The Neuros MPEG-4 Video Recorder 2 is a device that lets you record from any video source directly to a Flash memory card, and the files can then be played on an iPod, PlayStation Portable, or most any portable A/V player.
The Neuros device is a small black box that’s small enough to fit in your shirt pocket, and has slots for CompactFlash and Memory Stick Flash cards in front, and two minijack slots in back for AV in and out. In order to record, you hook up the (included) minijack-to-RCA cables from the video source to the Neuros AV In, and hook the AV Out cable into the TV as a monitor. The recorder can capture and encode in several different resolutions and quality levels, but for most portables such as the iPod, QVGA (320x200) in “normal” quality does the trick. This setting yields about 2 hours of MPEG4 video on a 1 gigabyte Flash card. Once everything is set up, you start and stop recording using the remote, and each recording is stored as a separate video file. When you’re finished, the files on the flash card can be viewed immediately on the TV, or more to the point, transferred to a PC and portable device. Neuros will also display photos and play music, with support for AAC, MP3, and WMA formats.
The software and interface are rough around the edges, and not very intuitive, so it took me some time to figure out how to navigate the menus. After a half hour or so, I started to figure it out, and then made some recordings at different settings. Using QVGA, I recorded sports highlights at both Normal and Economic settings, and found the latter created a somewhat pixilated and blurry video. However, the same clip on the normal setting was surprisingly good—not cable TV quality, mind you, but definitely watchable. Next, I recorded some Japanese anime shows, and on both settings they looked acceptable.
The Neuros probably isn’t a device for everyone, as it requires some patience to set up and maneuver. But as an inexpensive and effective tool for creating video files for an iPod or PlayStation Portable, it’s tough to beat. TPV