Ars got their hands on Nero's freshly-announced LiquidTV/Tivo PC team up, and thought the Tivo software and Hauppauge TV Tuner hardware was a good experience for $US200 ($US100 for software only). They looked not only at how the UI functioned in the PC environment, but also at export options, content exchange, and hardware performance. Here's what they liked and didn't like.
The Good: • Feels Like Tivo — Ars really liked that the whole Tivo experience exists on Tivo PC with few limitations.
• The UI is made for the PC — Ars noted that the interface works as well with a keyboard and mouse as it does with the remote. You can click with ease, or use the keys to do what you need to do.
• PC Versatility — With Tivo PC, you can swap content between other Tivos or Liquid TV setups on the same network. You can also remotely schedule programs to record.
The Bad: • Exporting — The ability to export to PSP or iPod was a plus on paper, but the execution wasn't so great. Ars said that even with a 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo and 8 GB of RAM on a Mac Pro, it took even longer than the minute of conversion for minute of content that Tivo PC suggested. Secondly, the lack of customisable encoding options and automated uploading to devices detracted from a good experience.
• No TivoCast Support — Downloading from Tivo content partners like The Onion is not an option on Tivo PC. I'm sure there are some legal issues for this, being on the PC and all, but still, it's nice to have content like that already waiting for you.
• No CableCard Support — if you want to record more than Over The Air content in HD, you're out of luck with Tivo PC. Nero says they plan to add CableCard support in the future, but Ars doesn't think we'll see it any time soon.
So there you have it. If you want a good, solid DVR program that records basic TV content, this might be right for you. If you want more, you may want to look elsewhere. [Ars Technica]