Iomega TV with Boxee
If, at first, you don’t succeed...
Review I’ve reviewed various models in Iomega’s ScreenPlay range in the past and, to be honest, haven’t been wildly impressed by any of them. Weaknesses such as the inability to list album tracks in the correct order suggested that Iomega’s designers hadn’t exactly thought things through properly.
Getting there: Iomega's TV with Boxee
I wouldn’t say that they’ve completely nailed it with the new Iomega TV, but at least it plays songs in the right order. As that cumbersome name implies, the Iomega TV can be used as both a NAS drive and a network media player. It’s available with either 1TB or 2TB of internal storage, with both options seeming rather pricey at £350 and £389. You can also buy it without a hard disk for £220, which isn’t exactly a bargain either – Western Digital’s WD TV Live is £100 cheaper.
Bare essentials in the way of ports – alas, no SD card slot
The glossy black box was larger than I’d expected, but is very slim and comes with a stand so that you can place it upright beside your TV without taking up too much space. Round the back you’ll find HDMI and composite video ports, analogue stereo and SP/DIF, and a Gigabit Ethernet port for connecting to your home network. There’s a USB port on the back, and another on the front, and Iomega also throws in a USB adaptor for 802.11n wireless networking too.
When you turn the Iomega TV on you see the device’s Home screen, which provides four main options – Shows, Movies, Apps and Files. Those first three come from the Boxee service, which basically just rounds up a bunch of films, TV programmes and other content from around the web and then drops you into a web browser in order to view them.
Of just use a PC
We sell nice little AMD Fusion boxen the size of a video cassette for the same price that do a lot more, and Have an SD slot, and USB3 and ...... well you get the idea.
iPlayer and Spotify apps not available - yet
I too bought the Iomega, under the impression that the firmware is *exactly* the same as the D-Link. Well, it's not. I mailed Boxee and Iomega separately asking if there was a firmware update coming for the Iomega. Boxee replied (Iomega didn't) and said they're working on it, but it's not just them working on the firmware. Presumably that means they're waiting for Iomega?
The comments for the Revo et al are valid (I have an R6310 sporting Win 7 which I also run a variant of XBMC on called OpenELEC booting off an SD card) but a potentially cheaper (albeit less flexible) option is to get hold of an Apple TV 2, jailbreak it and install XBMC on it. This will handle just about any format you can throw at it (http://xbmc.org).
I'm running two of these streaming media from our QNAP NAS (wired, not wireless before anyone leaps in) and they work like a charm. You do need some basic command line abilities for the initial setup but the process is well documented step by step on various sites.
The bit I like about the ATV2s is that they're relatively cheap (£99 or $99 across the pond), small and have no fans. The fact that they can also stream Netflix as well (recently available in the UK but make sure you have the 4.4.4 software onboard otherwise don't bother) is a bonus. They are limited to 720p and won't output full hi def but as neither of my plasmas are full HD, it doesn't really bother me.
you can always use xbmc instead of boxee
Blimey! –I never knew Iomega were still in business. I thought they'd disappeared, along with their bloody awful Zip Drives, a long time ago.