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Gadget Review: WD Elements Play
<p>At least it's harder to get scratches on a hard disk</p>
by Gelo Gonzales | Feb 17, 2011
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For some of us, watching movies has become more than just a past time. It's become an obsession. And the gadget you are about to find out about is sure to fan the flames of your hardcore movie hoarding habits even more. Meet the WD Elements Play.[firstpara]

The WD Elements Play is essentially a media player minus the disc tray.

In its place, a massive hard drive where you can store and play all your digital movies and music.

One model features 1 terabyte while the other boasts 2 terabytes. Simply put, that is a lot of movies, all of which could be accessed as easily as browsing a standard computer hard disk.

Imagine the time you'll save from not having to push an eject button, pop open a dvd case, put the disc on the disc tray, close the tray, and press play. In all seriousness, the WD Elements Play makes life extremely convenient for the voracious media consumer.

Push-Play Ease
The convenience that this digital media player offers would have been all for naught if installation and operation weren't hassle-free. Thankfully, simplicity is a virtue of this device. And really, that shouldn't be a surprise looking at its svelte, minimalistic, almost Apple-inspired exterior.

Like what Techie.com.ph says, operating and installing the device is as easy as operating a powered hard drive: "Simply connect the Elements Play to your laptop or desktop computer via USB (USB 2.0 for now), plug the supplied power brick to a socket, and the media player’s hard drive will appear as a typical drive on your computer."

Load the media player with files, connect it to your TV via RCA or HDMI, and let the show start. That's really all it takes. The player's user interface is just as easy to figure out, consisting of a menu for video, music, photos, file management, and settings.

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Versatile performer
Techie.com.ph recommends the use of an HDMI cable to really the get the most out of this media player's support for 1080p HD video. Any experienced fella when it comes to digital media knows that there are a lot of formats out there. The WD Elements Play would have been nigh useless if for instance it supported only common AVI files. 

This media player must really be proud of the sizable list of formats it is compatible with. For videos, this includes compatibility with AVI, MPEG, VOB, MP4, Real Media, HDMI, H.264, MKV, and FLV formats. For audio, the player is compatible with AAC, MP3, WMA, and FLAC. Pictures can be stored too including JPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, and PNG files.

With hitch-free playback, brisk operation, user-friendly interface, and huge capacities, the WD Elements Play is indeed a must-have for digital media fans. That it costs only about 8000 pesos for the 1TB model, and 10,000 pesos for the 2TB model makes it even more attractive.

nstallation and operation of the Elements Play is simplicity itself. If you’ve ever operated a powered hard drive, you can make this device work in a matter of minutes. Simply connect the Elements Play to your laptop or desktop computer via USB (USB 2.0 for now), plug the supplied power brick to a socket, and the media player’s hard drive will appear as a typical drive on your computer.

After you’ve loaded the media player with files, transfer it near your TV and connect it using either RCA cables (ensuring backward compatibility) or HDMI. The Elements Play can actually be loaded with files while still connected to the TV, but you have to use a longer USB cable, as the one supplied with the box is very short.

WORDS BY: GELO GONZALES

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