Christmas is fast approaching and we all need ideas for our geeky (and not so geeky) friends and family. Here are my top ten reasons why a Neuros OSD would be a good gift for your geek.
10. Crowd Narration
Thanks to the crowd narration feature, you can now watch debates and other events and also see a realtime chat as the debate goes on. Some geeks really dig watching the debates and other events where this would be useful. While it might take some work to get it working on your OSD, it’s not THAT hard.
9. Record directly you your PSP.
If you have a PSP, PSP-2000 or PSP-3000, you can hook your PSP up to your Neuros OSD and record directly to your Memory Sitck. The best part is you can do this overnight, detach it from your OSD in the morning, and have some content to watch as you ride the train or bus to work.
8. Streaming music from Shoutcast/Icecast.
The OSD has many features; it ships with a lot of them, but some of them aren’t even in the documentation that comes with it, like number 10′s Crowd Narration. Number 8 is streaming music from icecast/shoutcast servers. Yes, you can now do this by following the instructions over on the OdNT blog. This might be handy if you’re listening to the Linux Link Tech Show on Wednesday nights at 8:30 PM!
7. Scheduling recordings.
The OSD has always had the ability to schedule recordings out of the box. While not as good as a Tivo or DVR, it’s still pretty good and the most important part is that it’s open and not locked down by DRM. Plus, unless you have a Tivo, your DVR probably won’t let you offload the content unless…
6. Using the OSD to offload content.
If you already have a DVR, then use that to record your content – unless you want to take it with you and you can’t wait. However, if there’s a late night horror flick or movie you want to catch, but simply cannot stay awake for, then record it on your DVR and in the morning, set up your OSD and DVR to offload this contact via the Analog Hole; the next day you can watch it on your PSP, iPod or laptop. No, it’s not as fast as if you recorded directly to your OSD, but it does let you save those DVR recordings so you can free up more precious DVR space.
5. Sharing pictures with loved ones.
One thing that a lot of cameras have is the ability to plug into a TV and share pictures just taken, with others. The OSD can do this, and it’s already hooked to your TV, so you don’t have to go digging in your cable drawer for that proprietary video cable. Just pop your SD card out of your camera and put it into the OSD to share pics.
4. Watching YouTube on your TV.
Are your kids constantly getting on your computer just to watch videos on YouTube? Well you can now do this through your OSD; tell your kids to use the OSD to watch their YouTube videos, while you finish up that blog post or podcast.
3. Listening to Music or Podcasts/Watching Video Podcasts.
Let’s face it, wires stink. Also, when you’re roaming your home trying to get housework done or laundry, wires get caught on everything. Trust me I know! No one I know goes through more headphones than I do. So, when you’re doing house work, to avoid tearing up your headphones or dropping your iPod in the toilet, attach an OSD to your TV and Stereo, put a thumb drive or USB hard disk full of music on it, build a play list, set it on shuffle, and proceed to make your house sparkle! The best part is that your iPod will avoid accidentally going for a swim in your bowl.
2. Convert DVD’s (which is FAIR USE).
I have actually done this a couple times to watch a DVD on my Eee PC, which has no built in Optical Drive. The movie industry would have you believe it’s not right, but the law says you can make your own backup copy; this is fair use. Besides, DVD’s are now a limited media. Once BlueRay and HDTV’s drop down to the price Joe Six-Pack can pay, then DVD’s will die (I predict that within 2 years, they will no longer be sold). With that said, some DVD’s probably won’t make it to BluRay for a long time. VHS had the same problem when it was on its way out. So now you can convert your DVDs to nice video files, and watch them on your iPod, PSP or PMP until an updated HighDef version of Bob The Builder comes out. Ok….this one may be more to keep your sanity than for preserving the video quality but…
1. It’s Open.
The best reason, in my opinion, to buy a OSD is because it’s open. Unlike a DVR from Comcast or Time Warner, the OSD can record to a lot of different formats, and none of them have DRM. After recording, you can then move your content to whatever device you would like to watch it on.
You can also make money on the OSD if you are a developer, as there are bounties out there for both the OSD and the upcoming OSD2.
The best part of developing for the OSD is that you will have better support than Microsoft, Apple, Dell or any of the big companies would give you, because Neuros isn’t afraid of their consumers; in fact, they want their help so that their products can become even better. Try that with a Apple TV or a Xbox 360! The OSD and the upcoming OSD 2 will both be able to do things they weren’t capable of when shipped. Most of this isn’t necessarily because of Neuros. A lot of it is because of the community of developers that has sprung up around them. Also, at $179.99 via the, the OSD is a steal. It’s upgradeable, it can do a lot of what the Apple TV can do, and it isn’t locked down, so you aren’t locked out of coding what you think should be possible. Neuros’ mantra is the “Power of Freedom,” and you have that with the OSD. So buy your geek a Neuros OSD for Christmas; take it from me, he’ll love it.