UPC Nederland will start piloting the new Horizon box this July, Liberty Global CEO and president Mike Fries has told the Denver Business Journal. Following this early trial, the box will be more widely deployed from September.
The new set-top box, manufactured by Samsung, will be able to find and stream internet content on a TV alongside the regular cable fare, and send videos and other content to tablets and other devices around the home. US cable companies have been planning similar devices, but Liberty Global’s will be out first, Fries told the newspaper.
The company hopes the new box will help chip away faster at the dominance of large telecom competitors, which are often slow to offer customers new technology, according to Fries.
John Malone, the company’s chairman and founder, told a June 21 shareholders meeting that technology innovation has become the main factor for success in the cable and telecom industries. He is enthusiastic about Horizon, according to the Journal, and predicted that the company will be invited into new markets for its technological prowess, not just for its money.
LGI now sees the chance to lead the technological shift in its markets instead of reacting to it.
Ever since the original announcements about the Horizon project, news has been coming out sparsely. This spring there were some rumours circulating that the box encountered delays, but they were rebuffed by the operator. The Horizon boxes will be manufactured by Samsung and run the NDS Snowflake user interface.