WDTV – Western Digital TV media player

Picked up a WDTV last night for $200. As you may have guessed from some of my other posts, I’m into my A/V stuff, so this thing seemed like a bargain. Many reviews will rave about how great it is, and I must say it’s not too bad, but I have found there are bugs (even in the latest firmware):

Playback of any AC3 file seems to result in a barely noticable (but very annoying) 100ms or so audio lag. This doesn’t drift which is good, but it makes watching anything with an AC3 soundtrack very annoying. I’ve tried various things to try and fix this and make sure it’s not me or my files, but the unit. Strangely, this only seems to occur when playing back NTSC files, and not PAL (25fps) files.

Other than that, it’s pretty good. I’ll hang on to it until I can test it on someone else’s setup. Otherwise it might have to go back to the shop!


After more testing with different files, it seems to be off-sync with a bunch of files, not just ones with an AC3 soundtrack. I also tested the device at a friends place before finally taking it back. If Western Digital manages to sort this bug out, I may consider buying it again…probably not though, manufacturers need to start testing stuff rather than just putting things out there and then releasing good firmware a year later.

I also just found out the WDTV violates the GPL, so I don’t want it anyway!


Version 1.02 firmware is now released for the WDTV, and I’ve recently bought an AV reciever which has built in a/v delay stuff (and optical/hdmi inputs etc..) so perhaps it is time to re-purchase WDTV after all. Converting MKV/h264 to AVI/xvid for my xbox w/ac3 isn’t so great.


I did re-buy the WDTV, and I’ve been very happy with it, but only if using firmware version 1.02.03 (I think it’s that one) which has all the sync issues sorted. Recommended!

1 thought on “WDTV – Western Digital TV media player

  1. Hi, John.. Apologies for hijacking this post in this fashion, but I can’t seem to find a note of your email address. Then again, it’s 2:30am and I’ve had a few cans of cider, so my thought processes may not be firing on all cylinders..

    Oddly enough, this is the 2nd time in a week I’ve found your website for entirely different reasons.. Firstly was for work, as we’re contemplating getting a WDTV unit as a quick n easy way to play video files without having to have a PC logged in all day, so ta..

    Secondly is for my home purposes… Your entry on Category 5 mentions you using the ZX Spectrum… Is there any chance that you are this person: http://www.worldofspectrum.org/infoseekpub.cgi?regexp=^John+Hunt$&loadpics=3

    I’d really appreciate it if you could send me a quick email to say yes, or no, so I can take you off the list of people to contact when I resume the search! (I’ll explain all of this gibberish by email – heh)

    Many thanks,

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