Seagate FreeAgent Theater Review

by Michael Kwan on June 9, 2009

Initial Impressions

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As with most other Seagate products, the FreeAgent Theater is quite well built and it is reasonably pleasing to the eye. Most of the outer body is made from a glossy black plastic material, but the slot where you would insert the FreeAgent Go hard drive has a slightly grippy texture to it. This helps to prevent scratching and makes for a nice, snug fit.

In terms of size, this HD Media Player is about twice the width of a FreeAgent Go hard drive. This makes it quite a bit smaller than most conventional DVD players, easily fitting into even the most compact of home theater configurations. Since the hard drive slides in horizontally, you don’t need any real vertical access either.

Connectivity and Controls

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The Seagate FreeAgent Theater is marketed as a high-definition media player solution for the home, so you would assume that it would come with the full complement of regular high-definition options. However, you will likely be a little disappointed by the connectivity that Seagate decided to include.

The only HD video option here is a component connection (you can also do SD with composite or S-Video). There are no ports for HDMI or DVI. That’s really too bad. Similarly, looking at the audio outputs, you’ll find the usual RCA (red/white) option and a port for coaxial. There is no optical audio out. For me, a true HD solution is incomplete if it lacks HDMI. That’s the big one.

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While you could navigate through your media library using the controls located on the FreeAgent Theater itself, it’s probably much more convenient to use the provided remote control. This is pretty standard fare, giving you directional controls, play/pause, subtitle control.

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