Seagate evolves external storage into a media console

If you're the sort of person who likes to save lots of digital photos, video, and similar content to a hard disk drive, and would like to show it on a television rather than a computer monitor, here's the product for you.

The Seagate FreeAgent Theater HD media player, which works with a remote, is intended to work with the Seagate FreeAgent Go portable hard drive. The media player gets plugged into the TV once, and thereafter users can plug their FreeAgent Go drives into the media player without having to fumble with cables each time. It also includes a USB port for linking other non-Seagate FreeAgent Go devices.

Seagate quoted a 2007 survey by Parks Associates as saying that 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.

In addition to watching movies and slideshows, Seagate suggested consumers could also use the device to pair slideshows of high-resolution photo libraries with music collections and customize them with specialized transition effects, or to synchronize and organize digital media from multiple computers.

Seagate's FreeAgent home media storage device

Just think -- whenever you're trying to get rid of company, you can offer to show them 250 GB of slides and video from your summer vacation.

The Seagate FreeAgent Theater media player will be available in March either standalone for $129.99, with a 250 GB FreeAgent Go drive for $229.99, or with a 500 GB FreeAgent Go drive for $299.99.

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