Company: Streaming Networks
Price: $259.99 US
Last year I reviewed the original “iRecord” from Streaming Networks. I found this fine product very interesting with much promise, so it was without hesitation that I agreed to look at the iRecord Pro unit when Streaming Networks contacted me.
The iRecord Pro (IRP) is a personal media recorder. The good folks at Streaming Network boast that it is the only product on the market that can record video and audio direct to any iPhone or iPod Touch. Additionally, IRP can accept input from a wide variety of devices: camcorders, TVs, cable/satellite boxes, DVRs, TiVos, DVD/CD/VCRs, cassette decks, and even turntables. On the other side, the IRP has an equal number of impressive output options: iPod, PSP, Walkman, Zune, iPhone, PS3, Apple TV, Xbox 360, Windows PC, Mac computer, or direct to flash drives or hard drives.
The IRP sports stereo line level inputs as well as composite video and S-video inputs. Output is achieved through standard USB 2 cables.
Video output is in H.264 format at full D1 (720×480), VGA (640×480) resolutions with native iPhone/iPod Touch resolution at 480×320.
The unit itself comes with S-video, RCA video/stereo audio cables and a USB cable. A power adapter and a remote control are also included.
The remote is basic, but a nice touch:
Ports on the back:
Using the IRP:
The iRecord software was nice, but not very helpful:
The software will allow you to transcribe MPEG2/1 video for portable players. You can also use the software to upgrade the firmware of your unit.
When attempting to copy a DVD I own for my personal use, I was very disappointed to see this warning screen:
However, as I said in the video review, you can copy a movie directly to an iPod. That movie will not sync with iTunes.
Here is an example of the quality you can expect:
Overall, I like the iRecord Pro from Streaming Networks. If you consider how many different kinds of video and audio inputs you can can actually plug into this unit, the iRecord Pro really is the “Swiss Army Knife” of personal video recording units. I can’t think of a video or audio unit that you couldn’t connect to the IRP. I wish the restrictions for recording DVD content I own were not present, but I think Streaming Networks has made a reasonable compromise by allowing direct copying to a video iPod.
This is a pricey unit and the software could be more useful. I’d like the fans to be a bit quieter. Bottom line: if you want to record video from just about any source you can think of, the iRecord Pro should be on your shopping list.