Germany’s third-largest cable operator Tele Columbus will launch its multiscreen platform AdvanceTV combining linear TV, video-on-demand (VOD) and apps on January 16, 2017.
The core element of the Ultra HD/4k-capable platform the company presented at a press event on December 5, 2016 in Berlin is a set-top-box which brings the TV and video services to the TV screen and, through the customer’s local Wi-Fi network, to tablets and smartphones.
The box manufactured by Humax contains four tuners and can be used as a personal video recorder (PVR) for TV recordings and time-shifted television through an optionally available 1TB plug-in hard drive. The associated smartphone and tablet apps will be available for iOS and Android.
In total, 15 partners are involved in Advance TV including Espial, Cisco, Verimatrix, Elemental, M7, Gracenote and Metrological.
More recent movies are available – mostly at the same time as their DVD/Blu-ray release – as part of a transactional VOD service for an individual payment between €1.99 and €5.99 for a 48-hour period. The films are provided by On Demand Deutschland, the VOD joint venture between Tele München Gruppe and Vubiquity. The company holds contracts with Hollywood studios such as Warner, Universal, Paramount and Fox.
“The new TV and entertainment platform AdvanceTV underlines our innovation power through which we redefine TV entertainment on cable networks,” Ronny Verhelst, CEO of Tele Columbus Group, said in Berlin. “With AdvanceTV, we have reached our goal: the fusion of today’s completely fragmented TV and video universe into a new unified entity.”
A special feature is the comprehensive search function which doesn’t just cover free-TV and pay-TV channels, but also the VOD services. At a later stage, personal recommendations customised for the viewer’s individual taste will be added. Also, TV channels’ catch-up services will be integrated via HbbTV.
The smart app portal will contain Vimeo, Flickr, Dailymotion, Google Maps, Wikipedia, wetter.com, Deezer, TuneIn and Deutsche Welle among other services at launch.
The AdvanceTV box will be offered both for sale and for rent, as Lars Lanske, project manager of Tele Columbus, told Broadband TV News. The price details will be announced at launch.
Lanske disclosed that the company wants to offer its customers an Ultra HD/4K TV channel available exclusively on the cable network of Tele Columbus with the launch of AdvanceTV. VOD content will also be provided in the new resolution.
Maxdome is already gearing up for Ultra HD: The ProSiebenSat.1 subsidiary wants to add 4K movies to its portfolio next year, maxdome’s managing director Filmon Zerai told Broadband TV News. He didn’t specify a date, but said that it won’t be in the first quarter.
For the first time, he elaborated on maxdome’s customer figure: It is “quickly approaching one million”, Zerai disclosed, adding that the VOD provider managed to double its customer figure each year in the past years.