We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Storage Devices Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Iomega ScreenPlay Pro HD review

£164 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Iomega

Our Rating: We rate this 3 out of 5

A versatile multimedia hard disk - the Iomega ScreenPlay Pro HD is marred by the lack of one key feature.

A versatile multimedia hard disk - the Iomega ScreenPlay Pro HD is marred by the lack of one key feature.

Multimedia hard drives are in vogue, with several models recently being released by Iomega and rivals such as LaCie and Western Digital. As well as allowing you to back up files, drives such as the Iomega ScreenPlay Pro HD can also be connected to a high-definition TV so that you can enjoy the full home cinema experience of playing music and video files on a big widescreen TV.

At first glance, the Iomega ScreenPlay Pro HD certainly seems to be packed with useful features. However, it manages to omit one specific feature (which we'll come to) that will be extremely important to anyone who owns an iPod, and all Mac OS X users.

Our £164 review unit had a 500GB hard drive, but you can get a larger model with a full terabyte of storage for £209. The hard drive is initially formatted using the Windows NTFS format. (The ScreenPlay's manual informs Mac users that they need to reformat the drive to use the alternate Windows FAT32 format. The ScreenPlay won't work properly if you use Apple's standard Mac OS Extended format, but it's an easy matter to reformat the drive using Disk Utility on your Mac.)

When you want to transfer some files on to the Iomega ScreenPlay Pro HD it can be connected directly to your PC using a USB cable, or a home network, using the drive's ethernet interface.

Also tucked around the back of the unit are an HDMI interface for connecting to an HD TV, composite and component video connectors for older types of TV, plus analogue and digital audio connectors.

Visit Digital World for the latest home entertainment and digital audio news and reviews

We were also impressed that the Iomega ScreenPlay Pro HD has a composite video input that allows you to record video as well. That will be very useful if you've got some old video tapes you want to convert into digital format.

When you connect the Iomega ScreenPlay Pro HD to a television, it displays its own menu on the TV screen, with all your stored files neatly organised into separate categories for music, video and photos. This makes it easy to browse and play your stored media files, and the ScreenPlay's 1080i video output provides very good image quality.

However, we were surprised to find that although the ScreenPlay can play a wide range of digital audio and video formats it can't play MP4 video files encoded with Apple's standard H.264 compression system - bad news for iPod and Mac users.


ScreenPlay Pro Expert Verdict »

Iomega ScreenPlay Pro HD Multimedia Drive - digital multimedia receiver / HDD recorder
Hard disk drive - 500GB
Remote control
PA Energy Star
2 years warranty
  • Overall: We give this item 6 of 10 overall

With a good set of audio and video interfaces for connecting to TV sets, and a useful video recording option, we'd be able to fully recommend the Iomega Screenplay Pro HD, if only it could play H.264 video. The H.264 video format is the standard format used for storing and playing video on the iPod and Apple TV, as well as devices such as Sony’s PlayStation Portable. Without support for H.264 video the ScreenPlay Pro HD will be of limited use to iPod owners.

  • Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD review

    Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD

    The Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD is a network-enabled media streamer that builds upon the strong points of earlier ScreenPlay units such as the HD and Pro HD.

  • Iomega ScreenPlay TV Link review

    Iomega ScreenPlay TV Link

    The market is already awash with products that offer support for USB devices. iOmega enters the fray with the Iomega ScreenPlay TV Link, a device that lets you plug and play your media files on your TV without the need for a player or a PC.

  • Iomega ScreenPlay TV Link Director Edition review

    Iomega ScreenPlay TV Link Director Edition

    The Iomega ScreenPlay TV Link Director Edition is a media player that is very good for its price. Being a second-gen product it offers all the features one would expect – in terms of supported multimedia file formats, extra USB ports, wired and optional wireless networking, internet connectivity, usability of UI and remote, and quality of playback of higher-bitrate 1080p videos.

  • Iomega ScreenPlay DX HD Media Player 1TB review

    Iomega ScreenPlay DX HD Media Player 1TB

    The Iomega ScreenPlay DX HD Media Player offers a compact form factor, wide multimedia format support and inbuilt storage. Belonging to the media player generation that is sufficiently powered to play Full-HD movies without breaking into a sweat, is a good thing too.

  • InFocus ScreenPlay SP8602 review

    InFocus ScreenPlay SP8602

    The InFocus ScreenPlay SP8602 home theatre projector is a 1080p Full HD installation model with 1300 lumens and a 30,000:1 contrast ratio. Its mediocre specifications belie its all-round excellent video performance, with incredible levels of detail and seamless, smooth colour gradation in even the most demanding Blu-ray video.

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model