Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex TV

Want a media-streaming box that's identical to every other media-streaming box? Say hello to the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex TV.


7.2
CNET Rating
5.0
User Rating

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Design

Sitting underneath your TV and playing back AV files from either network or USB connected sources, media-streaming boxes have littered the consumer landscape in 2010. Seagate's FreeAgent GoFlex TV, in most respects, is just another one of those boxes. From a visual standpoint, that's all it is — a rather hollow-feeling box with network, HDMI, optical audio and a 3.5mm custom connector for other video outputs at the back. The remote control is of a style we can comfortably call "typical" for this type of device. It's small, but not credit-card sized. The buttons are squishy comfortable rubber, and like most remotes of this type you may have to intermittently jab at the controls to get them to do what you want.

Features

The key selling point for the GoFlex TV is that it's compatible with Seagate's GoFlex 320GB and 500GB hard drives. Big deal, you might think, since it has a USB port on the side that could accommodate any given drive. But Seagate's thinking goes just a touch deeper than that. The GoFlex TV is internally hollow with a socket that matches the shape of the GoFlex drives exactly. In theory, you can drop the drive, sans interface cable, directly into the GoFlex TV.

Codec support from the GoFlex TV is nice and wide. At the time of writing, the GoFlex officially supported MKV, AVI, DivX, RMVB, WMV9, VC-1, MPEG-4 (XviD), FLV, MPEG-2 (VOB/ISO), XviD HD, MPEG-1, AVC HD, TS/TP/M2T, M2TS, H.264 and MOV files from a connected USB drive or over a network. If you connect up a network via the Ethernet port (there's no in-built Wi-Fi), you'll also get access to YouTube and many other online sites. But unlike the US GoFlex TV, the Australian version lags doesn't offer Netflix streaming support.

Performance

Far too many small streaming boxes feature plain ugly menus.Despite its limited availability, this is probably why we really appreciate the Apple TV. The GoFlex TV's menus aren't the worst we've seen, but for a device that can output at 1080p, they're quite grainy and lack pizzazz.

Video playback from USB connected sources was good up to 1080P. But with some noticeable skipping on high-resolution trailers we tested, the same wasn't always true from network sources. The online features worked, but only acceptably well rather than wowing us with some feature we'd never seen before.

Being children of the VHS age, we excitedly thought that plugging in a GoFlex drive would be like popping a tape into the old VHS drive. Sadly, the nostalgia was short-lived. With a GoFlex drive (1TB GoFlex) that was too large for the GoFlex TV's aperture, our experience was more akin to trying to jam a VHS tape into a Beta deck. Those extra platters add extra fat to the 1TB and 750GB drives, making them incompatible with the internal cavity.

Conclusion

Unlike other cheap streaming boxes, the GoFlex TV doesn't do too much wrong. But beyond the interesting internal hard-drive idea, it doesn't do that much to make itself stand out from the pack. The feature sets of these small boxes have been somewhat gobbled up by both consoles and some Blu-ray players and that leaves these boxes distinctly at the cheap end of town. It's worth considering against its competition, but only if the price is right.

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CampbellS Facebook
5
Rating
 

"WD media box is better bang for box"

CampbellS posted a review   

The Good:Has networking function

The Bad:Display is at 720 X 420i , very grainy , Unsure if it upscales to 1080i

The Western Digital Media Box which I bought for 60 dollars from dicksmith is better. I only brought the seagate go flex TV for 100 dollars as my media box would not recognize my new 3TB seagate drive.

The Go Flex does not natively broadcast at 1080 why ????
The much cheaper WD media box does and the menu is extremely sharp at 1080p and nice to navigate . The Go Flex has a grainy look at 420 and just looks crap.

Played a movie on the Go Flex and it looks crap compared to the media box. Im sure the media box upscale all videos to at least 720p.

So for double your money you get a product which cant export to 1080p via HDMI and only displays and plays movies it seems at 420p.

So your really paying extra for networking capability. I will be keeping my WD media box for the future in case I swap back to a WD drive.

Epec fail seagate.

CampbellS Facebook
2
Rating
 

"Update"

CampbellS posted a review   

The Good:NOTHING REALLY GOOD

The Bad:Crashes on some Mp3 files

Another update , I have lots of music. The Seagate GoFlex refuses to play alot of mp3 files calling them invalid. It then crashes and restarts.


SEAGATE YOU HAVE FAILED. EPIC FAIL.

DO NOT BUY THIS BUGGY PEACE OF CRAP.

 

CampbellS posted a reply   

Just updating my comments. I ended up buying the new updated WD TV. Its slightly thinner than the origional and looks sleaker. It now has wifi to connect through your router so you can transfer files through your network to the HDD attached to your WDTV at a decent speed of of 2.5MB/sec. Another good thing is the WDTV is in sleep mode when its off so you dont have to turn it on to transfer files. New menu is vivid and colourful with the options on a tool bar below. Plays all files. Played a 1080i MKV bluray rip at 4GB on it for the first time yesterday and it had a jittery start before playing normally.
Only annoying thing is it indexes movies over and over so you end up with three indexed copies of each. Its decided it doesnt like my seagate 3TB and throws a patty about not being able to index it. Still reads and plays the files you just read them from the HDD rather than the WDTV.

 

johnno68 posted a comment   
Australia

The Good:Simple, plays HD video well

The Bad:File support /features not as stated in manual

Overall an easy to use pretty black box.Won't index files from network shares or media servers /NAS - this means each time you want to play something from the network, instead of files showing under their respective categories (Music, Movies ect), it's a slooow process of navigating to the folder after a log in process. The unit Freezes on Picture slide shows, and there are a raft of other bugs, see the sea gate forums (replies in the forum to problems aren't forthcoming either). On the + side, it's an easy to use device by simply plugging in an external drive and supports most formats.

 

PPAL posted a comment   

The Good:NIL

The Bad:all

Does not play files as stated. Will not play trp files.




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User Reviews / Comments  Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex TV

  • CampbellS

    CampbellS

    Rating5

    "The Western Digital Media Box which I bought for 60 dollars from dicksmith is better. I only brought the seagate go flex TV for 100 dollars as my media box would not recognize my new 3TB seagate ..."

  • johnno68

    johnno68

    "Overall an easy to use pretty black box.Won't index files from network shares or media servers /NAS - this means each time you want to play something from the network, instead of files showing unde..."

  • PPAL

    PPAL

    "Does not play files as stated. Will not play trp files."

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