Hands-on Wireless Media Stick

What’s the Wireless Media Stick (WMS) you can find on HSTi’s website or engadget.com. Here I’m sharing my WMS user experience with DVB-T set-top box WIWA HD-90 and NAS device WD My Book World Edition II White Light 4TB.

Short demo

Experience

WMS is a very clever and helpful device but also has some drawbacks that are not so explicitly said by its vendor. I’ve gathered below all important WMS features I’ve found using it as a LAN access USB adapter or, lets say, USB LAN Drive 🙂

  • Current WMS firmware version (v3.01.001) has really restriction to max. 1TB visible resources. It’s huge comparing to Flash Drive or even 2.5″ HDD, but it means, if you add LAN sharing resource (NAS share or shared PC’s network folder) containing 2.5TB, only first 1TB will be accessible by WMS (Windows shows exactly 802GB as seen on pic below). The rest 1.5TB are invisible.

    Wireless Media Stick firmware v3.01.001 has restriction to max. 1TB visible resources (actually 802GB).

  • You cannot add to WMS any subfolder on NAS shared resource (see pic below) – setup doesn’t let you to browse deeper than the highest share folder level. Thus, if you want to have control what is seen on WMS, you must create dedicated NAS share with resources you want to be visible, that not exceeding 1TB. PC doesn’t have such a restriction, because you can set whatever folder you want as a shared resource.

    Wireless Media Stick setup doesn’t let you to browse deeper than the highest share folder level.

  • Another restriction is FAT32 WMS file system, where only a file not exceeding 4GB is visible. Therefore, forget about playing 1080p movies – you simply will not see them on WMS (usually it is 8GB file or more).
  • Above mentioned restrictions can be mitigated with another firmware update – manufacturer says about them in current firmware version context. CTO of HSTi answered on my inquiry that in 2012 there will be released firmware with increased capacity to 2TB and NTFS added (this spring – no ETA provided).
  • WMS is starting approx. 60 seconds. During this period WMS is booting, WiFi logging and network shares scanning.
  • WMS provides only resources scanned during startup process. Any added resources after WMS startup won’t be visible until WMS is restared (taken out from USB port and inserted once again), which also means extra 60 sec. startup procedure. Reportedly, it’s a restriction of USB Mass Storage protocols.
  • On WIWA HD-90 DVB-T STB with WMS starting a movie takes about 10 to 90 seconds. Faster, if movie was played already before. Slower, if movie is played the first time. There are no such lags on PC with WMS or on STB with native USB Mass Storege Device.
  • WIWA HD-90 DVB-T STB is playing HD movies through WMS only until first minute and then exits to USB Mass Storage choice menu (I’ve been tested MKV 720p) – WMS is resetting. There are no such issues on PC nor with SD movies. If you experience that problem, you can try to change your WiFi router or access point channel bandwidth parameter from 20MHz to 40MHz or inversely (see pic below from my Cisco router).

    Wireless Media Stick and WiFi channel bandwidth to resolve resetting problem.

  • If you suffer from congested WiFi bandwidth (too many WiFi neighbours), your WMS can hang or reset during streaming. I had to escape from channel 1 to 7 on 2,4GHz bandwidth (see iknowsomething.com network on pic below). Probably there was too small signal strenght gap between my and TP_LINK_28FB4Cnet and, while streaming, WMS tiny antenna was loosing signal.

    Wireless Media Stick doesn’t like congested WiFi environment.

  • WIWA HD-90 DVB-T STB is fast-forwarding movies on WMS not so smooth as on Flash Drive or HDD.
  • You cannot write on WMS. It doesn’t seem to be so obvious at the first look. If I want to use PVR or Time-Shift on my STB, I must use USB hub and another dedicated USB Mass Storage device for that. Adding extra space on WMS Setup volume (or another volume, lets say 8GB-16GB) could solve this inconvenience.
  • WMS is updated automatically through its web interface. Just click on the icon and WMS will update itself.
  • WMS firmware is updated more or less half a year, so HSTi is really working on its improvements.

How-to

The video below shows older black WMS version but all setup and using procedures are the same.

Questions

If you’ve got any WMS questions, ask here – I’ll try to answer all if possible. Many questions can by answered on hsti.com/faq.

Discussion 4 komentarze

  1. Czesc, zwracam sie do was o pomoc.

    Mam blad przy wyborze katalogu dla WMS. Korzystalam juz z opisu „How to enable Wireless Media Stick on Synology DiskStation?” lecz bez pozytywnego rezultatu.
    Przez Web Strone moge wybrac Katalog, potem Programm pyta o passwort dla Gast. Podaje mu wtedy specjale Konto (WMS ) i zaznaczam zeby password byl zapamietany. Moj Katalog dostaje zielony haczyk i „i” Info zaczek.
    Jak ten znaczek otworze widze ze tam jest znowu Gast User. !
    Jesli teraz pojde na „Anwenden”, program probuje moj katalog znalesc, sygnalisuje ze katalog jest polaczony (2x sygnal dzwiekowy) i wyswietla napis „No sheres found”.

    Kiedy probuje „setup” wykorzystac do konfigurowania to wybieram shere i melduje WMS User. Po podaniu passwortu wyskakuje Blad w Programie „Fehler bei Hinzufügen eine Netzwerkfreigabe”

    WMS User ma read/write na Katalogu. Co robie zle???? Bede wdzieczna za pomoc.

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