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Iomega Screenplay Director Owner Thread

Rega

WHATSINANAME

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Well, I finally got it. In spite of some people not recommending it here, in spite of people reporting bad experiences on some international forums, and in spite of it not being one of the popular media streamers worldwide (as evidenced by the general lack of information on the www about it.)


Call it a tendency to always go against what everybody else is doing (anti-herd mentality, as it were), the fact that I somehow like the name (Screenplay and Director - it's so James Cameron-ish!) or my regrettable trait of somehow always finding a way to shoot myself in the foot.

Well, whatever. The fact remains that I am now the owner of not the WDTV Live, not the Xtreamer, not even the Playon HD, but the Iomega Screenplay Director HD 1TB (I know what you are thinking - why? WHY?):rolleyes:



Luckily I'm not regretting it (yet). It plays most files, doesn't get hot, has never hung or shut down unexpectedly;




I managed to get it networked with my computer in another room on first try;



It connects to the internet and plays radio stations and youtube videos, shows Flickr photos etc, without any hassles;



Everything about it (including the remote) seems to be of solid build; and most important, the picture quality seems great.




The main reasons I went for it were:
*3 year warranty

*Service Centre is in Mumbai , so I don't have to ship it to Delhi (Xtreamer) or bangalore (PlayOn). This is particularly important in my case considering the luck I have with electronic items - they ALWAYS go dead a week, literally a week after the warranty runs out. It has happend more than a few times for it to be just coincidence - I think the TechDevta has it in for me!

*1 TB bundled - Apart from having the hassle and clutter of two separate devices and of course the cost factor, even having to deal with two separate call centres and two warranties would have been a bit two much.

The only cons I can see so far (which I knew about beforehand anyway) are the slow start up - you can push the power button and then go and microwave some popcorn and get back to the sofa with your steaming hot tub before the home menu will come on - and the rather bland (it's literally grey) GUI.



Compare it to the Playon GUI and you'll realise it takes the term 'bland' to a whole new level!:p




Anyway, that was my review. In the highly unlikely event of there ever being another owner of this device, I would request the mods to add an 's' to the 'Owner' in the thread title!!
 
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WHATSINANAME

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Wat abt audio passthrough?
The specs say it supports compressed Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS pass-through. I don't have an AV receiver so don't know how to test this.

Has played most of the blu ray rips I have tried so far.

It also plays dvd folders (with menus) and .flac audio files.

Did you check out an iomega without hdd?
Nope.
 
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partymonger

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Alos does it play blueray iso's? or m2ts etc?
Its the blueray file which carries the audio and video just like you did for dvd..

There are 15~20gb rips if ur willing to try..
 

WHATSINANAME

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Alos does it play blueray iso's? or m2ts etc?
Its the blueray file which carries the audio and video just like you did for dvd..
It did play a m2ts test file that I tried. The file details were:

Deinterlace.m2ts

Video
Item Type:AVCHD Video
Video Size: 1440x1080
Data Rate: 13088kbps
Total Bitrate: 13344kbps (13.34mbps)

Audio
Codec: AC3 Filter
Bit Rate: 256kbps


Another file (with TrueHD) that I tried did not play at all. In fact after that the unit did not play any file and had to be restarted. So we can safely say it does not do TrueHD!!

H264_TrueHD.m2ts

Video
Item Type:AVCHD Video
Video Size: 1920x1080
Total Bitrate: 38.43mbps
Frame rate: 47.952047

Audio
Codec: trhd
Channels: 3F2R/LFE
Sample rate: 96000 Hz
Bits per sample: 32

This 2nd file did play on my computer though, but without any sound. It should be said that these are extreme-encode files specifically meant to test media player capabilities. Most normal files - even 5gb blu-ray rips - have bit rates of around 5 or max 10 mbps.

There are 15~20gb rips if ur willing to try..
I wouldn't have that much patience!!

There is a shortcut however. You can download a small test file which is a blu ray .iso with complete folder structure. Now when I tried to play this it did not play the .iso file.

Then I copied the folder structure (BD_VOLUME) it did not play with the full menu, but when I navigated to the m2ts file in the 'STREAM' subfolder, it did play. Amazing sound and picture quality!!

Now I would love to watch movies in this quality, but downloading full blu ray 40-50GB files would take forever (or about 10 days)on my connection!
 
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WHATSINANAME

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Update:
While transferring files from computer to the player, I get a transfer speed of around 2-3mbps over ethernet and 25-30mbps over USB.

Came across some more formats that did not play properly. One was a WMV-HD file which stuttered a lot, but when I converted it into MKV it played fine. A mkv file which had DTS-HD sound played but without sound, and I managed to get around this by converting the audio (with Total Video Converter+mkvmerge) into ac3 format. However, 90% of the files I come across do play.

I also finally got around to testing out the torrent functionality of the Screenplay Director.

It turned out to be far easier that I had thought. No setup required, you just download the *.torrent file (you have to download this via the computer, I don't think there is a way for the ISD to browse torrent sites), save it somewhere on the network or directly on the player's HDD. Then browse to it in the Screenplay interface, and click Add.

It will start downloading. The speed I got was the same as the speed I get on my computer.


You can continue using the unit, of course, while the torrent runs in the background.

Then you import the finished file and play.
 

WHATSINANAME

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So whats the impression after a month of usage... and what was the price you paid for it ?
I am also curious about the same thing.
Well, as you can see from the posts above, I have had a good experience. Apart from the little niggles like slow start up (it seems to have gotten even more slow as the HDD starts to fill up, but not frustratingly so), a few files here and there not playing, but like I said, 90% of files play without a glitch.

The picture quality is great for the blu ray rips.

I have found there is no option for customising the interface (like there is on the WDTV with the YAMJ interface for eg). No one anywhere in the world seems to have come up with a hacked firmware for this unit yet.

So I will have to live with the rather boring and 'grey' GUI on this one. But I suppose the novelty of a snazzy interface would wear out after a while too.

It is on most of the day what with my son watching one animated film after another, and there are no heating issues at all.

The ethernet connection also works without a hitch, though I think I should be getting a higher speed than 2mbps for a 10/100 network.

I have not tested out the wifi yet, and I probably will never need to.

As for the price, I paid
9950 for the unit with bill and 3 year warranty. Add another
600-odd for the CAT6 ethernet cable and PCI LAN card.
 
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bansal98

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A friend of mine got this player today (the exact same model) and it's been nothing but trouble (we immediately updated the firmware). First of all, the product box clearly states full 1080p support whereas the fact is that it only goes up to 1080i. We tried all the settings and when we opened the manual, it clearly stated that it only goes till 1080i. This is blatant cheating by Iomega. Even their website mentions full 1080p support. We checked a couple of posts on their support forums and many people are having the same issues. Wish we could have done some more research. Don't know how a company like Iomega could do this.
 

WHATSINANAME

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(From the manual):

* AV PAL/NTSC native to 1080i/1080p*

*1080p is used automatically for video encoded at 1080p24 fps in a supported format if Automatic framerate is set to ON and the TV supports it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think what this means if your TV is 1080p it will automatically output at 1080p.

My own set is only 720p (HD-ready) so personally I cannot test if this is true.
 
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bansal98

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(From the manual):

* AV PAL/NTSC native to 1080i/1080p*

*1080p is used automatically for video encoded at 1080p24 fps in a supported format if Automatic framerate is set to ON and the TV supports it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think what this means if your TV is 1080p it will automatically output at 1080p.

My own set is only 720p (HD-ready) so personally I cannot test if this is true.
You are right but why they couldn't give this option in the settings menu itself is beyond me. It did play a file in 1080p but for every one file it played, there were 10 files which it did not play. We kept on getting the error 'bad container' or something. These files play just fine on PlayOn HD. The files which it did play won't have any sound half the time. Looks like there are some licensing issues with DTS encoding. Overall, highly unsatisfied with this player.
 

WHATSINANAME

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for every one file it played, there were 10 files which it did not play.

In my case it is the opposite, it plays 10 files for every one it does not play. And I've tried them all, from tiny 500mb movie rips to my own dvd backups to 20~30gb blu ray untouched rips. All files from the 'popular' rippers on the net play without a hitch.

We kept on getting the error 'bad container' or something. These files play just fine on PlayOn HD. The files which it did play won't have any sound half the time.
Could you give me the details of the files it did not play (codec/bitrate, ripper etc.) so I can stay away from them! :sad:

Have you ripped these files yourself from dvd/blu ray or did you get them from 'peers'?

Overall, highly unsatisfied with this player.
Sorry to hear that. I have to say I'm satisfied so far, and have found it to be great value for the price.

But like you say from reading the iomega forums, lots of people report problems that I have not encountered. Can it be that different units are of variable quality? Although if we have the same firmware, one would think we have the same codecs too, and should be able to play the same files.
 

bansal98

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These all files have been obtained from 'peers'.

This was the one which did not play:
Video: MPEG4 Video (H264) 1920x800 23.98fps [English (Video 1)]
Audio: Dolby AC3 48000Hz 6ch [English (Audio 1)]
Subtitle: UTF-8 [English (Subtitle 1)]
 

WHATSINANAME

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Hmm, I have a file with almost the same specs - 1920x800, AC3, 6 channels, frame rate of 23.976 fps, UTF-8 text - which plays perfectly! It's quite strange!




File size : 10.0 GiB
Duration : 1h 56mn
Overall bit rate : 12.3 Mbps


Video # 1
Format : AVC
Width : 1920 pixels
Height : 800 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 2.40:1
Frame rate : 23.976 fps
Writing library : x264 core 65 r998M 6768543

Audio #1
Format : DTS
Format/Info : Digital Theater Systems
Codec ID : A_DTS
Duration : 1h 56mn
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 1 510 Kbps
Channel(s) : 6 channels
Channel positions : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth : 24 bits
Stream size : 1.23 GiB (12%)
Title : DTS - 1536 kbit/sec

Audio #2
Format : AC-3
Format/Info : Audio Coding 3
Mode extension : CM (complete main)
Codec ID : A_AC3
Duration : 1h 56mn
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 512 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Channel positions : Front: L R
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Stream size : 427 MiB (4%)

Text #1
Format : UTF-8
Codec ID : S_TEXT/UTF8
Codec ID/Info : UTF-8 Plain Text
 

jainanshal

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A friend of mine got this player today (the exact same model) and it's been nothing but trouble (we immediately updated the firmware). First of all, the product box clearly states full 1080p support whereas the fact is that it only goes up to 1080i. We tried all the settings and when we opened the manual, it clearly stated that it only goes till 1080i. This is blatant cheating by Iomega. Even their website mentions full 1080p support. We checked a couple of posts on their support forums and many people are having the same issues. Wish we could have done some more research. Don't know how a company like Iomega could do this.
hmm.. i was going to ask why to consider iomega players low as comapred to WD or xtreamer.
I think i got the answer!
 

jainanshal

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@WHATSINANAME
Anyways, does this have inbuilt torrent download support? If yes, is it possible to download torrent file also from within the player itself?
 

WHATSINANAME

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@jainanshal

It does support 1080p, However, '1080p is used automatically for video encoded at 1080p24 fps in a supported format if Automatic framerate is set to ON and the TV supports it.'

There is a torrent client on this unit, however you have to download the torrent file using a computer. There is no browser, so you cannot browse torrent sites and download .torrent files with this player.

I don't know of any player that has a fully functional web browser apart from maybe the Viewsonic VMP 75.
 
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