TiVo and software maker Nero are partnering in the launch of a new platform that will bring TiVo's popular digital video recorder (DVR) experience to PCs. The platform comes with a one-year subscription to the TiVo service, which automatically finds and digitally records a user's favorite TV shows.
Beginning Oct. 15, Nero will offer consumers in the United States and Canada two purchase paths for adding TiVo to PCs -- a complete hardware-software kit retailing in stores for $199 and an online software download priced at $99, said Nero Senior Vice President Kris Barton.
The complete Nero LiquidTV-TiVo PC kit "includes all the software and hardware required to turn your PC into a TiVo PC," Barton said. "The other solution is for people who already have all the necessary hardware built into their machines and just want to purchase the software."
Two Paths to TiVo
Designed for use on PCs running Windows XP or Vista, Nero's kit includes a TiVo PC remote, a TV-tuner PC card, and the IR Blaster -- a USB peripheral that generates an infrared connection between a cable or satellite box and the PC.
"The IR Blaster's function is to make sure that your PC and your set-top or satellite-top box are talking to each other," Barton said. "You won't need it if you are using a regular antenna or have the cable signal coming to the TV right out of the wall."
Nero's software download option, which will also be available to consumers in Mexico, is for customers who already have the requisite hardware installed on desktop PCs and laptops.
"A lot of PCs now ship from the manufacturer with TV tuner cards already built in," Barton said. "Everything else is optional. You can use a remote control but don't have to" because the same functions can be performed by "the PC's keyboard and mouse."
Nero also took the wraps off two more software offerings, including the latest upgrade to the company's flagship multimedia product. Nero 9 provides users with a virtual toolbox for creating, editing, copying, storing and converting multimedia content so it can be sent to other devices on a network or shared with online communities.
"Nero 9 is our Swiss Army knife product because it does a little bit of everything and does everything decently well," Barton said.
Among other things, Nero 9 integrates ad-zapping technology that both detects and removes commercials from a movie and joins the movie pieces seamlessly together. A music-grabber capability identifies music clips within a movie or music video and automatically extracts the audio to MP3 files that can be added to a playlist.
Nero 9 is for users who understand what multimedia is all about, need a full range of options, and want complete control, Barton observed. By contrast, Nero Move It is designed to make it "brain-dead simple" to quickly and painlessly convert music, videos, and photos from one file format to another so the content can be accessed across a broad range of portable and mobile devices.
"The transfer of multimedia content to mobile devices is a difficult problem for consumers to solve," Barton said. "With Nero Move It, the consumer doesn't have to know or tell the software which formats to convert. The software just does it automatically."