Freecom Hard Drive Sq 2TB
Geek Treat of the Week Freecom’s Hard Drive Sq is a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 hard drive which is clearly pitched at the growing number of us who have smart TVs and want to be able to record programmes without investing in a Freeview or Freesat DVR.
Designed by Berlin-based Iranian designer Armam Emami, the aluminium enclosure looks strikingly like Apple’s Mac mini, save for the black plastic trim around the edge. It certainly won’t look out of place in the living room, nor take up much room.
It has only two sockets on the back, one for power and the other the USB port, and a power button on the front.
Importantly for a hard drive which is as likely to be used in the living room as the office, it’s whisper quiet. I placed it next to a TV and heard nothing from it while sitting on the sofa.
And thankfully there are no flashing LED indicators either.
The ease with which you’ll be able to hook it up to your TV and start recording will depend on your telly, but on my Sony Bravia it was easy. The drive needs to be re-formatted, though, so you can’t swap between computer and TV, nor easily retrieve TV recordings and copy them to a PC or Mac.
It’s worth remembering that, although the Hard Drive Sq is available in 1TB, 2TB and 3TB capacities, some televisions are only compatible with drives up to 2TB in size thanks to the limitations of the file systems they support.
My only complaint: at £169 it’s a tad expensive for a 2TB hard drive. ®
Geek Treat of the Week is published every Monday. Got a handy or fun gadget in mind you'd like us to consider? Please let us know
More Geek Treats
|WD My Book Duo||
|Adonit Jot Flip||
I agree it is expensive. I also wondered what the performance was like and if it was a 5400 or 7200rpm disc. Looked at the handy freecom url and saw datasheets and lovely pdf's etc - still none the wiser. Remarkably as USB3 is new the fashion again as its a USB device is to list the USB standards maxium ideal, with tail wind speed and no hint on the real world speed is taken on the pdf and datasheet by freecom alas. I was also unable to ascertain if as to the speed of the hard disc.
All that said I can't think of any funky TV's that have USB3 on them or indeed need them just yet. So for the price and possible uses i'd question that being a good use for it, given the cost.
Another concideration is that of the length of cable and your nice wallmounted TV might be happy but when you try to attach said drive might find it hanging halfway up the wall, so that is a factor to look at. No LED is nice and and all but not a major selling point given the advent of duck-tape.
I do like that it includes a power supply and is not a totaly bus powered version which is an issue with some USB3 drives plugged into USB2 I have found that run of the bus's power, though no idea if you can run it solely of the USB3 port without the external PSU.
All in all, it's nothing special and for the price you could get something that has a built in mini NAS.
Also the operating temperature seems not suitable for rooms with direct sunlight in the summer, just a thought but a max operating temp of 35c is not enough margin of error for the 2 day british summer in october we have.
I don't get it
How is this any different from any other hard disk? I can hookup my bog standard external to my HDTV and record just fine (albeit only the channel I am currently viewing). For the same money or less you can buy a 'proper' DVR and be able to record 2 channels and have loads more functionality. WTF is up with this review?
The drive needs to be re-formatted?
"The drive needs to be re-formatted, though, so you can’t swap between computer and TV, nor easily retrieve TV recordings and copy them to a PC or Mac."
Eh? What format is that then?
More information required please.
Re: I agree
"Another concideration is that of the length of cable..."
You can get extension cables for USB2, and expect the shops will have some USB3 ones knocking about too. Run one down the same conduit as your link to your DVD player/sky box/video player/etc
"clearly pitched at the growing number of us who have smart TVs and want to be able to record programmes without investing in a Freeview or Freesat DVR
Who are they, then?
Those who can't afford a DVR? Shouldn't have thought so given the cost of this drive.
Those who don't want another box hanging off their TV? OK this thing is smaller than most DVRs, but not that much smaller.
Those who prefer the recording facilities on most TVs to those provided by most DVRs? Shouldn't think so as, AFAIK, there aren't any dual tuner TVs and the record-to-usb feature of all of the TVs I have seen is most definitely in the "afterthought" class.