Iomega has announced a new addition to its ScreenPlay multimedia drive line-up. The £144 Iomega ScreenPlay HD Multimedia Drive is a 500GB hard drive with remote control that is specifically designed for use as multimedia storage device.

The Iomega ScreenPlay HD is essentially a portable hard drive but by including a remote control Iomega hopes users will be able to free themselves from their PCs and instead enjoy their photos, videos, music and HD television programmes they’ve recorded without having to go near their computer.

The Iomega ScreenPlay HD Multimedia Drive has an HDMI (high-definition media interconnect) port so it can be plugged straight in to an HD television. It also has component video outputs.

“The new ScreenPlay HD Multimedia Drive is an intuitive, easy-to-use solution that not only makes it easier to enjoy all kinds of digital content but also facilitates moving and playing content from one display or location to another, said Iomega's Fredric-Olivier Laurent.

Although described as a portable device, we imagine most users will be content to load up their ScreenPlay drive and then plonk it somewhere discreetly out of sight in their living room – it weighs a not inconsiderable 907g and isn’t the most attractive home entertainment box we’ve seen.

However, it offers support for an impressive range of formats - MP3, AC3 (DolbyDigital Encoding), WAV, WMA, Mpeg1, Mpeg2 (AVI/VOB), Mpeg4 (AVI/DiVX 3.11, 4.x, 5.x/XViD) and Jpeg.

It is also able to upscale standard-definition content for improved display and playback. It offers native support for video at 480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i, with 720p and1080i HD playback achieved through upscaling.

The Iomega ScreenPlay HD Multimedia Drive costs £114.99 and works with Windows XP, Vista and 2000 Professional.

Iomega ScreenPlay HD Multimedia Drive

Iomega ScreenPlay HD Multimedia Drive