GIVEAWAY & REVIEW: Streaming Media with Western Digital

This is definitely the media generation if you didn’t already know this. Just one look around my house and you’re a believer. We have computers, iPads, video games systems, DVRs and a music system in our home, all of which are WIRELESS! Everyone in my household is a user, from my 2 year old iPad addict, to my 65 year old Facebook-ing mother in law, who writes in her native language, Chinese, with her finger tips. With everyone in the family fighting for bandwidth, we’ve started to notice a few hiccups. Watching a YouTube video of Elmo doing a Parody of “I’m Sexy and I know it”, now “I’m Elmo and I know it!”, we kept getting that dreaded, anger inducing buffering pause. Oh the kidlets were losing their patience. Now while I’m always up for a reason for an upgrade, I knew a new iMac would cause a bit of an argument with the husband. Before running out to get a new computer, he mentioned that we might be utilizing all our bandwidth in the wrong way. With slight changes like making sure my back up was done while we’re all sleeping, we were slightly better but something was amiss.

You might be surprised to learn Western Digital, leader in external storage solutions, has recently entered the Wireless Home Networking market. They are designed specifically to accelerate movies, video and gaming, delivering a premium high-definition entertainment experience. With the My Net family of powerful and easy-to-use home networking products, WD debuts its exclusive FasTrack™ technology that instantly detects entertainment traffic on the network and fast-forwards it to gaming consoles, media players, smart TVs, tablets, smartphones, computers and other Wi-Fi connected devices on your network.

I recently had the opportunity to really give the My Net N900 a real run through the paces.

[box]The My Net N900 HD dual-band router also provides a premium entertainment experience for movies, games, video, music, video chat and more. The My Net N900 offers the ultimate performance for all connected devices in the home, even while streaming to multiple devices at the same time. The exclusive FasTrack Plus technology provides intelligent, real-time traffic prioritization for simultaneous HD and 3D media streaming and online gaming. The wireless-N router features high wireless performance with speeds up to 900 Mbps (450 + 450 Mbps on the 2.4 and 5 Ghz bands combined) and also includes 7 LAN and 1 WLAN Gigabit Ethernet ports for up to 10/100/1000 Mbps wired speeds, 2 USB ports for additional storage, printer and media share server use, and range amplifier antennas for extended range. Additionally, My Net N900 is UPnP and DLNA certified.[/box]

Here’s where things get a little technical. Along with my My Net N900, we also received the WD TV Live and the My Book Live. Setting up the WD TV Live and the My Book Live was a piece of cake. I also installed it in that order. You can see how much of a media hungry family we are with us installing WD TV Live as a priority. Who doesn’t need another external drive? I’m a huge advocate of backing up and 1TB gives you a lot to play with.  I’ll delve more into these momentarily.

But I hesitated with the My Net N900. Usually a tech savvy person, the whole router thing had me baffled. You see I had FIOS, not your usual cabled internet service.  That made me very nervous.  To my knowledge FIOS made sure you could only use their router and no other third party brand… until I learned about BRIDGING!  I won’t get into the technical details of it but let’s just say we made a work around the FIOS router and was able to maximize on both of their strong points.  While there are a lot of other factors that play into the mbps, I have to say the difference was noticeable to everyone in my family.  For the laymen, there was no more impatience or screaming at the TV, iPad, XBox or computer screen.  It is a peaceful household once again.

Going back to the WD TV Live.  I am obsessed with this little box.  When I first got introduced to streaming media onto my TV via my Logitech Google TV, it completely blew my mind.  So when this landed on my desk, I asked what makes this so special, and where the heck is the keyboard?  Why should I give my Google TV space up to this little box?  It became clear right away.  First and foremost, it supports the most formats out of all its competitors.  Second of all, when connected to you My Book Live, you can stream your media library, home videos, vacation slideshows, and favorite songs on your HDTV and sound system in your living room (or bedroom as the case may be).  Another unique feature is the ability to connect your camcorder or digital camera directly to the media player using one of the USB ports, and instantly view or archive HD video and photos without a PC. Works with any digital imaging device that supports Picture Transfer Protocol.  So as I mentioned before I was a little disappointed they did not have a keyboard.  I really loved my Google TV keyboard.  I am not a fan of the on-screen keyboard but you can attach your wired or wireless USB keyboard for easy text input. Perfect for searching videos on YouTube or updating your status on Facebook. I think it’s quite obvious we’re media addicts when these are the things you worry about.

Do I have to extoll the virtues of a WD My Book Live?  They are the leader in external storage solutions, so you can imagine that they are bringing you their “A” game with this product.  You can create your very own personal cloud, accessing your files at home or away with your Mac, PC, smartphone and iPad. In conjunction with the WD TV Live, you can stream videos, music, and photos to your connected TV, game console or media player.  Yes, with these three products, you’re house is ready to go!

GIVEAWAY: Big money! Big Money!! BIG MONEY!!! Western Digital is giving (1) very lucky family this entire suite of products!  You MUST visit fill out this FORM to be entered.  ONE (1) lucky winner will win this amazing bundle seen containing:

For an additional (3) entries – 1st Option – If you follow me on twitter @momconfessional and re-tweet this giveaway (I just entered @momconfessional’s @WesternDigital #Giveaway and you should too! – 2nd Option – If you “like” us on Facebook and share the giveaway with your friends. 3rd optionsubscribe to Mom Confessionals.  DON’T FORGET to fill out this FORM. Giveaway only open to those with U.S. addresses and must be 18 years or older. Giveaway ends on August 31st 2012 at 11:59 EST. A winner will be selected randomly by and notified by e-mail.

Check out and “like” the Western Digital Facebook page to find more information on this amazing power bundle!

And before I leave you… another streaming favorite….

{ disclosure:  I attended a preview hosted by Techlicious and Western Digital and was provided the above products for a review.  As always ALL opinions on this website are my very own! }