IBC: Horizon gateways a big splash for Liberty Global

Liberty Global's new Horizon boxes

Liberty Global's new Horizon boxes

The incubation period is finally over for European cable giant Liberty Global/UPC’s new Horizon gateway, which has launched at the IBC trade show currently taking place in Amsterdam, with company CTO Balan Nair stating that demand is already running at fever pitch.

Based on the Snowflake user interface from UK software specialists NDS (now part of Cisco), the devices are managed by the NDS Unified Headend, and enable the delivery of content and services to multiple devices in and out of the home, all with a unified look and feel and leading functionality tailored to the device.

The Intel Atom-powered boxes are being rolled out in the Netherlands initially, then Switzerland, Germany and Ireland within the next half year. Mr. Nair told a press gathering earlier today that the company had planned to test acceptance of the new devices with a few friendly customers and partners, but has already sold out of the devices they expected to ship over the next three weeks.

“We are delighted to be announcing the launch of the Horizon platform,” said Mr. Nair. “Over the course of this project we have worked with some outstanding partners to achieve an industry first, and through the provision of the key technologies and solutions for Horizon, NDS have been instrumental in enabling us to provide such an exceptional user experience for our subscribers.”

Liberty Global serves around 8mn subscribers across Europe with digital cable TV services, which account for a little under half of its total TV base.

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