At IBC, Liberty Global presented “Horizon,” a media and entertainment platform for the home, which integrates cable, Web-based and personal content. Horizon is designed to put a computer at the heart of the digital home. The multimedia gateway will create a wireless network that connects the TV to personal devices – computers, tablets and smartphones. The TV interface uses 3D graphics and images.
Supported by search and recommendation features, it will integrate access to personal media content such as photos, music and movies stored in the home or in the cloud. Horizon will also allow customers to take their entertainment experience beyond their home TVs. Applications have been developed for smartphones and tablet devices (second screens) as well as Web browsers that will enable a similar and complementary experience on different devices both in and out of the home.
The Horizon ecosystem is an open and scalable platform for the future on which developers can continue to improve and enhance the functionality for consumers. Liberty Global is working with international and national content providers, such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, to develop applications for its standards-based app store. Liberty Global is reaching out to potential content partners and third party application developers and will soon launch a software developers’ kit for Horizon, inviting them to join the already existing 60 content partners that have developed apps for the new platform.
Liberty Global is currently executing field trials on Horizon in the Netherlands and later in the year will move to consumer trials. Commercial launch is planned for Q1 2012 at UPC in the Netherlands, with UPC Cablecom in Switzerland and Unitymedia in Germany following soon thereafter.
Liberty Global has developed Horizon with a set of technology partners. Samsung built the multimedia home gateway, which will be powered by the Intel Atom CE Media Processor. The middleware and the user experience will be provided by NDS. Nagravision will provide the conditional access solution through NAGRA Media Access. This solution will support MoCA and Wi-Fi, and participate in the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) ecosystem. The ability to enable the TV experience on different devices (computers, tablets, smartphones) both in and out of the home will be delivered by IOKO’s enterprise service platform and by thePlatform video content management system.