Western Digital’s foray into TV appliances isn’t a new thing, but the company is getting more serious about it with a version of its WD TV made for families, bringing media playback to a connected TV in your home.
An update of WD’s “TV” appliance, the WD TV “Personal Edition” is an upgraded version of the company’s WD TV, a media player that lacks a hard drive but has no problem picking up on the storage in your home or plugged into the unit, with a USB port on the front, as well as WiFi 802.11n and an Ethernet port to grab files from around your network.
From the looks alone, WD hasn’t changed much, though we’re assured that the interface is different this time around, with an easier grid-based interface, as well as support for more codecs, meaning it should playback Matroska’s MKV, AVI, Microsoft’s WMV (do people still use this?), Apple’s MOV, and the standard MP4 files we’ve all seen at one time or another.
Miracast is also included, giving supported Android smartphones the ability to send media to their TVs without the need for a Miracast dongle.
And there’s even a remote app for Android, iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad, ideal if you ever lose your remote, since you’ll probably never lose your phone (we hope).
“Consumers have increasingly large libraries of disparate personal content types on a variety of storage devices, from portable USB to network attached storage and personal computers,” said Jim Welsh, WD’s Executive Vice President for Content Solutions Business and Worldwide Sales.
“WD’s ecosystem of apps and media players ensures that viewing that content is seamless on all screens, from mobile devices to the HDTV. WD TV personalises the entertainment experience, providing the easiest way for consumers to playback all of their personal videos, photos and music.”
Pricing of the WD TV Personal Edition comes in at $149.99 in Australia, which puts it about on par with the previous model, which tends to have a street price closer to the $130 mark. Interestingly, representatives for the company tell GadgetGuy that the old WD TV can load the new interface, but it has to be setup in the settings once the new firmware is downloaded. Miracast is unlikely to be supported — hardware thing, people — so don’t expect that to be added, which could be the justification some might need for the extra few bucks.
Availability is roughly now, however, so if you’re keen, you should be able to find it in stores shortly.