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Unitymedia launches horizon the new multimedia centre

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The long-awaited Horizon box is positioned as a new all in one super-device (STB, HD recorder, Wifi router, cable access to phone/ internet). …

The long-awaited Horizon box is positioned as a new all in one super-device (STB, HD recorder, Wifi router, cable access to phone/ internet).
Horizon is marketed as a revolutionary way to experience TV. Whether or not Horizon is able to satisfy its premature praise, will be analysed in the following presentation by the business consultancy Mücke, Sturm & Company.


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  • 1. September 2013 FLASH INSIGHT Unitymedia launches Horizon The new multimedia centre
  • 2. Copyright This document is intended for personal use only. Distribution is only permitted without any changes or omissions – publication, in whole or in parts, requires prior written consent by MÜCKE, STURM & COMPANY and correct citation of sources. All mentioned company names, logos, brands, brand symbols and other copyrighted material are the sole properties of the respective company; they are only used for illustrative purposes. 1
  • 3. Unitymedia does not revolutionize TV with the launch of its long-awaited Horizon box in Germany, but delivers a state of the art TV experience. Overview The promise  The long-awaited box is positioned as a new all in one super-device (STB, HD recorder, Wifi router, cable access to phone/ internet)  Horizon is marketed as a revolutionary way to experience TV  Key promise in Germany: „Bald richtet sich das Fernsehen nach dir“ Source: MS&C Analysis The facts  The feature set encompasses all relevant TV features (e.g., VoD, multiscreen, recommendations)  The appealing and modern user interface is, like others in Europe, based on NDS Snowflake  The Hardware is very advanced with a 500GB HDD, a 1Ghz chip, and 6 tuners The background  Horizon has been announced for years and delayed several times  Starting in 2012, Liberty Global rolled out Horizon to the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland and finally Germany  With Horizon, Unitymedia strengthens its position as the central hub in the homes of their customers The future  Ongoing improvement of the Horizon platform: “H2” and a new remote control have already been released  Across all countries, Liberty sees additional potential for Horizon such as  “Horizon WiFi spots”  WiFi-enabled mobile telephony  Horizon-branded multi SIM cards 2
  • 4. The feature set encompasses all relevant TV features and follows an integrated approach across live and on demand content on all devices. Feature Set Multiscreen Within the home network, the Horizon box can stream content to smartphones and tablets (iOS) VoD “Unitymedia Videothek” with 6,000 movies and shows integrated Recommendations Personalized recommendations are given based on editorial input and user history Fast Zapping 2 of the 6 tuners are being used to preload other channels and boost the zapping time Media Library Access to recorded shows and media from via WiFi connected devices - Screenshots based on UPC Netherlands‘ Horizon TV Source: MS&C Analysis Further Features Timeshift Up to 4 parallel recordings Serial recordings EPG with extensive options to sort and filter channels Cross-media search App World (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, ) Parental control 3
  • 5. The Snowflake-based Horizon user interface smoothly overlays the current program and represents an appealing and modern user experience. User Experience Start screen has live TV in the background Menu easily overlays live TV program without interfering with the overall user experience Channel and programm information Horizontal lead through the main menu Screenshots based on UPC Netherlands‘ Horizon TV Source: MS&C Analysis 4
  • 6. The box manufactured by Samsung may be large in size, but it is powerful inside and can be considered a technological frontrunner in Germany. Hardware Hardware facts QWERTZ keyboard on the back  Horizon box functions as a central access point for the home and can be interconnected with other devices via WiFi  500 GB hard drive for 65 hours in HD or up to 175 hours in SD quality  6 separate TV tuner for  reduced reaction time while channel-switching  picture-in-picture preview  parallel recordings (up to 4)  Hardware by Samsung, Intel ATOM chip, 1 GHz processor  Unitymedia offers also a light version of the Horizon box, which is only a receiver („Horizon Interactive“) and lacks any recording- or gateway-functionality of the full version („Horizon Gateway“) 1 Scart, HDMI, 2 RCA, Optical S/PDIF, RJ45, 2 USB 2.0, IEC169-2, ISO 7816, 1 Coaxial, 2 Phonelines Source: MS&C Analysis  Additional hardware clients for multiroom capability are announced 5
  • 7. The Horizon box is not a revolution, but a huge step forward for Unitymedia – and a move every competitor should watch closely. Outlook Outlook With Horizon, Unitymedia outpaces its rivals Kabel Deutschland and Entertain in terms of features, box functionalities, and user experience and clearly narrows the gap to Sky. The multiscreen offering, although only available in-home so far, could become a key feature. Yet, it remains to be seen whether these criteria already influence German TV customers buying decisions. So far, Unitymedia does not aggressively push Horizon into the market, but launches the new platform quietly. Source: MS&C Analysis We are constantly analyzing industry trends and developments in the sector of technology, media and telecommunications. If you would like to discuss the impact of Horizon on your business, please get in touch with: Patrick Sturm Managing Partner p.sturm@muecke-sturm.de 6
  • 8. Appendix Impressions „Live TV“ Impressions „On Demand“ 7
  • 9. When switching on the TV, the user starts in main menu with the “Now on TV”mode chosen. Impressions „Live TV“ 1/6 Screenshots based on UPC Netherlands‘ Horizon TV 8
  • 10. The horizontal context menu (dubbed “info bar”) is focused on content – the user can get information on the current, following and similar shows, and access apps. Impressions „Live TV“ 2/6 Screenshots based on UPC Netherlands‘ Horizon TV 9
  • 11. With the “More like this” option the user gets recommendations for similar live TV shows and on demand content. Impressions „Live TV“ 3/6 Screenshots based on UPC Netherlands‘ Horizon TV 10
  • 12. Apps like Facebook, Twitter and Wikipedia can also be launched directly from the info bar while a live TV show is running in the background. Impressions „Live TV“ 4/6 Screenshots based on UPC Netherlands‘ Horizon TV 11
  • 13. The live TV context menu (dubbed “action menu”) allows the user to pause and record the program, to get more information or recommendations for similar content. Impressions „Live TV“ 5/6 Screenshots based on UPC Netherlands‘ Horizon TV 12
  • 14. Zapping between live TV channels is very fast due to two additional tuners always preloading the next channels (one up, one down). Impressions „Live TV“ 6/6 Screenshots based on UPC Netherlands‘ Horizon TV 13
  • 15. Appendix Impressions „Live TV“ Impressions „On Demand“ 14
  • 16. In the Netherlands, “On Demand” includes both VoD and catch-up; it is not known yet if Unitymedia offers catch-up content besides its own VoD portal in Germany. Impressions „On Demand“ 1/5 Screenshots based on UPC Netherlands‘ Horizon TV 15
  • 17. The user experience in the “On Demand” section is strongly based on video covers. Content can be sorted alphabetically or by genre. Impressions „On Demand“ 2/5 Screenshots based on UPC Netherlands‘ Horizon TV 16
  • 18. As in the main menu, horizontal and vertical navigation elements are intelligently interwoven in the “On Demand” section. Impressions „On Demand“ 3/5 Screenshots based on UPC Netherlands‘ Horizon TV 17
  • 19. Next to “On Demand”, “My Library” is the second section including content that can be consumed anytime. Impressions „On Demand“ 4/5 Screenshots based on UPC Netherlands‘ Horizon TV 18
  • 20. In the library, various media content (videos, photos, music, apps) from the Horizon box as well as other devices in the home network are accessible. Impressions „On Demand“ 5/5 Screenshots based on UPC Netherlands‘ Horizon TV 19