Vodafone Germany launches hybrid TV platform
Published: 11.29 UTC, February 16, 2011 by Robert Briel

Vodafone Germany is rolling out its Vodafone TV service with its hybrid Vodafone TV Center at the heart of the system. The hybrid box allows customers to (continue) to receive analogue cable and digital satellite chanenls alongside Vodafone TV’s IPTV offer. The box will automaticlaly select the best possible reception.

Vodafone’s plans were first revealed at last year’s IBC in Amsterdam, when Diego Massidda, director of video & connected, Vodafone Germany, outlined the company’s TV ambitions. The original launch date of December 2010 was not achieved, but the operator has now started to roll out the service.

A starter package, including broadband access and basic TV, will cost €39.95 per month for the first year, with a regular price of €51.90. New susbcribers need to sign a contract for a minimum of 24 months. Rental of the IPTV receiver including a 320 GB PVR is included in the subscription fee.

The company promises on top of the dozens of free-to-air and premium channels, “thousands of movies” from its VOD library with details to be announced. Of course an EPG is part of the offer.

This week, both the RTL Group and ProSiebenSat.1 announced they concluded carriage deals with Vodafone. The IPTV service will carry RTL Group’s free to air channels RTL, Vox, RTL II, Super RTL and n-tv, as well as its premium channels RTL Crime, Passion and RTL Living. The HD offer also brings the broadcaster’s two HD channels, RTL HD and Vox HD.

From ProSiebenSat.1, Vodafone will offer Sat.1, ProSieben, kabel eins, 9Live and sixx as well as premium channels Sat.1 Comedy and kabel eins classics. Sat.1 HD, ProSieben HD and kabel eins HD will be included in the HD bouquet.

The entry of Vodafone into Germany’s TV market is interesting, especially after the announcement that Deutsche Telekom is now again entering the TV wholesale market together with Sky Deutschland. Vodafone has am advanced propostion with their hybird IPTV box allowing customers to continue to use their existing way of watching television (via analogue cable and digital DTH) on top of which they are able to receive the additional TV channels and VOD service via IPTV.

This is really the second time the operator has tried to enter the TV market. Before Vodafone took control of Arcor, the company also launched an IPTV service, but ended the experimental roll-out because it could not make the business case work.

It remains to be seen if Vodafone can be successful with the more advanced product in the German traditional TV market.