Novelties What This Gadget Can Do Is Up to You
By ANNE EISENBERG The New York Times January 6, 2008
"HACKERS, welcome! Here are detailed circuit diagrams of our products
- modify them as you wish."
That's not an announcement you'll find on the Web sites of most consumer electronics manufacturers, who tend to keep information on the innards of their machines as private as possible.
But Neuros Technology International, creator of a new video recorder, has decided to go in a different direction. The company, based in Chicago, is providing full documentation of the hardware platform for its recorder, the Neuros OSD (for open source device), so that skilled users can customize or "hack" the device - and then pass along the improvements to others.
The OSD is a versatile recorder. Using a memory card or a U.S.B. storage device, it saves copies of DVDs, VHS tapes and television programs from satellite receivers, cable boxes, TVs and any other device with standard video output.
Because the OSD saves the recordings in the popular compressed video format MPEG-4 (pronounced EM-peg), the programs can be watched on a host of devices, including iPods and smartphones. The OSD is for sale at Fry's, Micro Center, J&R Electronics and other locations for about $230.