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The Neuros MPEG-4 Recorder 2 package comes with everything (remote, cables, power adapter, recorder, software) needed to record and playback video.  The device does NOT have any onboard means of storage.  We think the lack of internal storage is actually a huge feature of the device. 

Flash Memory, like any storage medium, will continue to drop in price and increase in capacity.  If Neuros had hardwired the storage in the recorder, it would have made it a lot more expensive and a lot less upgradeable.

The size of the unit is quite small...the same thickness as a DV tape and about the same size as our Canon DV camcorder.

There are three connectors (power, AV In, AV Out) at the top edge of the recorder.  We already have a few projects in mind for making this unit completely portable... more about this at a later date:-)

The bottom edge of the unit has the IR port (left) and two card slots (right).  The device can use CompactFlash or Memory Sticks Duo Memory.  Since it uses solid state memory for storage, this video recorder has NO moving parts!  Contrast this to the innards of a typical VHS VCR :-)

A 2 GB Flash Memory card will hold between 2 to 8 hours of video depending on the resolution.  We think that as Flash Memory cards get denser in capacity, this will be a great way of recording TV shows.

The Flash Memory card does not go all the way into the device so no eject mechanism is needed, just pull the card out.  This design is both mechanically simple and cost efficient.

There are no controls or displays on the recorder.  The remote control is the main interface to the Neuros Recorder 2.  In order to use the recoreder, it will have to be first hooked up to a screen.

It was less than a year ago that we walked you through how to turn the Mac into a Tivo.  We also showed you how to play back the recording on an iPaq...a full year before the video iPod hit the scene.  We even showed you how to make your own EyeCAM for recording your extreme sports activities :-)  We hope you used all that knowledge to shoot a lot of videos and make a lot of clips for the PDA.

If you did, you probably realized that while it was fine to use MPEG-2 for recording stuff that you would be watching on the computer, it would have been preferable to use a more space efficient format like MPEG-4 for playback on smaller devices (iPaq, iPod video, etc...).  We could have showed you how to convert from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 but didn't because the conversion was always kind of a hassle and time consuming.

You won't have to bother with format conversions any more because of the Neuros MPEG-4 recorder.  With this unit, it is now possible to record directly to MPEG-4!  There have been other devices with this ability, but none so streamlined, flexible, and cost effective!  We just got this unit and we'll have a LOT more to say about it in the FirstUse Review.  You can read about the specs directly from Neuros.  They also have some new info on how to record for your video iPod!




MPEG-4 Recorder 2

By Wan Chi Lau

First there was BetaMax, then there were VCRs, then hard drive-based DVRs like Tivo.  

The next step in the evolution of video recorders is Flash memory-based MPEG-4 recorders like this one from Neuros.

In the FirstLook review, we'll take a look at the unit, its overall design, and how to hook it up.

In the FirstUse review, we'll set it up for recording, check out the user interface, and take a look at the output.


1. FirstLook

2. FirstUse

3. InTheWild

Review Summary:

Initial Impression - Small

Usability - No PC needed

Durability - TBD

Price - $150



DVR Reviews:

1. ConvertXPVR

2. EyeTV Software

4. Recording TV with a Mac

5. Watching Video w/iPaq

Video Camera Reviews:

1. AdventureCam

2. James Bond 1

Remote Control Reviews:

1. Logitech Harmony 880

Photography by Wan Chi Lau
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