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Iomega Screenplay Director HD Player Review

iomega-screenplay-director-34650

The new Iomega Screenplay Director HD media player is an internet TV and home network set top box that offers HD online movies, YouTube & web TV, and access to media stored on devices on your home network.

The device replaces the old Screenplay TV link which came out in 2008. I got a hands-on look at the new media box while at CES 2010 and it certainly delivers on what it promises with a very reasonable price tag.

You can watch HD movies purchased or rented from Cinema Now, an online movie rental service similar to iTunes and Amazon Video-on-Demand.

Other online content includes YouTube, Flickr, Internet radio, RSS feeds, or podcasts, all accessible through the easy-to-use user interface and remote. Check out the GUI in the video below:

iomega-screenplay-director-remote-control

It also comes with a healthy 1TB internal drive and uou can also hook up additional storage via the 3 USB ports.

 

Home Network Media

The HD Media Player also gives you access to videos and media on your home network in a wide variety formats.

It can connect via Ethernet or Wi-Fi and has DLNA support making watching videos across your home network relatively seamless.

Unfortunately for WI-FI wireless access you’ll need to purchase the Iomega 802.11n Wireless Adapter separately or one of the following supported USB Wi-Fi devices which can be hard to get hold of:

  • Trendnet TEW424UB (USB)
  • Edimax EW-7316UG (11g USB)
  • Encore ENUWI-G (USB dongle)

You could try your luck with another USB Wi-Fi device but quite often they’ve been reported not to work.

Wi-Fi networks tend be a bit sluggish for copying large files and playing HD anyway so you may want to look into a home plug adapter or CoAX adapter to extend your internet connection. These are usually offer a faster and more reliable connection compared to Wi-Fi, but are more expensive.

Full Specs

iomega-screenplay-director-at-cesMedia Formats

  • Audio Formats – MP3, AC3 (Dolby® Digital Encoding), WAV, OGG, WMA
  • Video Formats – MPEG-1, MPEG-2 (AVI/VOB), MPEG-4 (AVI/DivX®/XViD), H.264, WMV, AVCHD
  • Photo Formats – JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG and TIFF
  • File Types – .mkv, .avi, .asf, .iso, .vob, .mp4, .mov, .wmv, .flv, .ifo
  • PAL/NTSC – Full 1080p high definition (24 fps)
  • AV Connections – HDMI, Composite video and audio R/L; Component video: Y, Pb, Pr, optical audio
  • Hard drive format: NTFS (default), FAT32

Interfaces

  • 1 x RCA Component Video Out – Rear
  • 1 x Composite Video Out – Rear
  • 1 x Stereo Audio Line Out – Rear
  • 1 x HDMI Digital Audio/Video Out – Rear
  • 1 x RJ-45 Network – Rear
  • 3 x USB – Rear
  • 1 x Toslink S/PDIF Out – Rear
  • EthernetWireless
  • IEEE 802.11b/g/n
  • DLNA support

Other

  • Versatile Supports many CODECs and file types including H.264 so you can enjoy your entire media collection
  • Access online content on internet sites such as YouTube, Flickr, Internet radio, RSS feeds, or podcastsLarge capacity
  • Save up to 1500 hours of video, 4,000,000 photos,or 18,500 hours of music on the  1 TB drive
  • DivX Home Theatre Certified Includes Iomega Protection Suite anti-virus and backup software solutions

Pros

  • Full HD support
  • Supports lots of file formats
  • 1TB storage included
  • Rent movies online and YouTube access

Cons

  • Needs separate adapter for Wi-Fi support
  • Would like to see more online TV and internet features

Bottom Line

Retailing at $250 the Iomega Screenplay Director HD (model number 34650) is a healthy price when you consider the 1TB storage included (an external Iomega 1TB hard drive is typically $100 or more).

With full HD support, ability to watch videos on the home network, and online TV, movie rentals and internet functions it has a good amount to offer. Lack of built-in Wi-Fi is a real shame though.

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