Iomega's telly hard drives

Gadget-heads that we are, we dig the idea of Media Center and Front Row. What we don't love is the Regent Street price tag on the computers that go wi

Gadget-heads that we are, we dig the idea of Media Center and Front Row. What we don't love is the Regent Street price tag on the computers that go with them - which is why we're opening our arms wide to Iomega's new telly-connected hard drives.

The concept of PC hard drives that plug into a TV isn't new, but the Iomega Screenplay Pros are the first we've seen from a storage maker of any pedigree. They're also the first with a design that won't make your living room look uglier than Ian Beale with a hangover.

Like a Media Center PC, the 200 and 300GB pair play videos, photos and music. Format support is respectable, although it won't set any hearts aflutter - on the movie front, you can play MP1, 2 and 4 including your DivX flicks and the raw VOB files created when you rip a DVD to a computer's hard drive. For music you get MP3, WMA, WAV and Ogg playback, though sadly no AAC for all those iTunes-ripped songs.

The other stuff you'd expect includes a remote, FireWire and USB, plus S-Video - no HDMI here, darlings - for plugging into your telly. The one fat rider is that the daring duo don't support high-def video such as WMV HD or DivX HD.

Both are on sale now with the 200GB knocking around for £220 and the 300GB selling at a no-brainer £240. If your flexible friend's already stretched for early Xmas splurges, there's a 60GB Screenplay Multimedia that doesn't do DivX but only costs £155.