Iomega ScreenPlay HD

A speedy storage drive with limited media playback capability

Iomega ScreenPlay HD
  • Iomega ScreenPlay HD
  • Iomega ScreenPlay HD
  • Iomega ScreenPlay HD
  • Expert Rating

    2.50 / 5

Pros

  • Great storage capacity, HDMI output

Cons

  • No advanced file support, crappy menu structure

Bottom Line

As a storage device, the ScreenPlay HD excels — it’s fast and has plenty of storage space. Its media playback abilities leave plenty to be desired, however, with limited format support and an uninspiring interface.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    $ 249.95 (AUD)

Iomega is a company best known for its storage solutions — capacious, speedy devices with plenty of connectivity. The ScreenPlay HD stays true to this ethos, but doesn’t back it up with much in the way of media playback support.

Maybe it’s unrealistic to expect the world from the ScreenPlay HD. The device is exceedingly simple: an externally powered hard drive case with a 500GB desktop hard drive inside and a set of A/V connectors on the back. We have seen a few systems that work well despite similar physical limitations — the most recent being Emprex’s ME1.

There are plenty of connections on the rear of the enclosure, making it easy to connect to any television from the past decade. Composite, component, SCART and HDMI connectors handle video while analog RCA and coaxial S/PDIF make audio output possible. With this repertoire the ScreenPlay HD sits ahead of its competitors, particularly thanks to the HDMI connection. This is something we’ve wanted to see on a media centre enclosure for some time, for the sheer convenience offered by a single cable.

Also of pivotal importance is the device’s USB port. At full USB 2.0 speeds it’s more than fast enough for transferring video and audio files from a PC, while the 7200RPM speed of the hard drive is able to happily keep up. We clocked the ScreenPlay HD at a transfer rate of around 40 MB/s consistently — a solid performance.

Set up is exceedingly easy — after plugging in power we opted for the HDMI connector — but the experience tumbles downhill from there.

Upon powering the device on, we were greeted with a pleasant blue screen and the ScreenPlay HD’s splash logo. We waited a few seconds, expecting the blue screen to be replaced with a flashy user interface. Instead, the blue screen remained. Instead of the slick menus we were expecting, the ScreenPlay HD makes do with a simple file-and-folder list manager. File names run off the edge screen rather than scrolling or using several lines, so if your media files have a complicated naming format you might be in a spot of bother.

Browsing through folders is okay once you master the remote control system, which has a single glaring flaw. The button in the centre of the navigation pad is “Play” rather than “OK” — so hitting it to enter a folder (which we tended to do by instinct) starts files playing.

Picture quality isn’t spectacular. The up-scaling is quite poor; videos at less than DVD quality looked blurred and washed-out at any resolution. High-definition videos displayed happily, although we couldn’t find any option to set the resolution higher than 1080i.

File support is decent but not brilliant. In terms of video, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and DivX are supported, but there’s a glaring lack of support for enthusiast formats like H.264. This is quite an omission, since the majority of downloadable content is now offered in next-generation formats rather than DivX or raw MPEG.

Photo viewing and music playback is also supported, but again is restricted to more traditional formats. JPEG, MP3, WMA and WAV are the only file types on offer here and while this should be enough for casual users, enthusiasts will be disappointed.

The ScreenPlay HD is great for storing data and the addition of limited playback support might be useful for some users. However, the price tag hike compared to a standard enclosure is difficult to justify considering the capabilities of the device.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?