goflex cinema 3 Seagate launches the GoFlex Cinema multimedia drive

Media players are hardly what we'd call special these days and you can get some really cheap, if albeit basic models these days that will play pretty much any file format you throw at them. Seagate has been trying to get in to the media player for quite some time and so far the company has come up with some fairly uninspiring solutions, but its new GoFlex Cinema is a rather intriguing piece of hardware.

Media players are hardly what we'd call special these days and you can get some really cheap, if albeit basic models these days that will play pretty much any file format you throw at them. Seagate has been trying to get in to the media player for quite some time and so far the company has come up with some fairly uninspiring solutions, but its new GoFlex Cinema is a rather intriguing piece of hardware.

The GoFlex Cinema is one of the smallest media players in the market, well; it is as long as you don't take into account the size of the GoFlex hard drive which it's attached to. The entire setup measures 223x120x44mm and that gives you a sizeable external hard drive available in 1TB, 2TB and 3TB sizes. Unlike Seagate's previous attempts at media players the GoFlex Cinema relies on 3.5-inch hard drives rather than 2.5-inch drives. Beyond its media player features it can also be used for copying files directly from a digital camera without the need of a PC. A small remote control that doesn't look overly impressive is also supplied.

goflex cinema 1 Seagate launches the GoFlex Cinema multimedia drive

The actual media player is a small attachment that goes on what would normally have been the bottom end of a GoFlex hard drive and it sports a mini USB port for file transfers to/from a PC, a standard USB port to which cameras or other USB storage devices can be connected, an HDMI port, an optical S/PDIF out, a pair of RCA audio jacks and a composite video connector as well as a power connector. There's both an upside and a downside to this. The upside is that the drive that comes with the GoFlex Cinema works with other GoFlex adapters from Seagate, so you can get a USB 3.0 dock to boost the speed when you're copying files from your PC. The downside is that the GoFlex Cinema isn't sold without a hard drive, so if you already own a GoFlex drive, you'll have to get another one to get the GoFlex Cinema.

goflex cinema 2 Seagate launches the GoFlex Cinema multimedia drive

In terms of file support the GoFlex Cinema appears to have just about every format in all standard resolutions supported. It'll play back AVI (Xvid, MPEG 1/2/4, AVC, H.264), MPG/MPEG, VOB, ISO (DVD and Blu-ray), M2TS, MP4, MOV (AVC , H.264), MKV (MPEG 2/4, AVC, H.264), FLV and ASF (VC-1, WMV9) video files as well as MP3, WAV, AAC, MKA, FLAC, WMA, APE and OGG audio files, alternatively audio combined with the video. There's also support for LPCM, WMA Pro, Dolby Digital and DTS audio, although only pass through for the multi-channel formats. Finally it'll display JPEG (up to 20Megapixles), GIF, TIFF, BMP and PNG images and SRT, SSA, ASS and SAMI subtitles.

We can't say much about the UI as Seagate has only posted a single screenshot on its website and even that isn't very clear. There's multi-language support, but as to which languages are supported seems to vary between the regions the unit is sold in and currently it seems to only be available in EMEA and the details on Seagate's website is as such limited to that region. The 1TB model retails for €99 (S$175), with the 2TB model only being slightly more expensive at €129 (S$229) and finally the 3TB model at €179 (S$315). No word on when or if Seagate is planning on launching the GoFlex Cinema outside of Europe, but we'd expect it to be available globally.

Source: Seagate