To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex TV HD Media Player review

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex TV HD Media Player
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £89
inc VAT

A good little media player, with full support of Blu-ray menus from ripped ISOs, but it needs a few tweaks to beat the competition.

Last month we reviewed a Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 500GB portable hard disk. Its clever design lets you connect a range of adaptors for different interfaces, such as USB, FireWire and eSATA. In addition, without any adaptor, the drives can be plugged directly via their SATA connectors in to a variety of peripherals – including this HD media player.

The GoFlex TV has a smart-looking and compact casing. A door at the front flicks down to reveal that most of its interior is a bay for GoFlex portable drives. Even if you don’t have such a drive, the whole device is so small we can’t see anyone complaining about the unwanted bay.

You can connect other storage devices to the two USB ports – one on the right-hand side and the other on the rear – but there’s no built-in memory card reader for reading photos directly from SD cards. As well as accessing files from USB devices, you can stream them across a network from UPnP media servers or Windows shared folders.

Other ports include HDMI, an optical S/PDIF and two minijacks. Supplied breakout leads convert the latter into AV and component outputs. There’s a 10/100 Ethernet port, and 802.11n wireless can be added via a USB adaptor (part number: 100620155), it’s not yet available in the UK but should cost around £30. It’s tiny and so won’t make the GoFlex TV any bulkier, but it will of course use up one of the two USB ports.

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex TV HD Media Player

The compact remote control is comfortable to hold, and has decently sized buttons, which are logically laid out and clearly labelled. The main menu is divided into Movies, Pictures, Music, Internet and Browse. The first three options quickly searched our attached storage and displayed all the relevant files – it had trouble recognising a couple, but nothing that couldn’t be solved by renaming a few unusual file extensions.

We were worried when our music came up in a gigantic A-Z list, but from the menu you can sort it by albums, artists, genres, years and playlists – or switch to a thumbnail display. Photos and videos have smaller ranges of appropriate options. It remembers which filters you have set, so you don’t have to tell it again every time you switch it on.

It recognised both ripped Blu-ray and DVD ISOs, with full support for menus and subtitling – though chapter skip only worked on DVDs. You can switch between audio tracks easily, so no getting stuck with an audio commentary. It remembers where you left each movie, so you can resume playback the next time you select that file.

It will output loseless PCM to a compatible AV receiver but only up to 48KHz, so you won’t get the same high-fidelity audio as you would usually from Blu-ray movies. We saw no problems with playback of Blu-ray video, or AVCHD files directly from our camcorder. Video codec support is excellent and you can wind through footage at up to 32x speed.

The Internet option lets you access content from popular sites, primarily YouTube, Picasa and Flickr; but also vTuner for internet radio, and a mish-mash of bizarre IPTV offerings. Everything works fine, but we were disappointed not get the option of HD playback from YouTube. Of course, the device itself supports all HD resolutions up to 1080p.

Our main problem with the GoFlex TV is its slightly chaotic menu system. It seems like the designers were worried you wouldn’t find a certain option, and so made three different shortcuts for everything. We also found it sluggish to react sometimes, it’s nothing that couldn’t be polished up in a firmware update, but as of going to press no updates were available for our boxed retail unit.

Pages: 1 2

Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Media Streamer type streaming multimedia receiver

Audio Compatibility

Audio MP3 playback Yes
Audio WMA playback Yes
Audio WMA-DRM playback No
Audio AAC playback Yes
Audio Protected AAC playback No
Audio OGG playback Yes
Audio WAV playback Yes
Audio Audible playback No
Other audio formats FLAC, Dolby Digital, DTS
Internet radio stream compatib MP3, AAC

Video Compatibility

Video MPEG-1 playback Yes
Video MPEG-2 playback Yes
Video MPEG-2 VOB playback Yes
Video MPEG-4 AVI playback Yes
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playback Yes
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD support Yes
Video H.264 support Yes
Video MPEG-4 MP3 audio support Yes
Video MPEG-4 AAC audio support Yes
Video WMV playback Yes
Video WMV-HD support Yes
Other video formats RMVB, MKV, AVCHD
Internet video stream compatib FLV

Image Compatibility

Image BMP support Yes
Image JPEG support Yes
Image TIFF support Yes

Network Interfaces

Wired network ports 10/100
Wireless networking support Yes
128-bit WEP No
256-bit WEP No

AV Interfaces

Minijack line outputs 1
Minijack headphone outputs 0
Stereo phono outputs 1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs 0
Optical S/PDIF outputs 1
Total SCART sockets 0
HDMI outputs 1
Component outputs 1
S-video output 0
Composite outputs 1
Other connectors 2x USB


Size 42x110x150mm
Internal/external antennas N/A
Upgradeable antenna No
Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption on 10W

Server Compatibility

Software included none
UPnP Yes
iTunes No
SlimServer No

Buying Information

Price £89
Warranty one-year RTB

Read more