Seagate announced this week that it is adding support for Netflix streaming video content to its FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player. Existing owners of the device can add support for this new feature through a free download. The media player also now supports online access to content from YouTube, vTuner, and Mediafly. The device can connect to a local USB storage device, and since it supports DLNA, it can access photos, videos, and music files that are stored on other computers and other devices on a home network.
The media player sells for a bit more than $100, which is on a par with other similar products. The key point about these is that it makes it easy to access online content like Netflix without having to set up a computer in your living room, or buying a new HDTV that has Internet support. It provides an inexpensive way for people to experience movies and television programming over the Internet, and is likely to whet consumer appetites for more access. The fact that these new features can be easily added to the existing installed base only underscores how nimble this new market can be; Netflix may be the darling now, but it could easily be replaced tomorrow by a simple automatic download.