The Iomega ScreenPlay DX HD is a media player you can connect directly to your TV, as a home entertainment repository. Netbooks and laptops like the Apple Macbook Air are showing up that optical discs (like CD/DVD) are less relevant today, with Home Theatre media players simply mirroring this trend.
With the ability to output 1080p high-definition video directly to your HDTV, 5.1 audio to your surround sound speakers, 1TB of built-in storage, and an Ethernet port to access multimedia content from your LAN and Internet websites with streaming media, this media player can be quite a treat in the living room. Especially, considering it is barely about the size of most fixed-line telephones seen today.
Wide support of photo/audio/video formats also means that a specialised HTPC will be even less relevant, with the exception of TV show recording.
I was closely monitoring the playback of 1080p Full-HD MKV video files on this player. It did not disappoint, the movie played well without skipped frames or jerks in the display. This has become possible with the Iomega ScreenPlay DX HD being part of the media player generation that is quite powerful to process multimedia. Note too, the inclusion of built-in storage and Ethernet connectivity as part of the device. You can optionally add Wi-Fi support as well, with a USB dongle.
The media player itself is coloured glossy black, as Iomega always does. It is about as large as a standard external HDD based on a 3.5-inch drive, and then a slight bit more area. This is as expected, since it contains a 1TB hard drive internally that offers a shade more than 900 GB for storage of your content, which can be filled either locally over USB or over the LAN. The front face of the unit has no button at the front at all, except for a sensor to receive input from the remote control.
The remote control for its part, is path breaking to the extent that I have not seen such a big remote for a media player thus far. The profusion of buttons will almost ensure that you get slowed down in navigating the player's interface. Moreover, the remote actually has a complete QWERTY keypad, but the on-screen interface does not utilise direct alphabet input much. Also, flipping the remote to its rear reveals that it requires two AAA-sized batteries, which is not quite optimal.
The gamut of input/output ports available at the rear of the media player are listed below in detail. There are two USB ports available at the front of the media player, supporting hard drives or pendrives formatted in any current file-system - NTFS/HFS+/FAT32/Ext2/Ext3. A three year limited warranty accompanies the Iomega ScreenPlay DX HD media player.
Vital Details At A Glance
- Multimedia formats decoding support are as below. Crucial input/ouput and connectivity details are also present in this section.
- Image/Photo - JPG, BMP, PNG, GIF, TIFF
- Audio/Music - MP3, WAV, OGG, AAC, AC3, PCM, M4A, DTS, playlists (M3U, PLS, WPL)
- Video/Movie - MOV, WMV9, MKV, AVI, ASF, FLV, RMVB, MPEG-1/2/4, DivX/XviD, TS/M2TS/TP, ISO, IFO, VOB, DAT, H.264, AVC (up to 1080p Full HD)
- Sub-titles - SMI, SRT, SUB, SSA
- Output Interfaces - HDMI 1.3, Composite and Component Video, S/PDIF optical audio, USB
- Input Ports - Two USB
- Network Connectivity - 10/100Mbps RJ45 LAN port, support for USB WiFi dongle
The Iomega ScreenPlay DX HD Media Player is a good buy with its compact form factor, wide multimedia format support and inbuilt storage. Being part of the media player generation that is sufficiently powered to play Full-HD movies without breaking into a sweat, is a good thing too.
This product has two variants, 1TB and 2TB, priced at £162 and £194 respectively.