Published: 09.12 Europe/London, June 10, 2011

UPC Nederland will introduce a new version of its VOD portal featuring more graphic elements including cover art.

Until now, the operator has been using a series of text based pages in order to guide viewers to the catch-up TV and VOD content. The new GUI shows cover art of movies and various TV series and should be more attractive to the viewer. However, the possibilities of the Open TV middleware are limited.

The VOD portal software update comes in advance of a completely overhauled service based on NDS Snowflakes as part of UPC’s Horizon project, which is expected to start to roll out later this year.

UPC will also enhance its VOD offer by extending the number of movies from the current 350 to around 2,000 titles. Also, the operator plans to offer rental of TV series seasons, akin to the boxed sets of series. Such rentals would give access to a complete series for a couple of weeks rather than the 24-hour rental for movies.

The operator was showing the new portal at a kick-off presentation of the Dutch Video on Demand promotional association, which brings together a number of players in the VOD business.

Three Dutch operators, UPC, Ziggo and KPN, one hardware manufacturer (Samsung) and six content owners (Disney, A-Film, Dutch Film Works, Universal, Sony Pictures, Warner) have joined forces to promote VOD in the market. According to the latest figures, 750,000 people in The Netherlands used some kind of free or paid VOD service 100 million times.