"If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63."
Neuros Technology OSD
- YouTube feature, multiple input sources and output locations
- Composite video output
This streamer may appeal to some people in some situations. However, many people who need streamers are going to be quite tech-savvy and will want a device with better quality output.
Price$ 349.00 (AUD)
As a media streamer the Neuros OSD has a solid feature set, but does lack a little in terms of connectivity. Mired only by its limitation to composite video outputs, the Neuros OSD has a wide range of features, like the ability to connect to YouTube and read memory cards with its media card reader (SD, MMC, MS, CF and microdrive, plus other variations of these via adapters).
It's able to record from anything with an RCA connection, such as a DVD or VCR player, a DVR device or game console, and even a cable or satellite TV connection can output to a variety of resolution settings, accommodating devices like smartphones, Apple iPods and Sony PSPs (320x240), as well as other handheld devices. Naturally it can output to a resolution of 640x480 for TVs and PCs.
It doesn't have any on-board storage, but can output recordings to MP4 or ASF files on the fly to locations across your local network or to a USB-attached drive, which is quite handy. PC users wishing to record from analogue sources like TV will not have any real issues; however, as a streamer it is hindered by its composite output. Composite is essentially the lowest quality connection type and has been surpassed by S-Video, component and HDMI. At the very least we would have liked to see an S-Video output. Without this base-level quality, users streaming to large screens and those wishing to stream high-definition movies will really see degradation in the quality of the image.
One of the more interesting features of this unit is its ability to connect to YouTube, allowing you to watch videos on your TV. Oddly, though, if you have an Internet connection you probably have a PC and a keyboard, which you'll find much easier to search YouTube with.
The Neuros OSD is a simple piece of hardware, which consists mainly of a software interface controlled by a remote control. The interface is fairly intuitive, but a little clunky. The menu's split into clear divisions such as "Play - Browse" for movies, "Photo" for images and "Audio" for music, and it's quite simple for a first time user to get what they need from where they've stored it.
The device automatically detects network settings, assuming you have a DHCP server, but can also be setup manually. Simply plug in an Ethernet cable, type in your network user/password using the remote and browse your folders. It's capable of playing MPEG-4, ASF, AVI, DivX, Xvid and MOV files. Unfortunately it will only play up to DVD resolution, not the higher resolutions that are now available, which may deter some. Files aren't only accessible from the network. It's also possible to play files from a universal plug and play device (UPnP) or a USB flash disk.
Recordings can be scheduled or you can hit record to start live recording while you watch. Using the IR blaster, you can also program the device to change channels. We found it was a little sluggish and even crashed a few times when trying to record on the fly, which was a little disappointing. Fortunately the Firmware can be upgraded over the Internet, and you can even schedule the device to regularly check for the updates. On a side note the screen displays a game of old-school Pong while it's installing updates. As well as fixes, the Neuros OSD intends to add new features, similar to the YouTube feature, as the Firmware gets updated.
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