WD Play does not have SMB either so stick to the WD TV Live. I still have the previous version and love it, the new one runs hot unless you unplug the power cord...something about the device staying on standby or something but after I got it for my in-law is not bad either.
I got two of these a while back for about $44 apiece after a coupon.. They are pretty much new in brown box, as others have said, and work great so far..
I bought a cheapo $20 external enclosure and threw in an extra 640GB HDD I had laying around. Turned on the SMB Windows server and my laptop/desktop found it immediately (I don't really have a media server/NAS so I find that the WDTV Live being my 'media server' works best, since it uses such little power and has no need to be mobile).. it's been AWESOME not having to worry about discs for my legally owned DVDs or TV series anymore.
I used the Hulu app a bit, and it's alright.. You can't go wrong for $44 IMHO, aside from maybe getting a Wifi compatible Bluray player with Amazon/Netflix/Hulu/others built in. I have no Blurays though, and I loathe optical media in general, so would much rather stream/store stuff on a local disk.
The menus are a bit sluggish, though I have a feeling they would be slightly faster on ethernet/wired. I've only used 802.11n so far, and I've only streamed/copied DVD and/or 720p encoded rips so far, but they've all worked great over Wifi, even in our extremely congested area (tons of APs here). They also fix bugs and update the firmware pretty regularly (already got one update in the last month or so), so support for it seems pretty good still.
Only downside is I kinda wish that they were WDLXTV (sp?) compatible, since I am a tinkerer at heart and would love to flash an aftermarket ROM to it to garner more functionality out of it. If you are looking for something specific that the stock firmware doesn't provide, stick with a WDTV Live Plus or Live with WDLXTV compatibility..
I agree that they go out of stock too fast.. WD should just stock up on them for months and months, then have a bigger sale..
Mine arrived Monday, but UPS guy just left it on the porch and didn't ring the bell, so I didn't discover it until I went out to warm up the car Tuesday morning. I played with it last night and was surprised at how much it does. Almost seems a shame that all I was going to use it for is to put in my wife's car so she can watch x.264 and mkv videos on her lunch break.
I let it auto update to the newest firmware and it does seem to handle every video file I've thrown at it. It takes awhile to load up the list of videos on my flash drive, but maybe that's because I have it formatted NTFS. No big deal there. I did find it odd that when I hooked it up to my PC monitor via HDMI, it defaults to 720p anytime power is cut. I always have to re-select 1080p. Is that normal? Also, in 1080p, on my monitor it seems to underscale. There is a black border, even with the scaling set to max of 100%.
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