I'm surprized no-one has brought up WDAVN00 already. It's been around since November. This product would fit to both Silent Front and Green Computing since
A) it has no moving parts and
B) it consumes 1/10th of electricity a typical anternative.
What is it then? It's a box with two USB ports for generic USB Mass Storage devices and outputs for TV (HDMI, optical Toslink for 5.1 sound, composite). USB ports have USB power so you can use 2.5 inchers as well.
I reads USB Mass Storage devices (formatted FAT32, NTFS or HFS) for video (.avi, .mp4, .mkv, .wmv, etc.) and audio files, pictures and DVD images (.iso). It supports pretty much all common video codecs (incl. H.264/AVC and XviD) and audio codecs (incl. AAC, OGG/Vorbis, mp3). AC3 5.1 can be routed to a supporting Dolby Digital decoder via optical connection, but the box also downmixes it into stereo and sends it along with video stream using HDMI.
The biggest flaw I know of is that another 5.1 codec, DTS, can be routed via optical to DTS decoder but it isn't downmixed to stereo and sent via HDMI. If you want to play video with DTS audio and don't have a DTS home theater system, you'll be watching it muted with no audible channels.
Official product page:
As seen from that review, the "adapter" (like some people call it) is passively cooled and looks like a WD Passport, except for it's thickness. The "adapter" itself has no storage space (aside from stored firmware), which I consider a big plus: one less part to malfunction, to make noise, or to become obsolete. Calling it an "adapter" is quite misleading since the box actually decodes HEAVY H.264 encoded video in 1080p24 or 720p60. Most devices we call adapters only change physical connectivity, serialize bits, or stuff like that. This box has calculating power of P4 @10GHz clock and does it with ~10 watts.
(It is quite unfair to compare specialized decoder chip to general purpose CPU but I like to be unfair. And P4 sucks so bad.)
This product isn't the only box that does similar things. There's Popcorn Hour and Apple TV. Popcorn Hour uses same chip as WD TV to do the hardware decoding but it has network connection, etc. But it also happens to cost 2 to 3 times what WD TV does (depending on variant of Popcorn Hour). And Apple TV lacks H.264 and is otherwise inferior (like being stuck with internal 160-gigger when 2.5 inchers are available in capacities up to 500GB and 3.5 inchers up to 2000GB) unless you absolutely need iTunes support.
So, I made some queries for local retailers to find one that has short delivery time. I can easily find one that has low price but the cheapest one may well do it's own importing, and have 1+ month delivery when some other has 2 days. I hope I'll get mine within a week. I will be updating this thread.
Does any of you have this product?
EDIT: altered topic from "WD TV" to "WDTV" because people might search for WDTV and seaching "WD TV" returns no results as both search phrases are too short to be performed.
Also added alternative product number WDAVP00BE.