WDTV Live Hub
I was more than discouraged when my WDTV Live Hub, which was the poster child for Windows 7 Play To, did not show as a certified device for Windows Store Apps in Windows 8/Surface. Sure, the classic desktop interface worked, but I felt as though a promise had been broken.
I had the latest available firmware from October and others posting on the WD user forums were also miffed.
I happened to check the forums today and noted a couple of new comments. So, I followed the bouncing ball and performed the following steps:
1. Charms, PC Settings, Devices, Delete the Uncertified WDTV Live Hub device
3. Charms, PC Settings, Devices, manually ADD the device after it was discovered and listed
After the above, it now appears in the Device list and works. Photos, Music, Videos, even HTML5 browser streaming (nice!)
I checked with Microsoft to see how this update was done, since there was nothing listed in the Windows Update history specifically referencing Play To, and received this response:
Device certification is not handled in any way via Windows Update.
We have a service, called NCD-AS (auto setup for short) that will automatically find media renderers and pair them (even if they aren’t certified). As part of pairing, PNP updates drivers and metadata packages for a device if available. Every 8 days, this service will check for updated drivers and metadata packages for all media renderers that have been paired.
I’ve never had a CE device that exceeded my expectations. Until now. My Connected Home includes devices that enable me to stream media between devices on my network, but which also provoked frustration because of half implemented codec support and DLNA protocols. I thought I had true DLNA love back in July 2009 with a Samsung TV, but the lack of firmware updates for DLNA compatibility (such as support for WMA music) eventually caused me to realize it was just a summer romance. Samsung seems to abandon devices after 6 months or so, and concentrates on newer products.
Like many others, while I’d love a new DLNA certified Home Theater receiver DMR, the price range for these is currently $900+. And the Samsung TV is relatively new.
Enter the WD TV Live Hub. This >$200 little box does it all. Like many Home Theater enthusiasts looking for optimum solutions that provide Windows 7 Play To functionality, I’ve been frustrated and was not looking for an expensive solution. This is a very small box with gargantuan capabilities, including a 1TB hard drive to store your favorite media on.