and I would love to own one!

  9. Giles says

    I would love one of these! :-D
    Personally I would use it for viewing old family photos and videos on the TV that have only been watched and viewed on the laptop this far.

    Nice review too!

  10. Seth says

    Beyond awesome. Would love to be able to stream my Netflix and pics straight to my TV. Hook me up please