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Pros: Never seen better performance for cost than WD Caviar drives.
If you're gaming or doing any other high-performance computing, or just don't care about noise, go for the Caviar Blacks. This drive was a breeze to install.
Cons: Generates background noise, but if it's inside of a computer with lots of fans, it's not much of a difference. If you're going for a home theatre PC and don't want to ruin the money you sunk into a high-quality sound setup with a noisy drive, go for a Caviar Green. The performance should be more than enough for simple multimedia playback.
Other Thoughts: Hoping to get a Caviar Green to test out in a HTPC build. WD makes great stuff, and really seems to understand what sort of features are good assets in hardware. Their software interfaces can sometimes leave a bit to be desired, though.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Link Depot HDMI-2-HDMI 6 ft. Black HDMI TO HDMI A/V Cable
Pros: Many out there might have you believe that all HDMI cables do the same thing. This is not true, there are some subpar cables that cannot handle certain datarates over certain distances, or will get digital signal loss if run through areas of extreme interference. Even though the signal's in 1s and 0s, bits can still get corrupted and will show as funky blocky chunks on your screen.
These cables, however, work perfectly for their length in streaming full 1080p and stereo sound. You literally do not need to spend any more on HDMI cables unless you are making outstandingly long runs or need ridiculous amounts of shielding from the supermagnetic pulse field generator in your mad scientist laboratory.
Cons: Might not work for higher resolutions than 1080p, so maybe you'll have to get new cables when the standards change in time. I haven't done much of the math or the research, though.
Other Thoughts: I don't have any more than 2 speakers, so I can't speak for the quality on a surround sound setup.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Western Digital WD TV Live Plus HD Media Player
Pros: Recognizes all my video/audio/image file formats, and plays back in full HD. I have been using a USB 2.0 flash drive and it works beautifully for a noiseless setup. The unit and remote are tiny (which I've seen some people say is a bad thing), which means I can toss it in my front backpack pocket and bring it to a friend's house. A USB flash drive makes a good portable library for my purposes (I only ever have maybe 10 movies on it at a time), but WD makes a number of silent USB 2.0 drives that would probably work excellent and match the size of this media player.
Cons: A bit of a lacking framerate on most video. A scene without too much action will play alright, but once there's a lot of stuff changing on-screen, things start to lag very noticeably. For the price though, I wasn't expecting flawlessness, and it suits my purposes, so it only lost one egg. It would be nice to see more video processing power and integrated wireless N with perhaps an optional attachable antenna in future models. I don't doubt WD will make things right on their next generations.
Other Thoughts: Have yet to have tried any network shares via gigabit or wireless N. I doubt that wireless G or 100Mbit ethernet would be able to stream 1080p at any decent quality. Make sure you do your research on datarates and your equipment before you have your heart set on this being the magical solution for you.READ FULL REVIEW