Horizon looks to the cloud

March 13, 2014 09.22 Europe/London By By Julian Clover & Robert Briel, Cable Congress 2014, Amsterdam

Balan NairLiberty Global is preparing to launch a second iteration of its Horizon platform.

Speaking at Cable Congress Balan Nair Chief Technology Officer, Liberty Global, said the next generation version would roll out in the next 30 to 45 days.

The new version would put the User Interface in the cloud with plans to next place linear channels there.

People familiar with the situation remained tight-lipped about the actual UI in the cloud and the services it will offer. Announcements are expected during this year’s NCTA Cable Show in Los Angeles later this spring.

Horizon in the cloud will not be rolled out in any of the current territories where the platform is available (The Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Ireland).

Last September, Liberty Global enlisted ActiveVideo’s CloudTV software platform to expand the reach of user experiences offered by Horizon TV.

Mike Fries broke the news about taking Horizon in the cloud during an investor call in August.

Meanwhile, UPC Nederland is currently updating the firmware of its Horizon set-top boxes that are with consumers in The Netherlands. The upgrades are implemented region by region and require no action from the consumer.

Improvements include a solution for the temporary loss of sound and vision, which happens with a number of the boxes; a better HDMI-handshake to make the box compatible with more TV sets; and enhancements of the catch-up TV service Uitzending Gemist, timeshiftimg and DNLA functionality.