Western Digital launches TV Play streaming box
By Chris Wood
February 13, 2013
Western Digital has expanded its range of streaming boxes with the TV Play, a device that aims to compete with popular products like the Roku 2 XD. The low-cost TV Play offers access to a wide range of streaming services, as well as the user's own media library.
The WD TV Play is the latest addition to the company's line of streaming products, which includes the TV Live and TV Live Hub. But while both those devices are priced above the US$99 point, the TV Play comes in at a more wallet-friendly $69. It's also significantly smaller than the rest of the range, measuring just 27.2 x 104.9 x 105.9 mm (1.07 x 4.13 x 4.17 inches).
Streaming in full 1080p, the TV Play has access to a wide range of services including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, Spotify, Pandora and Vimeo. Users can also access and stream personal media via either the USB 2.0 port or any DLNA/UPnP device on a home network. In addition to the USB port, the TV Play also features Ethernet, HDMI, Composite A/V, built-in Wi-Fi and Optical audio.
Western Digital has reworked the user interface for the TV Play, taking a tablet-like approach to content navigation, allowing for home screen personalization. There's also a new remote which features dedicated Netflix, Vudu and Hulu Plus buttons, and users can also control the TV Play using smartphone and tablet apps on both iOS and Android.
One of the most obvious competitors to the TV Play is the Roku 2 XD, which offers similar functionality – including full 1080p output – at an identical price point. However, the XD does not feature a USB port, potentially giving the TV Play a slight edge (depending on user priorities).
Source: Western Digital