New HD network player from Seagate

Seagate GoFlex

Seagate is going to produce a new network HD media player FreeAgent GoFlex. Comparing with FreeAgent Theater+ I can see a good progress. First of all, the GoFlex it’s more compact and looks much better then Theater+. It still uses approach with slot for external HDD – GoFlex or GoFlex Pro ultra-portable drives. But the disk is hidden behind the slot’s cover. The player supports all well-known codecs and media containers and allow to play media content from attached USB storage or network shares. Additionally it offers NAS function to share content from attached USB storage in your local network. The GoFlex player also provides an access to the online media services such Netflix, Youtube, Flickr, Picasa, vTuner, text or video RSS feeds, finance and weather widgets.

The FreeAgent GoFlex TV HD Media Player is already available for pre-order at $129.99 on the Seagate web site. Reasonable price, HD video and sound, nice looking design, big number of functions, user-friendly interface make it one of the best choice if you decided to buy network HD player

Seagate updated firmware of FreeAgent Theater+ HD

Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ HD Media Player

Yesterday, Seagate released a new firmware of its network HD media player FreeAgent Theater+ HD. The most important change is support of online services such Netflix, YouTube, vTuner and Mediafly. The rest interesting ones are improved MP3 cover art and tagging, ability to create screensavers using personal photos, UTF 16 character support, WMA Pro audio support, motion JPEG support.

The FreeAgent Theater+ HD with new firmware is available at just $129. Which is very reasonable price for player with supporting of Full HD, online services and offering dock for external HDDs. Existing owners of the FreeAgent Theater+ HD will able to update firmware via Internet or from USB memory stick.

[via eHomeUpgrade]

Seagate Offers FreeAgent Go with pre-loaded movies!

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Seagate and Paramount Pictures recently announced their agreement to pre-load a selection of 500GB FreeAgent Go™ ultra-portable hard drives with Paramount movies. It’ll be 20 movies. It isn’t so much but as a first step it’s very very clever decision. It’s also good news because consumers and producers are ready for digital media libraries for a long time. But film companies are too stiff and decision of Paramount Pictures promises that the rest big movie producers will also partner with Seagate, Western Digital or some other producer of HDD to offer their pre-loaded movies on HDDs.

Personally I like that solution and I think it’s much better then DVD or Blu-ray. Sure when Internet channels will have enough power to deliver SD or HD content everywhere online media libraries will dominate. But now distribution of media content on the external HDD is the most appropriate way to deliver movies to the consumer.

Seagate announcing FreeAgent Theater+ and DockStar

Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ HD Media Player

I already wrote about Seagate’s FreeAgent Theater – media player with dock for FreeAgent Go portable HDD. It looked very attractive. Especially for non-geek people who don’t want to spend their time to setup Popcorn Hour or HTPC. But it had one big disadvantage – missed HDMI output.

It took 9 monthes to produce improved version of FreeAgent Theater. FreeAgent Theater+ has not only HDMI output but Ethernet port and ability to wireless connection to the LAN using USB WiFi adapter. Sure it supports all known media formats and containers as many networked media players as well as 1080p HD video, DTS 2.0 + Digital Out or Dolby Digital technology. The player for consumers offers a simple and intuitive user interface.

The Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ is already available at $149.99. The bundle player plus 500Gb FreeAgent Go costs $289.99. The FreeAgent Theater+ Wireless Adapter is expected to be available in October as a separate accessory through Seagate.com for $69.99.

Taking into account the price, offered functionality and the original idea for storage FreeAgent Theater+ can be success competitor for networked media players on the market.

FreeAgent DockStar
Another new product from Seagate is FreeAgent DockStar. It’s a dock-station for FreeAgent Go portable HDD with Pogoplug NAS capabilities. For the $99 you can get FreeAgent DockStar plus one year of Pogoplug remote access and sharing service ($29). Sure you may use original Pogoplug device to share HDD content in the local network. But FreeAgent DockStar is more suitable for FreeAgent Go owners. And it has two USB ports more.

[via eHomeUpgrade/eHomeUpgrade]

Seagate anounced FreeAgent Theater

Seagate FreeAgent Theater

Seagate announced on CES 2009 its new product – FreeAgent Theater. It contains two parts – media player with dock for FreeAgent Go portable hard drive and dock to connect disk to PC.

Media player allows to playback media content from hard drive directly to TV using user friendly interface. It supports video – MPEG-1, MPEG-2 (AVI/VOB/ISO), MPEG-4 (AVI/DivX /Xvid), subtles – SAMI(smi), SRT and SUB, audio – MP3, AC3 (5.1 audio – Dolby® Digital) WMA, WAV, OGG. Video resoluons can be NTSC 480i/480p; PAL 576i/576p and it supports video (HD and upscaling) up to 720p/1080i.

FreeAgent Theater can be connected to the TV using composite, component or S-Video outputs (HDMI is missed and it’s a biggest disadvantage of the device IMHO). Audio can be passed via stereo or co-axil S/PDIF.

Seagate FreeAgent Theater is very good solution for all how use FreeAgent Go HDDs to keep videos, music and photos. Nice design, user friendly software and remote control will make using that device easy for all family members.

It’ll be available on February with price ~ $220 including 500GB HDD.