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Telling IT Straight
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FreeAgent Theater - Is It Worth Installing At A Wi-Fi Hot Spot?Views: 657
Jan 26, 2010 11:17 pmFreeAgent Theater - Is It Worth Installing At A Wi-Fi Hot Spot?#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Here's the problem. You operate a restaurant that has FREE Wi-Fi. You want to attract more foot traffic. You already know that good food and FREE Wi-Fi attracts people. After all, Thai food is healthy and you serve Thai food. Also, people like to make good use of their time, FREE Wi-Fi enables folks to check their email.

But, you would like to do more...something that has to do with "eye candy" and mutlimedia. How about setting up a large HDTV screen and showcasing slides and video? Maybe even include some nice, gentle background music.

But, there's a problem. While you don't mind investing in an HDTV, you don't want to invest in a desktop or laptop computer to hook up via VGA cable to the HDTV. No, you want a more cost-effective solution. What can you do?

How about getting yourself a Seagate FreeAgent Theater for under $50 via Ebay? What do you think? Is that a good solution for a Wi-Fi hot spot that want to use HDTV's for self-promotion?

Lamar Morgan

Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Jan 27, 2010 12:38 amre: FreeAgent Theater - Is It Worth Installing At A Wi-Fi Hot Spot?#

Russ Jackman
Is that plus the cost of the drive?

If they have another computer on premises that can serve up content, there are other WiFi media boxes that might work better. Saves them having to hook an external hard drive up to a computer, copy content, then plug the drive into the FreeAgent Theatre.

And, it looks like it will only work as long as hard drives are available in that particular enclosure ... always better to find a solution that does not rely on continued availability of any one part.

Private Reply to Russ Jackman

Jan 27, 2010 2:42 amre: re: FreeAgent Theater - Is It Worth Installing At A Wi-Fi Hot Spot?#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Russ,

Here's the deal. You have a restaurant that has FREE Wi-Fi. The restaurant owner is thinking about purchasing an HDTV. But, he does not want to have to purchase a laptop and dedicate a long VGA cable to go along with it. He feels that someone might steal the laptop. Besides that, there is no way to make it look right. A laptop connected by a long VGA cable to an HDTV in a restaurant is going to look weird.

But, a FreeAgent Theater Digital AV Player is a different deal. It is designed to mesh into the ambiance of the room. Yes, someone could possibly steal that box as well. But, the difference is, you could easily mount that box on the wall near the HDTV above a person's reach and it would look just fine. Plus, the FreeAgent is a great deal less expensive than a laptop. Also, it is not necessary to place a 500 MB Seagate drive in the device. You could get by with just a thumb drive in the USB port.

I may be mistaken, but I think the FreeAgent can access the Internet for slide shows and videos using the remote contol. If that is true, you don't even need to use a thumb drive. You can simply upload what you want to show in the restaurant from sites like Youtube and Slideshare. Once you have everything set up with your remote control, you are good-to-go for the entire day. How convenient.

Lamar Morgan

Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Jan 29, 2010 12:37 amre: re: re: FreeAgent Theater - Is It Worth Installing At A Wi-Fi Hot Spot?#

Russ Jackman
So why not just buy a HDTV that supports USB flash drives or media cards? Load the videos, photos, etc. ... no boxes to worry about. There are also HDTV's that can access online video content.

The FreeAgent Theatre is only one option ... do some more research and you'll find many media players that support external USB hard drives and flash drives.

But the bottom line is you won't know how it works until you try it. If the cost is only $50 on eBay, pick it up ... if it doesn't work, re-sell the item on eBay and try something else.

Private Reply to Russ Jackman

Jan 29, 2010 1:38 amre: re: re: re: FreeAgent Theater - Is It Worth Installing At A Wi-Fi Hot Spot?#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Russ,

If you can simply slip a thumb drive into a USB port on a Vizio HDTV and show a slide show or video repeatedly, that's ideal for what my friend's restaurant's needs so far as being cost-effective is concerned.

Here's the problem. Without the AV box, you have to have one file that is ready-to-go - designed for repetitive playback. With the AV box, you can take random pictures and music files and create a variety of presentations from within the AV box. Using the box expands your options and makes the process both easier and more versatile.

What's most important here is that the restaurant uses some kind of multimedia option rather than does without. My restaurant friend says he likes the WD TV Mini. Well, that works, too.

Lamar Morgan

Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Jan 29, 2010 2:01 amre: re: re: re: re: FreeAgent Theater - Is It Worth Installing At A Wi-Fi Hot Spot?#

Russ Jackman
Best is to have him pick one, try it, and report back the response from customers (i.e. did it increase loyalty? Increase sales? Bring new customers in?). The specific technology is irrelevant; in business, it's the results that are important.

Private Reply to Russ Jackman

Jan 29, 2010 4:16 amre: re: re: re: re: re: FreeAgent Theater - Is It Worth Installing At A Wi-Fi Hot Spot?#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Russ,

I totally agree. It's the results that matter most. A good ROI is always desired. However, how do you effectively message the impact "eye candy" has on a business?"

Lamar Morgan

Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

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