Western Digital’s latest attempt to take over your living room has leaked out ahead of schedule, thanks to Best Buy and the UPnP standards forum. Combining the advantages offered by both local storage and the cloud, the WD TV Live Hub looks to be just that – a media hub for your TV.
The interface is certainly wildly different from what we’ve seen previously, with a great focus on both aesthetics and usability. WD looks to be more tightly integrating their offerings into the Internet, bypassing the need for another PC or NAS powered up – the Live Hub will supposedly be able to download “premium content” directly from the device itself.
UPnP’s spec page lists the following description:
|Device Description: WD TV Live Hub Media Center is a high-definition network media player with a 2.5” HDD built-in and with Gig-Ethernet functionality that is designed to satisfy the needs of users who wish to have the freedom of moving their content via network, and also to enjoy content streamed from the internet. Furthermore, with the built-in content services and HDD, user can download premium content directly into the media center without going through a PC.||||With its build-in high definition user interface, the network media center allows user to quickly navigate and playback media content that is stored in its embedded HDD, USB mass storage devices, or Internet on to a television. With the networking support, user can now drag and drop content from a computer to the embedded HDD. Also, Internet content from service providers such as Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, Live365, Facebook, and Flickr, etc. can be streamed to the end user. The network media center attaches to an entertainment center through a variety of audio/video interfaces and supports playback of all the major audio, image, and video file formats. It supports high-definition video playback up to 1080p through the HDMI video output.|
Listed early, and subsequently removed, by Best Buy, the link and picture were discovered by some intrepid users over at the AVSForum. One user even managed to get his hands on a model (see above pic).
The BestBuy.ca description read:
Load up the high-capacity drive with all your media to create your own personal media jukebox. With just a few clicks, you can play your home movies, share vacation slideshows, and play your music on the big screen and sound system in your living room.
* Access popular Internet content from the comfort of your living room via wired network connection
The price was listed as $229 Canadian, which is roughly equivalent to the same amount in US dollars. For that price, you get a 1TB drive plus all of the (presumably) streaming and playback features of prior generations plus the new functionality – which seems fair. There’s no word yet on which the product will be launching, but with leaks like this, it can’t be long.