Storage expert Western Digital has launched a standalone media box that streams content from your USB drive.

Rather than hooking your computer to your HDTV and streaming video and other multimedia files, the WD TV HD Media Player accepts content from a separate WD portable backup drive.

The media player has two USB ports that will also connect to flash drives and flip video players, and connects to your HDTV via an HDMI cable.

It can playback virtually any type of multimedia file including most picture formats and H.264, DivX, and MPEG-2 video in 1080p resolution.

The media player costs USD$129, but compatible storage devices are sold separately.

As friendly to use as it is, WD’s new product is entering a market which is attracting increasing attention.

Various companies are focussing on consumers’ living rooms, including Netflix which is working alongside Microsoft, Roku, and several Blu-ray manufacturers to make its streaming service more widely available in the living room.

The WD TV HD Media Player’s basic features:

  • Compatible with My Passport portable hard drives and other USB storage devices
  • Full HD 1080p video playback and navigation
  • Dock-and-play convenience
  • Provides access to 2 USB drives simultaneously
  • HDMI and composite video interfaces for easy connection to a TV
  • Ultracompact design for easy portability
  • Includes My Passport hard drive stand, compact remote with batteries, composite A/V cable, AC adapter, media converter software and owner’s manual

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