Seagate GoFlex Cinema 3TB review

Multimedia storage hub with a 1TB to 3TB hard disk
Photo of Seagate GoFlex Cinema 3TB
£158

 

The GoFlex Cinema is small and tidy looking media storage hub, supplied with an equally compact remote control. This device hooks up to your TV via an HDMI lead, or a composite video cable, for those with older sets. The on-board hard drive, in our review model was the largest 3TB capacity available, giving a huge amount of storage space; you can also pick up cheaper 1TB and 2TB versions.

So how do you get your media files onto the GoFlex Cinema? It can be hooked up to a computer via a USB lead, or you can plug any device with a USB connector, into the GoFlex’s USB port.

Import duties

As an example, you can plug in an external hard drive, a USB stick, or indeed a digital camera. Seagate’s storage hub will then locate and import any multimedia files, automatically categorising them all under video, music or picture sections. These are the three main icons used to access content from the user interface, or should you prefer, there’s also a folder explorer that allows you to access the GoFlex hard drive directly.

The interface is basic but functional, with sort and search functions provided. However, searching is something of a pain using the GoFlex’s virtual keyboard. This process is made even lengthier because presses of the remote control buttons – don’t always register. This holds true throughout the UI, which could have done with some work, to make it more responsive.

Seagate’s GoFlex keeps a short list of recently played files that is very handy. When you resume playback, the media player also automatically begins at the point where you left off watching. In terms of picture and sound quality, the unit supports 1080p full HD, and a digital optical output is provided to pipe Dolby Digital 5.1 surround to your home cinema amp.

A wide range of video files are supported and the hardware coped with everything we threw at it, from MOV to MKV files. We did experience one crash, at an attempt to play a MOV file, but that was the only slip-up the GoFlex Cinema made.

The major element missing is the lack of any wi-fi support for importing files (or indeed any online connectivity at all). However, given the amount of storage space on board, this device is good value for money (particularly the 3TB unit). Incidentally, the smaller hard disks can easily be swapped out for a bigger sized drive, at a later date, should you wish to upgrade.

seagategoflexcinema3tb2

Company: Seagate

Website: http://www.seagate.com/

Contact: 00800 4732 4283

Positives
  • A ton of storage at a nice price; painless importing and cataloguing process.
Negative
  • Interface is a bit sluggish; no wi-fi or online connectivity.

Verdict
This is a simple but effective multimedia storage solution, with wide file-format support and a painless media importing and indexing process. 3TB worth of storage represents good value for money here, with the swappable hard disk giving buyers of the smaller capacity models an easy upgrade route. However, the GoFlex Cinema’s interface could have used some further honing, and there’s no wi-fi support for importing files.