Dutch consumers were very fast adapting their viewing behaviour after the introduction of the Replay TV service on the Horizon set-top box.
Mark Giesbers, VP Video Products at Liberty Global, told international journalists this morning at IBC that within a year up 65% of Ziggo subscribers with the Horizon STB had been using the service. Replay TV enables viewers to start a programme from the beginning, up to 7 days after the original broadcast, simply by going back in the EPG.
The Horizon TV experience is now available in six Liberty Global territories and the number of Horizon STBs in consumer homes has passed the 2 million mark. In a number of other countries a “Horizon-like” TV experience is available on legacy set-top boxes. The company also offers access to live TV as well as replay and on-demand content via the Horizon Go app on iOS, Android and the web.
Currently, two-thirds of all Horizon Go usage across Europe is on tablets and smart phones, whereas one-third is via laptops and desktops. Giesbers said the operator is also planning a Windows 10 version of the app in the next few months.
Balan Nair, EVP and CTO for Liberty Global, said the company is expanding its European cable networks to reach ten million new homes over a five-year time-span. To put the magnitude of this operation in perspective, Nair said this is comparable to the total number of homes passed by the number 3 US cable operator, Cox Cable.
Pieter Vervoort, the company’s VP Connectivity Products mentioned the company is developing a new Connect App, which will help people with their broadband and wifi services. The app is set for release in the spring of 2017.
Consumers have two worries, according to Vervoort, when it comes to connectivity. First there is wi-fi in the home, where customers currently see coverage levels of maybe 90%. “So there might not be wifi in the attic,” said Vervoort. With new devices such as a ‘boost box’ or powerline solutions, the company aims to help bring in-home wi-fi coverage to the 100% mark.
The other worry is connectivity outside of the home, with Liberty Global now offering free wi-fi spots as well as wi-fi access spots. The newly planned Connectivity App will help people on all these issues, while also giving information about individual data usage.
Meanwhile, the operator’s Connect Box has now been installed in 1.3 million homes across all of Liberty’s 14 markets in Europe and Latin America. It is the first device fully conceived, developed, and owned by Liberty itself and is an example of how the company wants to unify its product portfolio across its whole footprint over time.