October 13, 2009 by Stephen Hopkins
When most people head to Best Buy to snag a deal the week something is released, it’s usually a Blu-ray, DVD, or CD player.
This week you can also grab a deal on the Western Digital WDTV Live for $119, or $30 below MSRP.
This just-released follow-up to the popular WDTV HD is a small form-factor media player that handles nearly any audio and video container/codec combo you can throw at it, including video up to 1080p.
The original WDTV had some shortcomings that bugged enthusiasts, mainly the inability to decode DTS audio (though it could bitstream to an AVR just fine). The new WDTV Live adds this capability, along with a faster processor, more RAM, and an Ethernet port. The network connectivity opens this device up from being a simple USB file player to a home network friendly media streamer. This might be the perfect low-cost client box for those of you with extensive media collections stored on servers, NAS devices, or HTPCs. Native playback of YouTube, Flickr, and Pandora is included.
Western Digital says other Internet media portals will be added with future firmware updates. The device also acts as a UPNP/DLNA client making it open to Hulu, Netflix, CBS, and many other streams through server-side transcoders like PlayOn and TVersity.
Grab yours this week before the price jumps back up to the MSRP of $150.
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Stephen Hopkins is chief technology editor for EH Publishing. He writes product reviews, features, and focuses heavily on 3D TV, iPhone and iPad apps, and digital content.
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