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KIT digital reveals major role in Horizon project

Liberty Global's new Horizon boxes

Liberty Global's new Horizon boxes

New York-based firm KIT digital, a specialist in TV Everywhere solutions, has confirmed that it helped design and develop the delivery platform for the new Horizon TV service from pan-European cable operator Liberty Global.

KIT digital was selected by Liberty Global in early 2011 to provide the overall design, implementation, end-to-end platform testing and managed services for Horizon TV, and has subsequently delivered its Online Enterprise Service Platform (OESP).

“This was a complex service to get to market as we went live with a number of business models and consumer experiences including subscription VOD, transactional VOD and linear VOD, across multiple devices, languages and currencies,” said Chris Butlin, KIT digital’s VP Client Services.

“The Online Enterprise Service Platform (OESP), managed and run by KIT, provides extensibility and scale and will ensure that multiple LGI properties around the globe will be able to quickly and successfully get new services, like integrated multi-screen, to market.”

The Horizon TV platform will first be rolled out to Liberty Global/UPC’s existing customers in the Netherlands, followed by Switzerland in the fourth quarter and Germany and Ireland early 2013.

Horizon TV is a new family of media products that allow customers to view and share all of their favourite content across the TV, computer, tablet and smartphone, and is powered by a user interface that navigates and recommends digital content from cable, on demand libraries, personal devices, selected apps and online sources.

Liberty Global launched its new Horizon gateway at the IBC trade show which closed earlier this month in Amsterdam, after a lengthy development period of over two years, and its CTO Balan Nair revealed at the event that although the company had planned to test acceptance of the new devices with a few friendly customers and partners, it has already sold out of the devices they expected to ship over the next three weeks.

The Horizon gateway serves as a full triple-play box delivering not only video, but also super-fast Internet and voice connections along with a wireless network for the home. 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.

Its confirmation as a major partner for Liberty Global will come as a welcome fillip to KIT digital, which conceded earlier this week that it is being forced to shed 300 jobs (22% of its entire workforce) as part of efforts to trim its operations and focus on core offerings.

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