Last week we were invited by Seagate to take a look at an update for their recently released wireless Hard Disk Drive and as part of our Future of Home Entertainment strand here on HeyUGuys we wanted to introduce the notion of wireless storage if you, like us, have dozens of movies lying around on HDDs and are looking for a decent way to play them through your TV.
The advent of Blu-ray, high broadband speeds with wide coverage and the subsequent familiarisation with streaming HD movies on demand could be another step away from the necessity of the physical disk. With digital copies of movies being bundled with Blu-rays the studios are incentivising, and monetising, the digital copies of their movies. iTunes and Amazon and many others offer digital copies of their movies as well as the new Ultraviolet system which is starting to be introudced in the UK following a successful roll out in the US. Also, for those who find that physical storage is an issue there is the option of digitising the DVDs you buy onto HDDs for comparative ease of use as well as clearing up space on your shelves.
Seagate’s GoFlex Satellite HDD gives you 500GB to play with and the key factor here is the wireless capacity. This is not new, nor is the size of the disc as large as it could be (although we believe a larger drive is coming) however going hands on with the drive, seeing how the movies, images and music runs from the small drive to Smart TVs, consoles and the ubiquitous iPhone and iPad is very impressive and in action shows the benefits of the device’s wireless transfer system.
The drive has had a recent firmware upgrade to bring the battery life, when streaming HD movies as an example, to seven hours, it gained two hours more life by introducing a new system called Download Play which buffers the movie onto the computer and then switching to standby, so the movies plays uninterrupted but uses far less battery. Once charged you can take the drive anywhere and connect up any of the standard equipment, Xbox 360, PS3, iPad and Smart TVs, and stream the films, connecting and streaming different HD movies to 5 different devices at a time if necessary.
The hands-on we had with the drive showed the transfer was pretty much flawless, though the included frontend did look a touch bland but it’s very easy to use and that’s by far the main consideration. We hope to have a full review of the unit soon, and this is certainly something that, as a movie fan who has dozens of digital copies lying around, would use all the time. It is also something I hadn’t considered using before. Personally I’d like to see more storage on the device and it remains to be seen how quickly I can drain the battery myself, but what we saw was very impressive.