Western Digital

Sep 03 2013

News - Western Digital Annouces 4TB 3.5" & 1TB 2.5" Red NAS Drives

WD Red
There's a lot to like about Western Digital's Red line of RAID friendly NAS hard drives, so it's really nice to see them expanding the family to include a 4TB model and into the 2.5" space (little NAS & HTPC friendly) with a 1TB model.

PC Perspective has a review up to go with the launch. Head on over and have a look.

Last July, I went on a bit of a mini-rant about how using a bunch of drives not meant to be in a RAID could potentially lead to loss of the entire array from only a few bad sectors spread across several disks. Western Digital solved this problem by their introduction of the WD Red series. That series capped out at 3TB, and users were pushing for larger storage capacities for their NAS devices. In addition to the need for larger disks came the need for *smaller* disks as well, as there are some manufacturers that wish to create NAS / HTPC type devices that house multiple 2.5" HDD's. One such device is the Drobo Mini - a 4x2.5" device which has not really had a 'proper' NAS storage element available - until now:

PC Perspective

 

Jul 20 2012

News - Western Digital TV Play Details Leak

We don't watch FCC filings quite as closely as some sites, but word that Western Digital has a new media streamer moving through the FCC offices seemed worthy of note. The WD TV Live series of media streamers have achieved a fair measure of mainstream success, and the company's latest entry appears to take direct aim at the Roku family by adding support for games. The WD TV Play will sport a redesigned remote and at least two casual game services at launch, along with all the usual media streaming capablities that we have come to expect from Western Digital. Streaming and casual gaming services are looking to be an increasingly important part of the feature list for any new media streamer or smart TV these days, and Western Digital appears ready to play with the big boys.

WD TV Play

Western Digital’s WD TV line has been one of the more successful forays into the connected media player market, and the company appears to be ready to introduce a new model that brings with it a little big-screen gaming action. The WD TV Play has checked in at the the FCC for the standard battery of tests, and its user manual has revealed a few tidbits about the as-yet-unannounced device.

Geek.com

Jun 08 2012

News - WD TV Live Streamers Updated with SlingPlayer, New Streaming Services, VUDU Downloading

WD TV SlingPlayer

Western Digital's WD TV Live and Live Hub media streamers have received an update enabling access to several new media streaming services and the SlingPlayer app, as well as VUDU movie downloading, though only for the WD TV Live Hub with its built-in hard drive. The new streaming services include AOL On for the U.S., the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for Australian users, BILD-TV in Germany, and Red Bull TV worldwide. I'm guessing Red Bull TV is produced here in the U.S., so I will apologize to world on Western Digital's behalf. Slingbox owners will probably be more excited about the addition of the SlingPlayer app. Slingbox SOLO and Slingbox PRO-HD users will now be able to stream from their Slingbox to the WD TV Live family of devices.

Depending on your region, you'll see new channels on the WD set-tops, including The AOL On Network, Red Bull TV, ABC iview (Australia), Acetrax Movies, Maxdome and BILD TV-App. Walmart's Vudu service will also be added, letting domestic and some foreign users buy or rent from a library of 70,000 downloadable films and TV shows.

Engadget HD

Jan 22 2012

News - Western Digital Working to Restore Pre-Flood Manufacturing Output by September

Western Digital Hard DriveThe floods in Thailand last year displaced over 12 million people and left large swathes of the country underwater, including factories that produced a large percentage of the world's hard drives and hard drive components. Western Digital, the hard drive manufacturer most affected by the flooding, has been working to restore production and between their reconstruction efforts in Thailand and new factories coming online in Malaysia, Western Digital expects to restore production to pre-flood levels by September. A number of major tech companies, including Intel and Microsoft, have pinned the blame for recent weakness in the PC market on hard drive shortages caused by the flooding. Certainly, anyone looking to add storage to their HTPC or home server has seen the effect of the shortages on hard drive prices.

Western Digital expects to rebuild its production capacities to pre-flood levels by September, 2012, the company said this week. The manufacturer aims to repair its two factories in Thailand and bring back its output to normal levels in several months from now. Until then, shortages of hard drives will likely persist.

X-bit Labs

Jan 12 2012

News - Western Digital TV Live Reviewed

The Western Digital TV Live has proven to be a popular little streamer and Western Digital doesn't seem to have a successor on tap at CES this year, so it might not be a bad time to give it another look. Ditching the hard drive found in the WD TV Live Hub means that the WD TV Live has a smaller price tag and smaller footprint to help it fit into any home theater setup. I'm still not sure that I am a fan of the remote control, but everything else about the WD TV Live should appeal.

WD TV Live

Measuring just 125x100x30mm, the WD TV Live weighs a mere 200 grams. The front has a simple transparent plastic plate which just shows the white activity LED (which can be turned off) and a USB port. On the rear you have the power plug, Optical out, LAN input, HDMI out and another USB port, finished off with an old school AV out port.

t-break

Jan 06 2012

News - Western Digital Releases My Book Live Duo

Western Digital had best be careful lest their My Book external drives become full on NAS systems. The new My Book Live Duo is Western Digital's latest network-capable My Book external hard drive, but this time WD is packing in some advanced features. There is some backup software and a DLNA server, though those are pretty much standard bullet points on networkable hard drives these days. More interestingly, there will be two models, a 4TB and a 6TB, each packing two drives in a RAID1 configuration for real-time data mirroring. The My Book Live Duo is also being touted as a cloud computing storage device as it supports remote access and mobile device access for iOS and Android, though I suspect that most consumers would be more impressed if cloud support meant that the drive backed itself up to the Internet.

My Book Live Duo

Half the capacity is used to store users' data and half is used for a second copy. If one drive fails, all of your data is protected because everything is duplicated on the other drive. Alternatively, users can go wtih the Duo's spanning mode, which combines both drives into one large volume acting as one drive for maximum storage capacity. 

Storage Review

Dec 31 2011

News - Western Digital Sentinel DX4000 Reviewed

Western Digital Sentinel DX4000

I've been using Windows Home Server since it first launched and was quite interested to see Microsoft building on the basic concept by expanding the line with Windows Home Server 2011, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials. All three operating systems share their Windows Server 2008 R2 roots and easy to use Dashboard remote interface. I've had the opportunity to play with WHS 2011 and SBSE 2011, but not WSSE 2008, so I had been looking forward to seeing a review of the OS in action. I missed this review of the Western Digital Sentinel DX4000, the first major WSSE 2008 hardware release, when it first went up, but it's well worth checking out if you are interested in a high-end NAS with a greater focus on RAID, data integrity and uptime.

WD accomplished what it wanted, bringing enterprise grade software and hardware that's easy to use to the SMB with the Sentinel DX4000. As we look at the Sentinel as a potential line of many other NAS devices, Western Digital is certainly pointed in the right direction and poised to be a major player in the NAS market.

Storage Review

Dec 25 2011

News - Western Digital Releases WD TV Live Remote App for Android

WD TV Remote for ANdroid

Well, that was fast. Just a couple of days ago, Western Digital dropped a big update on the WD TV Live family of devices along with a brand new remote control app for iOS devices, with the promise that an Android version of the app would be available soon. Usually that means a few weeks, not days. The Android version of the WD TV Remote is now available in the Android Marketplace and brings with it essentially the same set of features such as direct access to online services, gesture control, and an onscreen QWERTY keyboard for text input.

Only days after releasing an equivalent app for iOS, Western Digital has just released WD TV Remote, a free Android app that connects to your Western Digital set-top box over a WiFi connection and allows you to control it from any Android-based device.

Engadget

Dec 22 2011

News - WD TV Live Streamers Updated with New Services and iOS Remote Control App

Western Digital has pushed out a new update for the WD TV Live and WD TV Live Hub, adding a number of new services and providing support for the newly released WD TV Remote App. The new remote control app is currently only available for iOS devices, but there is an Android version  in the works. The app provides gestural controls, direct access to the WD TV Live's services, and  a QWERTY keyboard for text input.

VUDU on WD TV

As to the new services, the update brings six new services to the streamers:

  • Watch Mojo
  • Comedy Time
  • SEC Digital Network
  • XOS College Sports
  • SnagFilms
  • VUDU

WD TV customers now have access to VUDU's large HD library of movies and TV titles instantly on their home entertainment systems. WD supports the HDX™ video format that features 1080p Full HD video and rich Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 audio, allowing users to enjoy a cinema-like experience at home with the hottest new releases available on-demand without any subscription fees or late fees. 

Wetern Digital

Dec 05 2011

News - Western Digital Working to Bring Thailand Factories Back Online

Western Digital recently announced that they are ahead of schedule on restoring production to their factories in Thailand damaged by the recent flooding there. Western Digital's Thailand factories are responsible for about 60% of the company's products and the damage done, as well as the damage done to the factories of the other hard drive component manufacturers in the region, have had a major impact on hard drive supplies around the world. Fortunately for Western Digital, the hard drive shortages have not had a negative effect on Western Digital's bottom line as they also announced that they expect quarterly revenue of about $1.8 billion versus the $1.05-$1.25 billion they had projected. Western Digital's rapid progress is good news, particularly for the folks in Thailand affected by the floods, so hopefully things continue to progress well. Any bets that hard drive prices don't fall as fast they have risen when the rest of the factories are restored?

"Much work remains to be done, but we couldn't be more pleased with the effort and results thus far, including tremendous support from our supply partners and customers," said Western Digital CEO John Coyne.

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