A few months ago, our LG DVD recorder started "acting up" when we tried recording with it. Then, not long after that, it even began having trouble playing certain store-bought DVDs from our collection. This was third DVD recorder we've had in the last four years and I was getting fed up with having to replace them every year and a half or so.
Not only was I getting frustrated with the poor quality apparently being put in to these devices, but we also started to notice that the number of un-recordable channels on our digital cable box have been growing. And it's been hit and miss with DVDs recorded on previous players... some of them could be read by our latest player and some could not. It was time for me to find an alternative to DVD recorders for recording our favorite T.V. shows and digital backups of our collection of videos.
After doing a little bit of research, I came across a very interesting product, called the Neuros OSD.
The Neuros OSD is a digital video recorder that converts any (that is ANY) video signal going into it to an MP4 formatted file. These files are DRM free and can be played on any device that supports the MP4 format - including the OSD itself. So, you can easily watch the videos you've encoded on your T.V., your mobile video phone, or hand held device.
Best of all, the Neuros OSD is powered by Linux and all of the firmware is open source - so you know the content you've created with the OSD is yours and will always be your own... free to watch on any device you wish without the worry of proprietary encoding.
I decided that the OSD would be the best solution I was looking for, so I placed an order through Think Geek.com (who sells the OSD for $179 US - much lower than many DVD recorders found at the local electronics shop). A couple days later, the OSD arrived and we've been enjoying it ever since.
The record quality is perfect for our needs - 672 x 448 resolution at 2500kbps and 30 fps. This is the OSD's maximum resolution. I would assume that if we had a super large, high definition T.V. we might find the video quality a little lax. But for our 34" LCD widescreen T.V., we find it just fine. It is certainly not lower quality than the video signal we get from our digital cable provider (no we don't subscribe to HD).
And the best thing about recording with the Neuros OSD is that I know in one year, five years, or ten years, we will still be able to watch our digitally recorded media - not only on our T.V., but on any of our computers or hand held devices we may happen to own in the future. Can't say the same for those DVDs we recorded less than four years ago on the DVD recorder.
Right now I have a 120GB USB hard drive plugged in to the OSD for storage. I'm sure I'll be looking for a terra-byte drive in the near future, as I plan to have all of our DVDs and old VHS tapes digitized by the Neuros OSD.
But the OSD isn't just for recording videos. It will also play all of your music files and has a YouTube player, so you can watch streaming YouTube videos on your T.V. - just plug it into your router and you're in business.
Being open source, the folks at Neuros also encourage community development of new applications and improvement for the device. So, I'm sure it won't be long before some really cool applications start appearing for the player. I can hardly wait.
Way to go, Neuros! I wish there were more companies like this out there making quality, open products like the OSD.
Just for curiosity sake, here's a clip from a DVD I recorded using the OSD: