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MGI Unveils Personal Video Platform

The burgeoning personal video recorder market may soon be getting a little more crowded after imaging software developer MGI announced a new PC-based platform designed to help a computer carry out many of the same functions as a TiVo or Replay set-top box.

The new software was announced by Hitachi, which said it is using MGI’s Pure Diva video recording program in a special computer it is selling in Japan at a suggested retail price of about $3,000. Like a TiVo or Replay device, Pure Diva software will let users pause and rewind live TV broadcasts, or record programs to a hard drive.

Hitachi calls its PC the Prius DECK 610M, which is outfitted with an Intel 500MHz Pentium III processor, a TV tuner card, and a DVD drive. It is equipped with a 15″ flat-panel monitor. MGI said its software will allow the PC to record and store up to six hours of programming at a time, using the ADAMS EPG (Electronic Programming Guide) containing TV listings. It also supports Japan’s Bitcast enhanced TV viewing feature, which is transmitted within TV signals of Japanese broadcasts.

MGI is betting that marketers of PCs and PC/TV devices will follow Hitachi’s lead in adopting Pure Diva for U.S. products.