WD Elements Play
Quite a few developers are targeting the
bridge between computers and TV's and this time, Impulse Gamer checks out
the new WD Elements Play by Western Digital. In essence, this drive is a
central hub which allows you to store media on the drive, plug it into
your TV and then watch. Sounds good? Almost!
We reviewed the 1 terabyte model which
supports a wide range of file formats such as MKV and H264 but best of
all, the device outputs in glorious FULL-HD 1080p. The unit comes with
the Multimedia Drive (WD Elements Play), remote control with batteries, USB
cable, AC adapter and a quick install guide.
The design of the WD Element Play is quite basic
that boasts a jet black box and a rather miniature remote control. For
connections, it supports HDMI, component out, optical audio and a USB out
to connect the unit to either a PC or another USB device. All in all, it
looks like a rather basic device and does what it should, bridge PC
files to your TV.
In terms of video formats, the WD Elements
supports; VI (XviD, AVC, MPEG-1/2/4) MPG/MPEG, VOB/ISO, MP4/MOV (MPEG-4,
H.264), MKV (H.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG-1/2/4), TS/TP/M2TS (MPEG-1/2/4, AVC),
FLV and RM or RMVB 8/9/10 video files. Apart from video files, it
supports a range of audio that include MP3, WAV/PCM/LPCM, WMA, AAC, FLAC,
MKA, OGG, APE and Dolby Digital (inside video files only). Needless to
say, it supports all the main video and audio formats so I really doubt
that you will have any issues with this device in terms of playback.
The installation was quite easy, we simply
connected it to our PC, moved the files across and then connected it to
our Samsung FULL HD TV. That's basically it. The quality of the playback
does determine on the quality of files but for the most part, they
looked rather spiffy. The interface of the device is relatively simple
as well which includes picture icons for navigation. These icons include Video, Music,
Photos, File Management and Settings which is quite easy to manipulate.
In conclusion, the WD Elements is an
interesting device that does successfully bridge the PC to the TV.
However, I'm a little apprehensive as to the longevity of this device as
machines such as the PlayStation 3 or XBox 360 already do this feature
and supports wireless.
The lack of a network connection is a little problematic as well which
means you always need to connect it to a PC or a USB device to copy
files across. If it had wireless functionality, than we would really be
cooking but considering this day and age, it is a little archaic at
best. It's a good attempt but a little late in the grand scheme of