Seagate announces new digital-media player

The FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player enables users to take content from their PCs and play it on their HDTVs. It's available for $149.99.

The new FreeAgent Theater+ from Seagate. Seagate

Seagate on Tuesday announced the FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player. The device enables users to take digital-media content from their PCs and play it on their televisions. All the content is controlled with an included remote.

The FreeAgent Theater+ connects to USB-attached storage drives through two USB ports. Once Seagate's device is connected to a PC, users can load the attached drive with movies, videos, music, and pictures. The FreeAgent Theater+ sports both HDMI and Component output, allowing users to watch up to 1080p content on their HDTV. It also has composite inputs for those with standard-definition televisions.

Although it works with any drive, the FreeAgent Theater+ is designed to work with Seagate's FreeAgent Go portable drives. Those drives can be slid into the device's dock, making it a bit more convenient to transfer the device.

To make it easier to transfer files, the FreeAgent Theater+ can connect to a home network via its Ethernet port. According to Seagate, it intends to release a USB wireless adapter in October to enable users to connect to their home networks wirelessly. The adapter will support 802.11n connectivity and cost $69.99.

Seagate's new player features several video formats, including H.264, MPEG-1, MPEG-4, DivX HD, and Xvid HD. It accepts AAC, MP3, FLAC, WMA, OGG, and more on the audio side.

Whether or not Seagate's new product can fix some of its past mistakes is still unknown. The company's previous device, the Seagate FreeAgent Theater, was the lowest-rated USB-ready digital-media player in a CNET Reviews roundup from April. Competing products from Iomega and Western Digital scored higher.

The Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ is available now for preorder at $149.99. For $289.99, consumers can pick up the FreeAgent Theater+ and a 500GB FreeAgent Go drive.

CNET plans to have an official review of the FreeAgent Theater+ later this month.

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