Electronic Design

Standalone Playback

Players without recording capability are also emerging. Western Digital’s WD TV, for example, uses an external USB 2.0 hard drive like Western Digital’s own My Passport or My Book products to store its audio and video files (see the figure). It only handles non-encrypted multimedia, but there’s plenty of that available.

An external drive can upgrade and move data to different players. Furthermore, consumers aren’t tied down to the size of a built-in drive that tends to always trail the price and availability of high-capacity drives now hitting upwards of 1.5 Tbytes. The WD TV is designed for HD content with an HDMI interface.

Also, there’s also a composite video output for older TVs. It includes a pair of USB 2.0 ports, one for a dedicated hard disk and another on the side for transient use with devices like flash-memory sticks. As with most media players, it comes with an IR remote control.

It’s important to note that the WD TV lacks a network connection. Users will plug the external hard drive into a PC, copy files to the hard drive, and then move the drive to the WD TV for viewing.

WESTERN DIGITAL • www.wdc.com

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