Neuros MPEG 4 Recorder 2
The no-frills PVR is revamped for the PSP and iPod
Review The first incarnation of Neuros' MPEG 4 Recorder proved a handy tool for getting video onto a PDA without having to leave your computer on overnight while it churned through complex re-encoding algorithms. However, it didn't quite hack it as a no-frills PVR, lacking support for the higher resolutions you need for decent playback on a TV, and the ability to program a recording schedule. Neuros is one of those rare companies that not only takes such criticism on board but does something about it, and in this case promptly tweaked the product and re-released it as the Recorder 2...
The look and feel of the unit is the same, but scenting the opportunity provided by Sony's PlayStation Portable, Neuros has dropped the original Recorder's SD card support in favour of a MemoryStick Pro Duo slot. There's a CompactFlash slot too - as before - and Crucial Technology kindly lent Reg Hardware a 4GB card to equip the Recorder 2 with some storage capacity.
The two memory card slots are situated at the front of the device. Round the back are two 3.5mm stereo jacks: one a video input port, the other for video output. There's a power connector too. A flat plastic panel is all that survives of the original recorder's USB 2.0 port, now lost but ironically more useful than before. Neuros is also pitching the device at owners of the fifth-generation, video-playing iPod. Since the Apple machine (unlike the PSP), lacks a memory card slot of its own, recordings have to come via a PC or Mac. Macs certainly don't, and not all PCs provide a memory card slot, so by ditching the Recorder's USB port, Neuros is forcing a lot of folk to buy an external card reader. Once again, Crucial came to my rescue with a dandy-yet-cheap plug-in CF reader.
With the 4GB Crucial CF card installed, I hooked the Recorder 2 up to my DVD player and - since my TV lacks RCA composite-video and audio jacks - my VCR with the two bundled cables. Turning the Recorder 2 on, I found that not only has Neuros bundled a better remote control with it, but it's improved the on-screen interface too.