A typical external 3.5-inch hard drive setup would cost anyone somewhere around Rs 5,000. The Iomega ScreenPlay HD 500GB is priced at Rs 10,000. It is still cheaper and simpler to use the ScreenPlay HD than it is to set up a full fledged HTPC. For just additional media playback feature, this is an excessively costly product. If it were priced at say Rs 7,000, it would be perfect and worth every penny.
An external hard drive with playback capability
External drives are great for lugging media around but what if these drives could play it as well—the Iomega ScreenPlay HD happens to do just that. The one we have is a 500 GB version.
The drive is housed in a sturdy abrasive finished monocoque. It can be used as a portable drive too. The device connects like any other external drive using USB. Transfers don’t take long and on an average, 20MBps is easily achievable. External power using a power adapter is required to power the device.
Installation is simple and there is support for HDMI which makes the setting up part even simpler. No HDMI cables are provided though.
The user interface is rather disappointing and it looks pretty outdated. The icons and clipart in all the menus look bad too. The remote itself has a thin flat and boring design. We had problems with codecs with some of the HD content we played on it. Standard DivX and XviD files give no such problem. Audio formats were no problem either. The player upscales video to 720p and 1080i. At 1080i there was severe flickering. Loading images is painfully slow at times. Even changing settings requires one to stop all media viewing and returning back to the main menu.