Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
Empire Blogs
Empire States

Back to all blogs Comment Now

First Look: Seagate GoFlex Cinema

Posted on Tuesday December 20, 2011, 15:01 by James Dyer in Empire States
First Look: Seagate GoFlex Cinema

There’s a reason why, even now, Macs refuse to come with Blu-ray drives. It’s not (just) because the late Steve Jobs wanted you to download HD films off iTunes but because the visionary technologist believed that physical media was in the midst of its death throes. Whether he was overstating the matter or not, the rise of digital media and the emergence on these shores of UltraViolet (the studios’ downloadable answer to DVD) certainly mean that digital copies of movies are increasing their foothold in the home entertainment market. The problem is that for most people it’s hard to know how to make the most of it all.

Broadly speaking there are three principle methods of enjoying digital media in your home. The first is to stream directly off the Internet via services such as Netflix or LoveFilm. The Second is to stream your own media files across your home network (which we’ll cover in some depth in an upcoming article). The Third, and arguably the simplest, is to store your movies on a multimedia hard drive, which you can then plug directly into your TV. It’s this latter method that Seagate are pointing people towards with their new GoFlex Cinema, an out-of-the-box media player with generous built-in storage and a pleasing on-screen interface.

The multimedia hard drive market is far from sparsely populated but with a three terabyte model lining up alongside one and two terabyte versions, Seagate is aiming the Cinema at film fans with larger digital collections, or those for whom SD content just doesn’t cut it anymore. Out of the box, the Cinema is a neat, glossy black box pre-formatted for PCs. Thoughtfully, though, Seagate’s software quizzes uses on their platform needs and will either reformat for Macs or cater to cross-platform users by gifting them with Paragon’s NTFS for Mac drivers, allowing Apple’s machine to write to Windows filesystems directly. Once this hurdle is passed, all that remains is to copy all your digital media from computer to drive – though due to the limitations of USB, filling all 3TB will likely be an overnight operation.

With all your media on the drive, it happily plugs into your TV via HDMI (or composite cables if you’re desperate) and after a pleasantly short boot time, fires up the full colour UI. This is a step where a lot of similar drives trip up: LaCie’s otherwise decent LaCinema range having a truly ghastly monochrome menu and only Western Digital’s live series really nailed the balance between aesthetics and functionality. Seagate have no problems in this area as the interface is both attractive and intuitive, presenting users with the option of playing photos, music or video files. Usefully, the GoFlex Cinema doesn’t ask you to place different media in pre-defined folders, you can dump it all slapdash on the drive itself with nary a care to organization and the device will sift through and organize your files automatically when not playing back media. Nice.

Playback is decent, supports full 1080p and will handle pretty much any file type you throw at it, from XviD and WMA to H.264, MKV and even FLAC files for audio. The only slight quibble is that it doesn’t support DTS audio, limiting you to Dolby Digital playback, though that’s hardly a dealbreaker.

All in all the GoFlex Cinema is a well put together media drive that stands apart from a lot of the competition simply due to the size of storage on offer. When you also consider that you can increase capacity still further thanks to a USB expansion port, and that, at £150 for the largest model, it's not that much more than a plain old 3TB hard drive, this glossy box of delights starts to seem very appealing indeed.

So, as a toe in the water of digital media, the GoFlex Cinema (or similar device) is a perfect way to start. The more adventurous among you, or those with truly titanic collections may want to take things a step further, however, and centralize your entire collection on a server, which can channel digital movie goodness all over your home. For the lowdown on that, however, you’ll have to tune in to our detailed follow-up article in the new year.

Login or register to comment.

Currently No Comments

Log in below, or register to post comments
Username:
Password:
Remember Me:

CATEGORIES

Empire States (439)

Under The Radar (317)

Infinite Lives (92)

Small Screen (57)

Words From The Wise (35)

Cannes 2011 (28)

Off The Wire (24)

Comic-Con 2010 (21)

Casting Couch (2)

Oscars 2011 (1)


RECENT POSTS

Screen To Stage: Shakespeare In Love
By Helen O'Hara

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
By Ali Plumb

Pete Docter And Jonas Rivera Talk Pixar's Inside Out
By James White

Miss Game Of Thrones Already? Here's The Solution…
By Dan Jolin

H. R. Giger: An Empire Tribute
By Ian Nathan

How Edible Cinema Finally Allows You To Eat A Movie
By Ali Plumb

Why Do People Think Captain America Is Boring?
By Helen O'Hara

Are iPads And Smartphones Changing The Face Of Filmmaking?
By Ben Kirby

Screen To Stage: Let The Right One In
By Helen O'Hara

My Encounter With Shia LaBeouf
By James White


RECENT COMMENTS

Screen To Stage: Shakespeare In Love
"Have just re-watched this twice over the past few weeks and forgot how fantastic it was. I'm now des"  fire_and_water5025
Read comment

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
"This looks unbelievably good... wish I could afford to go!"  Roo
Read comment

Miss Game Of Thrones Already? Here's The Solution…
"Nice to know Martin enlisted another author to help in his world-building. Time to get acquainted wi"  Imperion
Read comment

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
"@Y2Nield.com The original Hogwarts section and what was duelling dragons (has now"  Sexual Harassment Panda
Read comment

Miss Game Of Thrones Already? Here's The Solution…
"Actually i recomend The Foucault Pendulum for several reasons, in the first place it explores the es"  andresfelipeurb
Read comment

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
"A great sneak peek, Ali. Aside from your confusion as to where Diagon Alley/King's Cross and Hogsmea"  bruciebonus
Read comment

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
"im due to go in October this year and having been before, i can honestly say i cannot wait. I agree "  kopite
Read comment

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
"still think it's a shame that they didn't make this in England. imagine getting the Hogwarts Express"  RX78
Read comment

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
"Were you actually there Ali? If so, surely you know that Marvel Land is Islands of Adventure and not"  Y2Neildotcom
Read comment

Miss Game Of Thrones Already? Here's The Solution…
"I did the exact same thing with the books after season 1(even though I'd promissed myself to just re"  manufan
Read comment


POPULAR POSTS

Movies’ Most Quotable Lines
566 comments

'It's Just A Bit Of Fun': Why Defensive Fans Are Bad News For Movies
361 comments

Competitive Geek Baiting: Or, How To Start A Fanboy Fight
338 comments

The Avatar Backlash: Evaluatin' The Hater-atin'
303 comments

The Complete List Of Tired Movie Cliches
286 comments

Your Favourite Animated Film
217 comments

Note To Hollywood: How To Get People To Switch To Blu-Ray
192 comments

Food For Thought
132 comments

The Ten Moviegoing Commandments
127 comments

Just The Facts, Ma’am
127 comments


BLOGGERS
Damon Wise (297)
Helen O'Hara (167)
James Dyer (86)
Amar Vijay (71)
Ali Plumb (56)
James White (29)
Phil de Semlyen (19)
Owen Williams (15)
Ally Wybrew (2)
Ben Kirby (1)
Ian Nathan (1)
Dan Jolin (1)
David Parkinson (1)

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Rogues Gallery: Powers Boothe
Sin City's Roark talks us through his most memorable baddies

Richard Attenborough: In Celebration
Saluting a man who made a lasting impact on cinema and beyond…

Exclusive: Luc Besson Talks Lucy
'There is no bullshit with Scarlett Johansson'

Video: Daniel Radcliffe Talks What If...
On Gordon Ramsay, swearing and date movies

The 24 Best Film-Related Ice Bucket Challenges
The viral craze that won’t quit takes in some of Hollywood’s finest

Who Shot First? The Complete List Of Star Wars Changes
An exhaustive chronology of George Lucas' post-release tinkering

Film Studies 101: A Film Buff's Guide To Movie Movements
Everything you need to know about cinema's key groups

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)