Western Digital has introduced a new media player, WD TV Play, that aims to take the Apple TV head on.
the Apple TV, WD TV Play is a media streamer that lets users play
content from popular services like YouTube, Netflix and Hulu Plus, as
well as other services like Pandora and Spotify. However, unlike the
Apple TV, WD TV Play users can also play their own media via USB drive.
TV users of course have access to the content available in Apple's
iTunes store, as well as content shared on the local network via iTunes
Home Sharing. WD TV Play, on the other hand, uses industry standard
protocols to enable streaming of content available on computers on the
WD TV Play is capable of playing full-HD content
and comes with a USB port, a HDMI port, composite video out, optical
audio out, Ethernet port and in-built Wi-Fi. A full-fledged remote is
bundled, though users can also download smartphone apps to control the
unit. WD TV Play also supports casual gaming as well as RSS feeds. You
can even hook-up an external keyboard via the USB port for getting to
that YouTube video quickly.
All in all, the WD TV Play looks like
the complete media playing solution for most users. At $69.99, it's
around 30 dollars cheaper than the Apple TV and the Roku 2 XS, another popular offering that
offers similar capabilities.
We got in touch with Western Digital
to check on plans to introduce the product in the India market, and the
company said there's no definite India launch date as of now. The
company expects to have clarity on India availability soon.
WD TV Play specifications
- AVI (Xvid, AVC, MPEG4, VC-1), MKV (H.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG4, VC-1),
TS/TP/M2T/M2TS (MPEG4, AVC, VC-1), MP4/MOV (MPEG4, AVC), WMV9, FLV (AVC)
Photo - JPEG, GIF, TIF/TIFF, BMP, PNG
Audio - MP3, WAV/PCM/LPCM, WMA, AAC, FLAC, MKA, AIF/AIFF, OGG, Dolby TrueHD
Playlist - PLS, M3U, WPL, M3U8, XML, CUE
Subtitle - SRT, ASS, SSA, SUB, SMI, MKV (embedded sub)
Interface - Ethernet, USB 2.0, HDMI, Composite A/V, Wi-Fi, Optical audio