Ths Screenplay HD functions well as an external USB HD, when connected to your PC.
A horrible and uncomfortable remote with an inconvenient coin-cell battery.. Poor and glitchy video performance. Can't resume a video where you previously left off. Cannot delete files from the on-screen-display.
I initially bought the Screenplay HD because I have previously bought Iomega's products and have been satisfied (a ZIP 250 and a FotoShow). However, upon receiving this product, I was shocked at just how many flaws this device exhibits. It's quite obvious that there was not a lot ... Read full review
I initially bought the Screenplay HD because I have previously bought Iomega's products and have been satisfied (a ZIP 250 and a FotoShow). However, upon receiving this product, I was shocked at just how many flaws this device exhibits. It's quite obvious that there was not a lot of development put into this product, and boy does it show! So, on to the list of product defects.
The Screenplay HD is finished in a matte black textured paint (feels like fine sandpaper). I don't like the way this thing feels; it doesn't have the polish of previous Iomega products.
The worst thing about his unit is the hideous remote control! The thickness of 2-3 credit cards makes it uncomfortable to hold. Since the remote control is the way you would interface with this device the most often, it is important to have a well designed remote. Other problems with the remote is that is uses an inconvenient coin cell battery.
Other problems with the remote is that it doesn't have real buttons; the thing uses surface mount contact switches. They are of all the same size, so it is very difficult to use this remote without looking at it all the time. In addition the fast forward and reverse "buttons" are not next to the play button as is the norm with other consumer electronic products. This makes watching videos very inconvenient as you always have to focus a lot on the remote to make sure you are pressing the right buttons.
I wish that this product was more localized for the North American market. This thing is outfitted with a SCART connector which is totally useless. Ideally, I would have liked to have seen a North American version of this product with actual RCA connectors for composite video and audio (L/R) as well as component video connections. In this way, I would have been able to use my own longer-length cables.
For component video and standard composite video with audio, the Screenplay HD uses a custom 1/8" 3-conductor connector cable that splits into 3-RCA jacks. So if you are using one of these connections, you have to use the supplied cable or make your own.
Another problem I found in my testing is that the on-screen-display (OSD) has some flicker.
One big oversight in this device is that there is no way to delete video files through the OSD via the remote! This means that in order to delete files, your only option is to connect the Screenplay HD to your computer via the USB cable and do deletes from there. In case you are wondering, you can 't do any file operations through the OSD whatsoever. This would include renaming or moving files to another folder.
For MPEG files, I find that the onboard decoder of the Screenplay HD renders a blurry and glitchy video. The same video files look better on other devices, including PC playback. I also find that there is a 1.5 -2.0 second audio / video sync problem on the Screenplay HD that is not apparent on other devices or on PC playback of the same file.
When viewing video files on the Screenplay HD, the audio would randomly drop out on me. I found that I could correct this by fast-forwarding and reversing back to where I left off and hitting the "play" button again. This is a very annoying glitch!
Another problem is with the Screenplay HD's fast-forward and reverse speeds. The screenplay can forward in 2x, 4x, 8x speeds. However, at 2x, I think the video goes by too fast and makes it hard to scan over the boring parts of the video. The fast forward and reverse features would have been more usable if they shadowed the ratios that you find it good consumer electronics products (from Sony and Panasonic). I find that Windows MCE has good fast-forward and reverse ratios.
If you are viewing a video with the Screenplay HD and stop the playback, you will be annoyed to find that there is no resume function! So in order to resume, you would have to restart playback and manually fast to where you left off! There is not bookmarking feature with the screenplay. This is a major flaw in the product as this type of feature is commonplace in PVR's, DVD players and Windows MCE.
The Screenplay HD comes with a small printed user manual that has less than one page in your own language. This manual is quite useless, and there is a better HTML user's guide on the accompanying CD. And if you don't like reading manuals, you won't appreciate that the Screenplay HD doesn't come with a full-color illustrated "quick start" diagram that you see with well-designed products.
I would have liked to see support for Microsoft WMV files. Also a security function that would protect children from mature content would have been a plus.
In summary, I feel totally let down by Iomega. I was hoping that i would be getting a competent American-designed product. Instead, what I received is a total hack. I'm sure that Iomega managers must know of all the flaws in this thing. Ioemga dropped the ball on product development and quality assurance. My recommendation would be to avoid this product and save your money