Telenor’s DTH satellite platform Canal Digital is to adopt the TiVo hybrid technology and user interface for customers across Scandinavia. The move confirms the position of TiVo as a major middleware supplier to the pay-TV sector and is the first win for technology supplier Conax following its March agreement.
For subscribers in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, TiVo will act as the next generation platform, seamlessly integrating linear satellite and terrestrial TV channels, Canal Digital’s video-on-demand service and other over-the-top options.
Christian Albech, CEO of Telenor Broadcast Holding, said TiVo stood head and shoulders above its competitors: “The Scandinavian pay TV market is one of the most competitive in the world, which means that Canal Digital must continue to offer the market’s best content and user experience. TiVo remains the gold standard for television user interface and offers an unmatched level of ongoing innovation for the consumer and the operator.”
In recent months Canal Digital has struggled with its technology offer against the NDS-powered progressive download technology and middleware offered by rival Viasat. In September Canal Digital launched a new HD PVR using software running on the Linux platform, which can now be seen as a holding statement.
“Canal Digital is renowned for successfully pioneering the introduction of new TV technology to consumers in Scandinavia, including digital broadcasts, HDTV, PVR and most recently, hybrid VOD,” said TiVo president and CEO Tom Rogers. “We believe that the presentation of these assets through the TiVo user experience will create the most compelling video service in Scandinavia, bar none”.
The operator will work with sister company Conax, which will continue to provide conditional access, ahead of an integrated product launch. “Conax is very pleased that Canal Digital has chosen the TiVo solution including conditional access from Conax. Canal Digital will represent an excellent reference customer for the Tivo-Conax platform. Over the next months, Conax will work closely with Canal Digital and TiVo to implement and successfully commercialise the solution,” says Berit Svendsen CEO of Conax. Although Canal Digital is the first to sign, the company said there was “quite a lot of interest’ from other customers.
Canal Digital’s first “networked” box will provide a variety of groundbreaking capabilities including universal search, home networking, integration with mobile devices and of course PVR functionality.
TiVo’s earlier announced contracts with Virgin Media and Ono will use set-top boxes from Cisco, though Technicolor has also announced plans for a TiVo receiver.