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Seagate FreeAgent Theater Media Player
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: Seagate
Source: Seagate
Purchase: Newegg.com
Comment or Question: Post Here
Page: 5 of 6 [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 ]
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May 04, 2009

In Use (continued):

The first thing I did with the FreeAgent Theater was to browse some photos. You can create slide shows within folders, and you can drop an audio file in with the photos to create a sound track to accompany the slide show. I just dropped a handful of photos into a folder, and made sure to use some with low resolutions (perhaps 1.3MP to 3MP) and some with higher resolutions (10MP - the maximum available from my camera). The system had no problem with any photo size, and the load time wasn't that bad with any of them. The transition effects used between images might help to mask load times, and overall things went smoothly. The image below shows the photo file browser, which includes a preview of the selected image on the right.

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The below left image shows a 10MP image of a processor loaded up full screen. Since the image was 4:3 and the screen is 16:9, you do get black bars on the side. The below right image shows the image zoomed in slightly, and I was able to take it in very close while still having a clear image. This is great for checking out fine details on high resolution images. While loading the image was quick, zooming had a bit of delay. I thought that maybe the remote missed my command, so I clicked a few times, and eventually it overshot the level of zoom I was looking for as all the commands were registered.

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The next screen shot takes a look at the video file browser. I loaded up a folder with a variety of video files, and while many played fine, I did run into some compatibility issues. As expected, WMV files would not play, but more interesting is that they were not even listed as even being present on the drive. The image shows an MPEG-4 AVI file that partially worked. The video was perfect, but there was no audio, and the error message on screen indicates "unknown audio format". I have never had a problem playing these files on computers, so the error was troublesome.

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The next test was to play back some movies from DVD folders. The FreeAgent Theater was one of the more interesting items I saw at CES 2009, and in my coverage of the show I mentioned a bit about DVD folder playback. The device was supposed to work so that you simply clicked play on the folder icon for the movie you wanted to play, but I could not make that happen despite a good bit of effort. I wound up having to navigate into the folder and sift through the various files to get the appropriate one to play the movie.

Once the movies were started, things worked great. The overall quality was great, and I didn't experience any disruptions to the audio or video... Just smooth play back. The images below show the DVD menu and a live action capture from the movie Sin City.

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