There’s some fun stuff on there, but the unusual remote control – which has a miniature Qwerty keyboard on one side and a set of media player controls on the other – feels rather clumsy when trying to select options on a web page. It’s all very US-oriented too, with no sign of the BBC iPlayer, or even the recently launched UK version of Netflix. There’s also an annoying amount of advertising on some of the TV shows – which you can’t skip past either.
You can put your own music, photos and videos on the Iomega TV as well, and these are accessed through the Files option on the Home screen. This leads to another menu containing options for browsing your personal music, photos and video files. Thankfully, the Iomega TV does provide both ‘album’ and ‘artist’ views for your music – although the process of switching between them is rather unintuitive. You have to press the ‘Back’ button on the remote control in order to activate the search tool and then specify which viewing mode you prefer.
The Iomega TV coped with all the audio and video file formats that I tested it with, and its 1080p video output was smooth and clear – you can view the full list of supported formats here.
There is, however, one big omission from the options on the Home screen. There’s no Setup menu where you can adjust settings such as the video output or network details. I initially had problems connecting the device to my home network simply because I couldn’t find the network settings menu. It took a call to Iomega to find out that the Settings menu can only be activated using that darn ‘Back’ button on the remote control and then locating the tiny icon that leads to the Settings menu.
Functional, pricey and still in need of refinement
The Iomega TV is certainly a more respectable streaming media player than the old ScreenPlay range, but it does still leave room for improvement. The Boxee content is hardly essential, and I’d happily swap most of it for the BBC iPlayer. The device’s graphical interface is functional enough, but still lacks the slickness of rivals such as the Apple TV or WD TV. It’s also very expensive, even taking into account recent increases in the cost of hard drives. ®
More Storage Reviews
ReadyNas Duo v2
USB 3.0 HDDs
USB 3.0 HDDs
Iomega TV with Boxee
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.