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For Better Digital Entertaiment, West(ern) Is The Way To Go

Anybody who has amassed a large collection of media files like movies and songs downloaded (legally!) off the Internet and want to enjoy such content from a full-sized television set will love the nifty little devices we call ‘media players’. And Western Digital has seen to it that users will not be without a digital life this Christmas: by launching its new network-friendly media player, the WD TV Live Hub. VR-Zone brings you the event coverage…and some information about the WD TV Live Hub for you to decide whether you should harass Santa for one.

Most people will have come across such a situation at least once in their life: you have a ton of media files which are waiting to be shared wirelessly among other family members, or to played in all their glory on a proper television set. And to do that, you need a media player to hook up to both the television set and the home network. A simple solution to a simple need.

Except that the ‘simpleness’ usually ends abruptly at this stage. While most media player OEMs often claim that setting up their device is as simple as plugging in the power and Ethernet cable, the truth is that truly preparing most media players for use is no where near as straight forward as that. This is even more so when the person using the device has little to no clue about basic things such as codec support, networking terminology and navigating an unfamiliar user interface. The result: a very frustrated user who thinks that the world is out to make life for IT-ignorant users as miserable as possible, and swears never to attempt hooking up a home media server, regardless of the benefits and conveniences it may bring.

Fortunately for such users, it seems that some major changes in the typical media center setup are about to take place. Western Digital, a well-known player in storage devices and solutions, has just launched its new WD TV Live Hub media center which it claims will greatly simplify the process needed to prepare a media center for wireless media streaming and playback capability.

In the launch event held at Shangri-La Hotel today, Western Digital Retail Sales Manager for ASEAN Sheraine Chua spoke about how the new WD TV Live Hub media center was designed to take the ‘geek-factor’ out of setting up a home media server.

“We are currently loaded with a great variety of devices which allow for
the creation and consumption of content. This sets the stage for
consumers to adopt a 100% digital lifestyle. We have lots of digital
content and media stored on our electronic devices: what we are trying
to do is to bring the experience to the living room. This is because people usually
invest a lot of money into their home entertainment system, and media
playback on a computer does not offer the most optimal viewer
experience,” she said.

She said that in order to make the WD TV Live Hub more user-friendly than its predecessor, several major changes had to be made to the built-in operating system, especially in the OS’s user interface,

“Most media players current available in the market is mostly designed for the more technologically-advanced user or geeks. But with the WD TV Live Hub, it has come to a stage where home users can easily do so. The WD TV Live Hub comes with a 1TB built-in hard disk, while larger capacities will be made available in due time. It also doubles up as a central storage device or media server. Most people have multiple computers at home: with the WD TV Live Hub, it can be used as a central storage center where files can be shared with other users. The user interface has also been revamped: and the new Dashboard feature allows for quick access to the most recently viewed content,” she explained.

In addition to the WD TV Live Hub, Chua also announced the launch of Western Digital’s new NAS, the My Book Live. However, unlike most conventional NAS, the My Book Live will come with built-in media server support, which makes it ideal as a storage solution for media players such as the previously mentioned WD TV Live Hub. And like the WD TV Live Hub, the My Book Live has been designed in such a way that users no longer need to be their own home network technicians in order to set up a working NAS.

“Five years ago, most customers who purchase NAS devices are the typical IT guys who have full knowledge about how to set up a working home network and server,” she said. “However, with the My Book Life, users can now look forward to a much simplified method of managing their digital content. It is designed primarily for use by the home users who want a convenient solution of centralizing their digital content and backing up their data.”

Also present at the launch event was Philip Cheung, Regional Product Marketing Manager for Western Digital, who provided to give the members of the media a comprehensive demonstration of the various features available in both the WD TV Live Hub media player and My Book Live network drive. More details about the demonstration are available in the next page.

VR-Zone is a leading online technology news publication reporting on bleeding edge trends in PC and mobile gadgets, with in-depth reviews and commentaries.

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