You have heard about smart appliances, smart phones, and smart TV's! You may ask, what exactly what is a smart TV? A smart TV is one that can connect to the Internet, allowing you access to services such as Netflix, Pandora, Blockbuster Movies, and others. Many TV manufacturers call these Widgets.
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I have an older SONY Bravia TV and I guess it is pretty stupid since it can't connect to anything but cable!
Do I just toss the SONY and buy a "Smart TV"? No, as I did not win the lottery. The next best option is to purchase a Seagate GoFlex TV HD media player!
This unit is made by Seagate, best known for high quality and versatile hard drives.
My personal test of any unit is to attempt hooking it up without reading the instruction manual. So here are the steps I took.
First I removed the unit which is black and small, about 4”x4”. The front of the GoFlex has an LED showing if the power to the unit is on or off. Orange off, white, on. There is a USB connection on the right side and one on the back. In my case, I used the right side to plug in the optional, wireless, WiFi Seagate dongle.
The rear of the unit has a connector to plug in the power supply, a plug for a component video cable, a plug for composite audio/video out, an Ethernet/LAN port, and an optical audio out connector!
The box includes these cables, which connect to SONY mini-plugs on the back of the unit, as I mentioned above. By the way, there is also an HDMI connector on the GoFlex TV HD media player as well.
Since my old, dumb Bravia TV only has one HDMI input, I used the mini plug adapters to Component Video and analog L/R audio. There is a wireless remote control included so you don’t have to move from your comfy chair.
First you turn on the unit so the LED glows white. Once it is turned on, you go to the home screen or menu and set up your Internet connection. In my case I connected to wireless. You do have a choice to connect via Ethernet cable. I had a little bit of trouble connecting to my wireless router, so I called Tech Support at Seagate and talked to a guy named Jeffrey. He was really nice and patient. We had to attempt the connection three times, and finally it saw my home router.
Following the successful home network connection, we attempted a connection to the Netflix server. No luck! It was a good thing I had tech support on the phone, because no where does it tell you that it may not sync up with Netflix unless you update your firmware, which I did. Voila, update firmware, connect to Netflix successfully! I selected AUTOMATIC FIRMWARE UPDATES so it will do its thing automatically!
So now, all I do is change the input from Video 6 to Video 4 on my TV and there is Netflix!
Watching Netflix and utilizing other Net Based services is only part of what this GoFlex TV does. To quote Seagate:
“The FreeAgent GoFlex HD media player offers the easiest way to play movies, photos and music on your TV, allowing you to share and enjoy your digital media in a comfortable social environment…”
“As part of the GoFlex Storage System, the GoFlex TV HD media player can play content from GoFlex ultra portable drives by simply sliding the drive into the integrated bay or any USB storage device by connecting to one of the two USB ports. You then have access to your complete media library with full 1080P high-definition playback and surround sound audio support.”
There you have it. So not only can you have Netflix on your TV, but your pics, music etc. The GoFlex TV is a dock for the ultra portable drive or a USB connection, making it extremely versatile. It also has the ability to connect to your router to access shared media on your home network.
For those folks who can’t live without all the nitty gritty specs, here they are:
FreeAgent® GoFlex™ TV HD Media Player
HDMI 1.3; Composite; Component
HDMI 1.3; Stereo; Optical S/PDIF
MKV; AVI; DivX Plus™ HD; RMVB Real Media; WMV9; VC-1; MPEG-4 (Xvid); FLV; MPEG-2 (VOB/ISO); Xvid HD; MPEG-1; AVC HD; TS/TP/M2T; M2TS; H.264; MOV
Media Player Only
SAMI (smi); SRT; SUB
PAL 576i/576p; NTSC 480i/480p; 720p; 1080p; 1080i
WMA Pro; WMA; Dolby® Digital; ADPCM; FLAC; AAC; ASF; DTS; LPCM; OGG; WAV; MP3
JPEG files (up to 20 megapixels); MJPEG; BMP; TIFF; PNG; GIF
Supported File Systems
HFS ; NTFS; FAT32; FAT
Internet Sites Supported
Netflix; YouTube; Mediafly; vTuner; Picasa; Flickr; Video Feeds (RSS); Text Feeds (RSS); Weather Widget; Finance Widget
Wi-Fi Adapter (Optional); Ethernet
Plays all of your favorite file formats
• Video: MPEG–1, MPEG–2 (VOB/ISO), MPEG–4 (Xvid), DivX Plus™ HD, Xvid HD, AVI, MOV, MKV, RMVB Real Media, AVC HD, H.264, WMV9, VC–1, M2TS, TS/TP/M2T
Video Resolutions: NTSC 480i/480p, PAL 576i/576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
Subtitles: SAMI (smi), SRT, SUB
Audio: AAC, MP3, Dolby® Digital, DTS, ASF, FLAC, WMA, WMA Pro, LPCM, ADPCM, WAV, OGG
Playlist: M3U, PLS
Photo: JPEG files (up to 20 megapixels), MJPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG, TIFF
Get connected in seconds
Connecting your drive, network or other devices to your digital media player is fast and easy, with output options that are optimized for your movies, music and photos.
• Input Connections
GoFlex ultra–portable drive slot: Insert your GoFlex or GoFlex Pro ultra–portable drive directly into your GoFlex TV HD media player
USB 2.0 Ports: Simply plug in your digital camera, digital camcorder, USB flash drive or external USB hard drive
Network: Ethernet connectivity enables access of shared folders on computers and other devices connected to your network such as a GoFlex Net media sharing device, media server or a NAS
Wireless: Optional Wi–Fi Adapter (sold separately)
• Output Formats
Video: HDMI, Composite, Component
Audio: HDMI, Stereo, Optical S/PDIF
Well enough of the specs. They tell you just so much, but it is real world experience that tells you how good a product is, and how it performs for you. This unit plays well with my MAC and works just as easily with a PC, with included DVD software. I am thrilled I can now get Netflix on my TV as well as access files from my MAC. Using this GoFlex TV HD media player makes life just a little more fun and a lot easier!
Today is February 10th, and I am pleased to inform you that Seagate just released a free IPhone App to control the player from your phone! All you do is download the free app from the App Store, fill in the IP address of the player, (which comes off the player menu itself), and there you have a duplicate screen on your IPhone of the remote!
The only negative is that to turn on the player, you have to use the player remote control. The power button on the app will not power up the player. App is listed in App Store as Seagate Technology! So many companies are charging for their apps, it is nice to see Seagate giving you the app at no charge! Way to go Seagate!!
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