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Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ to get more of the internet

Seagate's FreeAgent media streamer is about to get a substantial update, bringing more of the web to the pint-sized home cinema accessory.

If you have a FreeAgent Theater+ from Seagate and are a fan of internet media streaming, I have some good news.

FreeAgent Theater+
The FreeAgent Theater+ on display at CES 2010. (Credit: Dong Ngo/CNET)

At CES 2010, Seagate showcased plans to collaborate with content and technology providers, including YouTube, vTuner and Mediafly, to deliver access to more user-generated and licensed internet content directly on the FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player.

Seagate's FreeAgent Theater+ media player is one of the digital content players on the market that allows people to play collections of photos, movies and music saved on a FreeAgent Go or any other external hard drive, directly on a TV. The device also has an Ethernet port and an optional wireless adapter for local network access and content streaming.

All these changes will be added in a new firmware update that's slated for next month. The upgrade will make the player UPnP/DLNA compliant, enabling access and sharing of digital content using any DLNA compliant device on a network.

Additionally, FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player owners can take advantage of special pricing for PlayOn software, which makes it easy and affordable to watch internet video (including Hulu, Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Video On Demand) on a TV. To do this, users will first need to go to the PlayOn website, and download the full-featured free trial of PlayOn to their Windows PCs. The FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player can automatically detect the subscribed content and play it on a TV .

Other than that, the new firmware upgrade will also offer these enhancements:

  • Redesigned home page view featuring better access to internet applications
  • Redesigned thumbnail view for easier browsing of movies, pictures and music
  • Skip time option when watching movies to jump forward by 20-minute intervals
  • Capability to create screensavers using personal photos
  • Easy file sorting when browsing network attached devices
  • UTF 16-character support
  • Capability to skip by 1000 items for faster file browsing
  • WMA Pro audio support, which enables sound for a majority of high-definition WMV files
  • Support for even more file formats

Seagate is also working on incorporating DivX Plus HD Certification to the FreeAgent Theater+ media player. This certification is the premium level of certification from DivX, providing consumers with a highly comprehensive digital media solution for enjoying high-quality standard-definition and high-definition internet video from the PC to the TV and more. Currently, the player has already supported an extensive list of audio/video and sound formats.

According to Seagate, the FreeAgent Theater+ will upgrade the firmware by itself if it is connected to the internet.