Seagate takes a bold step at CES

Known primarily as the world’s leading hard drive maker, Seagate at the CES show in Las Vegas threw everyone a curve ball today with the release of a non-hard drive product – the FreeAgent Theater HD Media Player.

That’s right Seagate has basically entered the home theater market. Seagate has been a champion of the storage business for many decades and I think they did that because they understood its role and place in the industry. This new announcement is right out of left field. How can consumers think of Seagate for viewing videos, movies or photos on a screen?

Pat King, senior vice president of Seagate’s Consumer Solutions Division, said at CES that consumers today are the number one creators and aggregators of digital content-most of which holds a sentimental or emotional value and is unfortunately trapped on their home computers. King is right on the first part, but not necessarily on the second. Yes, most of the content is on computers but that is how this new generation is watching videos and photos. They are not going to their TV to watch YouTube or Flickr. That would take an additional step that this generation isn't interested in taking. There is also a growing base of young people who are downloading TV shows and watching them on a PC or Mac. A lot of working professionals have turned to viewing content on a mobile screen.

I am not saying that no one is going to watch stuff on TV anymore, but the challenge for Seagate is to get consumers to view stuff on their media player on TV.

With this announcement, King and Seagate hopes to open up the company’s market from the computer room to the living room. However, the living room has expanded and is now everywhere.

I can see people using this if it was offered for free with the purchase of Seagate storage products, but the Seagate FreeAgent Theater media player solution will be offered

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