The WD TV has long been atop the enthusiast’s list of favorite media streamers thanks to its low price and robust media format support. But the just-announced WD TV Live Hub does things a bit different. While it still dances with local networks and USB drives, the Live Hub packs a 1TB hard drive for local storage. Nearly anything can be stored on this drive and triggers can be set up to automagically sync content from certain folders across your network to this drive for easier playback.
So now with the WD TV Live Hub, the media stream race just got a bit more interesting. There’s the updated Apple TV, Roku, this Western Digital option, and soon the Boxee box. You know what? Everyone is going to get at least a participation ribbon in this race. There’s more than enough of marketshare pie for everyone to get a healthy helping.
Of course this new WD TV supports a whole suite of Internet apps: Facebook, YouTube, AccuWeather, flickr, Pandora, Live365.com, and the two staples of Netflix and Blockbuster On Demand. Wireless USB keyboard support is even included, which will no doubt improve the overall Internet app experience. Around the backside is a set of composite and component jacks, as well as HDMI, USB, Gigabit Ethernet (finally), and a TOSLINK jack.
The user interface seems to be wildly different from the previous generation. It looks like a fine UI now, something that even your parents will be able to work. The WD TV Live Hub will hit the usual electronic retailers starting as soon as today for $199.