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Old August 16th, 2009, 09:20 AM   #1
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Western Digital TV-2 (HD Media Player - Version 2)

More info on this link but basically the WD TV-2 adds component and a few other goodies to the original WD TV HD Media Player.

To quote Engadget;

"Western Digital really hit a sweet spot last year with its $130 WD TV HD Media Player. The thing pumped out 1080p over HDMI at an attractive price, and that's all most people really needed. The newly leaked WD TV-2 revisits the formula, but adds in network playback over the new Ethernet jack, DTS audio decoding, and a component video plug for folks caught in the technological no man's land between composite and HDMI. Outside of that there's a just plain silly amount of codec support, which is hard not to love. No word on price or a release date, but the leaked photos and detailed specs seem to imply this thing is ready for prime time."


WD TV-2 spruces up Western Digital's already attractive media player offering
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Old August 16th, 2009, 10:29 AM   #2
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I'm already a fan of the WD-TV, and if they can make a good thing better (at the same price?), I'd hit it!
My goal is to bypass Blu-Ray discs entirely and offer a WD-TV with a portable drive for HD playback. I've got all the hope in the world that BluRay will be the Betamax format in 2011. Spinning optical media is a dead end product. Time to put another nail in its coffin.
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Old August 16th, 2009, 12:02 PM   #3
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Looks like a winner.

But I have to disagree about Blu-ray.

Many folks are technophobic and delivering a solid state product works but in special situations only imho.

People know DVD and Blu-ray is an extension of that comfort zone.

My main hope is that Blu-ray players get to the sub $150 so more people will buy them as they are sort of dead on the vine at their current levels.

Solid state is great but where can you buy a 25gb usb token for $5?

The pricing is just not there yet plus printing & packaging is new territory as well.
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Old August 16th, 2009, 01:09 PM   #4
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So you think your clients would rather buy a $130.00 device plus a external hard drive for another $80.00 just to watch HD when you should be able to give them a blu-ray disc for $5.00 of your cost. You can mark up that price as much you want of course but it wouldn't be anywhere near the price to buy the hardware to watch this stuff.

I totally agree that from a tech point of view blu-ray is kind of difficult. From a price point however it makes much more sense to deliver to a client on a $5.00 piece of media compared to a $80.00 hard drive or flash drive. You end up making the client buy a hardware device that doesn't cost all that much less then a Blu-ray player and anything you want to watch on it you or they have to custom make. Blu-ray is now at the same price point for blanks, burner, player and movies that DVD was at when I first got into it. In fact blu-ray burners are now much cheaper then my first DVD burner.

There is also the interactive aspect. While we may never have access to the full Blu-ray specs in software under $50,000.00 what we do have is DVD level interaction which many people enjoy. Watching a long form video on a WD device just seems like taking a step backwards. It only really offers an advantage to us producers to have an easy path to give HD to our clients. From the client/consumer perspective it makes much more sense to have a Blu-ray player unless they are also tech handy and roll their own HD video. Good luck watching a Blu-ray movie on a WD device unless you illegally hack a movie and rip it onto the device. Of course in order to do that you would have to have a blu-ray anyway.

I say forget these silly devices and just build a HTPC already. It will do everything a WD device will do plus it can play blu-ray movies with a BD-rom drive. The WD device on it's own has the same problem as Blu-ray where it is too limited in what it can do. It is more of a cool geek gadget and not something my parents would want to use. At least with blu-ray you can sell your clients on being able to watch cool Hollywood movies in HD as well. With WD the only thing you can sell them on is that it was cheaper for you to make their HD video but still cost the client more in the end.
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Old August 16th, 2009, 01:43 PM   #5
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Look, I consider myself a technophile, going for all the latest gadgets, but I just don't hear the general public getting all excited about Blu-Ray. My non-tech friend yawn at adding something to their TV that can show their favorite actors pores. And uprezzing DVD players do an nice job as it is.

It seems to me the WD type of player can leap frog that technology. Blu Ray has been touted as the next great thing, but I really wonder if digital playback from chips isn't really going to be the real next big jump. Mind you, they are pushing Blu Ray, but it seems like licensing issues are really gonna hold it back... especially in the current economy. And what can be easier than plugging a thumb drive into your player.
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Old August 16th, 2009, 02:28 PM   #6
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*Sigh*

BluRay is the next big thing

USB players are the next big thing

Internet delivery is the next big thing


Here is what I know. Every significant advance in home entertainment has been pushed by Hollywood and the Music Recording studios. 45s, 33 1/3, 8-track, cassette tapes, CDs, VHS, DVD... Guess what they are pushing now? It's not WDTV, and it's not AppleTV etiher.

The WDTVs are great in their niche. I think I'll buy one. But we have watched the cost of BluRay players, recorders, and media plummet in 3 years. I remember seeing $999 players 3 years ago. Now I see players for less than 1/4 that. Despite all the hand-wringing here, BluRay adoption has outpaced DVD adoption on the same time scale.

You have a multi-billion dollar industry HEAVILY invested in BluRay. For now, I think that's the safe bet. And so does every major retailer of home entertainment gear and media.
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Old August 16th, 2009, 02:45 PM   #7
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I live in a common California suburb. 7 Best Buys within 50 miles. Plenty of other tech outlets. This area is kind of the overflow from Silicon Valley... yet, of my multitude of friends, I have never had any rage about Blu Ray, or a need to get it. I am not hearing that I "got to have it" refrain. Don't know why...but that's why I have that feeling it will be leap frogged at some point. Will be interesting to see.
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Old August 16th, 2009, 02:46 PM   #8
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Blu-Ray here in Australia is way to expensive both disk price and the Blu-Ray player.

Most people get the standard DVD from the Video store and the quality is great and see no reason to buy a Blu-Ray player. Sure Blu-Ray looks better but SD DVD looks fine. Until the prices comes way down here in Australia for Blu-Ray this format is dead in my opinion. In all the wedding, corporate adhoc work that I do, only one person has asked for Blu-Ray in the last two years and also I have weddings booked for next year 2010 and offer Blu-Ray service but no one has asked or wants the Blu-Ray format and this includes corporate clients.

This WD player might take off as the new format?
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Old August 16th, 2009, 02:57 PM   #9
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Everything is leapfrogged at some point.

How large is the BluRay section at BestBuy compared to the VHS tape section? And yet, at it's inception, people said that DVD offered no advantage in quality of video over VHS. DVDs were expensive, pro's couldn't burn them because of the onerous licensure issues, etc. There were incompatible standards DVD+R/DVD-R, and DVD-ROM. The market was frought with issues, and yet, Hollywood kept pumping them out.

Today, the silver disks are everywhere. It took 10 years commercially to make it happen. And that was in what was considered a terrific economy for the most part. BluRay is surpassing that in a bad economy.

The fact that the "techies" are not gaga over BluRay means zero. Go ask the people who see 100 movies a year. Ask if they are still buying DVDs and playing them in a uprezzing player.

In order for BluRay NOT to make it, there would need to be several things happening.

1. Something truly better would have to come on the horizon soon.
2. The tremendous market interia that BluRay enjoys would have to be halted
3. The major studios would have to be convinced to move to a new technology

I just cannot see that happening in the next 3-5 years. The internet sure isn't going to handle widespread movie demands. Solid State COULD do it, but there isn't any market push that way by anyone. it's more sensible for the music industry to embrace that mechanism and they are doing so. Bluray is poised to take us from HDTV through UHDTV. Nothing else out there right now is.
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Old August 16th, 2009, 03:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
Blu-Ray here in Australia is way to expensive both disk price and the Blu-Ray player.

Most people get the standard DVD from the Video store and the quality is great and see no reason to buy a Blu-Ray player. Sure Blu-Ray looks better but SD DVD looks fine. Until the prices comes way down here in Australia for Blu-Ray this format is dead in my opinion. In all the wedding, corporate adhoc work that I do, only one person has asked for Blu-Ray in the last two years and also I have weddings booked for next year 2010 and offer Blu-Ray service but no one has asked or wants the Blu-Ray format and this includes corporate clients.

This WD player might take off as the new format?
Two years from now, when major studios stop delivering new releases on DVD, what do you think will happen to BluRay demand? By then, the players will be <$100, and the burners will be $175.
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Old August 16th, 2009, 03:22 PM   #11
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I have to say, I used to be a NetFlix user. But my Direct TV HD receivers and my WD player provide great ways of getting HD content. With HBO, and Starz, I can eventually record and see any major film. Have used DVD in six months.... and this was during a period I have been convelescing....
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Old August 16th, 2009, 04:08 PM   #12
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I think Blu-ray will get there.

One thing that gives my comfort is the slow adoption and general indifference to HD movies shows that we are at the limits of where we are going with regards to resolution/image quality in the consumer space.

So purchasing HD cameras will be a good investment over time because uber-HD will not have any commercial legs.

So once Blu-ray is adopted, we will not have to look out for the next upgrade cycle for quite some time.

It is all the same in the end. How much more portable is WDTV compared to a Blu-ray player? A little, but both could be taken to a location and used to display content.
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Old August 16th, 2009, 04:25 PM   #13
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To me the issue is durability, portability and price. Granted, I'm not the typical consumer. But if you told me that I could purchase a 32GB usb thumb drive (or SD card) blank for $5 (don't laugh, that will be the price soon enough). Why on EARTH would I want to return to spinning optical media with all its inherent flaws? No moving parts on an SD card means players can be smaller, cheaper, and more energy efficient. Heck, they might as well incorporate them into HD TV's. My 52" LCD already has a USB port and ethernet jack. A simple firmware upgrade might allow me to play HD movies off a USB drive. Sony has been known to throw their considerable clout and weight behind other formats that now line the discount racks (if you're lucky to see them at all). How many of you are still using mini-Disc technology? Memory sticks are absent from most of Sony's newest electronic offerings. So who is to say that BluRay will stick around just because the big boys want it to. Ultimately its the customer who will decide. CD's offered an obvious advantage over DVD's, but other than resolution, HD-DVDs don't change the paradigm. Solid state does. As for interactivity, all it takes is the right authoring software that will give you the same functionality of a Blu-Ray disc on an SD card/USB drive. I can play .iso files on my Popcorn Hour NMT as if it had the DVD on it, menus/chapters and all. WD-TV will probably offer the same functionality on their updated unit. I tell my clients to avoid Blu-Ray, but I'll be glad to make whatever format they currently request.
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Old August 16th, 2009, 04:38 PM   #14
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Oren, you make some good points, but your logic is flawed.

Consumers don't dictate the market. Consumers dictate between CHOICES in the market. Those who own the content dictate the market.

So dandy, you can drop files from your handycam onto USB drives until the cows come home. But if Warner, Sony, Paramount, etc. choose not to authorize or deliver on that medium, you AREN'T going to get it. And if the studios choose not to deliver on that medium, you aren't going to see LG, Samsung, Panasonic, etc, breaking their back to get the technology into their players. Yes, it will come eventually, but BluRay has a lot of legs left still.

Your analogy to minidisc is a poor one. That was always a Sony-centric offering. It was NEVER adapted into a worldwide market structure like BluRay is. Neither was Betamax. But we are in a position where every major electronics manufacturer in the home entertainment business has a BluRay offering. Every one. That is a vastly different landscape.
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Old August 16th, 2009, 04:51 PM   #15
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I think Blu-Ray will still be in the market but the portability of a SDHC card or something similar is really appealing to me. Imagine having many movies etc on a small card, this can fit into your wallet etc.. you go around to your clients office or where ever, you plug the card into the slot the player reads and plays the footage. Now try doing this with Disc formats such as Blu-Ray and even DVD’s on a large scale and lugging them around. I think the Disc will die out due to it’s size and also the problems with players not working and disc getting damaged. Shoot me down if you like but card based formats are the future for me I just think it make sense.
This will take time though as even 16:9 is still not used as the major format.

Ah what do I know……..
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