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Seagate jazzes up HDD-to-TV box

HDMI, Ethernet and more added

Reducing security risks from open source software

Seagate has tweaked its connect-your-hard-drive-to-your-telly offering, FreeAgent Theatre, marking up the device's moniker with a plus sign to indicate its superior status.

The new model adds support for 1080p output over HDMI - the previous version peaked at 1080i over component-video - and incorporates not only an extra pair of USB ports but also an Ethernet port, giving the FreeAgent Theatre+ basic Nas functionality.

Seagate FreeAgent Theatre+

Seagate's FreeAgent Theatre+: gets a more snazzy remote, too

Don't have a wired network? Seagate plans to offer a USB 802.11n Wi-Fi dongle for the device.

The USB ports allow you to hook up hard drives and Flash sticks too, but the FreeAgent Theatre+ is really intended to be used with Seagate's FreeAgent portable HDDs.

Content supported by the device includes video in MPEG 1, MPEG 2 (VOB/ISO) and MPEG 4 (DivX/Xvid formats, DivX HD, Xvid HD, AVI, MOV, MKV, RMVB, AVC HD, H.264, WMV 9, VC-1 and M2TS, TS/TP/M2T; JPEG files up to 20Mp, BMP, GIF, PNG and TIFF for photos; and AAC, MP3, Dolby Digital, DTS, ASF, FLAC, WMA, LPCM, ADPCM, WAV and OGG audio. The FreeAgent Theatre+ can handle SMI, SRT and SUB subtitle files.

Seagate FreeAgent Theatre+
Seagate FreeAgent Theatre+

Front and back

On sale now in the States - there's no word yet on UK availability - a drive-less FreeAgent Theatre+ costs $150 (£73/€102) or $290 (£141/€197) when bundled with a 500GB HDD. The Wi-Fi adaptor will cost $70 (£34/€48) when it goes on sale, in October. ®

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