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ztrade 07-09-2010 10:37 PM

Help in the Hard Drive and backing up department?
As many of us traders do, the majority of my collection is on burned DVD discs. Several years ago, I came in contact with a very expensive entertainment system known as Kaleidescape. The idea behnd it was several large hard drives packed together in a box of sorts that would allow a user to navigate through a collection of home movies. Imagine almost an InDemand for your collection. Fast forward a few years and memory has come down quite a bit (although the Kaleidescape remains incredibly expensive). I would like to copy my entire collection onto several large drives and then have it playable through a TV. I came across the "WD TV Live Plus." Western Digital makes an entertainment box which claims to basically play video files through a USB. I am a little unsure as to some specifics as far as format to be saving in and such and whether this is possible before going and getting the necessary tools.

In terms of simply backing up DVDs, ISO Image files are best I believe. However, would this work for trying to play a series of USB Drives through a TV? Also, is it possible to play ISO through the computer (I've read conflicting things on Emulators and so forth). Any reasonable input is appreciated...

Thanks for your time.

Padre2 07-10-2010 08:29 AM

I own a WD TV Live and love it, however it does have some limitations/flaws. The movies have to be as single-stream files (MPEG, WMV, etc.) - not VOB files, or ISO file images on the drive. It also has problems reading chapters correctly. I tried embedding chapter markers into the files, but wasn't able to get the program to recognize them. So, the alternative is to fast forward to sections you want to watch, but I've had problems there as well - freezing mostly. I think the buffers are getting overwhelmed.

For playback of the files, it's perfect - crystal clear. But it's not without problems.

lordsmurf 07-10-2010 09:10 AM

I have an HP slimline computer with Windows Vista 64, that can be operated with a remote. I've not yet tried to open ISO files with it, as it's mostly something I use for Blu-ray and MPEG file playing. It can open pretty much any video on the network, over a "G" wireless connection, through the media player software. I actually use PowerDVD now, instead of the BD/DVD software that came with the system. There were issues with Blu-ray soft-"firmware" updates.

Most of the media center computers have some limitation of some kind.
I don't use mine heavily, so can't point out all the issues.

Good to see both of you around on the forum. :)

ztrade 07-11-2010 01:31 AM

I figured that the WD TV Live idea might be a little too good to be true. However, with the advances and such of technology, maybe just a year or so down the road it might be a reality. I think in the meantime, I'll get everything onto some hard drives. The worst case is that I have everything backed up and it'll probably be a little easier in the future to experiment. I'll also test out some media center options as well. Thanks for your time/input. I'll let you guys know if I discover anything good along the way.

lordsmurf 07-11-2010 06:32 AM

I've been dumping ISO files of discs to drives for a while now. I keep waiting for Woot! or deals, to get 1TB, 1.5TB or 2TB hard drives real cheap. Tigerdirect had a 1.5TB drive for $85 last week, and I grabbed one for this exact purpose. I'm mostly creating copies of my homemade discs, as those aren't easy to replace. Or rare/OOP releases.

In the future, I expect something will let me plug the drive into a media setup of some kind, and play the ISO as if I have a carousel full of DVDs.

allaboutduncan 07-12-2010 08:20 AM

The new Western Digital TV Live Plus HD Media Player supports ISO DVD images.

Padre2 07-12-2010 08:37 AM

Looks like I'll be buying a new WD TV Live Plus! Anyone interested in a used WD TV HD Media Player (

lordsmurf 07-12-2010 12:43 PM

I might. :)

Depends one what it can play, how big it is, and how much you want for it. I don't need ISO abilities in my bedroom, but it'd be nice for MPEG-1 and MPEG-2, Xvid AVI, MKV H.264 and MP4 H.264 files.

Can it network, or is it USB? I see that answer already. It does not. Not a deal breaker.

Do these not have drives inside them already? (I don't quite understand.)
If not, can I just use a thumb drive? I don't want to plug in a full external hard drive, don't need to.

allaboutduncan 07-12-2010 01:13 PM

They can use any external USB source (thumb or hard drive).

LS - I think Padre2's will read files from a networked PC.


lordsmurf 07-12-2010 01:25 PM

Yep, I'm going to buy it. :)

Padre2 07-12-2010 01:27 PM

It has 2 USB connections - I connect it to my 2 WD Passports (320gb and 500gb). But you can use thumb drives.

lordsmurf 07-12-2010 01:43 PM

Sweet. Just give me a Paypal address, and I'll send funds to you today. :)

Shipping time noted as per PM, just let me know whenever it goes out, so I can keep a look-out for it.
No rush from my end.

A decent day just got better! :)

Padre2 07-12-2010 02:25 PM

I verified, thumbdrive works fine (I have a 8gb USB drive).

Duncan, no on the network connection - just has USB.

allaboutduncan 07-13-2010 06:01 AM

Padre2, let me know what you think when you get the Live Plus.

wayshway 07-13-2010 07:02 AM

[xx(][xx(][xx(][xx(][xx(] Way over my head. [88][88]

Padre2 07-13-2010 07:15 AM


Originally Posted by allaboutduncan (Post 53241)
Padre2, let me know what you think when you get the Live Plus.

Will do - ordered it yesterday from Amazon.

ztrade 07-13-2010 12:43 PM

Yes, I'd like to hear about how the Live Plus works as well. I read that it supports DVD navigation and such. If so, I think it would be a great device.

Padre2 07-13-2010 02:05 PM

My Live Plus was shipped today from Amazon. Once I have it and had a chance to play with it, I'll write up some notes here.

Padre2 07-15-2010 03:53 PM

Okay, got my new toy (Western Digital TV Live Plus HD Media Player) and I have to give it a thumbs-up! I connected my two passport USB drives and it worked very similar to the older media player I was using. While it definitely took longer to boot, but my wait was rewarded right away - when I was browsing the clips on the drive, it presents a small preview window (running the clip from the beginning in a right-side window) - very nice! You can turn the preview option off, but I don't see any reason to do that!

I put a ISO file on the drive and it played perfectly, all menus and options. It has all sorts of other media connection options (media server, network share, Netflix, and more). A few nice little box.

LS, I'll PM you on the details for my old system.


lordsmurf 07-15-2010 04:44 PM

Sounds awesome. Enjoy your new toy. And I'll enjoy your old toy!

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