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Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD Media Player review



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Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD Media Player
  • Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD Media Player
  • Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD Media Player
  • Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD Media Player
  • Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD Media Player
  • Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD Media Player
  • Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD Media Player
  • Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD Media Player
  • ScreenPlay 34651 Network Audio/Video Player MPEG-1 MPEG-2 AVI VOB MPEG-4 DivX XviD WMV MP3 AC3 WAV OGG WMA JPEG BMP PNG GIF TIFF MKV ASF ISO MOV FLV IFO - Dolby Digital - Ethernet Wireless (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, AVI, VOB, MPEG-4, DivX, XviD, WMV, MP3, AC3, WAV,


Our Score:


User Score:


  • 1080p video supported
  • Great codec support
  • Good SD upscaling


  • No built-in WiFi

Key Features

  • 1/2TB models available
  • NTFS formatted HDD as standard
  • MKV support included
  • HDMI port
  • WiFi capable with optional accessory
  • Manufacturer: Iomega
  • Review Price: £143.28

There's no denying it: media streamers are definitely cool devices to have. Playing digital media on a PC is all well and good, but it's palpably better to do so via a TV or projector. Iomega, known to us for its NAS devices (see: the StorCentre ix4-200d, has already churned out a couple of media playing devices, upon which the ScreenPlay Director purports to improve.

The ScreenPlay Director isn't just able to stream media from your network. It also has a built-in hard drive for storing files on it. This comes NTFS formatted, which is good because there's no 4GB file size limit (as found with FAT32), but bad because it means Macs can't read the disk natively. A formatting tool is provided, if needed.

The built-in hard drive also accounts for the ScreenPlay Director's fairly large dimensions of 145mm x 76mm x 185mm. Not that size is a particular problem with a device that will sit beside your TV - portability is hardly a necessity here.

Both 1TB and 2TB models are available, and as the drive isn't (intentionally) user-upgradeable you'll want to pick the right capacity from the off. Pricing isn't too bad though, with the 2TB model costing about £50 more than the £160-odd 1TB device. A USB-B connector on the device facilitates transfer of files to the ScreenPlay Director from a PC.

The additional cost of the ScreenPlay Director's built-in hard drive over a pure media streaming device probably isn't one you'll want to swallow if you were just streaming. However, if you don't want to keep your PC on constantly and don't have a NAS device to store your media, it makes good sense. Plus it makes transporting your media to a friend's house simpler - you don't have to remember to copy files to an external storage device; they're already on your player.

As you'd probably expect, the ScreenPlay Director will output 1080p/24Hz video, if provided with it, at the native frame rate. 1080i, 720p, 576i/p and 480i/p output is also supported, unsurprisingly. Of course resolution is only half the story - it’s no good being able to output to 1080p if you're only playing DVD rips.

Fortunately, the ScreenPlay Director can handle just about every media format going, and certainly all the ones we'd want it to. The full menu is pretty long, but it includes important video formats such as MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, AVCHD and VC-1, and common containers such as .avi, .m4a, and .mkv - subtitles will display, if provided. There's even YouTube access, if you really want to inflict that on yourself.


March 17, 2010, 12:02 pm

You can get an Acer Revo for £130 at the moment, with the added flexibility I'm not sure why you'd would get one of these instead.


March 17, 2010, 1:31 pm

This looked interesting until I noticed the mention of only a 10/100 ethernet port. As well as streaming restrictions, this makes transferring files on to the drive painfully slow. The price differential of putting a gigabit port on there can't be *that* great, can it?


March 17, 2010, 6:36 pm

Probably a stupid question, but does the inclusion of Composite cables and connectors imply that I can plug this into a standard CRT TV? So even if I'm watching a 1080p MKV, it will scale it and display ok on a non-HD tv?


March 18, 2010, 1:01 am

For the love of god PLEASE PLEASE can we have some screenies, it is massively important, more important that the shell, especially as some media players appear to still be using DOS 2.1.


March 18, 2010, 5:35 pm

@Hugo/TR Please take note of hank's comment as it's very justified especially when you appear to provide screen shots for other Media Players reviewed. Consistency is in the review format is important to us your avid readers for comparing like for like. Even the poor ViewSonic VMP30 got at least 1 screen shot, and the Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player got it's own Vid Review.

I personally would happy see more of these as they are a perfect method of delivering a brief summary of the product highs and lows and can be used to get across the joy or lack of in using the products UI. Pictures and Vid highlights provide the reader with the ability to make their own mind up rather than having to rely on a very limited coverage of the user interface as was the case here.


March 18, 2010, 7:19 pm

Hi guys. Sorry screenshots weren't included in this review. We normally do try and include them but it seems they were missed from this one. We will certainly make a point of including them from now on. Unfortunately, this particular model has now gone back to the manufacturer so we can't provide them. Best, Ed.

Technology changes, and so sho

March 19, 2010, 1:10 am

I have a TV with a YouTube client built in. I bought a Revo 3610 because it allows me to stream video from my NAS and searches of YouTube through a proper web browser yield significantly different results from those of mobile devices and embedded devices.

Which category does this player fit in? Does it find all videos available on YouTube, or only a nobbled selection?

Also, how easy is it to enter searches? On my TV it was painfully slow.

Ian 22

March 21, 2010, 4:26 pm

Having just bought one of these my observations :

- The interface is a fairly boring text/icon based menu. standard up/down/left/right navigation, but functional.

- The 10/100 ethernet is a limitation. It takes 10 minutes to copy a DVD to the device, so I bypass the network and use the USB. (I think using a wireless USB will resolve this)

- The remote is very directional. You need to point it directly at the device.

- Many of my ripped DVDs (I own the originals), play on my PC, but not on the device, so it looks like its codecs support is limited.

Iomega should consider some sort of 'codec update utility' , to allow the device to obtain the latest codecs from the internet.


April 11, 2010, 12:32 am

Can you use this to record off sky + and if so is it easy ?

john 63

September 8, 2010, 12:37 am

I bought one of these 2 days ago, the picture quality of the blue rays was exelent. I thought as good as the PS3. The main problem is that it doesn't play DTS audio, which is proably the most common audio around at the moment. If anyone knows of a HD Media Converter With the picture as good as this one and also has AC3 and DTS audio playback capabilitys I would love to know where I can get one.

I dont think it can be used to record from sky+ tumble, Atleast I haven't seen any record button on mine.


September 30, 2010, 11:27 pm

The main gripe I have is that if I copy my DVDs to this it pauses between each section rather than playing the film as a single file. The only other option I can think of is using DivX or similar to create a single file, something I'd rather not do. Other than that it fulfils my basic needs of not having to get off my rear end to pick a film to watch when the TV/Sky is uninspiring...


December 14, 2010, 1:37 am

I am sorry but I have to disagree with your review, it is supposed to connect to You tube, but it disconnects when you choose a channel. You are supposed to be able to watch DVD from the IFO file, but you cannot, you have to convert DVD to iso to play it as a single file. Most movies freeze up three or four times requiring a reboot. Even the Boot up time is obscene. This is a horrible devise for streaming from your PC to TV. May be usefull as a external HD though.


January 26, 2011, 8:27 pm


I also feel that the codec support is not exhaustive as the review suggests. It certainly does not play wmv files. Is this something which is available in a upgrade ??

It does hang / freeze quite a lot where u need to disconnect power and reboot. Reboot is slow.

Someone asked about using a CRT TV, yes, u can. Just use the Yellow (Composite) video cable (and Red and White audio cables) to play it directly on TV. I have also used the HDMI cable to connect to the Home theater.



August 31, 2011, 7:09 am

is there any easy way of putting movies from your laptop onto the media player. i find my laptop doesnt read the usb cable. is there something u have to do first????

Mauro Anderson

March 10, 2013, 12:38 am

the screen play director is best


November 3, 2013, 1:18 pm

I have one of these media drives, the 1TB version, very slow to boot up, about 2 minutes with 500gb of files on it, remote has to be pointed directly at the unit, so much so you have to actually aim it, even slighty off the thing wont work, never had a remote this fussy about aim at the machine, , the director software on pc never worked and would not find the drive when it was connected so had to open it via my computer like a regualr drive and copy files on it that way, , now it wont work on the sony tv it has been working on for a year, seems like it wont come out of pc mode, so i am now using it as a backup dirve on my pc as is no good as a media drive, i read a mix of reports before buying one, should have listened to the bad ones as i got just what they were moaning about, ....a very poor show from a trusted brand like iomega,,,,

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