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December 22, 2015

Using WD TV with Old Local Files and YouTube

WHEN I BROUGHT Amazon video streaming into our Irish home, the first thing my wife wanted was the service on a TV screen. I'm halfway there--we bought ourselves a media player from Western Digital that gets our YouTube content onto an inexpensive TV.

New Media Player in the House
Photo of WD TV box by @topgold.

Getting Amazon Prime onto the TV screen takes a little more work--probably with an Amazon Fire TV connection and a little tweak from Overplay.net. Our major problem is with the 12-year-old Sony Wega television. It doesn't have an HDMI port and I don't know how effective the frame rate will be if I get a SCART-to-HDMI adapter.

The big win with the WD TV is we can see 15 years of content stored on WD Passport drives that I've maintained with legacy photos, videos and audio clips. Many of these samples never left the house after I pulled them off our different handsets. They need some curation and that's a welcome process. I hope to produce audio clips narrated by Mia (8) and Dylan (4) as they rewind memories on the 26" Bush TV screen.

All these pieces of Western Digital and Bush technology appeared in our lives because they're right around the 100 euro mark to purchase. We really should demand higher specifications because the tinny sound of the Bush television significantly degrades the HQ audio of YouTube. And the TV screen cannot play the 4K videos that my Sony Xperia Z5 now records.

But when considering everything, we're halfway to the goal of seeing first-run American television on an old TV screen connected to very weak broadband in rural County Tipperary. That makes for a memorable Christmas 2015 in our home.

[Bernie Goldbach has an attic full of cables and connectors from old tech worth resurrecting some day.]


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