With a mounting DVD collection, it was inevitable that I switched over to a media player to handle my multimedia. After a bit of research, and finding good reviews, I settled on Western Digital’s WD TV Live HD. Whilst its UI may lack some finesse of the Apple TV, it’s excellent file support easily betters that of Apple’s device, and its small footprint gave it a very low profile alongside my other media equipment.
I was very impressed with the playback quality from a USB-attached Samsung 1.5 external drive, and life was good. I improved the experience by trawling the internet for suitable cover art to accompany the media files. All I had to do was find a JPG image, ensure it was less than 70k in size, name it the same as the media file, and hey presto, it would be shown in the UI. This made it a lot easier for my four year old son to identify the film he’d like to watch. What’s more, I could even organise TV episodes into folders, and assign an image to that folder. UI heaven.
So, fast forward about a year to the present day. My collection of media files had swollen to many gigabytes, and despite the reliability of hard drives, I had a niggling feeling that if the drive failed, I’d be left high and dry. All those hours spent converting the DVDs and finding those JPGs would have been wasted. I needed a NAS.