MPEG-4 Recorder


Review by Matt Paprocki



Overall: 9


Putting video on Sony’s PSP has never been an easy task. File names, proper folders, making sure you have the right format, and then dealing with various resolutions has never been an enjoyable process. While Sony has made some strides to streamline this process, the one thing they can’t provide is video itself. Enter the Neuros MPEG-4 Recorder 2.

neurosmpeg4_psp.jpg (24962 bytes)Small and designed to look much like the handheld gaming console, this is a wonderful gadget for those looking to easily transfer nearly any video to their portable. In addition to the PSP, the Recorder is ready to pump out video to everything from your iPod to your cell phone. If it accepts video in the MPEG4, AVI, ASF formats, it can be transferred.

Set up is amazingly simple, even for someone who has never handled any sort of device like this. Included (though rather short) composite cables hook into a device, say a DVD player. Another cable hooks to your TV from the Recorder. Play the DVD, hit record, and the Recorder goes to work copying the source into the proper format.

Options of course open this up for those looking to play around with various settings. Seven resolutions are available, from as low as 176x120 up to 640x480. At the latter resolution, this could double as a quick and easy DVR, assuming you have a decent sized memory stick. Photos and MP3’s can also be played if they’re on the stick.

Out of the box, the Recorder is useless. It has no internal memory to speak of. It supports compact flash and SD memory without any extras needed. For the PSP, you’ll need to buy an adapter so it fits into one of the two slots on the front of the device. For iPod users, you’ll need a USB adapter to transfer video from a memory stick. The recorder itself has no USB slots.

Using the PSP as example, you’ll take your memory stick out of the console, push it into the slot using the adapter, and the Recorder knows exactly where the video needs to go. The folders are already selected and ready to save video. The only default that may need changed is the resolution depending on whether the source is 4:3 or widescreen.

Assuming you have the space available on the stick, it will record for two hours. After that, a second file will be created which will hold another two hours. It’s a technical limitation of many portable devices when it comes to buffering video according to Neuros.

During the review process, the Neuros recorded from a wide array of signals. Cable, laserdisc, VHS, and even classic video game consoles came out wonderfully. You can see the capture results from a brief test on YouTube from <I>Super Street Fighter II Turbo</I> on the often ignored 3DO console.

A few nagging flaws do keep the experience slightly frustrating. Unless the source has a true composite output, it cannot be connected to the Recorder. For example, the Playstation 2 has its own specific composite cable, not a standard video out jack like a TV. Since the Recorder does not have a generic port of its own (it uses cables that attach to a headphone-like jack), it cannot be connected. Technically, with a second TV you might make this work through a very long winded process by connecting the Recorder to the video out on the first TV, but that’s hardly worth the trouble.

A far less nagging though still worth mentioning annoyance is the remote control. It’s thin, uncomfortable, and it’s hard to tell if you’re actually pressing the buttons. While it fits nicely with the unit’s amazingly small size (tinier than an iPod), it’s not particularly fun to use.

The days of waiting hours for a PC program to decode video into the proper format are over. Neuros has completely eliminated that issue with a well rounded product that presents a fool proof interface with a sleek look that you’ll hardly even notice is there. Besides, anything that lets you watch Mel Brooks classic Blazing Saddles on your SmartPhone, PSP, and iPod has to be worth the price of admission.


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Thursday, February 15, 2007 09:36 PM