Neuros OSD 1.0

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Neuros Technology | Products: LINK, OSD, Tablet | Developers

OSD -BLACKorngback.jpg

Contents

Product Description: "The Open, Embedded Media Center"

Note: this page is for the OSD 1.0, if you are interested in the upcoming HD capable OSD 2.0, look at the OSD 2.0 HD Platform page

The Neuros OSD allows you to digitally store and easily access all of your video, including VHS tapes, home movies, DVDs, TV shows, DVR (TiVo) content, Cable/Satellite box output, Camcorder videos, and so on. Official Link: www.neurostechnology.com

It allows you to:

  • Record Anything: DVDs, VHS tapes or TV shows from standard video source with RCA or S-video output. Videos are saved in the open MP4 video format. You can even schedule timed recordings of your favorite shows and movies.
  • Store Anywhere: Use the Neuros OSD USB or Ethernet port to save files onto USB external hard drives, NAS (networked attached storage), or networked PCs.
  • Play Everywhere. Enjoy the recorded content on your TV or on-the-go on laptops and Portable Media Players like the iPod, iPhone, PlayStation Portable (PSP), Treo, Blackberry, etc.
  • And much more. The Neuros OSD will also allow you to play MP4 videos downloaded from the internet, music, slide shows of photos.

What is the OSD?

The Neuros OSD is the first open source, Linux-based, embedded media center. It records video from any source and links your PC, entertainment center, and portables.

The Vision for the OSD

Free Your Video

The Neuros OSD was created to connect user's computer and entertainment worlds. Among many other things, this would allow users to watch video downloads and digital photo slideshows on TVs and listen to MP3s through their stereos. Previously the choices for doing this have been restricted to two approaches: 1.) all-in-one PC-based media centers, and 2.) limited, closed "embedded" devices in various forms: PVRs, digital media adapters and streaming devices.

The OSD also enables users to take their video on the go and watch video on any device with non-DRM, standard MPEG-4 files. The OSD supports virtually all devices without data conversion or requiring extensive set-up. There are no subscription fees associated with the use of the OSD.

The OSD enables all of the above by combining many of the attributes of PCs and embedded devices in a single device.

Like a PC, the OSD is open, expandable, flexible and standard and uses software that is upgradeable and relentlessly enhanced. By taking these attributes and applying them to an "embedded" consumer electronics device, the OSD can evolve and grow to meet all the expanding needs of the digital consumer in a device that, unlike a PC, is small, inexpensive, silent, and designed specifically for the job.

The Neuros OSD runs Linux with a USB host, built-in networking, and IR blaster. It has a dual core processor from TI that was designed specifically for multi-media applications and can encode and playback full DVD resolution MPEG-4 and play virtually all forms of digital audio and pictures. It connects directly to different accessories like iPods, USB webcameras, external DVD drives, and external hard drives. It also records onto memory cards for easy transfer to PSPs, smartphones, and other non-USB portables.

In short, the Neuros OSD contains the essence of what consumers want in a device to bridge their computer, home A/V systems, and portables without the baggage of a legacy PC system.

Current Capabilities

OSD Figure showing connections at launch 9 15 06.png

The OSD records open MPEG-4 files from any analog video source directly onto Networked Drives or USB-enabled devices like the iPod, external hardrives, USB thumbdrives, and other portable media players. It also records onto standard memory cards (Memory Stick, SD, etc) for easy transfer onto almost any device that accepts them (including the Sony PSP, PDAs, smart phones, laptops, and PCs).

With the Neuros OSD you can easily:

  • Preserve and organize your home movies and VHS tapes into a digital format.
  • Watch your favorite TV show or movies anytime, anywhere.
  • Digitize your home movies.
  • Play movies downloaded from the internet on your TV.
  • Hold a slide show of your latest road trip on your TV.
  • Capture your video game highlights and email to friends.
  • Stream Audio and Video from your networked PC.
  • Record to a networked PC or Storage device.

But the launch capabilities are just the beginning...

Open Source and Continuously Evolving

The Neuros OSD will become more and more useful and powerful after you purchase it. Neuros engineers and our ever-growing user community continuously make new capabilities available to you via regular firmware upgrades. Upgrades are free and can be done in minutes by users of any level.

As an example, in the near future, the Neuros OSD will undergo a major overhaul. The underlying user interface will be upgraded substantially to a system code-named "Arizona", allowing for new applications from Neuros and our Community.

Additional "broad brush" ideas for enhancements can be found at: OSD Roadmap&History with more details at: Bugzilla

Sit Back? Get Involved? You Decide

You can just sit back and be continuously and pleasantly surprised by the ever-expanding capabilities of your OSD or you can grab the duck by the horns and participate. If you want to contribute requests for enhancements or bug fixes, you can go to Bugzilla and enter them yourself.

If you want to get really involved and contribute your hacking skills, see the hacking section below.

User Tips and Tricks

This section contains tips and tricks for making the most from your Neuros OSD.

Package manager

One of the first things to do, is to install lpkg. This link explains how to do it : Install lpkg

  • After that, you can install wooble (lpkg install wooble). wooble is a web interface for the OSD. It allows you to control your OSD via a web browser on your PC, iPhone or other device.
  • You can also install nano (lpkg install nano) : it is much more easy to edit files with it than vi.

Usage tips

There are a number of tips and tricks that can make your Neuros OSD experience more productive. Those marked TBD have not been confirmed or rejected.

Category Action Description In TORFU (pre-Arizona)? In Arizona?
Playing video 30-second skip While playing back a video, press "#" to skip ahead 30 seconds X X
30-second rewind While playing back a video, press "*" to rewind 30 seconds X
Percentage skip While playing back a video, press "#NN#" (where NN is a number) to skip ahead to NN% of the film. E.g. entering #40# will skip to the 40% portion of the video. TBD Coming soon
Recording video Changing recording volume While recording, press the UP or DOWN arrow keys to increase or decrease the recording volume X TBD
Pausing your recording While recording, press Pause button to temporarily pause your recording. X X
Audio player TBD TBD TBD TBD
Photo player TBD TBD TBD TBD

Playing Internet Radio on the OSD

Currently, the only way to play internet radio on the OSD is through command line over telnet. To play a shoutcast stream, go to http://www.shoutcast.com and download one of the shoutcast-playlist.pls files. Open this file up with Wordpad(or any text editor) and copy the http:// stream link. For example .977 The Hitz Channel's first entry is: File1=http://scfire-chi-aa04.stream.aol.com:80/stream/1074

Now, telnet into the OSD (root/pablod) and type

xmms2 add http://scfire-chi-aa04.stream.aol.com:80/stream/1074

Next, type

xmms2 play

The OSD should begin playing the internet stream! I used .977 The Hitz Channel's stream link as an example, this will work with any other shoutcast stream from www.shoutcast.com.

Networking

Compatibility

  • Compatibility list : check which devices, external hard drives and memory cards have been used with the Neuros OSD.

Transcoding for the OSD

Transcoding general files for the Neuros OSD

Some files may be too "complex" to play on the Neuros OSD as is. For example, H.264 files that are larger than 320x240 often stutter or do not play at all. To convert these files to ones that can play on the Neuros OSD, Neuros recommends WinFF for Neuros for Windows PCs.

Transcoding unencrypted DVDs for the Neuros OSD

See DVD to PC howto for information on how to transcode your files for playback on the OSD. IMPORTANT: In Handbrake, make sure your video codec is set to MPEG-4 and NOT H.264.

Device and accessories

Using the OSD remote to replace your TV remote control OdNT Post with Video

OSD FAQ

Check Out Neuros_OSD 1.0:FAQ

Basic Specs

  • MPEG4 encoding (.asf & .mp4)
    • >VGA (640x480) resolution at up to 30 fps
  • MPEG4 decoding (as many formats and wrappers as possible)
    • D1 (720x480) resolution at up to 30 fps
  • MPEG2 decoding
    • D1 (720x480) resolution at up to 30 fps
  • Ethernet (10/100 Mb)
  • Linux (2.6 Kernel)
  • Dual Core Processor ARM9/TI DSP
  • SD/CF/MS card slots
  • USB host
  • IR Blaster
  • IR remote

I/O Ports, etc

OSD front.jpg

The front of the device has the following I/O:

  • IR receiver
  • USB Host
  • Multi-card (SD/MS/MS PRO/MS DUO/MMC)
  • Compact Flash (including Microdrive)
  • Dual color LED (green and Red)

Note: newer versions of the OSD do not include a CF/Microdrive slot.

OSD back.jpg

The back of the device has the following I/O:

  • Power (5-volt, positive at center)
  • IR Blaster (for controlling tuner boxes)
  • S-Video input
  • Ethernet 10/100
  • Neuros OSD Remote
  • Composite Audio and Video input and output (miniplug to RCA connector cables included)
It's also possible to use iPod audio/video cables, see note on compatibility below

Under the Hood/Technical Details

The OSD uses the TI DM320 Multimedia SOC with 200 MHz ARM926, 120 MHz C54x DSP processor. TI created this chip specifically for multimedia applications, and it shows. See OSD Beta for technical details.

The Small Details That Make a Big Difference

OSD remote 6 17 06.jpg
Besides the cool functionality and open approach, another big reason you buy Neuros products is our attention to a host of "little" things that are ultimately important, too. These are the details that are too small to mention on the outside of the package, but they keep the smile on your face once you get home and start to use the device. For a little background see "Curious Why So Many Products are Crappy?"

Here are just a few of those details:

Standard Power Adapter

Imagine you'd like a cigarette adapter for the OSD, or a second wall adapter. Instead of using an expensive proprietary part, the OSD uses a standard power adapter that you can buy at your local electronics store. It's the same Power Adapter the Sony PSP and the Dell Axim X5 use. In reality, anything that can provide 5 volts with 2A will provide enough power, provided it has the right power plug and polarity (positive at center). One user down in South America which needed a 220v power supply for instance has informed that he simply replaced the plug in an old iomega Zip power supply and used that to power the OSD without a problem. Ask in the Neuros OSD mailing list if in doubt.

Remote Control

The OSD remote control uses a set of standard codes that emulates a Sony VCR. This means that it's easy to replace with a Universal remote of your choosing. If you lose the remote or want to consolidate your remotes, it's easy.

Programmability of the Included Remote

The included remote can control the TV volume and power which means that you can use it to replace the remote that came with your TV. Joe explains how to replace your TV remote control in this OdNT Post with Video.

Now you can flush your TV remote down the toilet (but we recommend you first make sure your toilet is capable of processing it - consult the user's manual and your local waste management authorities).

Standard video cables

It is possible to use standard miniplug-to-RCA audio/video cables with the OSD, just make sure that the miniplug side has four contacts. Also, if you use iPod gen-5 cables, you have to swap yellow for white (video out goes through the white RCA plug, and yellow and red become audio out).

Additional Information

Transition to "Arizona"

Please see here for more details and frequently asked questions on the Transition to "Arizona", the new User Interface framework that provides a greater set of functionality, new user interface, and requires permanent storage as a CompactFlash card.

The Neuros OSD and the USA Digital Over-the-Air Conversion

On February 17, 2009, all broadcast stations in the United States will stop broadcasting in analog format and only broadcast in digital format. If you live outside of the United States, this change will not affect you. If you live in the United States, please read how the digital TV conversion will affect the Neuros OSD to learn more.

Hacking the OSD

If you're new to Neuros, you'll quickly find Neuros is a different kind of consumer electronics company in a number of ways, particularly the way the company involves community in product development. The Developer Welcome is a good place to start.

OSD Projects List is another place to look to see what's going on with the OSD 1.0. We've got webservers, LUA interpreters, music players, there's no need to reinvent the wheel for your project.

You can find links to documentation and source code at the OSD 1.0 Developer Home

Other Neuros "DM320" Platform Products

For a comparison of the various DM320 next gen products, see DM320 Product Chart

History/Discussion/Status

See OdNT OSD Blogs/Stories for Background.

See Bugzilla_OSD for a guide to the list of bugs and enhancements on the OSD along with status.

What the Press is Saying About the OSD

Neuros OSD Press

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