Barnes & Noble revamps Nook Store discovery for new HD tablets

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A day after unveiling its new Nook Video service, Barnes & Noble announced the launch of two new high-definition Nook tablets, also promising a revamped Nook Store highlighted by enhanced app recommendation features.

Barnes & Noble will sell the seven-inch Nook HD at $199 and the nine-inch Nook HD+ at $269; both will arrive at retail in early November. The arrival of the tablets heralds an overhauled Nook Store including Nook Channels, which recommends apps, e-books and multimedia content based on Barnes & Noble data and expertise as well as algorithmic technologies. Customers can browse and shop Channels spanning a host of subjects, genres and themes.

The Nook homescreen boasts the Your Nook Today icon, which includes the latest Newsstand subscriptions (delivered via Wi-Fi) as well as apps and new titles matched to the user's profile. Barnes & Noble is also rolling out Nook Catalog, which delivers tablet-optimized complimentary catalogs from retailers including Pottery Barn, L.L.Bean, Frontgate, Garnet Hill and Harry & David, as well as refreshed designs for newspapers and magazines.

The Nook HD tablets additionally introduce Nook Profiles, designed for households where multiple users share one device. Each family member creates his own profile, accessible via the Nook homescreen and customized to his particular tastes and interests--parents can also install passwords to block mature content from children and implement additional settings and passwords to manage kids' access to the Web, email, content and shopping.

Barnes & Noble revealed Nook Video Tuesday. The service enables consumers to stream and download feature films and television programming to devices including Nook tablets as well as smartphones, tablets and connected TVs from other manufacturers. Launching in the U.S. later this fall and expanding to the U.K. market in time for the holiday season, Nook Video will offer titles will in both standard and high-definition formats. All content is stored in the cloud, enabling a consumer to begin watching a video on one supported device and continue his viewing experience on another device exactly where he left off. Barnes & Noble additionally will integrate Nook Cloud with DVD and Blu-ray discs encoded with the UltraViolet digital rights authentication system, enabling UltraViolet digital content playback across Nook devices and Nook Video apps as well as through third-party apps.

The introduction of the Nook HD devices promises to escalate Barnes & Noble's ongoing tablet rivalry with Amazon, which revealed its new Kindle Fire HD tablets earlier this month. According to iSuppli data published last month, Amazon controls 4.2 percent of the worldwide tablet market, ahead of Barnes & Noble at 1.9 percent but far behind Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad at 69.6 percent.

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