At this year’s IBC Liberty Global was showing its new Connect Box, which is due to roll out before the end of the year on Ziggo, Telenet and Virgin Media.
The new high-speed modem was on show at the Liberty Global stand at the Amsterdam show, but without any technical specs. However, the accompanying video showed the box is offering very fast Wi-Fi in the home as well as offering telephony customers the ability to use a special phone app to take and make calls anywhere at home rates. Versions of this app have already been available for some time on Ziggo, the former UPC in the Netherlands, UPC Cablecom in Switzerland and Virgin Media. With the app, customers can make calls via Wi-Fi using a smartphone or tablet and at the same rates as a fixed line subscription.
Full details of the new Connect Box will be presented during the next few weeks. The logos on the boxes which were on display showed Ziggo, Telenet and Virgin Media as well as the more generic Liberty Global flower, indicating a launch in multiple countries.
During IBC, Broadcom announced the commercial availability of DOCSIS 3.1, quoting Balan Nair, Liberty Global EVP and CTO, saying “DOCSIS 3.1 is making it possible for Liberty Global to deliver enhanced services to consumers later this year.” This could indicate that the new Connect Box includes DOCSIS 3.1.
At the stand, LG was also showing a cloud-based version of its Horizon platform called Horizon Lite, which will be introduced in some of the cable operator’s CEE territories. It enables interactive services on legacy set-top boxes and includes various on-demand services as well as the Replay TV function, allowing customers to restart a programme from the beginning. Although no details were available, it is believed that Horizon Lite is based on technology from ActiveVideo Networks.