Western Digital is trying to build upon the success of its WD TV Live Plus with the launch of the WD TV Live Hub, a set-top box that delivers even more functionality for entertainment seekers.
The WD TV Live Hub comes with a built-in 1TB hard drive, allowing customers to store all kinds of video and audio content on the device. In fact, Western Digital said the product includes support for 1080p video formats, .mkv, .mp4, and .mov. In addition, video, music, or photos stored on the device can be streamed to any DLNA/UPnP-compatible products, including the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Western Digital also said that the content can be streamed to the iPad, iPhone, and Android-based smartphones with the help of third-party applications.
The WD TV Live Hub boasts user interface configuration options that allow users to change screen backgrounds or themes. The device comes with two USB ports that let users transfer content from cameras, external hard drives, or other products to the WD TV Live Hub.
But the set-top box doesn't solely cater to those who want to watch their own content. The device also includes support for Netflix streaming, YouTube, Flickr, and Pandora. It's the only product in Western Digital's line of set-top boxes to feature Blockbuster On Demand. The WD TV Live Hub also includes Facebook integration, allowing users to upload photos or videos, as well as change their status and view their news feeds.
The WD TV Live Hub is a definite step up over the WD TV Live Plus, which lacks the 1TB hard drive and the ability to stream content throughout the home. But like the WD TV Live Plus, the WD TV Live Hub lacks Wi-Fi.
WD TV Live Hub owners will be forced to connect to the Web via Ethernet or buy an accessory to connect to a Wi-Fi network. It's unfortunate. And it's a glaring omission in a field with several devices, including the Apple TV and Logitech Revue, that do come with Wi-Fi built in.
The WD TV Live Hub is available now and retails for $200. CNET will be going hands-on with the set-top box next week.