Belgacom to roll out major updates to TV experience

UPDATED 17:00 GMT 13/6/12: Belgian telco Belgacom has revealed details of the changes it is making to its IPTV service ‘Belgacom TV’ from June 19th, including improved menus, increased readability, a high-performance search engine, and personalised recommendations of TV programmes and movies for each family member.

These new features are the result of customer satisfaction studies done on the products and services offered by Belgacom, and will be introduced via software updates to the existing set-top boxes.

The menu will be made easier to read, thanks to a 16/9 HD display, and will offer faster zapping and navigation with more images, providing a more pleasant and intuitive experience.

The new search system is powered by solutions from Israeli firm Jinni, and will allow users to quickly find a movie or series in the “on-demand” catalogue using keywords and predefined categories. In addition, customers can now search all the content (on regular television or the on-demand catalogue) and access a list of programmes, movies or series similar to the ones selected.

Each family member will also be able to receive personalised recommendations based on their regular usage as well as taste. By creating a profile and completing an online questionnaire (here), each family member will receive personalised recommendations via the television.

Belgacom TV's new user interface

Belgacom TV's new user interface

This service is free of charge and easy to activate. It can be deactivated and reactivated at any time. To refine the recommendations offered even more, users can give a score to the series or movies selected for them.

These new features will be updated automatically and for free, based on a household’s geographic zone, starting June 19th. A message will appear on the TV screen four days in advance to notify the Belgacom TV customers concerned of this update. All the customer has to do is leave his modem switched on and his decoder connected. A confirmation message will also appear on the screen after the installation.

The first decoders benefiting from this update will be the last generation decoders, i.e. those that display the name of the channel on the front. Belgacom TV will gradually update other decoders in the months that follow.

Screenshots of the updated user interface can found on a dedicated Flickr stream here.

Belgacom recently expanded its TV Everywhere service with four new channels, and revealed plans to add a further two channels later this month, bringing the total available on the service to 30 – more details here.

Belgacom TV added 43,000 subscribers in the first quarter of this year to reach 1.254mn, after launching its service back in 2005.

The telco gained a new competitor recently after Alpha Networks launched its own IPTV and over-the-top (OTT) video services – more details here.

The country’s TV market is however dominated by cable operators Telenet and VOO, which together account for around 80% of the country’s 4.5mn TV households.

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