Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD media streamer
This media streamer builds upon the original ScreenPlay's strengths
- Support for a wide range of files, online media streaming
- Interface struggles with large media collections, slow start-up
Apart from a few problems handling large collections of music and movies, the Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD is a significant step up from the previous ScreenPlay media streamer.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
The Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD is a network-enabled media streamer that builds upon the strong points of earlier ScreenPlay units like the HD and Pro HD. It has an intuitive and well-designed menu system and support for a reasonably large range of video file formats. It struggles with navigating through extensive music or video collections, but otherwise it's a competent media player.
The Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD is similar in many ways to the earlier ScreenPlay Pro HD, including its design. Apart from a different graphic on the side panel, the Director is identical to the earlier model with a slim black design and a number of buttons on the fascia. The back panel houses the usual range of outputs — HDMI makes a welcome appearance, though older devices can connect via composite or component video. Three USB 2.0 ports allow connection of multiple storage devices such as flash drives or external hard drives. A USB-B port allows direct connection to a computer; you'll most likely use this a few times to transfer media onto the ScreenPlay Director HD's internal 3.5in hard drive (there are 1TB and 2TB models available).
After you use the 10/100 Ethernet port to connect to a network the ScreenPlay Director HD is able to stream media from any device on your home network, in addition to accessing Internet streaming video. The Ethernet port sits on the rear of the device near the exhaust fan, which, thankfully, is only audible when no music or movies are playing.
We connected the Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD to a Panasonic TH-P54Z1A plasma television via HDMI for our testing. After an annoyingly long start-up of over a minute, we were presented with the main menu. The device happily outputs in 1080p Full HD resolution, with a menu system that's slick, stylish and richly coloured. With a simple vertical layout for choosing between music, video, photos and online media, the ScreenPlay Director HD should be easy for novice users to pick up quickly. You can set simple video options, such as choosing between widescreen and standard 4:3 aspect ratios for displaying video.
The Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD is visible as a network drive on your home network, so it's easy to copy media files on to its drive. Loading the media streamer's hard drive up with movies may take some time, however, because it doesn't have a Gigabit Ethernet connection.
The on-screen interface makes searching through your media relatively straightforward. Anyone with particularly large music or movie collections — though we're talking tens of thousands of titles — might find the navigation through the folder structure a tedious process, but this also depends on how you have your music sorted. You can only scroll through files alphabetically (there are no artist or album tags, for example).
If you sign up for an account on Iomega's Web site, you get access to an online portal on the ScreenPlay Director HD that offers YouTube and other video streaming sites. This is a convenient if you want to view Internet videos on your TV.
We were very pleased to find that the ScreenPlay Director HD is far more competent than its predecessors when it came to playing different video and audio files. H.264 support means most high-definition video files are supported, along with the usual gamut of Xvid, DivX and various AVI codecs. OGG and FLAC audio formats are supported as well as MP3, WMA and AAC.
The ScreenPlay Director HD is a significant improvement over earlier Iomega media streamers. It can play high-definition files thanks to its HDMI connection and video codec support, and it adds online video streaming video for easy access to YouTube.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Windows 8.1 tablet
- 2 Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5) 4G review
- 3 TomTom Runner Cardio GPS watch
- 4 LG G3 review
- 5 Nokia Lumia 930 review
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Dell's PC, tablet innovations draw attention
- EU tells Google to make more concessions or face charges in antitrust dispute
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge and Gear VR on sale from November
- Optus launches carrier aggregated LTE on 2300MHz spectrum
- Broken iPhone 6 screens, faulty batteries an easier fix
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.