Seagate's GoFlex TV HD is a media player with network connectivity and hard drive dock. The
pint-sized black box fits unobtrusively in a living room environment -
unlike a full sized Media PC - and the GoFlex TV HD's on screen controls are simple to navigate via the infrared
remote control. Full size media PCs often need a keyboard and mouse to
be useful, having cooling fans that make a lot of noise and take up too much space; Seagate's
GoFlex TV HD media player has none of the down sides.
The GoFlex TV's on screen controls make it simple to play digital content
(movie, music or photo) stored on a USB thumb drive, via Seagate's FreeAgent
GoFlex ultra-portable hard drive when docked in the unit, or over a home network
if you've enabled Media Sharing on a Windows 7 or 8 computer. Segate's
GoFlex TV outputs video to televisions via HDMI, Component (RCA) or composite
video (Y, Pb, Pr) so it's reasonably compatible with older television sets.
In short. it's a little black box that does it all, but wait, there's more!
The GoFlex TV HD can also bring in content from one of several
internet-based sources like Netflix, Picassa and YouTube, either via the wired
home network link or optionally over a wireless network via USB WiFi
dongle. The only thing it cannot do is record.
The Seagate GoFlex TV HD
Media Player PCSTATS is testing in this review retails for just under $100USD,
which is utterly fantastic IMHO. The 500GB GoFlex FreeAgent Ultra-Portable hard
drive you'll see used in this review costs about $90USD. Other FreeAgent
ultra-portable drives are available in capacities ranging from 320GB to 1.5TB,
with interfaces options that include USB 2.0, USB 3.0, eSATA or Firewire 800.
Both the media player and portable hard drive devices are Windows XP/Vista/7/8
and Mac OS X 10.4 compatible.
GoFlex TV HD Media Player
Component Video (YPbPr)
Optical S/PDIF Audio
2.5" SATA HDD Dock (proprietory)
ASF, AVI, DAT, DIVX,
FLV, H.264, IFO, ISO, M2TS, M4V, MINUSVR, MKV, MOV, MP4, MPEG,
MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MPG, MTS, RM, RMVB, TP, TRP, TS, VOB, WMV,
MP3, AAC, AC3, APE,
DTS, ASF, FLAC, WMA, LPCM, ADPCM, MKA, WAV, OGG.
JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF,
(Max file size 20MB)
Includes: Infrared remote, AAA batteries,
AC/DC power adaptor, component video cable, composite
video/audio cable, instructions, software CD.
Media Player vs. Media PC
The GoFlex TV HD media player essentially fulfills three roles which used to
require a full blown computer system and many hours of geeky home theatre
1) It quickly and easily provides access to digital content
stored on a variety of sources, ie. HDD, USB, digital camera, network or
2) It allows you to share media across
a wired home network so it's possible to browse and manage the files
from a networked computer with media sharing capabilities. In the past, one PC would typically store
media which made remote browsing difficult unless the home
network was properly configured.
3) It outputs
digital content to a television through a selection of common video & audio
interfaces without expensive graphics hardware or
4) It's totally fanless and dead silent. Extremely
compact too, barely larger than a pocket book.
In short, Seagate's GoFlex TV HD ia a pretty cool bit of kit that bridges the
gap between a home PC which increasingly stores all of a families digital
content (movie, music, photo's) and the comfort of watching content
in a living room on a big screen TV.
Additionally, if you already own Seagate's portable GoFlex FreeAgent
Ultra-Portable 2.5" hard drive, you can load that drive into the GoFlex TV
HD's docking station and access all the digital content on the hard drive
directly. A portable hard drive is a quick and simple means of transferring
GB's of digital content from one PC to another.
What's Included in the GoFlex TV HD Box
Along side Seagate's FreeAgent GoFlex TV HD Media Player, Seagate provide
an infrared remote control (plus two AAA batteries), a DC power
adaptor, a set of component (Y, Pb, Pr) & composite (VGA, L/R audio)
cables and a CD with Seagate's Media Sync software.
FreeAgent GoFlex TV HD media player outputs video over
HDMI, component video or
composite video cables. The two latter cables are supplied. HDMI is the preferred choice for
connecting to a HDTV as it carries high quality video and audio, however you'll have to
provide the HDMI cable yourself.
The infrared remote control for
the Seagate GoFlexTV media player runs off two AAA batteries (included). The
remote has simple up/down/left/right navigation and play controls. There is no
Record button - that's one feature a media player does not support.
The infrared remote
If your home theatre set up includes a multi-channel
amplifier, you'll be please to find an optical SP/DIF port on the back side of
the GoFlex TV HD box for outputting high quality digital sound. Most users will connect
the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex TV HD Media Player via HDMi since this one cable
takes care of 1080i video and high quality audio, so no great loss that the optical
SP/DIF cable isn't included.
As any home
theatre enthusiast will tell you, the first place to look when considering a Media Player
is the data ports. In this case the Seagate GoFlexTV HD is well equipped for
modern and relatively recent HDTVs. If your ancient TV just has a coaxial cable
input, you're out of luck.
Rear ports on the GoFlexTV HD
From left to right: DC Power, Composite Video and
L/R Audio, Component video (Y, Pb, Pr), Optical SP/DIF, HDMI, RJ45 Ethernet LAN and
USB 2.0. There is a second USB 2.0 port on the front right side of the
GoFlex TV HD which is used to support a wireless USB dongle or USB
The reset button. The GoFlexTV HD
only crashed once during PCSTATS tests, on account of
a corrupted media file.
GoFlexTV HD reads USB thumb drives formatted in FAT, FAT32, NTFS and Mac HFS+. The
USB 2.0 port on this side of the GoFlexTV HD is intended for an
optional USB WiFi adaptor, which if installed gives the device wireless
internet access via your home router. This port may also be used with a regular USB thumb
drive, if you prefer to watch movies or other content off your removable storage
Now for a look at the one feature that makes this
media player entirely unique!