Digital Media Player Guide Review – Seagate FreeAgent Theater and FreeAgent Theater +

Digital Media Player Guide Review – Seagate FreeAgent Theater and FreeAgent Theater +

Seagate has two models of digital media players in their stable at the moment. The most recent addition was added to their lineup when Seagate announced the FreeAgent Theater + on September 15, 2009. Seagate improved upon their original digital media player, the FreeAgent Theater, but both players offer great features. It really just depends on what your home system can support.

Seagate FreeAgent Theater

Prices: $175.00-$250.00 (500 GB Model); $100.00-$170.00 (250 GB Model)

First released in February of 2009 the 500 gigabyte FreeAgent model (ST905004CEA1E1-RK), and the 250 gigabyte FreeAgent model (ST902503CEA1E1-RK) give the user an inexpensive system, with an easy to use interface without breaking the bank. Some features will be sacrificed by going with this earlier model. For example, the FreeAgent will only output up to 1080i, as opposed to the FreeAgent Plus that will deliver true 1080p high definition. Here are some of the hilights of the FreeAgent:

o Works with Windows Vista and XP (Update for Windows 7)

o 1080i High Definition Playback (Component Video Only)

o 5.1 Dolby Digital Sound Output (Coaxial)

o Supports MPEG-1, MPEG-2 (VOB/ISO), MPEG-4 (DivX /Xvid formats), DivX HD, Xvid HD, AVI, MOV, MKV, RMVB, AVC HD, H.264, WMV9, VC-1, M2TS, TS/TP/M2T

o USB 2.0

o Connections: Video: Composite, S-video, component; Audio: Stereo, coaxial S/PDIF

Seagate FreeAgent Theater+

Prices: $175.00-$289.00 (500 GB Model)

This model (ST905004CEA2E1-RK) released in September of 2009 is only available with 500 gigabytes of storage. The price is a little higher, but you are getting additional features at a minimal cost. If your home theater system can handle 1080p True HD, then of the two Seagate models, this is the obvious choice. Some websites that I researched have this model listed at the same price as the earlier FreeAgent model. The FreeAgent Theater+ leaves nothing out. Great selection of connections and an easy to use interface with a remote control, this model has it all.

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This model comes ethernet ready, and there is a wireless adapter available for around $70. Finally view all your home media, pictures, music, and more in true high definition. Both of the Seagate drives incorporate their unique drop in docking that makes it really easy and you don’t have to fuss with carrying wires back and forth from the computer to your living room. Here are some of the highlights of the FreeAgent:

o Works with Windows Vista and XP

o 1080p True High Definition Playback (HDMI or Component)

o 5.1 Dolby Digital/DTS Sound Output (HDMI or Digital Optical Output)

o Supports MPEG-1, MPEG-2 (AVI/VOB/ISO), MPEG-4 (AVI/DivX /Xvid)

o USB 2.0

o Connections: Video: HDMI, component; Audio: HDMI, Digital Optical Output

o Ethernet Ready for Home Networking