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Nero To Bring TiVo To The PC

New York — Nero, one of the market-leading developers/vendors of disc copying and PC backup software, is launching a trio of applications, including the first implementation of a fully functional TiVo DVR to actually reside on a PC.

The company is also launching today its Nero 9 multimedia application suite featuring a host of new tools for multimedia playback, editing, ripping, burning and file backups, and a new program called Move It, which is billed as a utility tool that will enable easy drag-and-drop transferring of A/V content and data files between a wide range of devices.

The TiVo application, which Nero calls LiquidTV-TiVo PC, will be available through retail stores on Oct. 15 and is designed to bring “the entire TiVo experience to the PC,” said Richard Carriere, Nero president.

The package, which will sell for a $199 suggested retail, includes software and hardware including: a NTSC/ATSC Hauppauge 950Q tuner card, TiVo remote, a portable antenna and one year of TiVo subscription service. Nero said the included service is a $130 value.

Subscription-renewal rates after the first year have not been set, but Carriere said it “will be lower than what people pay for a TiVo subscription today.”

A software-only version of the LiquidTV-TiVo PC will also be available from the Nero Web site for $99, including one year of TiVo service, for people who may already have TV tuner card in the systems.

The tuner card will allow an SD connection via composite or S-Video jacks to a cable or satellite box to access content from TV service providers. It will also receive free over-the-air broadcasts, including high-definition programs that will be displayed in full resolution on the PC monitor.

High-definition content from TV service providers can only be shipped to the PC over analog SD jacks.

Users can also burn any recorded program onto recordable DVD or Blu-ray media via an applicable burner drive in the PC, Nero said. Copy-protection issues won’t apply to cable and satellite content, since HD content will be down-converted to SD to ship over the analog inputs on the supplied tuner card.

Although TiVo has developed its own applications that allow sharing TiVo recordings with PCs connected through a network, Nero’s application will allow the full functionality of the TiVo experience directly on the PC. The user interface is the same as that found in the onscreen interface in TiVo set-tops.

The Nero application adds to the TiVo experience the ability to transfer recorded shows to iPod or PSP devices.

Nero expects to sell the LiquidTV package to be positioned in both the PC and TV departments of retail partners, Carriere said.

Launching today is the Nero 9 multimedia suite for PCs ($99 suggested retail), which Carriere calls “the Swiss Army knife of multimedia applications.”

The package features a variety of burning, editing, backup and playback software tools and targets mainstream consumers “who are very enthusiastic about their media but might not know anything about the technology behind it,” Carriere said.

New to the suite is Nero StartSmart offering playback, ripping, burning, copying and backup functions; a re-designed Nero ShowTime application; Gracenote integration in four applications; highly enhanced Nero Vision with easy editing features; and a new authoring user-interface. Also added is a new TV experience with Nero Live in Vista MCE and Vista Sidebar Gadget, and a new Rescue Agent with full device and format support.

Nero 9 offers slideshow and video creation with Nero Vision, with integrated Movie Wizard templates for various occasions, and burning to DVD to watch on TV, or print personalized CD labels.

For video editing and burning, Nero 9 provides support for capturing and editing AVCHD content, customizable with transitions and 2-D/3-D menu templates. Users can add soundtracks and credits for a professional-like home movie.

The package will also support burning finished products to DVD and Blu-ray media in PCs with applicable drives.

Nero Live enables watching TV programs in high quality and to record shows and transfer them to mobile devices such as iPods or DVDs for playback in laptops.

The new Nero Move It application is billed as a solution for collecting, organizing, publishing and converting multimedia files between a wide range of devices. It was designed to work with the specifications of the most popular portable and mobile devices, and will provide free updates for others as they become available.

The software will convert files in multiple formats, provide the best profile transcoding quality, convert files offline, automatic detect devices and profile selections, transfer numerous files to multiple devices simultaneously and will use the “latest and best codec’s supported,” Nero said.

Move It will also simplify the practice of publishing multimedia content with online communities, including YouTube and MySpace. It will also enable importing content from those locations.

Move It will be available today at Nero’s Web site for download at $39.99 and at participating retailers for a $49.99 suggested retail.

The company is also exploring opportunities to bundle the program with OEM PCs and multimedia device manufacturers.