iPad streaming with the Seagate GoFlex Satellite - we go hands on

Storage specialist Seagate has announced its latest external HDD - this one with a heavy emphasis on media streaming - the Seagate GoFlex Satellite.

Built with an iPad in mind (although an Android app is coming down the line and you could essentially use it with any connected device with the browser interface) the Satellite is a 500GB HDD that packs its own battery, its own Wi-Fi antenna (two, actually) and also USB 3.0 interface for quick media transfers.

The idea is that you load it up with movies and take it with you when you'll want to watch some action on your iPad. It has 5 hours of playback from its Lithium-ion battery (25 hours standby) and can stream, in HD, to three iPads at a time - all via the free app, which also gives you a nice file management system.

Explaining the need for such a device to Pocket-lint, Seagate's senior product marketing manager Greg Falgiano said it was all about storage.

"Tablets today range from 16 to 64GB, so many consumers today are faced with picking and choosing which content they are going to load on to their device," he said.

"They load their apps first, music and photos follow and video tends to be the last thing people load, and when they do then it's usually the first thing they delete when they are running out of space because a couple of files gets you several Gigabytes back.

"So we're targeting someone who wants to enjoy video content on these great screens, in the highest possible quality, and giving them room to store the data somewhere else."

You can also choose to download the files, rather than stream them (handy for a plane journey) and you'll be able to playback any file type you have an app on your device to do so. For example, if you managed to nab the VLC app before it was pulled, you can use this to playback AVI files and the like.

Pocket-lint was given a demo of the device and app in action, and it looked pretty flawless. The streaming is via its own (password protected, if you want) Wi-Fi network, so is able to use the full Wi-Fi bandwidth to get busy.

Of course, this means you'll have to disconnect from an internet Wi-Fi connection (so no checking your email, or Twitter without using 3G) - but Falgiano did say that the hardware was in place to connect the device to a Wi-Fi network as well as broadcasting its own, and that a free software update would see this come into place in the near future.

Seagate is also looking at getting Apple's AirPlay, as well as DLNA connectivity on board in the soon too, so keep your ears open for updates on those.

It has a range of 150m, is compatible with Mac and PC (Mac users need to use the supplied Paragon software as its an NTFS drive) and measures only slightly thicker than a usual external HDD at 32mm (due to the battery).

Out in the States now, the Seagate GoFlex Satellite will be hitting the UK in August with a price tag of around £169.



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