Western Digital offers $69 media streamer with Netflix, Hulu, YouTube

Western Digital makes a play for the low-end streaming video market with a $69 set-top box it calls WD TV Play.

The box, announced Tuesday, allows you to stream content such as Facebook, Hulu Plus, NetFlix, Pandora, Spotify, Vudu, and YouTube to your TV.

The remote control for the WD device even has dedicated buttons for fast access to Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Vudu.

Western Digital also makes an app for Apple and Android smartphones for controlling the TV Play box, which makes it easier to perform text-intensive tasks like logging into online apps or searching for movies or other programming.

The Play box also allows you to stream content from your own personal library of home videos, slideshows, and music stash.

What's more, with the unit's USB port, you can plug in your video or still camera and view video and photos directly on your TV. The USB port can also be used for attaching a keyboard to the box.

Both Wi-Fi—including Wireless N—and ethernet are supported by the Play.

In addition, the WD TV Play has both HDMI and composite video inputs and S/PDIF digital output.

Competitors

Although Roku and Apple TV have higher-profile set-top boxes, Western Digital has been in the business for some time. In 2008, it introduced the WD TV HD Media Player for playing HD content on a TV. That was followed in 2010 with two streaming products: WD TV Live and WD Live Hub.

Western Digital's announcement comes on the heels of Intel confirming that it plans to launch a set-box of its own later in the year. Intel's box will support both Internet content and live TV.

Although details about the Intel product are sketchy, the box won't be competing with the WD Play TV for customers. Intel envisions its box appealing to the high end of the market.

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