What’s in the box?
It was quite a bummer when I found out that the HDMI cable was not included. A necessity if you want to playback your Full HD content. Instead, a composite AV cable came along with the package which can’t match the video quality of the digital connection.
The WD TV HD Media Player also comes with the expected accessories, like a remote control (batteries included) and a quick install guide. It also includes a stand specifically designed to hold a Western Digital My Passport drive, as well as a Software CD containing the operation manuals in PDF format and ArcSoftMediaConverter 2.5 software. The latter is included so you can convert your files on your Windows PCs before loading them onto your external drive.
The first thing that caught my attention is the size of the player. For a media player, it’s actually quite small and light, weighing in a mere 300g. In fact, it’s smaller than the ever-popular WD My Book series of external hard drive, which it resembles so much.
You may prefer to compliment it further with a WD My Passport portable drive or WD My Book external drive, which look impressive as a whole, but any other USB enabled device would just do the trick. And I mean ANY.
This neat and petite device features two USB inputs (one on the back, one on the side), an HDMI output supporting up to 1080p, and an optical SPDIF output for digital audio.
It supports drives formatted with FAT32, NTFS, and HFS+ file systems. However, potential Mac buyers might be interested to know that journaled volumes are not supported.
Hooking It Up
The WD TV HD Media Player is pretty much an idiot-proof product. Plug in the AC cord, connect it to the TV via HDMI, connect a USB drive, switch the source input to HDMI on your LCD and you’re all good to go. It’s that simple.
For this review, I’m going to use the WD My Passport 250GB portable drive. After dumping in a few files, I plugged it to the WD TV HD Media Player. Within a few seconds, the USB logo lighted up on the front of the player, indicating that a USB drive was detected.
The player is controlled completely through the included remote control, a small device with your basic buttons for controlling the media and menu system. The remote felt snug in my hand despite its small size, and I found the buttons sizes to be adequate.