Deutsche Telekom will launch a new generation if its IPTV platform Entertain on May 2, 2016.
The core of Entertain TV, as it will be called, is the new HD receiver MR 400 which combines linear TV, on-demand services, catch-up portals and apps and acts as a multiscreen gateway to smartphones and tablets.
Two new features will make TV consumption more comfortable for viewers, Michael Hagspihl, managing director of Telekom Deutschland’s consumer business, said at a press conference during the presentation of Entertain TV in Berlin (see image). With restart, a currently running TV programme can be set back to the beginning. Through the 7-day replay function, users can jump back up to a week in the EPG and watch selected programmes they missed.
Telekom will also add further third-party apps to its platform: In addition to its own video-on-demand (VOD) service Videoload and maxdome operated by ProSiebenSat.1, Sky On Demand and Watchever will be offered. This marks the first time Sky On Demand (see image) becomes available on a third-party platform. Netflix is to be added soon. Talks are underway with Amazon about integration of its VOD service, revealed Hagspihl.
ARD-Mediathek, the catch-up service of German public broadcaster ARD, will be added to the catch-up TV portfolio.
With a new user interface, Telekom wants to make it easier for viewers to find the desired content. The search function not just covers TV channels, but also on-demand and catch-up services and, for example when searching for a TV series, gives an overview of the next episodes on linear TV channels and the episodes available on-demand.
The separate listing of SD and HD channels will be dropped: Entertain TV will only offer the highest available resolution of the TV channel selected by the customer.
The new HD box MR 400 (see image) is not suitable for Ultra HD/4K, though. Telekom wants to wait for the new video format to have reached a wider market penetration among TV households, explained Hagspihl.
In total, Entertain TV offers over 300 TV channels including 100 HD channels and around 120,000 pieces of on-demand content as well as more than 2,000 radio stations.
Premium service Entertain TV Plus including HD box MR 400 will be offered for a monthly surcharge of €14.95 to customers of Telekom’s telephony and internet subscription package MagentaZuhause, further tariff options will follow. All current Entertain customers can upgrade to Entertain TV Plus: They have to send their old receiver to Telekom and receive the new box in return.
The German telco’s IPTV platform launched 10 years ago currently has 2.7 million customers. By the end of this year, Telekom wants to exceed the 3 million customer mark.