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Question Best alternative to WDTV Live

Mr Pleasant

Active Member
I have a three-year old WDTV Live which I use for streaming local content (from a Synology NAS) to my TV. In almost all cases this is MKVs. For the past two years the connection has been over home plugs as wi-fi in our house is patchy. To be honest, performance has never been reliable. Generally I get to watch the film I want, when I want, but the unit seems increasingly sluggish to load (sometimes a few minutes pass before a film begins playing), I've had the unit freeze on me, and lately it has refused to play a 5.1 digital soundtrack in anything other than pro-logic mode. I know there are things I can try, such as a hard reset (no improvement), and I can check the throughput of the plugs (seems fine), etc. but frankly I've had enough of the thing and would very much like to find an alternative. I don't need lots of additional services or apps (we have a smart TV) and there's no need for internal hard drive support. All I want is solid, reliable playback of my video files over a home network. I like what I read about the new Rokus, but I'm open to any suggestions.
 

mij

Well-known Member
There are known problems with the latest firmware that WD are ignoring, if you google you will find instructions to rollback the firmware to an earlier version that does work very well for me.

Apart from the user interface it is still one the best in my opinion.
 

Mr Pleasant

Active Member
Old firmware already downloaded and on a USB. Will hopefully do the update tonight, but when I do I'll report back the outcome. Fingers crossed. Can't say I enjoy the experience of using the unit (as you say, the interface isn't exactly inspiring), but if I get a functional streamer again it will be a result.
 

mij

Well-known Member
Mine has been working great on firmware 2.01.86 for many months now, make sure you follow these steps from the second link:

1. small flashdrive (2,4,8 GB) formatted FAT32 ... completely empty

2. download rollback firmware: http://download.wdc.com/wdtv/wdtvlivegen3_rollback_2.01.86.zip1.0k

3. extract all 4 files onto the root of the flashdrive ie. No Folders

so you should only have these on the flashdrive

wdtvlivegen3.bi2
wdtvlivegen3.bin
wdtvlivegen3.fff
wdtvlivegen3.ver

4. Before inserting the flashdrive .... check the detect New Firmware setting is "On"

Setup > System > Auto Detect New Firmware > On

5. Power off the WDTV (Press and hold Standby button for 5 seconds ... switch off at the mains power)

6. "Safely Remove" the flashdrive from your PC and insert it into the front or rear usb input on the WDTV

7. Power On the WDTV

8. New Firmware should now be detected "New Firmware" notification will appear in the Home Menu. PressOK.

(it will say 4.01.86... don't worry, ignore it) ... press OK to proceed)

9. wait until finished (it can take several minutes .... it should not take longer than 10-15 min)

10. It's also recommended after a Firmware Rollback (or upgrade) to do a *Factory Reset*

Setup > System > Device Reset > Reset All Settings Back to Factory Default

11.when finished (optional) disable the New Firmware notification

Setup > System > Auto Detect New Firmware > Off
 

styjp

Active Member
totally good replies. Latest firmware is terrible, always freezes. Go one step back and you will be good to go! :)
 

dion 6

Active Member
Hi I`ve got a popcorn hour A300 at the moment which i am happy with, but if i was upgrading this looks good. There is a review on the forum as well.

HiMedia Q5 4K3D

Android media box with 7.1 channel HD-audio, 3D BD-ISO and H.265 4K support. Designed for ultimate video image quality. Quad-core HiSilicon CPU + Octa-core GPU. 2GB RAM. Pre-installed Kodi 15. 7.1 audio and 3D ISO support in Kodi. European hardware version with latest 3.0.1.1 firmware.
 

styjp

Active Member
HiMedia Q5 4K3D

Android media box with 7.1 channel HD-audio, 3D BD-ISO and H.265 4K support. Designed for ultimate video image quality. Quad-core HiSilicon CPU + Octa-core GPU. 2GB RAM. Pre-installed Kodi 15. 7.1 audio and 3D ISO support in Kodi. European hardware version with latest 3.0.1.1 firmware.

I am not sure I would trust the audio pass through on this thing?? As I am always using a home cinema separates system pass through is crucial so just make sure this works for your needs. Personally I would never trust an android box over my wdtv.. Not saying that this box is not better!
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
I've just replaced my WDTV with a Mede8er 600. Bit long in the tooth but still cutting the mustard and I'm delighted with it as a replacement. Boots far quicker than the WDTV, has a nicer interface, and just works.
 

Mr Pleasant

Active Member
Those alternatives look very interesting. I've also downloaded Kodi and been having a play. A few years ago I toyed with XBMC, but aspects of it irritated the heck out of me. (For some reason the database got corrupted very easily and duplicates kept popping up.) This new incarnation seems slicker and more stable. Kodi and a Chromebox? Anyway, the good news is the WDTV is now up and running with the old firmware. Many thanks to Mij for the original tip-off.
 

Simon Belmont

Active Member
What issues are everyone having on the wdtv to go back a firmware? I do have some lip sync issues over the network.

Was thinking of getting a mede8er player also.
 

Mr Pleasant

Active Member
I'd summarise my two main issues as extremely slow initial load times (running to several minutes) and inability to send an audio signal my amp could do anything useful with. Both issues now fixed with the rollback.
 

styjp

Active Member
I didn't have slow load times or issues with audio signal, but it was constantly freezing and restarting for me. With the roll back no issues at all and this is still my favourite player
 

Simon Belmont

Active Member
I don't have any freezing or restarting Issues. Also slow loading times is normal. I boots twice on every cold boot.
 

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