Buffalo has unveiled a new external hard drive that allows users to adjust the visible storage capacity on the fly. Supposedly the first of its kind, the HD-ALC3.0TU2/V is designed to work with "smart" televisions that lack support for today's high-capacity 3TB media hubs. Most households have more than one viewing device and some might support large drives, so buying a less capacious solution to accommodate the weakest link might not be appealing.
As a workaround, Buffalo's new 3TB external device offers a switch that lets you reduce the visible space to 2TB or 1TB as required. There's nothing magical about the setup as it requires you to create separate partitions. The knob simply lets you tick between them. We can only assume this is because some TVs can't see multiple drive partitions, so Buffalo's solution would let you jump between a 2TB video partition and a 1TB music partition, for example.
Meanwhile, Seagate has launched its latest multimedia hub, the GoFlex Cinema. Instead of a novelty switch that lets you toggle capacities, the company has taken the proven approach of simply offering separate SKUs in 1TB, 2TB and 3TB sizes. The GoFlex Cinema ships with a remote control and supports 1080p playback of most common video file types, including MKV, H.264, WMV and MP4. Connectivity includes HDMI, S/PDIF and composite outputs. The device is currently available in Europe for €99 to €179. There's no word on Buffalo's pricing, but its device is due soon in Japan. We haven't seen information regarding US availability for either yet.