Music and picture format support on the WD TV Mini is everything we could hope for. Picture support consists of JPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMP and PNG, while audio formats include – deep breath – MP3, WAV, LPCM, WMA, AAC, FLAC, MKA, OGG, Real Audio and APE.
Despite equally prolific subtitle support (SRT, SSA, SUB and SMI) though, video formats are nowhere near as extensive. Xvid/DivX, MPEG1/2/4, MPEG, VOB (DVD rip), MP4/MOV and RM/RMVB is the limit of what you get, which aside from the RMVB is not much better than your average £50 media player. Granted, most of those aren’t as small and sleek as the Mini, but it just feels like a disappointment after the original WD TV.
If you really fancy a tiny unit and don’t mind the lack of H.264/.MKV support or a digital video output, the Mini should be right up your street. Its biggest problem, however, is that at just under £60 it’s only around £10 cheaper than its fully-fledged sibling, which offers all this and more – except for native RMVB support.
Things have moved on dramatically even since that little box though, and we’d definitely recommend checking out Asus’ O!Play HDP-R1 HD Media Player. This not only gives you everything the WD TV does but adds RMVB, FLV, DTS and Dolby Digital Plus support in addition to eSATA connectivity and network streaming for a mere £73 – an absolute bargain for its huge range of features, even if its build and interface aren’t quite up to the WD’s standards.
Western Digital’s new WD TV Mini media player is sleek, attractive and well-built. But without HD playback or even a digital video output, the Mini lacks that universal appeal and the edge over the competition that its bigger sibling enjoyed.
Score in detail
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