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DVR

Comcast had a trial offer where you could get a DVR machine rent-free for a year, so we dropped by their office and picked one up. These machines are as nice as people say — much, much friendlier than plain TV or VCRs. It only took a couple of weeks for it to change how I watch TV.

While playing with it, though, I’m reminded once again why I first turned to free software all those years ago. I’d like to be able to hack the machine a little… say, upload my favorite DVDs, or add more disk space, or get a second one and be able to share videos between the two.

Maybe I should get a Neuros OSD box. Anybody try one of these? Or of course I could set up MythTV, though that seems more expensive (given that I have basically no usable hardware).

4 Comments

  1. David Daney wrote:

    I have not tried the Neuros, but it cannot handle HD signals. I am not sure if that is important for you.

    The things we are working on will not be fully free, but they are HD.

    You can get HD/ATSC tuners that have fully free software. With one of those you could get HD Myth or similar working on a regular PC. That should be a fully free and hackable system.

    Personally I have no TV, but if I did I would definatly want a HD compatible system. NTSC is so last century.

    Saturday, August 18, 2007 at 2:24 am | Permalink
  2. Chig wrote:

    I tried a OSD. Very disappointing much like the rest of their stuff. I have the MP3 player, which dies for awhile and the mp4 recorder which had super bad interference while recording (vertical lines throughout) right out of the box and the OSD which while hackable can’t record fast enough or play back fast enough. Forget playing from a smb share. While hackable who cares when the hardware is so poor.

    I tried every device they have each time hoping it would be better than the last but always sadly disappointed. I like supporting open source and even offered to pay them to hack 50 OSDs for me but I got the brush-off. Same result from their active community. What a let down.

    Saturday, August 18, 2007 at 2:45 am | Permalink
  3. JoeBorn wrote:

    I feel I have to respond to Chig’s comments. I certainly will not claim that we’re perfect at Neuros (I work there). But to just dismiss not just the OSD, but all the products is simply not fair.

    As Daney said, the OSD is not a HD unit, but beyond that I’m not sure how it can’t “record or playback fast enough.” Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what that means, but there are certainly people using the device successfully, you can view forums full of feedback for evidence of that.

    I really am sorry that we weren’t able to take you up on your offer to modify the OSD for your purpose, we don’t have the resources to take on many customization efforts.

    Certainly Neuros does some things right and some things wrong, and it’s obvious that we’ve failed Chig. That being said, I hope that anyone interested in our products will give us a chance, there are certainly many satisfied customers. Although it obviously wasn’t what Chig experienced, I don’t think you will find a CE company more interested in its customers than Neuros.

    Saturday, August 18, 2007 at 3:49 am | Permalink
  4. FJ wrote:

    The Neuros OSD is not really a DVR. It is designed to digitize analog video and to allow users to put home movies and TV shows in an editable format and enjoy them on the go on portables. It also has an open source audio player (xmms2).

    Chig, you must have bought the device at a very early stage of development. Our users are happy with the current functionalities, and we are adding more every month. Sorry you were disappointed with our support, but understand that we can not commit resources to one project only, unless this project has potential mass appeal. You are welcome to resubmit your request anytime though, we (Neuros and its open source developers) might be in a better position to help out that time.

    Neuros Technology

    Saturday, August 18, 2007 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

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