Seagate FreeAgent Theater media centre
This media player is suitable for watching slideshows and playing music off an external Seagate hard drive
- Great for photos and videos, integrates well with Seagate’s FreeAgent Go range of hard drives
- Doesn’t support some video codecs, no HDMI or 1080p playback
If you already own a Seagate FreeAgent Go external hard drive, then the FreeAgent Theater is a decent media player. As a general purpose media player, though, it doesn’t stand up to the competition.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 2 stores)
The Seagate FreeAgent Theater is a media player designed to connect your Seagate FreeAgent Go external hard drive to a television for photo, audio and video playback. It integrates well with FreeAgent Go hard drives and is adept at playing music and photographs. However, other hard drives won't fit in the FreeAgent Theater's drive bay and it doesn't support a wide range of video file formats.
Media players like the Seagate FreeAgent Theater offer a convenient way to play videos or music files on your television without setting up a fully fledged home theatre PC or networked media streamer. The Seagate FreeAgent Theater is less attractive than we would have liked: with a glossy black design and relatively boring buttons it’s outclassed by the sleek looking hard drives with which it shares its name. The buttons — power, navigation and playback — are integrated into the top of the player, while the bay for inserting a FreeAgent drive is on the left.
We tried inserting a few different external hard drives into the FreeAgent Theater's drive bay, but only a Seagate FreeAgent Go would fit thanks to the placement of the mini-USB connector. A USB port on the player’s front allows you to plug in thumb drives or other external hard drives, but you’ll need any necessary cables on hand.
Composite, S-Video and component ports are available but there are no HDMI or VGA connectors, making the player slightly more of a hassle to set up and limiting the maximum resolution to 1080i. Coaxial digital audio out is also included, but no optical.
To its credit, the Seagate FreeAgent Theater is easy to set up. Plug it into your TV, connect it to a power outlet, insert your Seagate portable hard drive — and it’s ready to go. An easy-to-navigate on-screen menu has categories for photo, video and music playback, which can be browsed with either the buttons on the player or the bundled credit-card-style remote.
Photo playback was great over a component video connection, with images sharp and full of detail. It has one of the better slideshow functions that we’ve seen, with the option to have an audio track playing in the background a useful addition. The Seagate FreeAgent Theater media player can display photos with a resolution of up to 20 megapixels — higher than the majority of current compact cameras and digital SLRs.
Audio playback was another strong point, with the on-screen interface well suited to large music libraries. We didn’t notice any problems with the sound quality, so if you’re looking for a budget audio player to connect to your home theatre this is a reasonable option. Video playback is not as polished, with the player only supporting MPEG, XviD and DivX files. We would have liked MKV container playback as well. Video quality is acceptable at the maximum 1080i resolution, but not fantastic.
If you’ve already got a Seagate FreeAgent Go external hard drive, the Seagate FreeAgent Theatre allows you to easily play back your saved media on your television. If you’ve got another media player, though, the FreeAgent Theatre doesn’t give you too many reasons to upgrade.
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Samsung's 4K Blu-ray player debuts locally in May
- Report: Amazon wants to take on Spotify with a new music streaming service
- Apple is reportedly seeking exclusive content for the Apple TV
- Apple's Q1: Record $US18.4 billion profit, but iPhone sales are slowing
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDigital Marketing Specialist | Media BuyerNSW
- CCIT Solution DesignerNSW
- FTJunior Project Manager | Permanent role in Canberra | NV1/2 clearedACT
- CCProject ManagerSA
- FTSenior Portfolio Manager - IT ProjectsNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCEnterprise Architect - Network & InfrastructureNSW
- CCJava DeveloperVIC
- FTLogistics Systems ManagerNSW
- CCSharePoint EngineerACT
- CCMicrosoft Dynamics CRM DeveloperSA
- FTInsight / Customer - Data ScientistNSW
- FTProject Manager / Scrum MasterNSW
- FTTechnical Support Engineer, International SoftwareNSW
- CCTechnical Lead - .NET TechnologiesACT
- FTBusiness Analyst (SCADA / CSI)VIC
- FTSystems Administrator/Engineer | Projects & BAU | Coastal Newcastle NSWWA
- CCSenior Change Analyst - Multiple RolesVIC
- FTLevel 2 IT Support TechnicianVIC
- FTFraud AnalystVIC
- FTVB6 DeveloperNSW
- FTIT Support AnalystNSW
- CCLync/Skype EngineerNSW
- CCContract Software Engineer (Crystal Report/JAVA) 160129/SE/vccAsia
- FTSenior Systems/SAN EngineerNSW