IBC 2011 – AMSTERDAM. During the closing keynote on Thursday, September 8, Mike Fries, president and CEO of Liberty Global, is expected to give details on the Horizon gateway that is due to roll out to UPC customers in The Netherlands and later across the operator’s European footprint.
Ever since the original announcement about the Horizon project early 2010, Liberty Global has remained tight-lipped about the specs. However, over the past 18 months the company spoon-fed us with titbits of information. Fries will speak at IBC during the closing keynote “Cable and Satellite – Future Directions in a Hybrid World”
The first news of Liberty Global’s gateway plans were revealed by Mike Fries during the 2010 CES in Las Vegas in January 2010, where he indicated that UPC is looking to bring the TV Everywhere concept to Europe.
In May 2010, the first details emerged of the partners in the venture, Intel, NDS and Samsung.
During the 2010 Cable Show in Los Angeles, Fries expanded further on the gateway plans: “We have a new approach to the product. The gateway will be serving IP clients in the home. We put all the smarts in the box that will serve as the hub for the house. It will deliver content to all these clients, set-tops, PCs, iPads, and so on. The solution is very elegant and makes totally sense. And the good thing is, these are all existing products, everything is off the shelf. We are the first to bring it together.”
During the CTAM Europe 2010 meeting in Budapest, in September 2010, Fries said he welcomes other MSOs to Horizon project. Fries told the audience to expect the first working boxes by next summer . “As an industry we can no longer rely on traditional programme guide, the grid, that is not going the work. We need to go forward and develop a more powerful tool and use a more elegant approach. Until now, we have simple decoders, not powerful devices. Our new boxes will have the smarts.”
In October 2010, the first pictures of the Hoirzon gateway emerged, when Liberty Global chief strategy officer Shane O’Neill gave attendees at the annual TIF conference at Dublin Castle the first glimpse of the Horizon Connected Home Gateway,
At the 2011 Cable Congress in Lucerne, Fries said he was confident that the new Horizon box offering TV Anywhere will be the Google TV killer the cable industry needs in order to curb cord cutting.
In June 2011, Fries told the Denver Business Journal that the first set-tops would be tested in July 2011. Following this early trial, the box would be more widely deployed from September.