Liberty Global plans to launch the Horizon box on its German nets in the second half of 2012, said Lutz Schüler, CEO Unitymedia.
According to Schüler, speaking to the German newspaper WAZ, the set-top box will first be launched in The Netherlands early in 2012. In Germany, Horizon will be made available to Unitymedia customers and on the recently acquired Kabel BW network.
The CEO is confident of the potential of the new box: “Horizon could be for television what the iPhone is for mobile phones. We want to establish a platform that enables independent developers to offer their products through our network. Horizon will work with apps. Programmes that work with TV channels or simplify access to internet sites.”
Talking about the absence of Sky’s HD channels on the Unitymedia network, Schüler said: “We do not refuse to carry Sky. This is of course a question of commercial conditions. We will agree with Sky in this respect in 2012. I’m convinced of that. And then, the number of Sky HD channels on our network will increase.”
Schüler also confirmed that the cable operator will continue to distribute analogue TV channels on its net, also after the analogue switch-off on the Astra satellite. “We see the switch-off as a change for us. Especially elderly people are afraid of getting a new satellite receiver. Because they fear they do not understand the new technology. We are ready to welcome them as new customers.”