First Looks: Iomega ScreenPlay TV Link MX HD Media Player
Just the Bare Essentials
Not exactly a newcomer to the media player market, Iomega has added one more offering to its ScreenPlay line with the ScreenPlay TV Link MX. Besides a lengthy product name, what does this new HD media player bring to the table?
With compact dimensions measuring 110 x 103 x 20mm, the ScreenPlay TV Link is one media player you won’t have to worry about taking up precious real estate among your home A/V setup. The TV Link actually looks like another of Iomega’s portable hard drives.
Encased in an aluminum shell, this media player feels solid and tips the scale at just 175 grams. Due to its small size, the number of I/O ports are quite limited. There’s a single HDMI port, composite video and analog audio. An extra audio option is served by a lone coaxial port. There’s also only one USB port found at the front of the player.
It comes with no internal storage of its own, so you'll have to connect to a portable hard drive, thumb drive or even a digital camera via the USB port to play your content.
No doubt, this player is marketed at those on a budget or those who just prefer a plain and simple device, but we found the lack of an Ethernet port or WiFi connectivity a slight stumbling block which reminds us of a past when none of our home entertainment devices were able to connect to the Internet. As such, updating the firmware become more of a hassle since one needs to download the firmware to a flash drive first and then connect it to the player.
Media Testing and User Interface
The TV Link was up and running in 20 seconds and we plugged in our Samsung portable drive to begin our testing. The user interface (UI) was pretty simple and we noticed there was very little lag when navigating the UI and switching between menus. The video and audio options offered were basic and to be honest, we were not expecting more from this budget oriented product.
Video playback was good and the TV Link basically played everything we had. We did notice that the upscaling was not as good as other comparable players as lower resolution videos appeared grainy at times.
The Iomega ScreenPlay TV Link is a competent media player and nothing more. It had no problems playing back the various formats tested smoothly, including H.264, RMVB and even a Blu-ray ISO file. However the limited I/O ports does restrict its usefulness as the single USB port means only one device can be connected at any instance. The lack of wireless or wired connectivity is another feature that is lacking. It is something that we consider essential nowadays, as most players come with some form of network connectivity, though we do understand that the TV Link is aimed at the entry-level crowd.
At a suggested retail price of S$129, the TV Link is one of the more affordable players in the market, though its basic features and limited I/O ports might push users to consider higher-end media players. However, if you're satisfied with what you have seen, it will leave you with cash to spare.