The cloud-based interactive TV services rolled out by Ziggo has been declared a resounding success with over 229,000 set-tops activated. The cabler is now testing cloud TV with CI+ 1.3 modules.
Earlier this year, the Dutch cable operator was the first in the world to roll out a fully cloud-based interactive DVB-C TV service. By combining the IP protocol with the DVB-C standard, even set-top boxes without built-in hardware functionality for interactivity are able to provide interactive services via cable.
By September 30, the number of activated decoders with this new streaming graphical user interface (SGUI) had grown to over 229,000 decoders, from 60,000 in Q1 and 150,000 at the end of Q2. Today, the SGUI account already for over 50% of the VOD activity. On September 30, Ziggo had over 542,000 customers with an interactive receiver or recorder, up from 480,000 as at the end of Q2 2013.
Building on this success, the operator started a field test with the first CI+ 1.3 modules in the second week of July. The new CI+ 1.3 standard provides optional access to interactive services. Ziggo said the new service will be available at the beginning of November, a worldwide first to offer interactive TV over a common interface.
This introduction will further increase the number of interactive receivers in Ziggo’s customer base and stimulate growth of its video-on-demand services and revenues. Currently, over 900,000 of its customers watch digital TV using a legacy version (1.2) of the common interface. Only those customers who have purchased a certified CI+ 1.3 TV will be able to use the interactive services associated with the new CI+ 1.3 module.
Today approximately 250 different TVs from Philips, LG and Samsung have been certified for interactive TV with the new CI+ 1.3 module and Ziggo is in the process of certifying more brands.
On September 15, Ziggo received an award from the International Broadcast Convention (IBC) in the Content Delivery category with the first fully cloud-based interactive DVB-C TV service in the world.