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CNET First Look
Seagate FreeAgent Theater DockWhile the Seagate FreeAgent Theater has a decent interface and good photo display options, it doesn't read as many video file formats as its competitors.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:02 >> Hi, I'm David Carnoy, Executive Editor for CNET.com and I'm here to tell you about the Seagate FreeAgent Theater. This is a digital media player. This comes in three different versions. Two of those versions come with a FreeAgent Go drive. There's a 250-gigabyte version and 500-gigabyte version. And then there's just a bare bone system if you already have a FreeAgent Go drive. The idea behind this product is that you take your FreeAgent Go drive, you connect it to your computer and you load it full of digital media that includes video, photos and music. You put whatever you want in the drive, you disconnect it from the computer and you slip it right into the FreeAgent Theater. Alternatively, you can also connect thumb drives. You can also connect another external hard drive. It doesn't have to be from Seagate, but this device is really designed to take a FreeAgent Go drive into its dock. There's three ways to connect it to your TV. You can connect it through a standard composite video cable that's included with the system. There's also S-video and component video which is the ideal way to connect this because this does do HD resolution video. So, one of the strengths of the system is that it does do photo slideshows very well. It doesn't support as many video file formats as some of the other competing models out there. This one is designed to playback DivX files, AVI files. However, it does not playback H.264 files or AVC HD files. Those are fairly common video file formats these days. It does play mp3 files. However, it does not play AAC files, which is now a common format for Apple. The FreeAgent Theater comes with a remote. You do have to point it directly at the system for it to be really responsive. There are a lot of nice things about Seagates FreeAgent Theater, we did like the interface, we did like the form factor and it does go well with Seagate's FreeAgent Go drives. That's at certain competing models do playback more file formats. So, if you do want something that has a lot of compatibility this probably isn't for you, but if you're willing to live with what it does offer, it does a perfectly acceptable job. I'm David Carnoy and that's the Seagate FreeAgent Theater. ^M00:02:12 [ Music ]