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Many of us get our digital content online these days and most of us are happy to watch it right on the computer. Sometimes though we may want to free that content from the confines of our main computers to share with others. Sure, there are a few people out there who have taken the route of a home theatre PC, but that may not be a viable, affordable, or user-friendly option for everyone. That's why a media playing set top box just seems so much more straightforward.

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You may recall that a short while ago, we took a look at the Hi-Den Vision HDMI 1080p Digital Photo and Video Viewer. By and large, this device had the typical lack of polish that you find with most generic products straight from China. Today, we take a look at something that's got a little more spit, polish and a little more shine. Introducing the Seagate FreeAgent Theater HD Media Player.

When compared to the Hi-Den Vision box, you get almost the same thing with one very important difference. Aside from the obvious enhancements to the overall package, the Seagate solution comes with a removable 250GB external hard drive. Since the drive is removable, you can also expand with extra drives along the way. Let's take a closer look!

What's in the Box?

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One of the first things that I noticed about the Seagate FreeAgent Theater HD Media Player Solution was that Seagate spent a fair bit of time working on the packaging. It's not only the glossy box that looks good, but everything is very neatly packed into a tri-fold plastic shell inside.

On the first layer, you find the CD and documentation. On the next layer, you find the FreeAgent Go portable hard drive. On the bottom-most layer, you get the actual media player itself, the remote control, the hard drive docking station, USB cable, power cable, and A/V cable.

Features and Highlights

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Seagate says that this is "the easiest way to move your photos, movies and music from your PC to your TV." The idea is that you keep the docking station for the included 250GB FreeAgent Go portable hard drive next to your main computer. This way, you can dock that hard drive as needed to load it up with new content.

After pumping it full of movies, music, and pictures, the hard drive can then be walked over to the FreeAgent Theater Media Player connected to your HDTV and you'll be able to enjoy all that great content on your big television.

In terms of file support, this multimedia player will be able to handle a range of MPEG-1, MPEG_2, and MPEG-4 video files, including DivX and Xvid. It'll also support both true HD and upscaling up to 720p/1080i. On the music front, it'll do MP3, AC3, WMA, WAV, and OGG. For pictures, it'll display up to 20-megapixel JPEGs. This content can either be loaded on the provided hard drive or you can use the front-mounted USB port for further expansion.

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