Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

Connecting a WD TV to a TV as an informational sign in a business.

I have a client who has a sign for employees/students in the lunch room. The previous sign was a one line ticker connected by a serial cable.

We replaced that with a WD TV device connected to a 35″ LCD TV via an HDMI cable. The original environment was Server 2003 based.

We ran into some issues getting the WD TV to connect to a windows share. I found that serving the files from a linksys NAS worked.. That worked until we upgraded to a Server 2012 environment.

At that point, I simply could not establish a connection to the windows shares or the NAS.

I worked around that by putting a Linux machine on the network and using a shared folder on that machine.

Recently that stopped working. Resetting the configuration of the WD TV using the remote was painful at best.  I looked into some alternative solutions.

  • Share from a Win 8 or the Server 2012 machine. Given the difficulty in typing using the remote to test configurations, that never worked well.
  • Use Facebook – Apparently you can not specify a specific album to use. We would have had to set up a separate facebook account just for the sign.
  • Use Picasa  – I could not find any way to limit Picasa to only show one folder There is always the possibility of a personal picture ending up on the sign due to it ending up on Picasa.
  • Walk a USB stick back and forth – We tried using a usb stick but that was an awkward process.

I realized that there was an option to set up a Windows or Mac share.

The basic process was

Set up the WD TV, The idea is that you will be storing the images on the USB drive and sharing that drive on the network. You do want to enable protection (ID/PW) for access to that folder lest someone post unauthorized photos (what could possibly go wrong there??)

  1. Insert a USB stick in the front of the WD TV. Make sure that there are at least 2 or 3 Jpgs on the disk.
  2. Go to the Home menu
  4. Set the DEVICE NAME or leave it as is (It will be visible on your network)
  5. Set the WORKGROUP to some workgroup name (e.g. workgroup)
  7. Set a user ID and password
  8. Go to the home menu
  9. Choose Photos
  10. Set the photos to use local storage
  11. Hit the play button after the WD TV scans the USB stick.

Set up a PC to manage the photos. (Windows)


  1. Make sure file sharing is enabled on the machine.
  2. Depending on your Windows version, Firewall settings and network policy settings, you should see the WD TV share listed on the network.
  3. Click on the WD TV folder. Enter the credentials you set up above.
  4. It would be a good idea to map a network drive letter to the WD TV shared folder. Now, if you add or delete images to that folder, the images should show on the sign the next time you cycle through.
While that sounds complicated, it is a much more robust solution. When we were connected to an NAS or share from a linux machine, the WD TV had to be reconnected to the share every time there was a network issue. Now, the WD TV should work even if the network is down or the router is rebooted.
If you are local and need assistance setting this up, please contact me using the form at the right. If you are not local, I might be able to assist remotely.

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