WATCH VIDEO. German fibre optic network operator Exaring has rolled out its IPTV platform waipu.tv offered nationwide on its own technical infrastructure.
The line-up comprises more than 50 public and commercial free-to-air TV channels that can be watched both on the TV set and smartphone. The portfolio includes ARD, ZDF, RTL, ProSiebenSat.1 and smaller broadcasters.
The channels get to the TV set from the customer’s broadband internet connection through Google’s HDMI stick Chromecast. Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV will be supported from the end of 2016.
Smartphones are connected through the household’s local Wi-Fi network. Browser-based access for PCs or laptops is not offered.
Through the waipu.tv app available on the Google Play Store for Android and on the Apple App Store for iOS the smartphone acts as the remote control for the IPTV service. Navigation is through wiping on the smartphone’s screen. This also explains the name: “waipu” means “to wipe” in Japanese, an Exaring spokesman explained to Broadband TV News.
Part of waipu.tv is a cloud-based virtual video recorder through which users can create their personal TV archive. It is also possible to pause currently running TV programmes and continue watching them later.
Three packages are offered: The Free package with 26 public and small commercial channels in SD resolution is free of charge. The Comfort package for €4.99 per month contains 52 channels in SD resolution, the pause function and 10 hours of TV recording capacity. The bouquet can be tested at no charge for one month.
The Perfekt package for €14.99 per month offers many of the 52 channels in HD quality, the pause function, 50 hours of storage capacity and the possibility to watch all channels on the go through mobile networks.
For an additional monthly fee of €5.00 Comfort customers can watch many of the channels in HD quality and also for a surcharge of €5.00 per month they can use the mobile TV service. For further extra fees, the storage capacity of the virtual video recorder can be increased. The packages and options can be cancelled monthly.
The TV line-up will be expanded to more than 100 channels in early 2017; Ultra HD services are also planned.
As a distinctive feature, Exaring doesn’t rely on the open internet like OTT players such as Zattoo, Magine TV and TV Spielfilm live. The Munich-based company uses its own fibre-optic network reaching 98% of German internet households, according to Exaring. This prevents distortion of the video quality when the publicly accessible internet is in high demand, for example during the evening hours.
To gain last mile access to the customer’s home, Exaring collaborates with around 15 large cable operators and ADSL providers including Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Unitymedia, Telefónica, 1&1, Freenet, NetCologne, EWE TEL, QSC and M-Net. Customers wanting to use waipu.tv need to be signed up for internet access from one of these peering partners.
For SD television reception, bandwidth of at least 6Mbps is required, for HD at least 16Mbps.
With the IPTV platform, Freenet expands its activities in the TV market. The German media company which holds a 25% stake in Exaring bought technical services provider Media Broadcast in March 2016 which operates DVB-T2 platform Freenet TV.