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WD TV gets smartphone remote app, Vudu

Western Digital has released a smartphone (Android and iOS) for the WD TV line of streaming-media boxes, as well as new services, including Vudu and Flixster.

WD TV Live Sarah Tew/CNET

Western Digital announced several updates to the WD TV Live and WD TV Live Hub streaming-media boxes today, including a smartphone app for both iOS and Android, plus a new slate of streaming services, including Vudu, Flixster, SnagFilms, XOS College Sports, SEC Digital NEtwork, Comedy Time, and Watch Mojo.

While a lot of those services lack a broad appeal, the addition of Vudu is a big plus, as the WD line of streaming-media boxes previously lacked a top-tier pay-per-view movie and TV service. That's important for getting access to more new release content that's often missing from subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Instant. The lack of a smartphone app was another one of the knocks in Ty Pendlebury's review of the WD TV Live back in October.

Ty also had some issues with occasional bugs and ease-of-use that aren't addressed in the update, but with a $100 street price, the WD TV Live is looking more and more like an excellent option in the streaming-media landscape. We haven't retested the WD TV Live yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if our recommendations end up being something like: Roku LT for lots of streaming services on a budget, Apple TV if you're already integrated in the Apple ecosystem, and the WD TV Live for a healthy selection of streaming services and extensive file format support for your own digital media.