Build & Design
The FreeAgent Theater Plus is a sleek media player as compared to other media players we recently reviewed. The Amkette and the WD TV Mini are really compact in size but then they have lesser connectivity options. The Theater Plus being a Seagate product has an enclosure that can be opened by just sliding out the plastic over the enclosure, and then insert a FreeAgent drive of Seagate. It's a neat way of making it all look like one piece. It would have surely been better had the player contained the memory with the option to use it as a portable drive. However, this would have increased the price, so Seagate have let the consumer pick the drive. Also, there are combo-packs being offered internationally with the FreeAgent player and drive.
In keeping with the design of FreeAgent drives, the front of the player is angled and to its left is the Seagate logo that lights up when powered ON. There is also a USB port, which provides for easy access for attaching a pen drive. Also, just beside this port is an IR port.
The player keeps its sides free from any connectivity options. At the rear are the input-output ports. It has composite from a 3.5mm jack, component, optical audio, HDMI, Ethernet port, USB port, which can be used to connect a Wi-Fi dongle as well and the power port. There is also a reset button if at all the player freezes. On one occasion, when the player froze because the external drive's power adaptor conked off, I had to pull out the power cord as the reset button didn't provide any relief.
However, I liked the player because of its nice glossy top and the glowing Seagate logo. The sleekness makes it perfect to be even placed on top of a DVD player or amplifier. The player though heats up just like the other media player I've come across and just tiny vents at the rear don't really help the heat escape. It is a point of concern but the warranty should take care of it.