Troubled start for Horizon in Switzerland

Horizon TV multiscreenUPC Cablecom’s launch of its Horizon product in Switzerland has met with the same teething problems as in the Netherlands.

Newspaper reports as well as large numbers of negative postings on consumer forums suggest Swiss viewers are experiencing similar problems as Horizon customers in UPC’s home territory. .

However, the operator said the launch has been successful and 20,000 units have already been shipped.

Meanwhile, UPC Cablecom has halved the price of new Horizon products, but the company has denied this has anything to do with the issues. The operator had already factored in the price reduction, according to Swiss newspaper Tagesanzeiger.

UPC Cablecom also said it is not selling a beta-version of the product. Spokesperson Marc Maurer told the paper that people may contact customer service whenever they experience any problems.

Speaking to Broadband TV News, spokesperson Andreas Werz said that a weekly poll among 3,000 Horizon custoners 800 gave the product a rating between 7 and 10 on a scale from 1 to 10 and half of them gave a rating of 6 or more.

The sets of problems are very much like the ones Dutch UPC customers are experiencing, such as failing series link recordings, slow reaction, freezing set-top box, complicated user interface, difficulty finding past recordings in the list of icons rather than a name list. There are also complaints that the remote control does not have any fast buttons and that using teletext is not very stable.

Like UPC Nederland, UPC Cablecom has also promised a number of software updates to address these and other problems.

In the spring, a new remote control will be introduced with a full keyboard on the back and direct buttons to the TV Guide, to record, to On Demand, to Back to TV and to Back to last watched channel.

Also, later in the year new software versions are promised with easier navigation, a separate favourite channels list, a choice between picture and name list for PVR recordings, better options for deleting recorded programmes, and easier TV Guide navigation.