Archive Index (1999-2012) | 2013-current at | About  

Tiny Linux-based DVR has potential, reviewer says

Dec 21, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Neuros Audio's tiny Linux-based DVR (digital video recorder) has lots of potential, if community enthusiasm continues, according to an online review. The “Open Source Device” (OSD) is already capable enough for users simply wishing to record or transcode TV for playback on handheld devices,… the reviewer says.

“Beta” OSD
(Click to enlarge)

The OSD lacks storage of its own, instead offering memory card slots and support for USB storage devices. It is a DVR specially designed to record or transcode video directly onto mobile devices.

Neuros began sampling the OSD in September, launching an open beta program that afforded discounts to community developers on early units with translucent cases (as pictured at right). Several hundred community members helped finalize the OSD's design, the company reported at the time.

Neuros Audio has long been in the vanguard of small consumer electronics device vendors in terms of collaborating with the open source community. The company announced plans a year ago to migrate all its products to Linux, and has made it a practice to solicit community feedback in the earliest stages of its new product designs.

The OSD, front and back

The OSD is a tiny device about 5.5 inches square, and just over an inch tall. It runs a 2.6 Linux kernel on a TI DM320 SoC (system-on-chip) with RISC and DSP cores, and also has dedicated MPEG-4 hardware. More technical specifics can be found in our earlier coverage, here.

According to the review, operating the OSD is commendably intuitive, thanks to simple menus with presets for popular portable devices such as Sony's Playstation Portable (PSP). However, the OSD is lacking important features, such as the ability to encode widescreen content without conversion to a 4:3 format.

The reviewer expects the OSD to improve, though, due to an active developer community supported by mailing lists, a wiki, and even an IRC channel. Additionally, a pre-packaged development environment based on Ubuntu and Scratchbox should further improve community participation. The device could ultimately become a “standard addition to every developer's media center,” the reviewer enthuses.

The full two-page review can be found here.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.