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  1. #81  
    Quote Originally Posted by skfny View Post
    VMate update: I tried to update the firmware by following instructions on the site:

    unzip the .fpk file to the root directory of the card, put it into the VMate, and it will ask if you want to update the Firmware.

    That's what I did, and the firmware update prompt never came up. I'm getting VERY worried about this device, and if Sandisk doesn't provide some compelling answers tonight, it's going back.
    Mine shows as delivered today, so I hope to get a chance to play with it a bit after the wife and kids hit the sack.

    In case I need to, how are you reaching out to Sandisk to report problems?
    Last edited by dslunceford; 10/26/2006 at 02:12 PM.
    --Steve

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  2. #82  
    Dslunceford,

    Hopefully you'll have better luck than I'm having. I just call their toll-free support number to report issues.
    A new Avatar to commemorate Silly Season.
  3. #83  
    OK, I'll post more later, but with a quick setup on the V-MateI:

    1) was able to update firmware with no problems
    2) was able to record a program to a 1gig card no problem (Simpsons, recorded from a Direct TiVo and recorded on vmate using manual record start, not a timed recording)

    Need to play with settings as quality leaves a little to be desired. All I did was set the device to 700P, left everything else at default; I'm assuming low is the default vid quality setting given some of the pixelization I see in the vid. Also getting a thin, jagged white line at the top of the video when viewed using TCPMP at "best fit" Goes away when you use "fill screen"

    Audio levels also seem a bit high (haven't listened through headphones yet) on speaker vs videos I've converted on the PC using Lathe or FairUse Wizard, etc
    --Steve

    Visor-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700P-->Treo 800W-->Palm Pre-->HP Touchpad

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  4. #84  
    Quote Originally Posted by hrlaser View Post

    Does the v-mate also use a 24 hour clock as per your photos or can you switch it to 12 hour clock with AM / PM indicators? If you're programming its timer can you hold down the remote's button and have it quickly cycle up or down through hours and minutes or do you have to press it multiple times to increment the date and hours an minutes one number at a time?
    Yes, and it appears to have no way to change it to a 12 hour/am-pm clock
    --Steve

    Visor-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700P-->Treo 800W-->Palm Pre-->HP Touchpad

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  5.    #85  
    Quote Originally Posted by funkyj View Post
    What video format is your HDDVR set on?

    I switched the video output of the Directv HDDVR Tivo, a Phillips HR10-250, to 480i. This is standard-definition interlaced. The Neuros would not work on any other setting of the Tivo, namely, 480p, standard defintion enhanced, or 1080i or 1080p.

    Another issue is that the widescreen size format for watching 480i gets compressed on the recording a bit to a size that can be viewed on the Treo screen, so people look a strectched vertically. If you change the aspect ratio to 4:3, then there are vertical bars that take up more of the screen space on each side, creating an even smaller viewable area on the treo screen. Be aware of the tradeoffs in image size.

    BTW, spoke directly to Neuros customer service today, Harv's inside contact. Great help, even gave me his personal cell number to contact him tonight at home so I could troubleshoot. I didnt need to call, but I am very impressed by the level of committment.
    Last edited by rinkeedink; 10/26/2006 at 09:27 PM.
  6. #86  
    I'm a man of little patience. The POS Sandisk goes back to Amazon tomorrow (though maybe I'll order the Neuros first to do a comparison).

    Problems:
    • every time you unplug the unit and replug/move it to another TV (or to use as a reader with your PC, I'd assume), you are prompted and forced to reset/enter the date and time! A somewhat labor-intensive process when you have to do it time and time again.
    • Every video at every setting has a small, yet extremely distracting white sguiggly line at the top of the frame.
    • Default settings for 700P are terrible, for both sound and picture
    • No manual/explanation as to what other formats are/how they step up in quality, so it's trial and error to find the right mix of quality/space.
    • Like the Neuros, pause won't work during recording
    • Couldn't for the life of me get the audio and video to sync properly


    If the test files Neuros has on their site is pretty close to true life performance, It would appear to run circles around the Sandisk in terms of quality video to watch.

    Harv, could you post a sample file that you've captured? Say from a public source like C-Span where you wouldn't have to worry about copyright, I'd assume? Would like to actually see real life, not just what Neuros has put up for download
    Last edited by dslunceford; 10/26/2006 at 10:34 PM.
    --Steve

    Visor-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700P-->Treo 800W-->Palm Pre-->HP Touchpad

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  7. hrlaser's Avatar
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    #87  
    Quote Originally Posted by dslunceford View Post
    Harv, could you post a sample file that you've captured? Say from a public source like C-Span where you wouldn't have to worry about copyright, I'd assume? Would like to actually see real life, not just what Neuros has put up for download
    Let me see what I can do. Watch this space. Meanwhile, please read my disclaimers at http://www.amigazone.com/pages/disclaimers.html

    Harv
    Do NOT send email to harv at treocentral dot com - it will never reach me.. forwarding from that address to my real address was hijacked in early 2008, and I can't fix it.. send me a private message instead or email me directly at my RR address..
  8. #88  
    Quote Originally Posted by dslunceford View Post
    I'm a man of little patience. The POS Sandisk goes back to Amazon tomorrow (though maybe I'll order the Neuros first to do a comparison).

    Problems:
    • every time you unplug the unit and replug/move it to another TV (or to use as a reader with your PC, I'd assume), you are prompted and forced to reset/enter the date and time! A somewhat labor-intensive process when you have to do it time and time again.
    • Every video at every setting has a small, yet extremely distracting white sguiggly line at the top of the frame.
    • Default settings for 700P are terrible, for both sound and picture
    • No manual/explanation as to what other formats are/how they step up in quality, so it's trial and error to find the right mix of quality/space.
    • Like the Neuros, pause won't work during recording
    • Couldn't for the life of me get the audio and video to sync properly


    If the test files Neuros has on their site is pretty close to true life performance, It would appear to run circles around the Sandisk in terms of quality video to watch.
    I"m thinking along those lines too.

    BTW, 700p default settings are set for crappy 3gp recodring, not 320x240 MPEG.

    Rant mode:

    1) How stupid of me to think that the SANDISK V-mate with a miniSD slot would work with a SANDISK miniSD card. No no no. I tried loading the firmware onto a no-name regular SD card and the pig recognized it, but when I was doing all my trials with a SANDISK miniSD previously, it did not.

    2) With the firmware upgraded, I was able to record at VGA 30fps. However, YOU CANNOT SEE WHAT IS BEING RECORDED. All I get is a black screen with "REC" in the upper left corner. If you record at lower resolutions, you can watch what is being recorded in a small window. So if I'm recording something, I can't watch it in full screen. WTF? Neuros lets you watch what you're recording on your TV, regardless of the resolution.

    Having used both, it's clear that the Neuros is a USABLE product, and although the VMate has some advantages (SDHC and IR emitter), it's blatantly obvious that it was rushed. Back it goes.
    A new Avatar to commemorate Silly Season.
  9. #89  
    SKfny, did you get the white line at the top of your recordings as well? Luckily, Amazon agreed to take back the Sandisk vMate as defective, so I shouldn't be out anything.
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Harv, if you are still engaged/trading messages with the Neuros folks, can you ask them when they plan on getting the Recorder 2 PLUS stocked at Amazon? It's listed as a retailer at the Neuros site, but that's one product Amazon doesn't seem to have. While the TC offer with card is certainly great, I have a couple hundred bucks in Amazon GC's I'd prefer to use first.
    --Steve

    Visor-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700P-->Treo 800W-->Palm Pre-->HP Touchpad

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  10. hrlaser's Avatar
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    #90  
    Quote Originally Posted by dslunceford View Post
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Harv, if you are still engaged/trading messages with the Neuros folks, can you ask them when they plan on getting the Recorder 2 PLUS stocked at Amazon? It's listed as a retailer at the Neuros site, but that's one product Amazon doesn't seem to have. While the TC offer with card is certainly great, I have a couple hundred bucks in Amazon GC's I'd prefer to use first.
    Without trying to sound like, well, a jerk. No. I can't. I work for TC (actually I'm a contractor).. but since TC sells it, it would be foolish of me to tell people to go buy it somewhere else. I understand you have Amazon credits you want to use, but I suggest you call Neuros yourself to get that information, with all respect. I trust you understand my position - I don't like to bite the hand that feeds me. Actually you can talk directly to Amazon, although who knows what they'll know.

    If you go to your account page there, you'll find a link in the "contact us" area that tells you how to call them. You have to punch in your phone number and they will almost instantly call YOU back, in other words, they don't publish phone numbers. What a way to run a business. So they kind of bury the information but it's there. I've used it.

    I'm going to make some sample Neuros clips, as suggested, probably from C-SPAM, and put them on one of my servers temporarily. I'll use 320x240 30fps in all four quality modes. They will be short clips because as you get into the higher quality levels, you get huuuuuuuuuuge files. I don't have unlimited server space or bandwidth.

    The Neuros has seven different resolutions and almost all of them do all four quality levels so that's nearly 28 different combinations. I'm not going to make and upload 28 different recordings. But you should have no reason to suspect that the sample recordins on Neuros' own site are "cooked" in some way to be better than what the recorder actually gives you. In my dealings with them, they're not the kind of company who would pull a stunt like that

    Harv
    Do NOT send email to harv at treocentral dot com - it will never reach me.. forwarding from that address to my real address was hijacked in early 2008, and I can't fix it.. send me a private message instead or email me directly at my RR address..
  11. #91  
    Thanks Harv, and I absolutely understand your position; I only asked because my guess is Amazon would be clueless on this and that based on all descriptions of your dealings with Neuros to date that they'd be more responsive, especially as you had a direct contact. I'll simply ping info@neurosaudio.com to see if they have an answer.

    Here's something you may push your contact to do, however, list TC on their retailer page. I'm more than certain that your review (and possibly this thread) will lead to quite a few direct sales and yet they don't list TC Store at their site: http://www.neurosaudio.com/is/retailers.asp

    And re: the clips: while I don't think the samples on Neuros' site are cooked, I would assume they certainly strive to ensure the best possible presentation/performance as is possible when including it for marketing purposes.

    It would simply be interesting to compare a couple of short 10-15 sec clips from a more "typical" or real world use of the product with their samples. I appreciate your time and efforts in going to the trouble to make and post some.
    --Steve

    Visor-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700P-->Treo 800W-->Palm Pre-->HP Touchpad

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  12. hova's Avatar
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    #92  
    Quote Originally Posted by dslunceford View Post

    And re: the clips: while I don't think the samples on Neuros' site are cooked, I would assume they certainly strive to ensure the best possible presentation/performance as is possible when including it for marketing purposes.

    It would simply be interesting to compare a couple of short 10-15 sec clips from a more "typical" or real world use of the product with their samples. I appreciate your time and efforts in going to the trouble to make and post some.
    I can say for a fact that the sample files on Neuros website are exactly what you get when playing them on TCPMP on your treo. I use this thing almost everyday(matter of fact I just finished watching Family Guy). And if i notice a slight offset in the A/V sync, I just adjust it by a -25 msec. The only thing that bothers me is having to combine 2 files if I'm recording a movie thats over 2 hrs.(but not as much anymore). As far as quality....Magnific!
    "Bite the hand that feeds you,.......They'll always be impressed by the sharpness of your teeth."-Peggy Sellers (Miriam Margolyes)
  13. #93  
    Hi everybody-

    I did not get a chance to introduce myself previously, but will do so now. My name is johan, I work for Neuros (I might have met some of you at Digital Life 2 weeks ago, and if you have not had the chance to talk to us and have technical questions email me directly at jabadie at neuros.us). I want to be upfront about who I am not to mislead anybody in my future answers (especially since you will likely have a lot of questions when it comes to make a choice between Neuros Recorder and the V-mate). I will send a few posts after having read the thread more carefully.

    Best Regards-

    Johan
    Neuros Technology
  14. hova's Avatar
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    #94  
    Quote Originally Posted by funkyj View Post
    Hi everybody-

    I did not get a chance to introduce myself previously, but will do so now. My name is johan, I work for Neuros (I might have met some of you at Digital Life 2 weeks ago, and if you have not had the chance to talk to us and have technical questions email me directly at jabadie at neuros.us). I want to be upfront about who I am not to mislead anybody in my future answers (especially since you will likely have a lot of questions when it comes to make a choice between Neuros Recorder and the V-mate). I will send a few posts after having read the thread more carefully.

    Best Regards-

    Johan
    Neuros Technology
    First question

    Are you going to do something about the 2hr recording limit on the neuros plus?
    "Bite the hand that feeds you,.......They'll always be impressed by the sharpness of your teeth."-Peggy Sellers (Miriam Margolyes)
  15. #95  
    Quote Originally Posted by hova View Post
    First question

    Are you going to do something about the 2hr recording limit on the neuros plus?
    We are trying to find a solution but a combination of hardware limitation and codec makes is extremely difficult. To be more specific, recording a 30 minute video is no big deal as the file size and the size of the headers is manageable during the encoding (recording) and the decoding (playback). When you have to deal with a 2h file however, the size of the headers becomes significant and encoding quality becomes more challenging as it requires more memory. Smooth playback of files also becomes more challenging as the chipset of the device you use has to be able to decode on the fly quite a lot of info, especially when you use fast forward, pause etc... If you get back to the older Palm Treos, you will see what I mean as most Treos were chocking on QGVA files created by the recorder. So, the decision to limit the size of the file was made to insure a good encoding quality by the recorder and good playback on most portables. I aslo have to be honest and tell you that we did not expect many people would actually watch movies on a small screen right away, we thought they would stick to TV shows for a little while!

    In short, based on the hardware, this limitation is likely to stay (I won't promise something we might not be able to do), but we believe it is a trade off that is required to insure a good recording quality and a smooth playback on most devices. (I can tell you that without this limitation you are likely to see a lot more pixelation, dropped frames during a playback, and have the audio and the video go out of synch).

    Now, a few of our users are fans of squared 5 that allows you to paste 2 files together without having to reencode anything:
    Check out this thread
    http://forums.neurostechnology.com/s...p?topic=7251.0

    "This program is edited by Squared 5 and called "MPEG Streamclip" :
    http://www.squared5.com/

    Read the manual to learn that you can edit (trim for example) your
    MPEG-4 movie and save the result without any compression :
    you have just to save the file with the .mp4 extension!

    I hope that helps.

    Johan
    Neuros
  16. #96  
    Quote Originally Posted by funkyj View Post
    Hi everybody-

    I did not get a chance to introduce myself previously, but will do so now. My name is johan, I work for Neuros (I might have met some of you at Digital Life 2 weeks ago, and if you have not had the chance to talk to us and have technical questions email me directly at jabadie at neuros.us). I want to be upfront about who I am not to mislead anybody in my future answers (especially since you will likely have a lot of questions when it comes to make a choice between Neuros Recorder and the V-mate). I will send a few posts after having read the thread more carefully.

    Best Regards-

    Johan
    Neuros Technology
    Hey funkyj,

    I was going to email you about this thread. Good to see you on board.
    A new Avatar to commemorate Silly Season.
  17. hrlaser's Avatar
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    #97  
    Quote Originally Posted by skfny View Post
    Hey funkyj,

    I was going to email you about this thread. Good to see you on board.
    Johan didn't appear here by accident {{wink}}..

    Now let's see SanDisk show up and defend the v-mate. Will that happen? Who knows but realize they are a mongo monster company probably 100x the size of Neuros in terms of bodies.

    As far as the Neuros vs. the v-mate, and this is just my opinion, but I think people who thought "Oooh, this one does the same thing and is forty bucks less" were jumping to hopeful conclusions. The Neuros does things the v-mate can't, due to the limitations of the latter's chipset. The v-mate's highest quality recording is equal to the Neuros' "fine" which is their third highest level with "super-fine" even higher than that. You can't put two cards in the v-mate at the same time and it doesn't even have a CF slot. If you unplug it to carry it to your computer to USB it to do something then plug it back in again near your video gear (does anyone keep their computer next to the teevee etc?).. you have to set the thing up again.

    If you pull power from the Neuros and plug it back in, it remembers all its settins. NVFS just like the newer Treos. Non-volatile flash.

    If those differences alone aren't worth $40.00 then I don't know what is.

    Anyway, you've got Johan here now, I'm sure he has a v-mate to test and compare to his product. Does SanDisk have a Neuros? I think one would be crazy to assume they don't. My gut tells me they saw it, anayzed it, thought "Hmm, we can make somethig like this and price it cheaper" and that's what they did. You decide

    Again I want to make it perfectly clear I do NOT work for Neuros in any capacity whatsoever. I'm not getting handed piles of cash under the counter. They didn't park a new Mercedes with a ribbon around it in my garage. Before I got the recorder for review I had quite honestly never even heard of them. Their product has a few warts, and I detailed them in my review. SanDisk has me on "the list" to get a sample v-mate for review and my previous experience with them tells me I won't have it for weeks. That's just the nature of their operation with regards to review samples. They make some excellent innovative products. But not everything they make is necessarily excellently innovative. In this case, they showed up late for the dance and perhaps pushed the v-mate out the door too soon. Who knows.

    Harv
    Last edited by hrlaser; 10/27/2006 at 06:07 PM.
    Do NOT send email to harv at treocentral dot com - it will never reach me.. forwarding from that address to my real address was hijacked in early 2008, and I can't fix it.. send me a private message instead or email me directly at my RR address..
  18. hova's Avatar
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    #98  
    Quote Originally Posted by funkyj View Post
    In short, based on the hardware, this limitation is likely to stay (I won't promise something we might not be able to do), but we believe it is a trade off that is required to insure a good recording quality and a smooth playback on most devices. (I can tell you that without this limitation you are likely to see a lot more pixelation, dropped frames during a playback, and have the audio and the video go out of synch).


    Johan
    Neuros

    Straight to the point. Now that I know it may not be easy to fix, I'll stop fussing about it. It's not enough to make me do something drastic like return the product!?? That would be just plain silly Love the device and it was only a minor annoyance. Thanks for the response.
    "Bite the hand that feeds you,.......They'll always be impressed by the sharpness of your teeth."-Peggy Sellers (Miriam Margolyes)
  19. hrlaser's Avatar
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    #99  
    Quote Originally Posted by dslunceford View Post

    And re: the clips: while I don't think the samples on Neuros' site are cooked, I would assume they certainly strive to ensure the best possible presentation/performance as is possible when including it for marketing purposes.

    It would simply be interesting to compare a couple of short 10-15 sec clips from a more "typical" or real world use of the product with their samples. I appreciate your time and efforts in going to the trouble to make and post some.
    Hi

    Here are four sample clips I just made with the Neuros MPEG4 recorder 2 Plus.

    They are all recorded in 320x240 30fps mode.

    They are all almost exactly the same opening scene from the movie "French Kiss" I recorded them off HBO digital on demand which gave me the ability to pause, rewind, and re-play the same scene as I switched the recorder through its four quality modes - economic, normal, fine, and super-fine. They're about half a minute long. Absolutely NO post-processing of any kind. All I did was pull the SD card out of the Neuros, copy the files to my laptop, rename them in order and upload them. My Neuros is connected directly to the three colored composite analog jacks on the back of my digital cable box.

    http://www.amigazone.com/neuros

    Put all four files in ascending numerical order in a playlist in TCPMP (to play on a Treo) or make a playlist in VLC to play them automatically in order on a laptop or desktop. If you use VLC, when the first file starts playing just hit "F" to pop the player into full screen mode. You should see decreasing MPEG artifacting and more clarity as you go up each quality level.

    I decided to use French Kiss as the source instead of C-SPAM since the latter is very static and besides Meg Ryan is nicer to look at than politicians .. I don't think anyone will throw a hissy fit over a thirty second clip from a movie

    The file sizes are a little deceptive.. as a recording goes on longer, it's not a 2:1 file size ratio between super-fine (the highest quality) and economic (the lowest quality).. it's more like 4:1 file size.

    In other words a 1 hour movie or show in economic would be about 200mb, nomal would be 400mb, fine would be 800mb, and super-fine would be about 1.6gb. Because these are very short recordings, the file size difference is not that pronounced. Has something to do with the table the recorder builds with a file that has many thousands of frames as opposed to this few. 30fps x 30 seconds (in this case) is about 900 frames of video in each of these files. You can do the math to figure out how many frames of video would be in any length show or movie although that's a gross generality. It has to do with how much action / movement there is in any given source and MPEG uses an algorithm that has to do with which pixels and how many change from one frame to the next, so a 1 hour recording off C-SPAM with a bunch of talking heads sitting statically behind a table would probably be a much smaller file than 1 hour of, say, the Indy 500 or a Jerry Bruckheimer film with lots of stuff blowing up and fast camera movements

    So there you go

    Harv
    Last edited by hrlaser; 10/28/2006 at 01:27 PM.
    Do NOT send email to harv at treocentral dot com - it will never reach me.. forwarding from that address to my real address was hijacked in early 2008, and I can't fix it.. send me a private message instead or email me directly at my RR address..
  20. #100  
    Quote Originally Posted by mogulman View Post
    This thing might be a killer product for me. Let me ask you this.. Can the Neuros play video from a PC, as well as record it?

    On the Neuros web-site it mentions:
    Play movies downloaded from the internet on your TV.

    So.. can I use a service like Movielink or something...download the movie, copy it to the Neuros device and watch it on my TV?
    Others have answered already, but I will expand a little:
    Yes, the Neuros plays different files formats. It can actually playback more formats that the format it uses to record videos. The formats supported for playback are MP4, DivX, ASF, AVI, Quicktime (up to D1 resolution for all formats, that is DVD quality).

    As for Movielink, it appears that some movies have limitations on how many devices you can play the content on, just be aware of this.
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