This WD sits in front of the tv smaller than a paperback novel, silent and unassuming but very stylish with a WD light on the front when on or transferring files(can be turned off in menu). I am beginning to see why there are so many good reviews for this model, if you are like me and are nervous about new gadgets dont be, like a modern tv, you plug it in and it does everything itself. Need to say though, there is no HDMI or ethernet cable in the box, just the mains cord, but plug an ethernet into the router, the hdmi into a tv, plug into the mains and thats it!!!
When you switch on for the first time, you have to wait until it downloads new firmware then its ready to go. The worst thing you can do is worry about the lack of an instruction manual in the box and the stupid 5 pictures without words set up instructions - really thats it, its set up. If you go to your PC click on computer in the start menu, then click network you will see 'wdtvlivehub' start dragging files to the wd, start watching files in another room on another pc from the wd, its that simple - both western digital and reviews make the thought of owning one of these media streamers harder than the actual ownership, they are a dream, especially this with its built in hard drive, no plugging in seperate hard drives for photos, film and music, its always there as if it was on your pc every time you switch on, and better still they are there on your TV when the PC is switched off - Simple!
I think this model is more expensive than an Asus with say a 2tb optional drive, but this WD is seamless, it has their top of the line cobalt blue 1tb drive inside, and I have had no trouble playing files, it plays files my PC doesent have the codec for, MKV's between 5 and 8 gig - no problem, 5.1 sound channelled around the room - no problem (it can handle 8 channels at the time of writing), smaller avi less than 1 gig look fantastic in fact a 180mb 30 minute avi looks better than some freeview channels, I dont know what the upscaler is doing but CNET compare the capabilities of this WD to their reference machine, it plays x264, h264, m2ts, you really would have to try hard to find something you need to convert first.
All in all I am very happy, this really is the next generation of entertainment and it has been freed from my PC and onto my big screen TV, after all thats what I bought my TV for, not so I can watch HD movies huddled over a small computer screen - enjoy!