There are a gazillion ways to watch movies and TV shows on the Internet, and I’m not sure if any of them are more fundamentally appealing than Netflix’s Watch Instantly: It’s reasonably priced, fun to use, and bursting at the seams with stuff worth watching. Small wonder that it’s among the most widely-supported services on gadgets that let you connect an HDTV to your home network–the latest of which is Western Digital’s $150 WD HD Live Plus HD. I tried a unit loaned to me by Western Digital.
Physically, the WD TV Live Plus HD looks like earlier incarnations of WD TV and reminds me of Roku’s player: It’s about the size of a thick sandwich, and plugs into your TV via component cables or HDMI (the latter cable isn’t included). Unlike Roku, it doesn’t have built-in Wi-Fi–you’ve got to connect it to your network via Ethernet or spring for an extra-cost Wi-Fi adapter. I used the former approach, and found that the box worked with minimal setup.