Stylish Media Docking Solution Makes it Easy to View Movies, Videos and Photos on Your TV Screen
Seagate (NASDAQ: STX), the world’s leading provider of storage solutions, unveiled the new Seagate FreeAgent Theater™ HD media player, a complete home theater solution designed to enhance the experience of enjoying digital media by providing an easy way to play your favorite videos, movies and photos on your TV. The Seagate FreeAgent Theater media player is a new accessory designed to work with the company’s award-winning FreeAgent Go™ portable hard drive, enabling people to easily enjoy stored digital media on their TV screens rather than their computer monitors. Just tuck the media player next to your TV, pop in your FreeAgent Go hard drive, point, click, and enjoy as your personal memories and favorite movies come to life before your eyes in HD quality video with surround sound. The announcement was made at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show, taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Available in March, the Seagate FreeAgent Theater HD media player can be purchased as a stand-alone unit for use with any USB storage device, or a complete solution with a FreeAgent Go portable drive included, starting at just $129.99.
“Consumers are awakening to the fact that the PC isn’t the best place to store or view their photos and videos,” says Chris Chute, research manager for IDC. “Over time the living room and robust storage solutions will go hand-in- hand to facilitate the next-generation of sharing memories.”
According to IDC’s digital imaging research1, consumers the world over capture and archive over 15 billion gigabytes of digital photos and video every year, most of which is primarily viewed and stored on the home computer. However, according to a recent survey by Parks Associates2, more than a quarter of consumers are interested in accessing personal content — such as photos and music — directly on the TV, while nearly a third of respondents expressed interest in being able to view movies and other PC-hosted video through the TV. Historically the only way to transfer digital files from the computer to the home entertainment center was through complicated home networking solutions or the time-consuming task of burning multiple DVDs or CDs. Now the Seagate FreeAgent Theatre media player provides a way for people to easily store and move their media library between their PC and home entertainment system so they can share their favorite photos, movies and videos with family and friends in a familiar and comfortable setting.
Key Features and Benefits
The Seagate FreeAgent Theater media player introduces a new way of thinking about how an external hard drive is used. Back up, storage and protection have always been the primary function of an external storage device. With FreeAgent Theater, Seagate now introduces enjoyment:
- Experience high-definition movie viewing with DVD-like playback control and surround sound.
- Pair slideshows of high-resolution photo libraries with music collections and customize with specialized transition effects.
- Easily synch and organize digital media from multiple computers using the FreeAgent Go drive.
- Instantly access entire libraries of digital media by simply popping a FreeAgent Go drive into the media player or connecting another external storage device using the external USB port.
- On-screen navigation is a snap with the handy remote with an intuitive interface and familiar button layout.
Seagate FreeAgent Theater couples cool functional design with technical simplicity. The docking solution eliminates the need for fumbling with excessive amounts of cables or complicated network setups, while its familiar DVD-style remote control interface makes it a breeze for any member of the family to use. Its sleek, piano-black encasing makes this new component look right at home beside the DVR, DVD-player and television.
The included FreeAgent Theater software is a rich media-specific synchronization application for the automatic transfer and organization of all the photos, music, videos and movies stored on your computer. And since the FreeAgent Go drives are now available in a rainbow of colors, it will be easy to catalog and organize digital libraries according to the color of the drive- storing favorite movies on one drive, family photos on a second and music on yet another.
1 Source: IDC, Worldwide Consumer Video Content and Archive 2007-2011 Forecast: The Video Bible, Doc # 210035, December 2007; IDC, Worldwide Digital Image 2007-2011 Forecast: The Image Archive Bible, Doc # 209873, December 2007
2 Source: Parks Associates, “Digital Media Habits II,” John Barret, director of research, October 2007
Consumers today are the number one creators and aggregators of digital content-most of which holds a sentimental or emotional value and is unfortunately trapped on their home computers,” said Pat King, senior vice president of Seagate’s Consumer Solutions Division. “For years, Seagate has provided solutions for storing, organizing and protecting this personal content — now, with Seagate FreeAgent Theater, we provide the ability for families and friends to share and enjoy these memories together in the comfort of their living rooms.”
One of the key features that make the Seagate FreeAgent Theater so easy to use is the number of supported Audio/Video formats. The FreeAgent Theater media player supports MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 formats, and DIVX files with video resolutions for NTSC, PAL and HD up to 1080i and even provides support for subtitles. The audio formats supported include 5.1 channel surround sound, where available, and also plays the popular digital audio formats including: MP3, WMA, WAV and OGG. To download and transfer content to the Seagate FreeAgent Go, a Windows XP or Vista operated PC is required, with 256MB RAM and an available USB port. FreeAgent Theater connects to any TV with either composite, S-video or component video and audio inputs and an AC outlet.
Pricing and Availability
The Seagate FreeAgent Theater media player solution will be available in March at select retail outlets in the US and EMEA, as well as through Seagate.com. The FreeAgent Theater solution is available in three different configurations. It can be purchased as either a standalone media player with the remote control at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $129.99, or with the choice of either a 250GB (MSRP of $229.99) or 500GB (MSRP of $299.99) capacity FreeAgent Go Drive.