Looking for something to replace my WDTV Live.


Feb 3, 2018
Ok, super noob here when it comes to this and I need to do it on the super cheap!

I've been running an old WDTV Live (which I actually REALLY LOVE) that I bought about 10 years ago and a similarly aged 1.5 TB hard drive. I know, I'm super lucky...lol. But now I am starting to have minor issues and would like to update to something more functional and less buggy (It has taken to eating my movies! Poof! Gonzo!). I prefer straightforward and functional over lots of weird options, I just want to watch my movies and listen to my music, preferably on any device in my house. My main focus is to be able to watch the movies that I have in my collection, mostly mp4 and AVI (must play AVI, I have over 1000 movies and I do NOT want to have to convert them all...LOL), on any device on my network. I would love to be able to make playlists easily. I would like a nice interface, simple but not ugly, smooth and semi-intuitive but with easy override ability. I do use Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming options and I would like to use one device for all of them, on my main tv.

My setup has 3 TV's - My main TV, my kid's TV, and my mother's TV. The main TV will be the primary TV, with access to all content on the media hard drive, my computer, usb hookup, and online streaming capability along with all of the control for the system. The other 2 TVs will only need access to movies, TV, and music that would be shared across the network. They use Xboxes to access the movies and music. We also may want to connect with a computer, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and an iPhone.

I have a couple of fully functional older Windows 7 PC's (I have no interest in upgrading any of my computers to Windows 10 but my sister is going to come visit and I am sure her laptop has Windows 10) that I could use.

I have a 4TB hard drive that I am in the process of centralizing all of my media onto, which will be fully backed up in case of failure, and would like to just put it into whatever computer I will be using as a second hard drive that will be the master media drive. Or some such something.

What I am hoping for is a nice, non-snarky person who would be ever so kind as to please tell me, step by step (or links to), what I hardware need to get what I need to do to get it up and running from my current state of frantic "I have no freakin clue!" to being able to set up a system that will allow me to find the movie I want (you know, when I actually know what I want to watch /s) with simplicity, logic, and ease.

I'm not a total dumdum, just have never done this and all of the info online seems to come from an assumption of a basic understanding of the Kodi/Plex type systems...which I then try to look at that and it goes into extensive details and on and on and I'm getting more and more confused and I'm like "look, I don't want to learn music theory, I just want to learn one solo!". I think I am leaning toward the Kodi (maybe) but if there are reasons why not, please feel free to let me know!

Please and Thank You!

UPDATE: Yes, I am hoping for something that is a PNP box like the WDTV. I don't want to spend hours trying to set something up with random parts that might or might not work right together. I would love some product suggestions. If I need to build something that is fine but I would love a 'part list' type of thing to work with, like a list of needed parts with the necessary accessories and/or software.

When I look up those new-ish android boxes on Amazon they say that they do so many things but are they all actually there or do I need to program the thing or download a ton of stuff to make it functional? Oi. I can single-handedly run a transportation company but this is making my head hurt.
I am left with the impression that you're looking not for storage device (NAS), but for media player (WDTV primary function). Depending on your budget, anything from $50 (simplest Android boxes) to $150 (NVidia Shield) will work.
I think you want a NAS drive to work as a media server in your house.
If wanted to use the drive you have you could connect that 4tb drive to your router (if it has USB) then it will be accessible via DLNA to all your displays. They drive would also be available if it were connected to the primary TV PC but that would have to be left on to use the drive on the other TVs.
You could use one of these with the drive too.