WD today introduced a simple way for consumers to play their stored digital content on their HDTV in Full-HD 1080p resolution. The WD TV Media Player connects to a user’s TV or home theatre and plays digital movies, music and photos from WD’s My Passport portable drive or other USB mass storage device.

According to research firm IDC, nearly 334 million GB of photos and more than 3.1 billion GB of video will be stored on consumer desktop and laptop computers in 2008. The research firm expects that to increase to 400 million GB and 5.8 billion GB, respectively, by 2010. These large personal digital libraries are all but trapped on users’ computers. In order to play their content on their TV, consumers have struggled with clumsy solutions such as copying onto multiple CDs and DVDs or connecting their PCs to their TV via wires or complicated home networking solutions. The WD TV HD Media Player enables consumers to easily and elegantly access their high-definition content on the biggest screen in the home.

Users leave the WD TV HD Media Player connected to their TVs and simply plug in up to two My Passport USB drives or other USB mass storage devices loaded with HD media. Using the included remote control, they can navigate and play their content with the media player’s high-definition on-screen menu. With My Passport drives now available in 500 GB capacities, users can build large collections on multiple drives, all playable by WD TV.

Navigating content on USB drives is fast and easy with WD TV HD Media Player’s remote control and on-screen menu. Content can be viewed either by filename or thumbnails of photos, album covers or movie cover art. In addition, automatic media aggregation lets the viewer see all their media by media type in one menu regardless of its location in folders or drives.

Features

  • Designed for WD’s My Passport portable drives, it also plays content from WD My Book family of drives and most popular USB drives, digital cameras, camcorders, and portable media players that can be recognized as mass storage devices
  • Full HD video playback and navigation – up to 1080p – to experience the spectacular picture quality of HD video and crystal clear sound clarity of digital audio
  • Remote control to navigate through entertainment choices using the crisp, animated HD menus
  • Dock and play convenience: just plug in a My Passport drive or other USB storage device with HD content to play it on a TV or home entertainment system
  • Collect without limits by adding more USB drives for more accessible content
  • Advanced navigation options such as thumbnail and list views; WD’s Media Library feature lets users view all media by media type in one menu regardless of its location in folders or drives; ability to search by genre, title, artist, filename and partial filename
  • Photo viewing features to create custom slides shows; ability to zoom and pan; search photos by filename, partial filename, most recently viewed and date
  • Movie viewing with ability to fast forward, rewind, pause, zoom, and pan, view subtitles and search by filename, partial filename, most recently viewed and date
  • Music playback with fast forward, rewind, pause, shuffle, repeat and search by filename, partial filename, most recently viewed and date
  • Two USB ports on the player connects up to two USB mass storage devices and access them simultaneously while the Media Library feature aggregates the content on both drives into one list sorted by media type
  • High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port connects to the highest quality HDTV or home theater; additional composite (RCA) outputs ensure compatibility with virtually all television sets
  • Free ArcSoft MediaConverter 2.5 software to easily convert photo, video, and music files into formats optimized for use on the WD TV HD Media Player
  • Ultra-compact design that fits easily into a home entertainment centre
  • 1-year limited warranty.

Price and availability

The Western Digital WD TV has an RRP of $199, and is in stores now.

Source: Western Digital