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Western Digital Launches WD TV Live Plus

LAKE FOREST, CALIF. — Expanding the
capabilities of its PC-to-TV media bridge
product lineup, Western Digital (WD)
introduced the WD TV Live Plus, which
adds access to popular entertainment
services including Netflix and MediaFly.

Among the highlighted new additions
to the WD TV Live Plus HD media player
(shipping now at a $150 suggested retail)
is the ability of Netflix subscribers,
with an $8.99 monthly account, to stream
some of the latest movies and TV shows
on connected TV screens.

The new Netflix interface enables members
to browse and add movies to their instant
Queue on the Netflix website.

The MediaFly network offers access
to daily podcasts from CNN, NBC, MTV
and ESPN.

As with earlier iterations of the WD
TV Live, the device will access videos,
music and photos from the Internet
through YouTube videos and Flickr pictures.
It also includes access to Internet
radio stations via Live365 and Pandora

Most importantly the DLNA-compliant
WD TV Live Plus links to personalized
connect through a variety of storage
platforms using a wired or wireless
in-home network. It can access entertainment
content from networked PCs in
the home to play music, videos, and digital
photo files. A Windows 7-compatible
Play To” feature enables streaming Windows
7 computer files to the TV through
WD TV Plus HD media player.

The device will also access digital content
from directly connected hard drives,
digital cameras, camcorders, MP3 devices
and USB fl ash drives.

Although the player will compete with
a wide field of media bridge-type devices,
WD said its system’s ability to access
personally produced content and easily
play it back on a large TV screen gives
the product an added advantage.

The device supports HD video playback
and navigation up to 1080p. Support
is offered for the most popular fi le
formats, eliminating the need to transcode
files for viewing.

Compatible file formats include: AVI
(Xvid, AVC, MPEG-1/-2/-4); MPG/MPEG;
VOB; MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG-
1/-2/-4, VC-1); TS/TP/M2T (MPEG-1/-
2/-4, AVC, VC-1); MP4/MOV (MPEG-4,
h.264); M2TS and WMV9 video format;
image formats.

It also supports MP3, WAV/PCM/
AIFF, OGG, Dolby Digital and DTS music

It features an Ethernet, HDMI, Component
Y/Pb/Pr, composite A/V and USB
2.0 interface. A SPDIF digital output is
added to send digital audio signals to a
compatible receiver for surround sound
playback, where HDMI connections are
not available.

To connect to in-home Wi-Fi networks,
users need only connect an optional,
compatible USB Wi-Fi adapter. A
special USB 2.0 port is provided on the
side of the unit for that purpose.

A second USB is provided on the back
to connect to other storage devices.

A media library feature collects the content
on all the connected drives and groups
them by media type for easy access.

A search function lets users search by
genre, title, artist, file name or partial file
name. The photo-viewing function lets
users create custom slideshows with
a variety of transitions and background
music, as well as zoom and pan, and
search by file name, partial file name,
most recently viewed and date.

Western Digital is selling the WD TV
Live Plus HD media player through most
of its regular dealer network.