Western Digital announces new 'consumer friendly' media streamer

WD TV makes media streaming easy.

Western Digital (WD) yesterday announced a new media-streaming device aimed at mainstream consumers. Dubbed the 'WD TV Media Player', it allows users to play stored digital content on their high-definition televisions in Full HD 1080p resolution. The WD TV Media Player is compatible with most USB mass storage devices and will play digital movies, music and photos.

WD says the device will help consumers 'unlock' media content from their computers, allowing them to enjoy stored content from the comfort of their lounge rooms. Up to two USB drives can be plugged into the device, which remains connected to your TV set. Using the included remote control, users can then access their stored content via the player’s on-screen menu. Content can be viewed either by filename or illustrated thumbnails.

Tim Welsh, senior vice-president and general manager for WD’s Branded Products and Consumer Electronics Groups, said: “Until now, there has been no easy, affordable way to access and play [stored] content in the living room. The WD TV HD Media Player effectively unlocks all that content from the storage device and lets people enjoy it on their biggest screen and best sound system.”

The WD TV Media Player supports a wide variety of video, audio and image formats, including MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV/PCM/LPCM, AAC, FLAC, Dolby Digital, AIF/AIFF, MKA, JPEG, GIF, TIF/TIFF, BMP, PNG, MPEG1/2/4, WMV9, AVI (MPEG4, Xvid, AVC), H.264, MKV, and MOV (MPEG4, H.264).

Features of the WD TV HD Media Player include:

• Support for WD’s My Passport portable drives, WD My Book drives, digital cameras, camcorders, portable media players and most popular USB drives.

• Full HD video playback and navigation.

• Remote control to navigate through animated HD menus.

• Dock and play convenience: plug in a USB storage device with music, photos or videos to watch it on your TV.

• Advanced navigation options such as thumbnail and list views.

• Customisable slideshows, including fades, zooms and pans.

• Movie viewing with ability to fast forward, rewind, pause, zoom, and view subtitles.

• Music playback with fast forward, rewind, pause, shuffle, repeat and search by filename, partial filename, most recently accessed and date.

• A media library that automatically categorises content into the relevant category, even when two USB drives are connected.

• High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port and composite (RCA) output.

• Free ArcSoft MediaConverter 2.5 software to easily convert photo, video, and music files into formats optimised for use on the WD TV HD Media Player.

The WD TV Media Player will be available from late November for a recommended retail price of $199 and will come with a 12 month warranty.

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Chris Jager

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