Reports are coming in that Western Digital is set to launch an Apple TV challenger dubbed the WD TV Live Hub, next month.
While most users are still smitten by the Apple TV and its petite-ness, Western Digital seems poised to deal a blow to the born-again Apple device in the form of a WD TV box that adds web-browsing and USB 3.0 interface to the mix.
It is called the WD TV Live Hub and will pile on some additional features that should put Apple TV to shame. The Live Hub is reported to have two versions, one with 1TB of storage and another with 2TB. Both will have built-in Wi-Fi 802.11n networking, HDMI output, Ethernet, composite A/V, USB 3.0 host and web-browsing capability. We're not sure, however, whether the wireless element will be WHDI certified to stream HD content wirelessly to your flat panel, but it wouldn't be that much of a surprise if it did.
It will almost certainly include features already present in other WD TV devices, such as the Netflix service (and eventually Youtube's own rental service), running on a locked-down Linux distribution with custom browser. There is, so far, no news on the SoC specifications, but a faster MIPS processor and updated video co-processing unit are expected to meet the requirements of such a device.
In the end it will all come down to price, rather than looks. Apple TV is selling for $99, a hard price to beat. Despite WD TV Live Hub bringing more features to the living room, it will be expected to compete at that level... somehow.
Release is scheduled for late November, just in time for the holiday shopping spree.