Today users can control their favorite TV shows by either using TiVo or using software such as Windows Media Center and SnapStream Beyond TV on a computer or HTPC. Now, Nero has decided to enter the market which combines the worlds of TV and PC. In the next couple of weeks Nero will launch its new Liquid TV – TiVo PC package, which effectively turns a standard PC into a full-service TiVo DVR. In fact, it will even have the same interface and program guide. The bonus features consist of the option to burn recorded shows to DVD or export them to portable devices such as iPod or PlayStation Portable.
Nero currently states that two versions will be offered. The cheaper one, priced at $100, is a software only version, and its market consists of PC users which already have a TV tuner card installed and a remote (such as USB, IR or Bluetooth remote controls). The regular package, priced at $200, offers a complete deal in the form of a standard TiVo remote, USB DTV tuner/antenna for over-the-air analog and digital TV (HD broadcasts supported) as well as an IR blaster for controlling external cable and satellite boxes.
According to Nero, the software supports up to four TV tuners, one of which can be an external set-top box. Both versions include a year’s worth of TiVo service (required for use). Nero hasn’t officially set the renewal fee for the service, but company reps suggested that it will be less than the $13 per month that’s the baseline for owners of the set-top TiVo boxes.
Due to LiquidTV’s demanding hardware requirement, older PCs might not be able to run it. However, the advantage is a major increase in speed and responsiveness compared to recent TiVo hardware. Furthermore, the software has a control overlay, so one can easily control it with the PC’s pointing device while sitting at the desk. Other advantages include the easier management of content using a computer, in the form of DVD burning, external storage backup, and so forth. Although transcoding and compression phases still take time with Liquid TV, it is still faster than before since all data is already on the hard drive. It is worth mentioning that LiquidTV doesn’t offer internal support for internet based services found on TiVo boxes, such as Amazon Video-on-Demand, TiVoCasts, podcast support, and internet radio; but, since users already use a computer, such services are only a mouse-click away.
Although other alternatives PC based services exist (Hulu and Slingbox come to mind), it seems that the increase in demand for integrated computer-television products creates a solid market for Nero and TiVo’s new product. Udo Eberlein, CEO of Nero AG said: “For more than a decade, the world’s largest mobile and consumer electronics brands have trusted Nero for technology leadership and category creation. Now, with Nero LiquidTV – TiVo PC, we are providing a next-generation DVR application that integrates the renowned TiVo service with the PC. This solution is truly a platform on which our vision for liquid media – where content can be easily accessed anytime, anywhere, and on any device – will become a reality.”
TFOT has also covered the CineBox Home Theater system, which offers the experience of home theater outdoors, Sharp’s largest LCD display, sized at 108 inches, and HP’s achievement of the One Billion Colors Display, made during a two-year collaboration with DreamWorks Animation.
For more information about Nero LiquidTV – TiVo PC, see Nero’s press release.