WD HD Media Player: play full HD content from your USB drive

By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: The new WD HD Media Player, launched yesterday, is not a new concept, but it makes it makes an existing concept easier — playing your stored media content on your TV in Full-HD 1080p resolution. And at RRP $199, it is well below the $499 psychological barrier.

RRP $499 is a psychological barrier that Blu-ray suppliers say is a key pricepoint for speeding up the sales of Blu-ray players. Once a device gets below that pricepoint, in theory more people can afford it and would consider buying it.

Western Digital (WD), a name in storage devices has taken a clever step by making a complementary product to its storage devices — a device that can play the stored media on a high definition TV. It even comes with a remote control.

The WD TVMedia Player connects to a user’s TV or home theater and plays digital movies, music and photos from portable storage drives or other USB storage devices such as USB thumb drives.

According to WD, until this device, “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 … access their high-definition content on the biggest screen in the home.”

Up to two USB storage devices loaded with HD media can be plugged into the WD TV HD Media Player at once. Using the remote control, users can navigate and play their content with the media player’s high-definition on-screen menu.

Content can be viewed either by filename or thumbnails of photos, album covers or movie cover art. Users can see all their media by media type in one menu regardless of its location in folders or drives.

“As leaders in external storage, we have become the trusted brand for storing and backing up large media collections for consumers around the world,” said Jim Welsh, senior vice president and general manager for WD’s Branded Products and Consumer Electronics Groups.

“Our best-selling My Passport portable drives help customers carry their media library with them anywhere but until now, there has been no easy, affordable way to access and play all that content in their living rooms. The WD TV HD Media Player effectively unlocks all that content from the storage device and lets people enjoy it on their biggest screen and best sound system.”

The WD TV HD Media Player can play content from most popular USB drives, digital cameras, camcorders, and portable media players that can be recognised as mass storage devices.

It offers 1080p Full HD video playback and navigation with plug and play convenience.

Photo viewing features enable custom slides shows and the ability to zoom and pan images, search photos by filename, partial filename, most recently viewed and date.

Movies can be fast forwarded, rewound, paused, zoomed, and panned and the same with music files.

It has a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port and the ArcSoft MediaConverter 2.5 software converts photo, videos, and music files into formats optimized for use on the WD TV HD Media Player.

It is available from now wherever WD products are sold.

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