Seagate has announced the availability of their Theatre HD with more of a whimper than a bang. Already launched in Europe, the product is designed to make it easy to access media through a television.
Seagate has not gone in for streaming media from your PC via Wi-Fi, as strong players in the data storage field, the Theatre HD instead uses the 2.5-inch FreeAgent Go hard drive and a dock, which is connected to the television.
The dock also features a USB port so you can use other hard drive devices, and ships with a remote so you can control it from afar. Once you've docked the drive, you can then access your pictures, music or videos on your television through an interface that mimics the folder set-up on the computer.
Whilst this might initially seem sensible, it quickly becomes apparent that Seagate has missed a trick by not allowing you to browse music by artist, playlist or genre, unless you've already categorised your music into those folders.
As far as movies are concerned, the dock will play them at a maximum resolution of 1080i, since there's no HDMI connectivity for 1080p. There is, however, DivX support, as well as MPEG-1,2 and 4 for videos and MP3, WMA, WAV and OGG for audio files.
Whilst Europe gets the dock for 99 euros, the pound takes another hit with the announcement that in the UK, the dock will cost approximately £89, without the hard drive. A spokesperson said it was likely that a bundle of both the dock and the hard drive would become available at some point soon.