The Indian market has seen a lot of HD media players being launched recently with manufacturers fitting the best possible features in the most compact sizes. We recently reviewed the TViX SlimS1 HD, iXtreamer, which were some of the higher end models with some pretty nifty features. Seagate, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hard drives have launched two home entertainment solutions in the form of the GoFlex TV and the FreeAgent Theatre. The GoFlex TV is a more compact solution and offers users the option to attach an internal drive in the player. Today, we’re looking at the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex TV.
Design and Build Quality
The Seagate GoFlex TV is small and compact in design. It’s smaller than the FreeAgent theater player and roughly the same size as some of the WD media players. Finished in a glossy, as well as textured black finish, this is a decent looking device that you can place in your living room next to your television set.
Small and compact in design
There’s a bay at the front of the player that allows you to plug in a Seagate GoFlex hard drive or any other 2.5-inch drive. We tried fitting a compatible GoFlex portable drive with it and it fit perfectly. However, as it is designed in such a way; it is possible to fit Seagate GoFlex portable hard drives or drives that are smaller in size.
Vents for cooling the player
To the right of the media player is a USB 2.0 port and a reset button. At the back of the device are the ports for the power cable, composite, component, optical, HDMI, LAN and a USB 2.0 port. On the bottom and the sides of the media player there are many vents which help in cooling. The bundled remote is smaller than most of the standard TV remotes. The controls are minimal and easy to use. Wireless connectivity is possible using an optional USB dongle.
In terms of connectivity features, the GoFlex TV has two USB ports to connect drives. There are various connectivity options available of this HD media player with there being ports for USB, HDMI, a bay for housing a portable hard drive and a LAN cable.
The home screen of the GoFlex TV features five widgets for Movies, Pictures, Music, Internet and an option to Browse the contents of a portable hard drive that may be attached to it. Below them are links on the home screen which are for websites such as YouTube, MediaFly, vTuner, Picasa, Flickr and other Internet services.
Quite a few connectivity options
The user interface of the GoFlex TV player is similar to previous Seagate players. The main interface has segmentation for the different types of media. There’s also a Browse option which lets you browse through the media like a file explorer.
The player also supports online media streaming services including YouTube, Flickr and a couple of other media services. There’s also weather reports and an RSS reader feature. Updating of the firmware can be done over the internet connection itself.
The performance of the player while playing all sorts of media is great. We used our usual 1920x1080 resolution, 60 fps video on the player and it performed flawlessly. We noticed almost no synchronization issues while playing back audio and video. Fast forwarding of the movies is also quick. Almost all of the formats we tried worked flawlessly. We had some problems with some subtitles not showing up on some movies.
A simple, minimalistic remote control
The player keeps indexing all attached storage devices and that tends to slow down the device further, from time to time. One of the biggest annoying flaws of the player is that it is painfully slow through the menus. The remote itself doesn’t work very well, unless you’re accurately pointing it at the player. We faced some hanging and locking up issues as well where we had to reset the product entirely.
The Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex TV is an extremely slow device. There are some stability issues as well, which should hopefully be fixed with some firmware updates. Priced at an MRP of Rs. 8,750, it’s not a very expensive player. If it was faster and a little more stable, we would have recommended it. We recommend you consider the older Seagate FreeAgent Theater, which was a more stable product that had a similar set of features as the GoFlex TV.