Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It Worked for Me - Network Media Player

I have been looking for a way to easily display digital images on a TV so that we can share pictures of our trips and vacations with friends and family.

In the past I had looked at using the Opera browser on the WII and couldn’t find a way that I could pull picture easily from the systems on our home network and display them on the TV. I had done some work with placing a PC by the TV but that was really overkill.

I ran across an inexpensive Network Media Player from Western Digital.  The WD TV Live Plus is a device that allows you to access movies and pictures on a TV or HDTV.  I purchased the device for $99.99 from Micro Center.

The box is 4” x 5” x 1.6” and has:
  1. A infra-red remote
  2. Two usb ports
  3. An HDMI 1.3 port
  4. Ethernet
  5. An optical port
  6. Componsite / Component Video
  7. Stereo Audio
It supports 1080p HD a number of video, photo, audio, playlist and subtitle formats.  It also supports a number of online services including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Facebook.  It supports local content via mapping to windows shares as well as UPNP DLNA Servers.

An initial test run with this summer’s vacation pictures went off extremely well. The pictures were pulled from a share on our home network.

All I had to do was plug the device into the network, and plug it into  the TV and did some very minimal configuration to setup a username and password and was ready to show the pictures.

I have done some other playing around with the device and have been pretty pleased with it.  I have been able to use it with Windows Media Player and several other UPNP servers.

The only problem I have encountered so far is that it appears that the WD TV Live Plus device has a problem with XML that is escaped specifically to the XML standard which doesn’t require “>” to be escaped with an >.  I ran into this while testing a UPNP server.

Next up UPNP servers.