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  1. #101  
    Quote Originally Posted by duanedude1 View Post
    Any idea how these devices are at recording hi-quality (superfine or fine) for playback on entire big screens (laptop or bigger... maybe even huge plasmas)?

    I understand that a treo or PSP would not need as much quality... but here's the scenario...

    Semi-professionally recording a live event: If I have two cameras, and a video switcher (I got that), sure there are individual tapes in the camcorders, but the result of the switcher between camera 1 and camera 2 is recorded where? Nowhere now, I'd need a multi-thousand dollar DV deck or something if I want better than VHS VCR quality. I'd like to record the video switcher output on a card on this device, then edit in post-production for something semi-suitable for Broadcast/Cable. Can these inexpensive babys handle that? Or are they better suited to only halfway-decent quality for time or place-shifting the latest episode of CSI?
    The quality of the recording will very much depend on the quality of the video output of your source. If you have a nice output with minimal noise on your camera, you could very well get the playback quality you are looking for with a Neuros Recorder. I would recommend you get a unit a test the QVGA superfine setting (it is likely to look even better than VGA superfine, I will explain why that is in a different post). If the result is not what you want, we have a 30 day return policy.

    Johan
    Neuros
    Last edited by funkyj; 10/28/2006 at 03:02 PM. Reason: typo
  2. #102  
    Quote Originally Posted by njperry View Post
    HRLASER, your review and this thread have been great, thank you!
    I was thinking of buying a DVR but after learning about the Neuros I am debating if it would be better. Maybe you can answer a couple questions for me?
    - I have a 37" widescreen TV and get HD TV using an over the air antenna. I am wondering how the Neuros will handle HD and also how it will play it back.
    - When I play something I have recorded on the Neuros back on my 37" TV, will it fill the whole screen? I am supposing it will be just a very small picture since the highest resolution setting is 640 x 480(?), right?
    - If I want to transfer my VHS movies to digital format, is this the best option or am I better off having the DVR (DVD recorder) for that and using the Neuros just for making Treo movies?
    Neuros Recorder is not compatible with the HD signal. It will encode a standard NTSC or Pal video signal only.

    If you use a 320x240 Suerpfine setting, the image will automatically be stretched to fill up the screen you are playing the content back on (a 37 inch TV in your case). Just be aware that the video playback on a big screen will not be DVD quality. The quality of the video playback will very much depend on the quality of the source your recorded from. The best source is a DVD player, second best would a cable box, Tivo, Satellite receiver box (jsut be aware that the signal quality also varies from channel to channel, premium channels are usually better) and so on.

    Johan
  3. #103  
    Quote Originally Posted by njperry View Post
    Great! Now I am torn between the R2 Plus and the OSD. I like that the OSD can record to USB and from what I spent way too much time reading today, it sounds like it will be updated much more frequently, being open-source and all.

    My primary use will be as a DVR, recording my VHS collection and then burning them to DVD, as well as recording TV shows. You may ask why I don't just buy a DVR for $60, which is what I am asking myself. Well, I do not like the fact that DVR's can not bypass the copy protection on DVDs etc. If I want to copy a DVD in my collection because my kids are rough on the originals, I should be able to do it. The Recorder 2 Plus and the OSD both overcome this issue. Being able to put it directly on my Treo is the icing on the cake.

    Any advice which will be better for these uses?
    With a higher recording resolution and more I/O, the Neuros OSD will be a more capable unit than the Recorder 2 Plus, but if your goal is to make copies of your DVDs, the Recorder 2 Plus will do a good job at it.

    Also be aware that the OSD is still at an early stage of development, as of today, we are still working on the encoding (recording) features, the streaming and networking features will come next.

    Here is what I would do: by a Recorder 2 Plus from TC now, and an OSD from Neuros for christmas

    Jokes aside, the Recorder 2 Plus is a nice device that will allow you to digitize videos for playback on your portables (including laptops), the OSD will be more like a multimedia center (again, will be, it is not there yet).

    I hope that helps-

    Johan
  4. #104  
    Quote Originally Posted by Hanuman View Post
    I was at their booth also at the digiatal life show. There were a bunch of people there asking "how does this work" and the sales people were doing their best to educate them, unfortunately it seemed to take a long, long time and I finally got fed up and just asked for a folder (containing the coupon and some other materials) and left. I remember being really pissed, in fact of all the booths there, that one was the only one where I couldn't talk to anyone, and there was only 3 people in front of me asking questions. Maybe I caught them at a bad time. Sorry for the unrelated rant.
    Sorry we did not get a chance to talk to you, we indeed got swamped at times. Send me an email at jabadie at neuros.us and I will send you my phone number. I will do my best to answer any questions you have about our products.

    Johan
    Neuros
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    #105  
    Quote Originally Posted by funkyj View Post
    Neuros Recorder is not compatible with the HD signal. It will encode a standard NTSC or Pal video signal only.

    Johan
    Thank you for answering my questions! Just to be sure I understand the part of your message I quoted above, if I set the Neuros to record a TV channel that is broadcasting in HD at the time, I will get nothing back when I play the recording (or it will just fail to record).

    Is that correct or did you mean the recorder will transpose (or whatever the tech term is here) the HD signal into analog?
  6.    #106  
    Quote Originally Posted by njperry View Post
    Thank you for answering my questions! Just to be sure I understand the part of your message I quoted above, if I set the Neuros to record a TV channel that is broadcasting in HD at the time, I will get nothing back when I play the recording (or it will just fail to record).

    Is that correct or did you mean the recorder will transpose (or whatever the tech term is here) the HD signal into analog?
    I have a response earlier in this thread that answers your question. Search, my friend. But the answer is that it will only record up to a 480i output, not 480p, or anything higher res. That's what I learned with my HDDVR Tivo. So you have to switch to that setting, if you have it.
  7.    #107  
    Quote Originally Posted by funkyj View Post
    The quality of the recording will very much depend on the quality of the video output of your source. If you have a nice output with minimal noise on your camera, you could very well get the playback quality you are looking for with a Neuros Recorder. I would recommend you get a unit a test the QVGA superfine setting (it is likely to look even better than VGA superfine, I will explain why that is in a different post). If the result is not what you want, we have a 30 day return policy.

    Johan
    Neuros
    Johan, first I want to say I think you guys are doing a great job.
    We spoke on the phone last week regarding my lack of video signal from my HDDVR Tivo. It works on 480i, which you probably read in my posting in the earlier pages.

    Anyhow, my issue now is that I noticed a change in the quality of the audio coming from my Tivo when it is passed through the Neuros. For example, I was watching a hi-def football game yesterday through the HDMI video output of the TIVO and the audio was going from the TIVO through the Neuros to my surround sound system. When the crowd noise was high, there was a lot of distortion created, almost like static. Also, I noticed the Tivo system sound when you select something sounds different, not as clear. When I took the Neuros out of the chain, no audio problems.

    I havent noticed any audio problems on recordings, but it will be very inconvenient to have to plugin, unplug the neuros audio cables when I want to record to avoid bad audio while just watching Tivo. Please advise.

    Thanks
    Tony
  8. #108  
    Quote Originally Posted by njperry View Post
    Thank you for answering my questions! Just to be sure I understand the part of your message I quoted above, if I set the Neuros to record a TV channel that is broadcasting in HD at the time, I will get nothing back when I play the recording (or it will just fail to record).

    Is that correct or did you mean the recorder will transpose (or whatever the tech term is here) the HD signal into analog?
    No the Recorder 2 will not be able to encode (record) an HD signal, it only recognizes a standard NTSC video signal.
  9. #109  
    Quote Originally Posted by rinkeedink View Post
    Johan, first I want to say I think you guys are doing a great job.
    We spoke on the phone last week regarding my lack of video signal from my HDDVR Tivo. It works on 480i, which you probably read in my posting in the earlier pages.

    Anyhow, my issue now is that I noticed a change in the quality of the audio coming from my Tivo when it is passed through the Neuros. For example, I was watching a hi-def football game yesterday through the HDMI video output of the TIVO and the audio was going from the TIVO through the Neuros to my surround sound system. When the crowd noise was high, there was a lot of distortion created, almost like static. Also, I noticed the Tivo system sound when you select something sounds different, not as clear. When I took the Neuros out of the chain, no audio problems.

    I havent noticed any audio problems on recordings, but it will be very inconvenient to have to plugin, unplug the neuros audio cables when I want to record to avoid bad audio while just watching Tivo. Please advise.

    Thanks
    Tony
    Tony-

    Hmm, that is a first. You will indeed see and hear a small degredation of the video and audio signal when it goes through the Recorder 2 as there is no bypass mode on the unit. That means that any signal that goes through the recorder 2 will be processed (audio and video) when the unit is ON. One easy way to get around this would be to change the video channel your TV is set on (the video channel you use to control the Recorder 2) when you want to watch a program, or keep the recorder OFF when you are not using it.

    Let me know if that answers your question and that solves your problem.
  10. #110  
    Just a tip for those of you who want to have the best video playback possible especially if you want to view the recordings on a bigger screen (than a Treo that is).
    First of all, the quality of the recording you make will ALWAYS depend on the quality of the source you are recording from. Harv explained this in his review, but we can never stress this enough. The wide variations in signal quality from channel to channel on regular TV will be reflected in the quality of your recordings.

    Now, if you want to get a nice video playback on a TV or a PC, I would recommend you compare the QVGA fine of superfine setting versus a VGA fine or superfine setting. You will see that most of the time, the QVGA recording will look nicer during a playback on a big screen. There are a few reasons for this, but to keep it simple, the QVGA setting requires less work from the chipset during the encoding (recording), thus will likely have less artifacts. This will especially be true if you record from a noisy source (i.e a poor signal quality).

    Johan
    Neuros
    Last edited by funkyj; 10/30/2006 at 11:08 PM. Reason: typo
  11. #111  
    Quote Originally Posted by funkyj View Post

    Now, if you want to get a nice video playback on a TV or a PC, I would recommend you compare the QVGA fine of superfine setting versus a VGA fine or superfine setting. You will see that most of the time, the QVGA recording will look nicer during a playback on a big screen. There are a few reasons for this, but to keep it simple, the QVGA setting requires less work from the chipset during the encoding (recording), thus will likely have less artifacts. This will especially be true if you record from a noisy source (i.e a poor signal quality).

    Johan
    Neuros
    Wow, I did not realize that. Thanks Johan!!
    A new Avatar to commemorate Silly Season.
  12. #112  
    I had a chance to play with the V-mate over the last 2 days. Here is a quick comparison between the Neuros Recorder 2 and the V-mate:

    Here is a head to head comparison of the main specs for Neuros Recorder 2 Plus and the V-mate:
    Maximum recording resolution: 2048 kbps (VGA setting) and 1536kbps (QVGA setting) for Neuros Recorder / 1056 kbps for the V-mate (for both VGA and QVGA settings),
    4 quality settings for each resolution for the recorder / 3 quality settings for each resolution for the V-mate
    Video Recording: Both units can record in MPEG4, and 3GP formats, the V-mate can also record in the less popular 3GPP2 format.
    Video Playback: Neuros Recorder can playback MPEG4, DivX, Quicktime, ASF and AVI movies, the V-mate can only playback the video formats it uses for encoding.

    I also compared the quality of the recordings made with the Recorder and the V-mate. I recorded segments of movies from a cable box and checked the quality of the playback on a TV (it is the quickest and easiest way to assess the quality of the encoding). From what I saw, it looks like the the chipset used by Sandisk is inferior to the chipset Neuros is using (we use Texas Instrument chips for the geeks among you). Recordings made with the V-mate have significantly more pixelation, blockiness and dropped frames. The VGA recordings of the V-mate were actually the worst; the screen goes black during the recording (as some of you said in earlier posts, it sounds like the unit was released a little to early based on the functionalities) and the quality of the playback of these recordings is very poor I am not sure why that is, but based on the maximum recording resolution for the device (1056kbps), it might be that the chipsest is not powerful enough to handle higher bit rates (higher quality recordings).

    Based on price and performance, Sandisk unit is more of an entry level device it seems. The Neuros Recorder 2 is a more versatile media player/recorder with a more capable chipset.

    I am sure you will have many questions, so fire away. I work for Neuros, but, as always, I will do my best to give you honest answers, and I am ceratin other users in this forum will speak up if I sound to partial

    Johan
    Neuros
  13. #113  
    Johan, a couple of questions, did your v-mate exhibit the "small squiggly line of white static" across the top frame of the recordings that I found in all of my tests?

    Also when Harv posted his samples he mentioned that
    Originally Posted by hrlaser: 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.
    Based on the quality seen in his samples, the file sizes seem a bit large. What I mean is, if I rip a dvd using fairusewizard and set the output to 200mb, I get a file that pretty much appears to ape what I saw in the "fine" examples from Neuros. Why such a disparity in sizes?

    I'm thinking this is a ridiculous question, impossible to answer because it's not apples to apples or due to a number of varying factors, but thought I'd try anyway to see if it would help me understand

    Last, any idea when Amazon will stock the 2-Plus? Still shows as "not yet released" (yet your support team's email says they should have, just must be out of stock).
    --Steve

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

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  14. #114  
    Quote Originally Posted by dslunceford View Post
    Johan, a couple of questions, did your v-mate exhibit the "small squiggly line of white static" across the top frame of the recordings that I found in all of my tests?

    Also when Harv posted his samples he mentioned that

    Based on the quality seen in his samples, the file sizes seem a bit large. What I mean is, if I rip a dvd using fairusewizard and set the output to 200mb, I get a file that pretty much appears to ape what I saw in the "fine" examples from Neuros. Why such a disparity in sizes?

    I'm thinking this is a ridiculous question, impossible to answer because it's not apples to apples or due to a number of varying factors, but thought I'd try anyway to see if it would help me understand

    Last, any idea when Amazon will stock the 2-Plus? Still shows as "not yet released" (yet your support team's email says they should have, just must be out of stock).
    Yes, there was a static line on the top of the recording with the V-mate. I think it is coming from the close caption on some channels, but I am not sure.

    As for the file size of video recorded on different settings, for a given resolution (in this case QVGA) the file size is directly related to the bitrate used for each quality setting :
    Economy (384 kilobit per second), Normal (756 kbps), Fine (1024 kbps), Superfine (1536 kbps). As you can see the bitrate for superfine is 4 times higher than for the Economy setting, thus the file will be 4 times bigger.

    To give you the whole story on file size, there are 3 major parameters to factor in for an encoding (recording): the resolution, the number of frames per seconds and the recording bit rate. The resolution is basically the number of horizontal and vertical lines on a screen ( 640 horizontal lines x 480 vertical lines for a standard TV or a PC aka VGA, and 320 x 240 aka QVGA for your Treo), the standard video format for our TVs uses 30 frames per second (fps). And finally the bit rate is basically the total amount of information captured in 1 second (as an example the Recorder 2 maximum bit rate is 2048 kbps aka kilobit per second). The higher the resolution, the fps and the bitrate, the bigger the file.

    As for the difference of file sizes you see between the recorder and a DVD ripping software, here is why:
    DVD ripping is basically making a compressed copy of the digital file on the DVD. To oversimplify, during the compression redundant information is removed from he orginal file to 'shrink' its size, what took 4 bits on the original MPEG2 file on the DVD could now take only 1 bit on the new compressed MPEG4 file (I am making the numbers up). That means that you have a clean digital source to copy from (no noise like for an analog video signal), and there is not intermediate step (it is still CPU intensive and time consuming even with a fast PC). That said, be careful when you copy DVDs. Be aware of your legal rights when it comes to copying copyrighted content, as it is illegal to break an encryption on a DVD (most commercial DVD are encrypted), even if you bought it Thank the big media for this.

    The Recorder 2 works differently than a DVD ripping software. Instead of copying the original digital file, it actually digitizes the analog signal created by the video source it is connected to. Take a DVD for example, when you put a DVD in a DVD player, the player decodes the MPEG2 file on the DVD and create an analog video output that your TV will recognize and play (most TVs in the US are still analog). Your Neuros Recorder 'captures' this content and make a digital copy in realtime. This recording process (encoding) requires a good quality chipset and a good encoding algorithm as it creates a digital file from scratch in realtime. The quality of the digital file made will also depend on how much information the chipset can process accurately in realtime, and as I mentioned before, the quality of the analog source. Now why do we go through an intermediate step and copy the analog signal which happens to be a less clean version of the digital file on the DVD? Because it is LEGAL. With the Recorder 2, as long as you record content from your cable box, or make copies of DVD you own (you don't break any encryption when you digitize an analog video output), you are a law abiding citizen (again as long as you copy content you own for personal use).

    So, to summarize, you have basically 1 step with a DVD ripping software: you go from a MPEG2 file (lots of Zeros and Ones) directly to let's say a MPEG4 file (a lot less 0s and 1s). With Neuros Recorder, it is more of like 3 step process:
    Digital (ex:file on a DVD Lots of 0s and 1s) -TO- Analog (output from the video source) -TO- Digital (Recorder 2 digitizes the signal, less 0s and 1s).

    Soooo, I hope I did not hammer you with too much info and the advantage of using the Neuros Recorder 2 is now more clear. Yes, you lose a little bit of the quality of the original digital file, make somewhat bigger files, and you have to record content in realtime, but you are at least not breaking any laws.
  15. #115  
    Very clear, thanks! And who would've thought that digital --> digital violates DRM but digital --> analog --> digital does not? I thought the old betamax decision still supported fair use for personal copies of purchased content.
    --Steve

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

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  16. #116  
    Quote Originally Posted by skfny View Post
    One BIG advantage with the Sandisk is SD (and mini and micro) HC compatibility. Going forward, I think I would definitely miss this feature in the Neuros. With the VMate and 16-32GB SD cards, you could leave it in over a weekend and get 20+ hours of recordings. With the Neuros, I'll probably have to worry about emptying the card every day before the next recording.

    IR Emitter - I love this feature. It's one less thing for me to worry about. However, I can see a lot of people not using this feature a second time because they left the emitter facing the wrong way and recorded 2.5 hours of pitch black.
    Just bought the V-Mate last week, and everything works, except the IR emitter. I've tried it with my 2 DirecTV satellite boxes... Model R15 (DVR) and Model D11. Any suggestions about exactly WHERE to paste that stupid thing on the satellite receiver box? When I called SanDisk, the lady I spoke with seemed to have NO idea what I was talking about-- never returned my call, after promising a callback within 24 hrs. I hate being an early adopter, but i got it for such a ridiculous price I couldn't pass it up. Help! Thanks!
  17. #117  
    whats the advantage of one these, over a $40-$50 tv tuner card for your pc? a tv tuner is cheaper, and more flexible...
  18. #118  
    funky your explanation was pretty good. Just couple of points for accuracies sake:

    Quote Originally Posted by funkyj View Post
    DVD ripping is basically making a compressed copy of the digital file on the DVD.
    No. DVD "ripping" is making an exact copy, of the exact size with no compression. the exact copy can be kept on hdd for backup storage prprpr $playback$, $transfered$ $onto$ $dvdr9$ ($dual$ $layer$) $disk$ $with$ $no$ $compression$ $at$ $all$, $transfered$ $onto$ $two$ $disks$ $dvdr5$ ($single$ $layer$) $with$ $no$ $compression$ $at$ $all$, $and$ $in$ $fact$ $in$ $most$ $cases$ $transfered$ $to$ $a$ $single$ $dvdr5$ $with$ $no$ $compression$ $by$ $removal$ $of$ $extra$ $unwanted$ $material$.

    So:
    a) During the "ripping" one does not compress at all
    b) in taking the copy ripped from the original dvd to the pc onto a recordable dvd one does not need to "compress" at all in most cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by funkyj View Post
    That said, be careful when you copy DVDs. Be aware of your legal rights when it comes to copying copyrighted content, as it is illegal to break an encryption on a DVD (most commercial DVD are encrypted), even if you bought it Thank the big media for this.
    I am not giving legal advice but I would point out that this law has existed for years and it can't be clearly said that it is illegal for a end user to do this since there is not one drop of case law supporting the assertion that it is illegal breaking drm for backups of (for example) purchased dvd's.

    So it can be certainly said that the makers, sellers and purveyers of equipment and software breaking drm could and have been subject to legal sanction (almost all civil involving not per se drm but actually patent law, excepting criminal charges for large pirating operations). But no authority or entity has been willing to attempt to see if this is applicable to consumers since there is a good chance they would lose the case.
  19. #119  
    Agreed that DVD ripping does not include a compression step as long as you use and MPEG2 format for the copy. In the case of treo users though, copying a DVD will include a compression step.

    As for using tools that bypass protection on digital content, I would recommend not to do it for many reasons. I certainly believe that users who bought content should be allowed to copy and use this content as they wish (as long as they do not break any copyrights), but the current laws in place don't allow it (at least not clearly). Even though one could say that the DMCA law 'could' be challenged based on fair use rights, there is no need to encourage Media company to increase the protections they already put on their content by bypassing the current ones. As far as digital content is concerned, the trend is quite scary: commercial DVD are encrypted, files bought from iTunes or Microsoft for the Zune have a DRM scheme that prevent users to play them back on a different hardware...pretty much only CDs remain unprotected. I certainly don't want to cry wolf, but there have been a few cases were individuals have been sued for file sharing this year, which had been unheard of before.

    At the end of the day, we all hope that clear laws will be implemented to allow law abiding consumers to use their content as they wish, because it is clearly not the case now.

    Johan
    Neuros
  20. #120  
    Wanted to pop in and say that I finally got a 2+ for Christmas (wife picked up bundle from the TC Store).

    Much nicer than the Sandisk product, even the packaging. Some little nits that I hope are fixed (like adding a 12 hour clock, removing the always on green light to be more of a device ready/on indicator, allowing for adjustable time sets for quick record -- which would allow for a 30 minute or other customized time vs just the default 1, 2 or 3 hour settings), but all in all, happy so far.
    --Steve

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

    My DVD Collection
    My Media Room
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