The WD TV Live Plus comes in a basic box, which advertises a few of the most prominent and hopefully consumer eye catching features such as the Netflix and YouTube support. The WD TV Live Plus comes with the following items:

  • Player Unit
  • Infrared Remote Control w/ included AAA batteries
  • Composite Video Cable
  • Component Cable
  • AC Power Adapter
  • Quick Install Guide
  • Software CD


Measuring 40mm x 100mm x 125.5mm, the media player unit is quite small. A person used to seeing VHS, DVD and BluRay players will usually do a doubletake at the size as this media player is dwarfed by a standard sized receiver or DVD player. It is considerably smaller than the similarly priced competing products such as the Seagate Theatre HD. This is not surprising because Seagate’s offering has room to store a 2.5 inch hard drive inside.

The included remote control is small and basic, yet functional. The remote has a few unique buttons such as the search button used to access the search menu, and the initially confusing eject button, which brings to mind an optical disc drive, which of course this device does not contain. The eject button is for preparing your USB HDD to be removed.

The included cables are standard fare, composite and component cables, which will give you the bare minimum connectivity you need to call your setup high definition (like it says on the side of the box). It would have been nice if the device came with an HDMI or optical cable; but quite understandably, it does not. Not including cables that are not proprietary to the unit and will potentially go unused helps keep costs down. WD can hardly be blamed for not throwing in a HDMI cable, as it is rare that any competing device or AV product does.

This WD TV device does support operation over wireless networks. Rather than sell their own wireless device as an accessory, Western Digital has opted to provide a list of compatible adapters that are certified to work with the media player.

Overview: The Plus Stands for... Connectivity & Power Consumption
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  • EarthwormJim - Thursday, July 29, 2010 - link

    The size is nice, but I don't see how this can really compare to the ~$200 ion systems you can get/build. Sure it's cheap, but it's so much more limited than a full computer.
  • kmmatney - Thursday, July 29, 2010 - link

    It's much easier to use than a full computer, and has a remote control. My wife can use this as easily as a DVD player. I looked into getting an ION system, but was going to be $250 for the cheapest system (book size), whereas the WD Live was $109 when I bought mine. It works great - has played everything I've tried. It also has excellent zooming features.
  • Phynaz - Thursday, July 29, 2010 - link


    An easy to use appliance that doesn't require any effort on the users part as far as education.
  • greenguy - Sunday, August 29, 2010 - link

    Exactly. I have a WD TV live, and it has been awesome. It uses next to no power, and plays pretty much everything (other than Thomas the Tank Engine) we have thrown at it. Very impressed, very easy to use.
  • wdtvblogger - Saturday, August 7, 2010 - link

    It has a great iPhone application that acts a remote control ( - much easier than the hardware remote control. It also allows extra features on your WDTV such as playing SHOUTcast radio...
  • EarthwormJim - Thursday, July 29, 2010 - link

    I forgot to add, I do thoroughly enjoy reviews like this though. Even if the product is crummy, bring on more!!
  • beginner99 - Thursday, July 29, 2010 - link

    So this thing is like identical to the non-plus version which I own. The wmapro thing is a non-issue. It's almost never used and there is a converter available online to mkv which is pretty sweet (=works and is fast).

    The issue I have is mainly the network problems. If you intend to use it in a network, well prepare for issues. I use it wireless. Bandwith is no problem but connection just drops now and then. see wd forum. it's a common issue. supposedly also happens in wired mode. It' s not really reproducable. Sometimes ti just works, sometimes it drops several times during a movie.

    The limited youtube content can also be an issue because what often is blocked are offical music videos and trailers. Eg. the things you would actually want to watch on the tv. Fun stuff, normally in crappy quality, I usually get to by links when browsing on my pc. For me this is not a killer, I bought it for streaming but after a short look at the youtube feature I never used it again.
  • kmmatney - Thursday, July 29, 2010 - link

    This website lets you create thumbnails for movies to make browsing through the folders more interesting. It creates a file with the same name as your movie, which the WD Live knows to use as a thumbnail for the movie

    This is good for doing a few movies at a time. There is also a thumbnail generator for auto-generating thumbnails for a whole movie collection:
  • nubie - Thursday, July 29, 2010 - link

    I notice you did image quality tests on 1080 output, what if you are using a native 720p screen, such as a projector?

    Do these caveats still apply? I would assume less so because the down-conversion should happen after the de-interlacing.

    Excellent review, this thing is on the short list of simple gadgets for HD video that the Luddites in the family can operate (and not break doing so.)
  • probedb - Thursday, July 29, 2010 - link

    I'd be interested in a review of the Play!ON as it appears to be a much better player.

    I'm also surprised so little attention is paid to deinterlacing in these devices. I rip my DVDs to MKV without compression meaning the streamer must deinterlace so surely it wouldn't hurt for a manufacturer to a good quality one with maybe some ABT chipsets in there?

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