Getting video footage to your portable media player can be a lengthy process that normally involves TV tuner cards, break out boxes and software to then format it to fit the correct screen resolution. So can one device take away all the fuss? We look at the Neuros MPEG-4 Recorder 2 to find out.

So you've got a PSP and now you want to take advantage of the large screen to watch movies. The easiest option is to opt for buying UMD discs with your favourite movies and be done with it, but UMDs are ridiculously expensive and don't come with the bevy of extra features or documentaries normally found on DVDs.

In steps the Neuros MPEG-4 Recorder 2, a recording device that allows you to record straight from your television, DVD player, Sky box, or anything else that takes a phono socket just like a VCR straight on to your PSP without the need to get a computer involved.

The small shiny black unit is around the size of paperback novel and acts as a hub for the plethora of cables that you'll need to connect to it.

Luckily, all those cables come in the box and this allows you to connect a video out to the television so you can see the software interface and a video source in so you can record the results.

Aside from the input sockets, the Neuros is pretty much devoid of buttons, instead choosing to allow you to control the unit by remote control. It is all very hi-tech, but it needn't have been. Losing the said remote renders the device unusable, which could be very annoying.

While the device is primarily aimed at PSP users with its support for the Memory Stick format, future customers with other media players will be pleased to know that the device also allows you to record directly to a Compact Flash card as well.

Connecting the device to a television means you can see what you are doing and the software interface is basic, but works.

The MPEG-4 Recorder 2 supports three resolution settings VGA (640 x 480) for near-DVD quality playback on TV; QVGA (320 x 240) for high-compression playback on most handhelds (like the new iPod video); and WQVGA (368 x 208) optimized for playback on PSP.

The Neuros also has four recording quality settings: Superfine, Fine, Normal, and Economy.

Verdict

From start to finish, the Neuros MPEG-4 Recorder 2 is a basic device that gets the job done, and done well.

It would have been nice to include a timer function so you don't have to sit there waiting to press record and the whole experience does remind you of life before electronic programme guides.

If you've got a PSP or an iPod for that matter then this is a very good way of getting content off your television on to your portable media player.

Just remember that you'll still need to invest in a Memory Stick big enough to copy plenty of content on to.