When you think of Western Digital what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Yup that’s right, hard drives (What were you going to say? Something smart I’m sure). Well then, if you’re so smart… tell me; where do you store all of those photos and videos you’ve been taking of your kid? Personally I had been using a combination of MobileMe and Google’s Picasa Web. These solutions both work very well but for the most part you’re really at the mercy of Apple and Google when it comes to storage limits and changes to both the interface and terms of service. A good example of this is the fact that MobileMe has changed a bit and is now known as iCloud and Google’s Picasa Web has seen quite a number of changes when it comes to sharing due to the introduction of Google+. I work with technology on a daily basis and these changes don’t really affect me too much; they do however seem to present challenges to my parents and extended family.
Western Digital introduced what they’re calling their “private cloud” solution with the release of their WD TV Live Hub. Simply put, it’s your own personal cloud storage solution. The major difference between storing your pictures and videos with a service provider in the “public cloud” and the WD TV Live Hub is that anything you store on the Live Hub is stored in a nice little compact box that sits in your house. You can store your own photos, videos, music, and movies on this small form factor box that plugs into your TV and share any of this media with whomever you like. Think of it as an easy and more private way to share the latest photos and home movies of your newborn with their new grandparents.
You can use your Mac, PC or Smart Phone to upload pictures and movies to the WD TV Live Hub from anywhere in the world, all you need is an internet connection. One of the most impressive features is its ability to optimize the videos streaming from your Live Hub at home. As long as you have a high-speed connection at home you will be able to view your pictures or movies from anywhere that has a high-speed connection; even 3G works, and it works really well!
Let’s not forget the ‘TV’ part of this product. The WD TV Live Hubis meant to be plugged in to your television at home. In addition to viewing any of the pictures or videos you’ve uploaded, there are a handful of native applications such as Netflix, Facebook, Pandora, Youtube, and Blockbuster On Demand that provide you the ability to bring mainstream media directly to your television.
The WD TV Live Hub retails for under $200.00 (USD) comes with 1 Terabyte of storage and can handle pretty much any type of audio or visual files that you throw at it.
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