Iomega ScreenPlay Director review

This 1TB media streamer has the in-built advantage of web access to video streaming sites

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  • Terabyte network storage
  • Broad format support
  • Online media playback


  • Tacky remote control
  • No web browser

Most of the features in media players like the ScreenPlay Director will be included in the next generation of high-end hybrid Freeview and Freesat boxes – but can an IT company do it better than a consumer electronics brand?

Iomega's latest DLNA-compatible multimedia network player is an 'Internet Edition', able to access a few online media sources and suck down torrents as well as play back media files.

It pairs up nicely with a powerline network adapter, although there's an optional 802.11n high-speed Wi-Fi USB adapter for £31. It's the size of a large paperback, although that belies the weight of the 1TB or 2TB hard disc inside.

The front panel features a set of basic controls that won't get much use, plus a single power/control-received light. It looks and feels like a quality product on the attached stand, even if the plasticky remote doesn't.

Well connected

The back panel has a busy set of three USBs, HD and SD AV outputs, and network socket. The Scart adapter can only deliver composite video to your TV, but you should be using HDMI anyway to enjoy the maximum 1080p resolution. The setup wizard walks you through the process, although we struggled briefly with the text-entry system.

What happens next is up to you; the hard disc is a blank slate for you to create folders and arrange media files as you like, all of which can be done with the remote, although it's easier to do the organising and copying from other places using a PC rather than the remote.

You can administer the Screenplay's disc via USB or as a network drive, so it may function as a main repository if you rely on a laptop with limited storage for daily computing, and some tools to automate this would help. You can build files into playlists, and there's an 'on the go' My List so you can browse and listen simultaneously.

The quick way to get started is to play back directly from other network storage using DLNA, although browsing these can be very laborious compared to local storage.

You could go online and look at a few YouTube clips, listen to internet radio or subscribe to Shoutcast for its video and radio services, but the text-based interface is a dull experience. It needs a basic browser and Flash support to enjoy the real richness of the internet on TV.

The price is attractive compared with simple network hard discs, so it's worth considering this as a network storage with extra zing, but aside from the large hard disc it's no rival for a media PC or hacked Apple TV.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital Multimedia Player
Hard Drive Capacity1 TB
Product FunctionsAudio Player, Photo Viewer, Video Player
Product FamilyScreenPlay Director
Brand NameLenovoEMC
Image FormatsBMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF
Audio FormatsAC3, MP3, WAV, WMA, OGG
Video FormatsMPEG-1, AVI, DivX, FLV, IFO, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VOB, XviD, H.264, WMV, ACV, Matroska (MKV), ASF, ISO, Motion JPEG (MOV)
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR
Height185.4 mm
Width76.2 mm
Depth144.8 mm
ManufacturerLenovo Group Limited
Product Model34651
Product NameScreenPlay Director HD 1TB Digital Multimedia Player
Product LineScreenPlay Director
Manufacturer Part Number34651
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Enjoy a complete media experience with the Iomega ScreenPlay Director HD Media Player With full 1080p high definition (24 fps) and up to 1TB of space to save your files, the ScreenPlay Director adds exceptional features like access to online media, rent/buy movies direct with Roxio CinemaNow and network connections. Easily browse your network to select stored videos and view on your home theater or access online content with the convenient remote.

Package Contents
  • ScreenPlay Director HD 1TB Digital Multimedia Player
  • Remote Control
  • Power Supply
  • HDMI Cable
  • USB Cable
  • Composite Video Cable
  • Quick Start Guide and Solutions CD
  • FAT32 Format Utility
  • Software CD-ROM
Limited Warranty3 Year
Weight (Approximate)979.8 g