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Hardware Hacking Television Build

First Impressions of the Neuros Link 64

Posted by kdawson
from the full-screen dept.
DeviceGuru writes "Having recently constructed the BoxeeBox, DeviceGuru blogger Rick Lehrbaum naturally was eager to check out Neuros Technology's somewhat similar IP-TV set-top box. Lehrbaum's first-impressions review of the Neuros Link describes the device's hardware and Ubuntu-based software, shows screenshots of its functionality, identifies a handful of weak spots, offers some specific suggestions for improvement, and shares a few hacks (including adding an HDD and Boxee). All in all, he concludes, the Link's hardware is more than worth its minimal $300 pricetag."
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First Impressions of the Neuros Link

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  • It looks hideous (Score:1, Interesting)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Friday February 27, 2009 @10:53AM (#27012459)

    I'm not one to normally hold a device's physical appearance against it, but if something is going to be sitting near the TV in plain view, it has got to be better looking than the Link.

    Features Shmeatures. This thing is ugly!

  • Re:Sounds nice but (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Thelasko (1196535) on Friday February 27, 2009 @12:02PM (#27013489) Journal

    But the builder in me would rather build something out of a nice hardwood or plexi-glass. (Depending on the decor of the house).

    I found some nice art deco examples here. [slipperyskip.com]

  • Re:Sounds nice but (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TrentTheThief (118302) on Friday February 27, 2009 @01:05PM (#27014379)

    I have a LINK, too.

    If you want a small, cheap media center that has no future, you go right ahead on and buy that POS thing that HP is flogging.

    I've had my LINK for two weeks. It rocks. It plays any file I throw at it. MKV, Dixv 3-6, DVDs.

    Expansion slots? Yeah, it has slots. It also has an active hacking/mod community that's experimenting and enjoying the chance to contribute and have some fun with a cool toy.

    If you prefer "appliances" to computers, that's fine. Buy what lets you sleep at night. I'll stick with something that lets me make it work the way I want it to, not the crap that HP and Dell are flogging, thank you very much.

    When you get your new appliance, see if you can run Elisa, MythTV, and Boxee on it. Let me know if you can manage to add a SATA raid to it, too.

    And get off my damn lawn, too. Damned kids.

  • Re:Sounds nice but (Score:3, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday February 27, 2009 @01:24PM (#27014625) Homepage Journal

    If you want a small, cheap media center that has no future, you go right ahead on and buy that POS thing that HP is flogging.

    Just let me say here and now that I will never again buy anything from HP. While after much wailing and gnashing of teeth they replaced my complete lemon of a laptop with a substantially upgraded model, the price I paid in agony (mostly time on the phone, lord spare me from overseas technical support) was not worth the difference. It's sad because eCost has a TON of stuff from HP that looks sexy as all get-out but I know that if I have even one problem (and I probably will) then I will regret ever even looking at the fucking stuff.

    When you get your new appliance, see if you can run Elisa, MythTV, and Boxee on it. Let me know if you can manage to add a SATA raid to it, too.

    I've actually been buying used, sort-of-appliance-class computers lately with super-low-power consumption in mind. I bought two DT Research machines based on the Geode LX 800, a WebDT 360 and a DT168. Both are fanless and diskless (flash storage, and I have more on the way) and I put Debian Lenny on the DT168, then attached my XFS-formatted MyBook 1TB that was formerly attached to my laptop, when it ran Linux. My firewall/AP is a WRT54G with DD-WRT v24sp1 micro. My media player is currently an Xbox running XBMC, but I am looking into putting together something running Linux to do the same job at HD resolutions. I also have a Rokubox and I'd love to figure out how to use that to stream the video, but I'm not sure it can handle all the codecs I want and my server has too little CPU to transcode.

  • Re:It looks hideous (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JoeBorn (625012) <jbornNO@SPAMneurosaudio.com> on Friday February 27, 2009 @04:54PM (#27017483) Homepage Journal

    I have a Xbox running XBMC and it's amazing for less than $100. Saying "XBMC is better" then going on to conclude that the $300 Link is "an exceptional value" doesn't make sense. His conclusion does not match his observations.

    Well, this combines a HW and SW comparison. Wrt to HW, a modded second hand X Box is an unbeatable value for standard def, period. It was subsidized HW and can't be beat (particuliarly at $100). If you can get past the modding headaches and SD limitations, you won't find a better value. In fact, if you need component and composite connectors, the LINK doesn't support that at all.

    That being said, the LINK is many years newer hardware. The processor is 2.8 GHz 64 bit v Xbox's 733 MHz (IIRC) etc. and the LINK has HDMI, HD GPU, etc.

    Wrt to SW, the LINK is evolving from its starting point of basically stock Ubuntu with a collection of apps (including XBMC and Boxee) to a more seamless, integrated experience. The app software is all GPL, so parts of many apps will be integrated over time, there is still lots of experimentation ongoing (and getting community input during this period is precisely why we launched to users early)

    Joe (from Neuros)

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