UPC introduces CI Plus in The Netherlands
By Robert Briel
Published: September 13, 2010 11.23 Europe/London

IBC 2010 – AMSTERDAM. UPC Nederland is introducing CI Plus on the Dutch market. The cable op also announced ‘remote recording’ from mobile devices. Speaking at a press conference, UPC Nederland CEO Diederik Karsten said the VOD service is a success with viewers.

The CI Plus module will be available later this year. Further details with regards to price, retail channel line up and distribution will follow.

UPC sees CI Plus as a solution for viewing digital TV via a second or third TV set at home. CI+ will be offered via a rental model. Customer can also opt for HD and premium sports and film channels. CI Plus does not offer any interactive options, such as Video on Demand or Catch up TV.

‘Remote Recording’ allows UPC customers to view the Electronic Program Guide (EPG) and then set up a recording for a particular programme. The App will first be available for the iPhone and iPad, with dedicated versions in the planning stage for Symbian and Android.

With regards to VOD, UPC Nederland now reports a total of 120 requested streams since its inception in 2007. At the moment some 5 million requests are sent every month. About one-third is for the Catch-up TV services from the main Dutch commercial and private broadcasters – with those of SBS added later this year.

A further one-third of all requests come from the Channel on Demand section, which now comprises 16 branded channels including Disney, Discovery, Nickeloeon, FoxLife and local content from the Ajax football club.

UPC now has 20 HD channels in its line-up and the number of HD subscriptions grew 30% during the second quarter of the year – success due to the run-up of the World Cup football games. For the moment, the cabler is not contemplating launched a dedicated 3D channel, “simply because there is not enough quality and interesting content available”, according to Karsten.