Finally Got To See My Windows Shares In My WD TV Live Media Player

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Firstly, I have to say that the WD TV Live media player that I just got for Christmas is one of the best things that I have to play with right now. It works (mostly) great with my old TwonkyVision installation, but one big problem for me was that it would only play the .mp4 files that I downloaded and decoded from the BBC iPlayer web site (let me know if you want to know how this is done) as audio files. I thought it would be interesting to see if it could play them as video files if accessed directly via the Windows Share instead.

I have to say that it took me ages to work this one out. Firstly, I couldn’t even see the shares, even thought I’d added read/write access for the Everyone group (as advised on several articles out there). I changed the WD TV Live workgroup name to match my domain name, and got one step further – I could see the server name, but when I tried to select it, I just got an invalid username or password error. Particularly annoying when you only have a remote control to play with (I know, I should nip upstairs and grab a USB keyboard for it). In desperation, I tried supplying my domain admin credentials, and bingo! it worked.

Now, I realised that as far as the file access is concerned, that shouldn’t have been necessary, but it did make me remember one other thing. You can’t connect to a Windows server share using an account that is already accessing it from another location. My main computer is connected pretty much permanently to those shares, so I realised exactly what the problem was. I nipped upstairs, and created a domain account especially for the WD TV Live, and it now works just fine. And yes, it plays those iPlayer .mp4 files perfectly.

One odd thing, though. Some of those articles say that you can do all this just by giving the Guest account access, and just using the anonymous login that the WD TV defaults to. I have to admit right now that I was never able to get that to work.

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