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Western Digital WD TV Mini Launches


Western Digital WD TV Mini Launches

There's a new WD TV on the scene, but not the rumoured/leaked successor you might have been hoping for. Rather, the WD TV Mini is a downsized, slightly less feature-rich but cheaper alternative to its predecessor.

The main sacrifice is the lack of 1080p video output, with the mini limited to 1080i. Format support is lessened versus the WD TV. The Mini bests the WD TV by playing RealVideo, but it won't work with MKV files and h.264 and AVC are a no-go, too. Subtitle display is featured, at least. Audio is better taken care of, with all the common offenders catered for, namely MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, FLAC and OGG. JPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMP and PNG images can be displayed.

Some criticism is probably deserved for the lack of an HDMI output, but if you really need that, the fully fledged WD TV is probably more up your street and if you don't, composite and Component should be perfectly fine. A digital optical output is featured, enabling multi-channel sound to be passed to an AV receiver - the unit itself will only cope with stereo.

The US MSRP is $99, so UK pricing should hopefully hit £60. We're still waiting for confirmation the WD TV Mini will launch here, though.


Western Digital.

Go to comments


August 19, 2009, 4:59 pm

If this really is £60 in the shops then this seems like a pretty pointless device. The normal WD TV can be bought for little over £70 so why would you buy this one? For the features (or lack of them) I think this would need to be in the £30 - £40 range.


August 19, 2009, 5:12 pm

On a similar tune - what is the best box to watch TV on your PC monitor?


August 19, 2009, 5:27 pm


Couldn't agree more.

Geoff Richards

August 19, 2009, 5:51 pm

@Williamn - I'd say the WDTV HD, if your monitor has HDMI. This Mini only has component and composite - I can't think of many monitors with the former, and the latter isn't going to be great image quality.


August 19, 2009, 6:36 pm

Can't you buy a £30 upscaling DVD player which does pretty much everything that does (apart from ogg).. and have a HDMI port and play DVD's? Seems very pointless to me.


August 19, 2009, 6:49 pm

@Williamn - Do you mean TV as in Freeview/freesat? If so then the WDTV wont help as it doesnt have a tuner. Also it depends on what inputs you have, if you have a HDMI input then just get a standard freeview/freesat Box with HDMI out (easy enough), if you dont have HDMI then you could get one of these VGA Gamer boxes from Maplin (terrestrial only tho):



August 19, 2009, 6:56 pm

@Steve32: I too am struggling to figure out what the point of this device is. At first, I thought it'd be a reworking of the original (a WDTV 'slim', if you will), however it seems to be missing some of the features many love about the original. Plus, as you mentioned price, the original is about £70 at Amazon at the moment.

@jopey: Can you? There's a Philips model with a USB port which'll play DivX and Xvid, but it's about £50. I also doubt it plays RMVB or several of the other formats. All that aside, there other point is this WDTV mini is about 1/3 of the size.

@Williamn: You don't need a box! You can watch BBC, ITV, Ch4 and Ch5 programmes online...

Sorry, might be the obvious answer, but someone had to say it :D.

Sky also now offer PC packages, and your last resort may be a Slingbox, but I'm afraid I don't know much about them, so someone else'll have to fill in. Have fun!


August 19, 2009, 7:59 pm

@WD Are you mad or just misguided? I can't decide.

I doubt it would have cost any more to leave the compatability with MKV files and h.264 alone (if the same chipset it used, or even to include it if not). It doesn't even look significantly smaller either! This seems like an unnecessary addition to the WD TV family, and it's already the black sheep of the aforementioned.

This is definitely and not a small step for TV, but backwards step WD!


August 19, 2009, 8:00 pm

Original model is now £64.35 at Amazon. Quick, before they sell out!


August 19, 2009, 8:08 pm

@drdark There are offbrand DVD players for around that price which do 1080p, have a usb port and do divx. A friend of mine got a Sumvision something which did all that. Does anyone care about RMVB? I haven't even bothered installing real player in like 8 years.

Luan Bach

August 19, 2009, 10:09 pm

@jopey The MPAA is about to sue RealNetworks out of existence too.

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