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Neuros OSD Video Station and Media Centre
Like everything else about the Neuros OSD, its name is deceptively simple. Neuros is the company name, while OSD stands for Open Source Device. You see, the Neuros is actually running a custom form of Linux, and the company has not only left the software open for customisation, but has released full details on all the hardware specifications, to make it as easy as possible to program for. The one potential problem is that no matter how ingenious, code creators will be limited by the existing hardware. But even on this front, Neuros is a bit more open than usual, with the occasional hardware upgrade or revision already having improved the device in several areas since its market debut.
As Firefox proves, open source can be incredibly successful. It's a simple concept, and as long as your project can garner some sustained interest from the community, you get an incredibly flexible and ever-evolving product at little or no software-development cost to the manufacturer. It has been done before, but never on a product like this, and Neuros deserves nothing but praise for the idea.
Before we get into the software side of the Neuros OSD, let's see how the hardware holds up. We don't usually mention a product's packaging, but in this case I'm willing to make an exception. The box it comes in is a lovely affair made from thick, high-grade cardboard, with full colour, laminated pictures. What is more, the clasp keeping it securely closed is magnetic - hmmm, magnetic. Anyway, getting onto the contents, you get a full-colour quick start guide with a lot of text, the unit and its stand, a remote control with batteries, two SCART to composite adapters, two 3.5mm to composite cables, a mini 2.5mm jack to serial cable for altering the firmware programming, mini jack to IR extension cable (or IR blaster), and a power adapter.
Following on from the stylish box, it certainly doesn't hurt that the device itself looks pretty good. It may feel slightly flimsy, and it does wobble a bit when you put it down on its thick rubber pads, but it's not what I'd call an eye sore - especially when you attach it to the included stand, which is a simple matter of clicking it in. Naturally, the stand also has protective pads, and thankfully doesn't wobble.
The Neuros sports a glossy piano black finish. Unfortunately, since it's constructed using inexpensive plastic, the finish scratches easily, and dust and fingerprints are far more obvious than one might want. But as long as you're very careful with it, its curved shape and diagonal orientation when attached to its stand make it attractive enough that it wouldn't look out of place beside your other AV kit.