Posts tagged ‘horizon’

UPC adds 21 Horizon apps

imageUPC has added 21 apps to its Horizon Media box, bringing the total to 35. The apps have been automatically added. The Dutch cable operator said it plans to further extend the menu this coming year.

One of the apps added on 8 January is one which allows customers to access Facebook. Customers can post messages about favourite programmes on the social media site using their remote control, or iPhone or iPad. Read the full article here.

Published by telecompaper – Cable Congress 2013 Media Partner

Liberty Global reveals Horizon numbers

Horizon launch exceeds expectations

Cable giant Liberty Global has sold over 50,000 Horizon subscriptions since the September launch of its next generation platform in the Netherlands. President and CEO Mike Fries said the company will launch Horizon TV in Switzerland later this year, followed by Ireland and Germany next year.

Announcing its third quarter results, Liberty Global added 18,000 digital cable subscribers in the period ending September 30, taking its digital penetration above 50%. The growth of Liberty Global’s digital subscriber base to 8.8 million RGUs was led by strong performances in Belgium, Poland, Germany and Switzerland.

The loss of video subscribers in some markets that has affected Liberty Global in all quarters during 2012 continued in the third quarter, with 90,000 losses reported. That compares with losses of 59,000 a year earlier. Germany suffered from video losses of 26,000, compared with 7,000 a year earlier, due to a combination of video price increases for certain single dwelling units and the loss of a housing association contract during the quarter. Additional video losses were experienced in Poland due to increased competition in the market.

Overall RGU growth in the quarter was more positive, representing Liberty Global’s second best third quarter ever. Growth was led by Germany, Belgium, Hungary and Swiss operations, which between them accounted for around 80% of total additional.

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Liberty Global: Cable services will transition over time to cloud-based infrastructure

Cable services will transition over time to cloud-based infrastructure

Aamir Hussain, Managing Director and CTO of pan-European cableco Liberty Global, on the work needed to prepare for major new gateway product Horizon (launched at IBC last September), and the extra revenue possibilities that IP delivery brings to cable networks.

Can you tell us more about the work needed to prepare Liberty Global’s European networks for Horizon?

The key work it needed was based on a cross-collaborative effort and included the foundation investment in DOCSIS 3.0 infrastructure, investment in home networking capabilities, and Horizon’s platform capabilities to support search, recommendations and personalisation. This was all underpinned by support for cloud infrastructure to rapidly deliver Horizon services to additional markets.

What are the biggest revenue possibilities that IP brings to cable networks?

These will certainly include support for and revenues derived from the growing market for Web applications, IP devices and mobile devices. For example, the number of mobile devices worldwide is projected to grow to 50 billion devices worldwide by 2020: to put that in perspective, there are about 5 billion mobile devices today, in a world of about 7 billion people.

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Pushing boundaries: next-gen cable services

As European cable operators tentatively begin to roll out next generation platforms, Graham Pomphrey, Digital TV Europe (@DTVEGraham) assesses the chosen strategies and considers the challenges being faced.

On the Horizon

Although we are at an early stage, the maturing of some western pay TV markets, and the potential for saturation within them, has seen some operators look to advance their already popular services. The strategy is to either upsell additional services like huge VOD libraries, connected TV functionality and associated broadband connection, or to attract often scarce new subscribers. Virgin Media and Ono are already doing the former with TiVo technology, Zon Multimédia is using NDS-based middleware for its Iris platform while Liberty Global’s Horizon is set to launch in the Netherlands in the third quarter, to be followed by Switzerland, Germany, and Ireland later this year.

Liberty Global’s CEO Mike Fries has said Horizon will have a transformative effect on the company by enabling the cable giant to satisfy consumer demand to be able to draw content from the web to the TV, and to receive their ‘cable’ experience across multiple screens. “It will set our customer’s expectations and the quality of the consumer experience at a whole new level,” Fries told DTVE at the Cable Congress event earlier this year.

There is no doubt that Liberty Global has a strong market position, with a customer base of around 18.4 million and existing relationships with content partners. The biggest challenge is how to market the service. With around 10 million subscribers taking analogue services and operations in various emerging markets, Liberty Global, will need to market the service carefully. Fries has already said that Horizon will be “not that expensive”.

Making progress

While Horizon has been on the metaphorical horizon for some time – reports first emerged about the platform as far back as 2010 – cable operators Virgin Media and Ono have already launched services that merge traditional TV with web services. Partnering with US middleware-and-DVR specialist TiVo, both operators have been able to pioneer advanced services in their respective countries.

Virgin Media’s TiVo platform allows users to pause and rewind TV, offers advanced search and recommendation, provides access to catch-up services from the UK’s public broadcasters, including iPlayer, and offers access to web apps from Twitter, eBay, Facebook and Spotify amongst others.

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The Revolution Will Be Televised (pick a screen)

Change seldom comes with warning but is always expected in the technology sector. 2011 brought us a new chief at Apple, HP having decided to spin off its PC business, Motorola being sold to Google and the loss of another woman tech leader after Carol Bartz’s high profile Yahoo! exit. In the meantime, social media applications have helped the world keep an eye on big change in the Middle East.

Disruption Central

Also no stranger to changes of late, Rupert Murdoch once said that “the world is changing very fast and that the big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow.” This certainly applies to the role of the screen.
No such thing as a TV anymore?

Time Warner’s Chairman and CEO, Glenn Britt caused a stir this year by casually (and publicly) signalling the beginning of a new era where content is more important than how we view it, “There’s no such thing as a TV anymore.” It’s not a fatalistic remark, however. It is a heads up for the business of providing content. EU and worldwide policy makers are not free of the associated challenges. The management of copyright and rights clearance is a task that won’t get easier for business or policymakers. Streamlining will require effort that is widely seen as needed for Europe’s ever-modernizing single market.

I want it all, I want it now

tvThe number of devices is increasing. If you’re not watching a video clip on YouTube from your laptop, you might be checking the news on your handheld device or sending a tweet on your iPad – all with the TV on. We access content daily without thinking twice about the devices we’re using. Content passes through an increasing number of devices much more easily than in the past. Once a buzzword, convergence is something that consumers simply expect. It’s why cable providers are integrating their video services through broadband access, iPads and PCs.

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