Seagate's FreeAgent GoFlex: Modular External Storage

GoFlex TV HD Media Player

The TV HD Media Player is a complementary product in the GoFlex line that requires a hard drive to operate. The 0.67 lb. box is just a little larger than the FreeAgent GoFlex Desk, but it is a fully-featured HD media player with HDMI and composite output, S/PDIF audio out, 1080p support, and 100 Mb/s network connectivity. It comes with a decent management interface and a remote control. Seagate supports Internet streaming from various Web sites and services, including Netflix, YouTube, Flickr, RSS video feeds, and a few more. Please look at Seagate’s product page for more details. The device is powered by a separate power supply. The lengthy list of supported standards covers all popular audio and video formats, starting with ordinary MPEG-2 and extending to MKV, H.264, VC-1, DivX/Xvid, and more.

Here’s the catch: You will need a storage device to feed the TV HD Media Player with data if you don’t want to access content exclusively via the network port. Seagate supports any storage device via USB 2.0, but the more elegant solution is to insert a FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-portable drive into the front bay (see photo below).

You can insert any Ultra-portable drive into the GoFlex TV HD Media Player to play a downloaded video file. Honestly, we’re not sure if we’d prefer the drive inserting completely into the GoFlex TV or if it’s better sticking out as it does in the present design.

The current $129.99 price tag is acceptable considering that the solution works smoothly, but keep in mind that you still need to add a storage device. The GoFlex TV is a great addition if you already work with GoFlex products, but we’re not sure it makes sense to jump on the GoFlex wagon solely because of the HD Media Player. You’ll need to answer this for yourself.