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Western Digital Bows HD Media Player

10 Jun, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Western Digital June 9 launched a media player that allows users to stream high-definition content, including Netflix movie streams, onto an HDTV.

Lake Forest, Calif.-based Western Digital said the $149.99 WD TV Live Plus HD media player enables users to stream personalized web-based content from YouTube, Flickr, Pandora, Live365, as well as the MediaFly network, which includes daily podcasts from CNN, NBC, MTV, ESPN and other online content providers.

Western Digital said the media player also lets consumers access digital media they already own, unlike other Netflix-enabled devices.

The onscreen menu allows users to navigate personal as well as third-party content, including streaming movies from PC or Mac computers, USB storage devices, portable hard drives, desktop drives, or network-attached storage such as Western Digital’s “My Book World Edition” and “ShareSpace.”

Compatible with Windows 7, the media player allows users to control the streaming of video, music or photos from any Windows 7-based PC on their network.

“While Netflix can be found on an increasing number of products such as Internet TVs, Blu-ray players, video game consoles, and other standalone devices, the WD media player allows digital media buffs to access and play all of their own personal HD media stored anywhere on their network or USB drives,” said Dale Pistilli, VP of marketing for WD’s branded products group.

Bill Holmes, VP of business development with Netflix, said the online DVD rental pioneer has become a “must have” for consumer electronics devices.

Indeed, Netflix helped usher content streaming in 2009 with the launch of the initial eponymous player manufactured by Roku.

Sales of connected consumer electronics devices, such as TVs and digital media adapters, are expected to more than double from 57 million units in 2009 to 115 million units in 2013, according to Parks Associates.

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