The WDTV Live Hub case had no screws on the outside, similar to the earlier WDTV units. However, once the notch at the rear end of the top panel was spotted, it was a simple job to pry it open and expose the internals. The fan inside the unit renders unnecesaary the heat sink found in the previous generation products.

The 1 TB internal hard disk is the WD Scorpio Blue. Unfortunately, the unit doesn't seem to be easily user serviceable.

The other main components on the board are as follows:

  1. Sigma Designs SMP 8654AD : Video decoder
  2. Realtek RTL8110SC(L) : Gigabit Ethernet controller
  3. 4 x 64 MB NANYA DRAM modules
  4. Samsung K9F2G080UB 2 GB NAND Flash

The Live Hub board is based upon the Vantage 8654 development platform provided by Sigma Designs. As a way of customization, the Realtek GbE controller is probably connected to the SMP 8654 using the PCI connector. The SATA port made available in the SMP 8654 is connected to the 1 TB hard disk. From the hardware viewpoint, other than the GbE controller, there is nothing much exciting or different from the reference design. Unfortunately, the GbE controller doesn't appear to deliver its full potential, and it doesn't look like WD is planning to fix it either. However, it does lend a nice marketing pitch, as this happens to be the first dedicated media streamer in the market with a GbE port.

Visiting Sigma Designs Final Words
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  • ganeshts - Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - link

    I know these aren't in the piece yet. I will try to get those figures in as soon as possible. Reply
  • casteve - Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - link

    Ganesh, when you do have a chance to add the power and noise levels...be sure to include power used when off/sleeping/idle. Thanks! Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Sorry for the delay, but the power consumption numbers are as below:

    1. Power off, adapter connected to the mains (WDTVLiveHub visible on the network) : 7.7W

    2. Power off, transferring files to WDTVLiveHub drive over the network: 9.4W

    3. Power on, running 1080p video / playing Netflix: 10.7W

    4. Power on, running 1080p video, transferring file to internal drive at the same time: 11.3W
    Reply
  • dman - Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - link

    I'd be interested if it had recording capabilities at this price point. Well, I'm sure a lot of people would be... I just say it because I really don't need the built in HDD on this device since it's not recording anything.

    It's nice that they've updated the interface, something the previous generation of WD devices have been asking for, however, with Google and Apple getting serious in this space I think WD has been moving a little to slowly here.

    Lastly, did they finally include a 30s skip function or is it still just FF/RR while watching shows and the huge 10 or 20 minute (I think) skip?
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - link

    The LiveHub has the ability to navigate to any time instant in the video file. There is an option for a x16 forward / rewind too. No explicit 30s skip as far as I can see Reply
  • blckgrffn - Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - link

    Really? That's getting up into well-connected blu-ray player pricing - not to mention the nettops you can put together for nearly that much... Reply
  • dandar - Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - link

    I have an Iomega Home Media NAS. It has gigabit port and it's also limited to an average of 10.6 MB/s. I was getting slightly above 8 MB/s on 100 megabit router so it's a slight upgrade, but a far cry from what I expected (ie 50+ MB/s). They both must have similar bottleneck between the HDD and the network interface. Reply
  • Aikouka - Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - link

    If I'm understanding your setup properly, you have a computer and the Iomega Home Media NAS plugged into a 100 Base-T router. Regardless of your NIC's capable speed, you'll never transfer faster than the hardware **between the two points** allows.

    A 100 Base-T system is theoretically capable of up to 12.5 MB/s (100 / 8).
    Reply
  • dandar - Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - link

    No, I had it hooked up to 100 megabit router, then I hooked up a gigabit switch in preparation to wiring my house up for nas serving a PS3 and Cinematube. To transfer the files I hooked up my laptop to the switch as well. I haven't tested read speeds yet, but write speeds increased from 8+ MB/s with both my laptop and NAS on my 100 megabit router to 10.6 MB/s with both on the gigabit switch, which incidentally meets what Anandtech got with this box and what other websites got when testing WD Mybook World.

    Ps. The switch shows both devices connected with gigabit protocols so getting write speeds equivalent to what you could get on a good 100mbps connection is pretty disappointing. Having said that, read speeds should be around 27-30 MBps. Anand or should I say Ganesh should test that and update this review.
    Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - link

    That shitty 25mm (sleeve bearing?) fan is going to get really loud, really soon. It's too bad they didn't keep it passively cooled. Reply

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