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Iomega ScreenPlay Pro HD

The Iomega ScreenPlay Pro HD is a Windows-only stand-alone, single 1TB hard drive and NAS that you can attach to your TV and play media.
However, as much as I liked the ScreenPlay Pro HD’s on-screen interface, I found its remote difficult to use. Instead of opting for a few simple multifunction buttons, this unit has a slew of tiny, similarly-styled buttons whose functions aren’t consistently applied in the interface. For instance, in some cases you back out of a page with the ‘left’ button; at other times you must press ‘return’.
 

I would have foregone the remote altogether and used the controls on the face of the drive itself except that the box was one function shy of a full deck–none of the controls seemed to let you back out of menus. The ScreenPlay Pro HD will output full 1080 video it via HDMI, component, and composite jacks; audio output options include both analog and digital jacks. And you get composite video and analog audio inputs for recording video directly from a video source (using the one-touch record).
 

Other than the clunky remote interface, the unit worked very well with the media types it supported, including MP3, JPEG, and DivX. However, it wouldn’t play high-definition WMV files or H.264 files, as supported by the DMA. The only playback glitch I noticed was that a 1280-by-544 X-Men DivX trailer I used for testing displayed full-screen with the edges off screen, instead of displaying as letterboxed.
 

Network copying performance from a PC to the device appeared adequate, except that the drive was frustratingly slothful at times in showing up on the network. Nor does it connect to the network as a regular NAS device would–it simply can’t be configured via a browser. This is the only network-connected drive that has a 10/100 ethernet connection, not a gigabit connection; it’s the only one to include a USB Wi-Fi dongle, though streaming performance over Wi-Fi may be mixed.
 

The Windows-only stand-alone device from Iomega works very well with the media types it supports including MP3, JPEG, and DivX

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