We reviewed Western Digital's WD TV HD media player several months ago and generally liked what we saw. Now the company is back with a less expensive--and smaller version--that's called the WD TV Mini. The unit costs $99.99 and is allegedly available now.
Like its big brother, the Mini is designed to read a wide assortment of audio and video file formats from an external storage device, whether it be one of Western Digital's own external hard drives or just a simple thumb drive, and play it back on your TV.
The WD TV HD media player offers an HDMI connection and 1080p playback capabilities, but this model goes with component video (as well as S-video) and tops out at 1080i playback. Interestingly, the WD TV HD is selling for $99.99 right now at some online outlets and the Mini is going for $80 at Amazon, though it's listed as "not yet been released."
It's also worth noting that some photos of a networked version of the WD TV HD have surfaced. That unit includes an Ethernet port, as well as HDMI connectivity and an optical output. No word on when that model will be released, but we suspect we'll hear more about it soon.
To see the full press release on the WD TV Mini, click here.