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Monday, January 07, 2021

The Neuros OSD (Open-Source Device) looks like a great example of how to combine robust digital-media capabilities with user-friendly design:

The OSD is a versatile recorder. Using a memory card or a U.S.B. storage device, it saves copies of DVDs, VHS tapes and television programs from satellite receivers, cable boxes, TVs and any other device with standard video output.

Because the OSD saves the recordings in the popular compressed video format MPEG-4 (pronounced EM-peg), the programs can be watched on a host of devices, including iPods and smartphones. The OSD is for sale at Fry’s, Micro Center, J&R Electronics and other locations for about $230..

Using the OSD for daily video recording demands no special technical background, and no PC is required. Setup is easy: Plug a U.S.B. hard drive or other memory device into one side of this lightweight unit, and plug the TV and, for example, the DVD player into the other side.

I’ve got little patience for overwrought DVD conversion software, so the OSD sounds like the path to lesser resistance for me. Not only can I see saving the content off a few of my video discs for iPod viewing, I’ve also got a bunch of stuff on tape (video and, yes, audio) that could use a digitized resurrection.

For tech-heads, the buzzworthy aspect of the OSD is that it’s a slick example of finished-product hardware that’s manufacturer-sanctioned for hacking:

Products like the OSD are a good example of a small but growing trend toward openness, said Jimmy Guterman, editor of Release 2.0, a technology and business newsletter published by O’Reilly Media of Sebastopol, Calif.

“The open source hardware movement parallels the earlier open source software movement that started off as a renegade thing 15 years ago,” he said. “Now it’s the center of I.T. at many major Web sites like Google.”

The comparison to software is interesting, because feasibly, it’s way easier to create code than to create a hunk of hardware. Instead of tinkering with cobbled-together computer parts or cracking open devices that weren’t intended to be cracked open, Neuros Technology makes it as inviting as possible for the technically-inclined to experiment. Although I think that’s still a divide in the computing world: Code monkeys versus wire-grabbers.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 01/07/2021 10:34:01 PM
Category: Media, Tech
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