WD TV media playerI am loving my early Christmas present from the missus – a Western Digital TV HD 1080P Media Player.

If you, like me, are an avid film fan and prefer the illusion of a minimalist lifestyle (that is, hiding the sheer volume of things that you own, by turning your DVDs into ripped versions that you keep on external storage – and thus freeing up your shelf space) this gadget may very well be the perfect device for you.

There’s nothing better than being able to visually browse your entire media collection from your own couch, via the handy remote, rather than standing around in front of your shelves for hours working out what to watch… as I do. Yes I know, I’m sadder than a sad thing on a moody day… but I often while away the time thinking about what to watch, when I get a free moment, rather than actually watching it!

It is a little confusing, when you first unbox it – as all you get is a document which tells you how to connect it to your computer or TV / Media centre and then a CD-Rom of video conversion software. At first, after connecting my Mac formatted hard drives to it, the device just seemed to flash constantly via the USB connection light, and didn’t appear to do anything. And after all, there is no manual. The missus suggested turning the TV off an on again and I calmly patronised her and then continued fiddling between the various connections via the TV remote, cursing the fact that it didn’t seem to pick up the HDMI connection. After a quick on-off switching session, it worked fine. Cue mocking derision from the IT savvy missus.

However, once you do find the connection, the device had no problem accessing all of the files on my hard drive; and the interface, although clunky, is easy to navigate and browse through your files to find something to play.  We watched JUMPER, quickly followed by IN BRUGES. The only time it had a problem was for about two seconds during JUMPER, when the audio went a little hissy and then disappeared for two seconds later on. However, this could be due to other processing activities that it was carrying out at the time, or down to the quality of the rip. As for IN BRUGES, as I had plumped for the best quality .H264 AVI it had zero problems delivering a totally crisp and 1080p upscaled experience. In short, it was a joy to use.

I have since found out via the WD product page – that there are firmware updates for the device and there is a forum, so you can commune with other users and find other ways to use your device; this will all be very handy – for when the missus is not able to add her advice and then mock me, when I run into difficulties… ;0)

Anyway, I have more to write – before I can consider my nanowrimo novel officially finished – so I must sign-off now. Tatty bye.