Last minute tech gifts 2010: GoFlex TV

Note: As the holidays reach fever pitch, Technotainment will be offering some last minute gadget gift suggestions this week. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our more complete gift guide that ran in the paper right around Thanksgiving for several other ideas for the tech hound on your list. Happy holidays to all. Goflex

GoFlex TV – Seagate has updated its FreeAgent Theater+ devices to accommodate its newest portable hard drives – but the guts of this HD video decoder (and streaming media player) remain basically the same.

It’s still a solid device to watch video files stored on your PC or Mac on your living room television. GoFlex TV offers seemless HD output, whether 720p or 1080p, and the system even remembers where you left off watching, eliminating the need to fast forward to that spot.

The best way to watch video is local – stored on a GoFlex drive (or other USB-supported hard drive) which is inserted into the device, but GoFlex TV is perfectly capable of streaming video, music and pictures from other PCs in your home. The quality of that streaming largely will depend on your network. Stuttering and dropped frames do occur.

The usual Internet streaming suspects – Netflix, YouTube and Flickr – are available and all work quite well. The biggest problems, actually, are the remote control – which is laid out a bit awkwardly and takes some getting used to – and the user interface, which is undeniably ugly, although easy to navigate. Seagate could probably learn a lesson from Western Digital, whose own media center device menu and navigation is much more pleasant to navigate.

Priced at $129, GoFlex TV is a handy option for people who have a lot of media content on their PCs that they’d like to watch on their TV. 

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