Linux Powered WD TV Live Plus Reviewed
Oct 21, 2010, 19:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sean Michael Kerner)
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"In the last couple of years a flood of media player
devices have hit the market. The goal of the media player is to
enable consumers to bring their PC and online media content to
their living room television sets. The WD TV Live Plus is the
newest such device from Western Digital, a vendor perhaps best
known for its hard drive and storage technologies. With the WD TV
Live Plus, Western Digital is delivering a device that streams a
wide array of content to HDTVs including Netflix and YouTube as
well as media from network attached and USB storage. The Device
"The WD TV Live Plus is a small device, measuring 1.57"(H) x
3.94"(D) x 4.94"(W), weighing in at 0.67 pounds (yeah, it's small).
There are two USB 2.0 ports (one front, one side), composite A/V
(RCA), component video, HDMI and a 100 Mbps Ethernet port. There is
no fan, just two exhaust vents on the sides of the device. Yes,
this box can get a little bit hot, but it's silent.
"There is no on/off switch for the device: The included remote
control is the only way (short of unplugging the unit) to turn it
on or off. The remote handles all the media operations, providing
the usual forward/back and play/pause buttons.
"Digging into the underlying operating system internals, Western
Digital doesn't detail much in the user manual, but does give us a
hint with a sentence that notes that the device includes open
source software. The company also provides a link to its GPL code
download location. Code licensed under the GPL is open source code
that requires vendors to make it available to all users. A quick
look at the WD's GPL code reveals that the WD TV Live Plus runs a
Linux 188.8.131.52 kernel as the underlying embedded operating