Between music files, camcorder recordings and perfect legal TV and DVD backups, the average person has quite an extensive collection of digital media. While some will probably already have a dedicated (and expensive) device in place, the rest of us need to look to solutions such as the WD TV Live Hub.
The Live Hub is a media streamer slash NAS, with an impressive 1TB of storage built in. Out of the box the unit has a lot of style, with a small form factor and a design that doesn’t look out of place in a lounge room. A Gigabit Ethernet port provides network access, although the USB ports can handle a wireless adaptor.
The Live Hub is remarkably simple to set up, with it happily joining our test network and using a Windows 7 PC we were able to start copying files to the Hub’s hard drive with no problems. The Mochi interface is a touch garish for our tastes, but actually very intuitive and easy to use. The Hub also boasts a wide array of supported file formats, most notably FLAC and MKV. There’s also playlist and subtitle support and DLNA.
We ran a 1.3GB MKV file as a test, first playing it from the Live Hub’s own hard drive and then playing it via streaming. In both cases we experienced solid 1080p output with no stutter, even when streamed.
The Live Hub also offers interfaces for YouTube and Facebook. While the former is handy, the Facebook app is nice, but certainly a long way from essential. It’s certainly not helped by WDs decision to use a non-QWERTY virtual keyboard in the interface.
It’s worth noting that this is an unashamedly consumer device and as such, the drive is not designed to be replaced. For under $300, however, the WD TV Live Hub is great value and will fill a home entertainment niche for many people.