Sweden’s largest cable operator Com Hem has chosen German multiscreen software company 3 Screen Solutions (3SS) to provide the custom launcher solution for its new Android TV 4K hybrid set-top-box.
The Com Hem TV Hub is the world’s first major Android N deployment based on Android TV operator tier with integrated Google TV services, according to 3SS.
Com Hem’s two separately branded services, Com Hem Play and Boxer, are able to provide their subscribers with separately branded Android TV Ultra HD (4K) user experiences by making use of the customisation capabilities of 3SS’ 3Ready solution. This includes, for example, different launchers, content configuration and user features.
Com Hem Play transmits via cable, IPTV and OTT while Boxer uses DTT and OTT. With a phased rollout, the set-top-box is deployed to serve Com Hem’s combined 1.4 million Swedish subscriber households.
The Com Hem TV hub contains live TV, catch-up, subscription and transactional video-on-demand services as well as content from partners including Netflix and Swedish broadcasters SVT and TV4.
3Ready also supports the rollout of future service enhancements including Ultra HD channels as they are added to the Com Hem’s service offerings.
“To be entrusted by Com Hem to deliver its new Android TV platform is a huge honour,” said Kai-Christian Borchers, Managing Director of 3SS. “The combination of innovations made possible by 3Ready and the many appealing features of today’s Android TV is a game-changer which we believe is enabling Com Hem to set a new benchmark in digital entertainment.”
The Ukrainian mobile operator Kyivstar has added four new packages to its Domashny TV (‘Home TV’) service.
Known as Minimal, Basic, Comfortable and Maximum HD, they cost from UAH40 (€1.24) to UAH220 a month and contain from 68 to 120 popular Ukrainian and international TV channels, some of which are in HD.
In order to get users acquainted with all the benefits of the upgraded service, the Basic package is being offered free of charge for a trial period of two months.
Subscribers can watch TV channels and videos on up to two TVs simultaneously and four in the case of those who opt for the Maximum HD package.
The service can also simultaneously be viewed on up to three other devices (PCs, tablets and smartphones). Furthermore, customers who opt for the new tariffs will see the cost of renting their receiver halved to UAH20 a month.
Aside from TV channels, viewers are also offered movies, serials and other content from Kyivstar’s library.
Domashny TV is distributed to over 110 cities in Ukraine via the Kyivstar FTTB network and provided jointly with Viasat, the company’s partner.
Swiss telco Swisscom has selected German technology company Rohde & Schwarz to provide ultra-high definition encoding facilities for its upcoming broadcast of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Ultra HD.
Using Rohde & Schwarz’ R&S AVHE100 video encoding and multiplexing system, Swisscom will provide support for Ultra HD (UHD) channels on its IPTV platform Swisscom TV for Swiss public broadcaster SRG, the rights holder of the FIFA World Cup 2018.
Rohde & Schwarz will supply a fully redundant UHD encoding platform enabling SRG to distribute live and recorded coverage of the tournament on three domestic channels.
The encoder uses an HEVC algorithm developed in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute. As well as being 4K compatible, the R&S AVHE100 platform is capable of handling high dynamic range (HDR) content.
Rohde & Schwarz will also provide technical and operational support in the run-up period and throughout the World Cup.
“It’s not just outstanding image quality that attracted us to Rohde & Schwarz – it employs the lowest possible bitrate, which presents major operational advantages,” said Bruno Haug, Head of TV Development at Swisscom. “This efficiency enables us to provide UHD services to more viewers thanks to unparalleled signal chain processing technology.”
The white-label IPTV multiscreen solution from Zattoo forms the backbone of the new digital TV platform launched by German internet service provider 1&1.
Combining the worlds of a classic set-top-box with new reception devices, 1&1 Digital TV can be accessed both on an IPTV box from German supplier ABOX42 and through apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, iOS, Android and all major browsers. It can also be used via Google Chromecast.
“With 1&1 Digital-TV, we have launched a completely cloud-based IPTV service under our own brand,” said Martin Witt, CEO of 1&1 Telecommunication. “In doing so, we are establishing ourselves as a full-service provider of high-quality and innovative services which now also offers TV in addition to telephone, internet and mobile phone services – all from the same provider.”
“We appreciate Zattoo as a partner in innovation, and together with them we are continually improving and expanding 1&1 Digital TV to include new features and therefore continuing to set significant trends in the fast-paced TV market,” added Witt.
The platform is completely hosted and managed by Zattoo as an end-to-end-solution. Gernot Jaeger, Chief Officer of B2B TV Solutions at Zattoo, said: “We are thrilled to operate a multiscreen TV solution for 1&1 that includes ground-breaking capabilities, and as an innovation partner of 1&1 we will continue to develop and implement more IPTV innovations.”
The platform which can be accessed on up to three reception devices simultaneously contains 90 of the most popular German TV channels, around 40 of them in HD quality. The line-up includes the channels from the two major commercial TV groups RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 as well as Discovery Networks and smaller channels like BonGusto.
Customers can also sign up for pay-TV packages offering content such as movies, sports and documentaries and subscribe to international TV bouquets with channels from Italy, Poland, Russia and Turkey.
In addition to linear TV, viewers have access to non-linear features such as network-PVR (individual cloud-based storage), 7-day catch-up, time-shift, live pause and remote recording as well as video-on-demand services.
Swiss public broadcaster SRG will transmit the FIFA Football World Cup 2018 on its channels live in Ultra HD. This was confirmed to Broadband TV News by an SRG spokesman.
As the first cooperation partner, SRG has won telecommunications group Swisscom which will show the games in ultra-high resolution on its IPTV platform Swisscom TV. For reception, customers require the Ultra HD-capable Swisscom TV box and a corresponding TV set.
Swisscom TV will broadcast all FIFA World Cup matches in Ultra HD which are shown by SRG’s channels SRF, RTS and RSI, the SRG spokesman explained. An exception is the group qualification phase: The last two matches of each of the eight groups take place simultaneously. Since these games will be covered by SRG’s channels in parallel, only one of the two games will be shown in Ultra HD. Thus, with the exception of eight games, all the other 64 FIFA World Cup games will be shown in the new video format on SRG’s channels.
According to the SRG spokesman, the broadcaster is currently in negotiations with other platform operators, both cable companies and IPTV providers, regarding the FIFA World Cup transmission in Ultra HD. He added, however, that SRG’s channels will not be offered in Ultra HD via satellite.
In Germany, rights owners ARD and ZDF are cooperating with Sky Deutschland: The pay-TV broadcaster will transmit 25 top matches of the FIFA World Cup in Ultra HD. The public broadcasters will show all 64 games in SD and HD resolution.
For the first time, international football association FIFA has commissioned the production of all World Cup matches in Ultra HD/HDR format this year.
DTH satellite reception remains the most used TV reception method in Germany: Its reach rose by around 130,000 households to 17.72 million in 2017.
By contrast, cable television lost 180,000 households and decreased to 16.39 million. With a growth by 300,000 to 2.64 million households, IPTV recorded the strongest increase. At 1.83 million households, digital terrestrial television (DTT) remained at the previous year’s level.
This means that 45.9% of the 38.58 million German TV households opted for DTH satellite reception, 42.5% for cable, 6.8% for IPTV and 4.7% for DTT.
These are the results of the Astra TV-Monitor 2017 carried out annually by market research institute Kantar TNS on behalf of Astra Deutschland. The survey of a total of 6,000 households across Germany took place at the end of 2017. In the evaluation, the main reception device of the households was taken into account, usually the large TV set in the living room.
The number of HD households in Germany rose from 22.54 million to 27.48 million within one year. This means that 71% of all households watched television in HD quality in 2017. With 12.66 million households, DTH satellite is the leading HD reception infrastructure. Cable (10.86 million) and IPTV (2.52 million) follow in second and third place.
However: Of the 12.66 million HD satellite households, only 2.1 million have opted for for subscription platform HD+ on which the commercial free-to-air TV channels can be received in HD quality. There was no increase in paying HD+ customers in 2017 compared to 2016. The majority of HD satellite households seem to be satisfied with receiving commercial free-TV channels in SD quality free of charge.
Following the transition to the new DVB-T2 standard, DTT appears for the first time in HD distribution statistics with 1.44 million households.
Demand for Ultra HD continues to grow: 2.7 million UHD TV sets were sold in Germany in 2017, compared to less than 2 million a year earlier, according to German industry association gfu. By the end of 2017, a total of almost 6 million UHD devices had been sold in Germany.
The Astra TV-Monitor 2017 can be downloaded from the Astra Deutschland website as a PDF document.
The two companies have announced a long term deal that will see the first services launch from summer 2019. It will run alongside Sky’s existing offer.
Andrea Zappia, Sky Italia CEO said, “Sky’s mission is to be at the centre of both innovation in the TV industry and the digitalization process of Italy. This agreement with Open Fiber is an important next step. We believe that pay-TV has significant room for growth and fibre represents an innovative and simple way to deliver more quality TV and on-demand content into the heart of Italian homes.”
The deal will give Sky access to Open Fiber’s FTTH (fibre-to-the-home) network which is set to reach the 271 main urban areas of the country by 2022.
Elisabetta Ripa, Open Fiber CEO said, “We strongly believe that our wholesale-only business model is the best way to accelerate the roll out and penetration in Italy of innovative ultra broadband services, provided on a pure fibre infrastructure.”
The satellite version of Sky Q launched in the Italian market in November 2017.
EXCLUSIVE. Marking the first time in German-speaking Europe, Swiss telecommunications provider Salt is offering pay-TV channels as part of its basic TV package.
With the move, the company differentiates itself from competing platforms where the channels are only available in pay-TV packages for an additional subscription fee. The distribution rights for the channels are supplied by B2B service provider M7 Deutschland.
A special selection of 25 pay-TV channels was compiled for Salt, covering a broad range of target groups and genres, Christian Heinkele, managing director of Eviso, the German sales and distribution partner of M7, told Broadband TV News. “With this approach, Salt is a real game changer in the Swiss market.”
The pay-TV line-up offered as part of the basic package includes, for example, AXN, auto motor und sport channel, Sony Channel, Fox, National Geographic Channel, Planet, Marco Polo TV, Heimatkanal, Gute Laune TV, Romance TV, Kinowelt TV, Nick Jr., Duck TV, MTV, VH1 and Mezzo. Most channels are offered in HD quality.
Besides the distribution rights for the linear TV channels, M7 also provides Salt with the rights for multiscreen distribution on smartphones and tablets, instant replay, instant restart, catch-up TV and private cloud copy, said Heinkele.
Salt launched its IPTV platform last week for fibre-optic households in Switzerland. For the first time in Europe, the Apple TV box is used by a platform operator as the standard set-top-box.
Salt is the largest network partner M7 has gained in Switzerland so far. The company previously only supplied smaller operators with its services.
According to the company, they are home screen, image display in rollover and advanced search engine.
Home screen is a feature that mobile users of tv2go are familiar with and will now also be available on TVs. It includes several new content categories, among them Top broadcast, For children, New in video and Rented content.
Meanwhile, the advanced search engine is now enabled on both TVs and the T-2 application tv2go.
The user experience for IPTV viewers has also been enhanced by the introduction of time shift.
Earlier this month, Broadband TV News reported that T-2 will shortly introduce what will be the first 4K set-top box into Slovenia’s TV market.
Swiss telecommunications company Salt has launched an IPTV platform with the Apple TV box being the central component.
The move marks the first time a network operator outside the US uses the Apple TV box as the standard set-top-box for its customers. B2B service provider Zattoo operates the complete service as an end-to-end solution and also handles the operation of the entire TV platform, management of the Apple TV box as well as the ongoing development of the platform and all front-end applications.
The Apple TV box works with operator login for the first time in Europe, enabling automatic installation of the Salt TV and Salt Video applications. This also applies for iOS devices. Salt customers do not have to enter any login data.
The IPTV platform which is available to fibre-optic households across Switzerland comprises linear live TV, video-on-demand as well as interactive TV features such as Instant Restart, Time Shift, Catch-up TV and Network-PVR.
The TV line-up contains more than 300 channels including 150 in HD quality and Ultra HD (4K) services. Extensive pay-TV packages are also available as part of agreements with Sky and Canal+.
“We are very pleased that Salt chose the Zattoo platform and that together with Salt and Apple we have opened a new chapter in television,” said Gernot Jaeger, Chief Officer B2B TV Solutions at Zattoo. “The future of television means adapting to consumer habits and expectations – and then surpassing them. We see this as our mission.”
The strong interest of German city carriers in offering IPTV in addition to internet and telephony was reflected at the recent trade fair BREKO Glasfasermesse 2018, reports TV channel carriage rights provider content4tv.
The company has signed contracts with six city carriers and the distribution partners purtel.com and Ocilion. Further fibre-optic network and cable operators informed themselves at the fair about content4tv’s solutions for a state-of-the-art IPTV service covering all current TV usage forms, from smart TV to smartphones.
“The network operators see the high flexibility of our content proposition as the most important unique selling point of content4tv, also regarding differentiation in competition,” Martina Rutenbeck, Managing Partner of content4tv, sums up the discussions at the exhibition stand.
“And even more important: As a firmly B2B-oriented partner of municipal utility providers and platform operators, content4tv does not pursue its own B2C ambitions,” stressed Rutenbeck. “Our partners do therefore not have to fear that we will compete with them for end customers.”
ProSiebenSat.1 and internet service provider 1&1 have concluded a long-term distribution agreement making the commercial broadcaster’s free-to-air TV and pay-TV channels available on IPTV platform 1&1 Digital-TV.
The contract comprises free-to-air channels Sat.1, ProSieben, kabel eins, sixx, Sat.1 Gold and ProSieben Maxx in SD and HD quality as well as kabel eins Doku. The pay-TV channels Sat.1 emotions and kabel eins Classics can be added by 1&1 customers upon request. ProSieben Fun HD and Wetter.com TV will also be available shortly, according to ProSiebenSat.1.
The carriage deal also covers non-linear functions such as instant restart enabling a programme that has already started to be started again from the beginning at the touch of a button and the option of storing shows in the cloud through a network PVR. The HbbTV services of ProSiebenSat.1 are also available, offering customers detailed programme information and on-demand content.
“Through the extensive distribution agreement with 1&1, our linear and non-linear offerings are represented in the long term on an additional IPTV platform,” said Nicole Agudo Berbel, Chief Distribution Officer & EVP Digital Publishing at ProSiebenSat.1 Media. “In this context, we especially welcome the fact that, for the first time, our HbbTV offerings and thus potentially addressable TV are available via IPTV.”
Martin Witt, Chairman of the Executive Board of 1&1 Telecommunication, added: “With 1&1 Digital TV, we provide under our own brand an innovative IPTV offer that is completely cloud-based. We are thus positioning ourselves as a full-service provider for high-quality services from a single source that now include TV in addition to telephone, internet and mobile communications.”
1&1 launched its IPTV service at the end of December 2017, supported by Zattoo and ABOX42. The free-to-air TV and pay-TV channels of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and Discovery Networks Deutschland as well as thematic channels such as BonGusto are also part of the platform.
The Belarusian incumbent Beltelecom has added a new programme package to its IPTV service Smart Zala.
Known as ‘More TV’, it consists of 11 channels from different genres and is designed to appeal to the widest possible audience.
The channels include Mult, Cartoon Network and Boomerang (kids); Russian Musicbox (SD version); Techno 24, My Planet, Sarafan, Science, NSTV and Eureka (documentary and entertainment; and Nostalgia (for older viewers).
More TV is being made available free of charge during a test period that ends on April 28.
Broadband TV News notes that Beltelecom had a combined total of 1.6 million subscribers to its TV services, which include Smart Zala, at the end of last year.
Its broadband subscriber total stood at 2.4 million.
Platform operator M7 and fibre-optic network provider Deutsche Glasfaser offer German network operators a new turnkey solution for the provision of their customers with TV packages.
The white label product combines the TV rights portfolio of M7 with Deutsche Glasfaser’s IPTV technology. The first customer already using the service is German network operator Inexio. The company supplies internet, telephony and TV services to more than 90,000 customers.
“Our multicarrier agreement is groundbreaking for the German IPTV market. Through the partnership between two leading industry players, network operators now have the unique opportunity to enter the attractive IPTV market with a comprehensive, state-of-the-art product featuring multi-device compatibility under their own brand name without having to invest in proprietary solutions,” said Christian Heinkele, Managing Director of Eviso Germany, business partner of M7 Group.
Uwe Nickl, Managing Director of Deutsche Glasfaser, added: “Through our partnership, network partners of all sizes will receive an ultra-modern, turnkey white label product with an integrated range of services that sets new standards in the broadband market. In addition to the technical IPTV wholesale product, this includes a very broad portfolio of content licenses for commercial HD, pay-TV and international channels as well as comprehensive marketing support for marketing campaigns targeting their own customers.”
The technical multi-device solution which extends from TV sets to mobile devices was developed by Deutsche Glasfaser and initially offered to its own customers. In addition to a broad portfolio of TV channels, the offer includes interactive functions such as recording and replay TV. The TV carriage rights supplied by M7 comprise more than 140 channels including commercial HD channels, pay-TV and foreign language channels.
The TV activities of German media company Freenet exceeded the expected customer figures in 2017.
DVB-T2 platform Freenet TV reached around 975,000 subscribers at the end of December 2017, surpassing both the target figure of 800,000 originally expected at the end of the year and the adjusted target of 950,000 subscribers.
IPTV platform waipu.tv also reached the expected number of paying customers (more than 100,000) with around 102,000 at the end of the year. However, the number of registered, but non-paying customers remained below the target of 500,000 with 464,000 (excluding 76,000 pre-registered customers). By the end of 2018, Freenet expects waipu.tv to reach more than 1 million registered customers and more than 250,000 paying customers.
Freenet also opens waipu.tv for the B2B market enabling third-party platform operators to market the offer to their customers as a white-label product under their own brand.
At the end of March 2018, Freenet TV will launch on Astra (19.2° East) to enter Germany’s strong DTH satellite market and reach households unable to receive the package via DTT. Freenet expects Freenet TV to reach more than 1.2 million subscribers via DVB-T2 and satellite by the end of 2018.
[UPDATE 20/03/2018] Freenet TV has reached the milestone of 1 million customers, platform operator Media Broadcast – part of Freenet Group – announced in Cologne today.
Zattoo TV Solutions enters the next phase of its global expansion by setting up an office in the Asia Pacific region.
Singapore will be the home base from which Zattoo wants to build a strong and sustainable business in this highly-dynamic region of the world.
“We have already been active in the Asia-Pacific region for some time and see tremendous opportunities in our hosted and managed OTT, TV Everywhere and VOD-as-a-service solutions,” said Julian Hens, Senior Vice President for Asia Pacific, who heads the Singapore office. “In autumn 2017, we came to the conclusion that in order to tap into this huge potential, we have to have ‘boots on the ground’ in Asia. Singapore is the ideal base for our expansion into the region.”
Having expanded into the US in 2017, the opening of an office for the Asia Pacific region marks the next stage in Zattoo’s global expansion. The company has been providing its hosted and managed end-to-end TV solutions to telcos, cable and mobile network operators for years and is now serving more than 30 B2B customers in Europe and the US.
Recently, Zattoo launched an end-to-end TV Everywhere platform for 1&1, one of Germany’s largest broadband providers serving 4.5 million customers. The service comes with a broad range of devices supported as well as with seamless integration of linear and non-linear content (catch-up, cloud PVR, VOD).
Zattoo’s TV-as-a-service platform covers the whole chain from signal ingest to applications including encoding, transcoding, multi-DRM and the entire middleware as well as discovery features and dynamic ad integration for monetisation. With this scalable platform, operators do not have to invest in hardware and software for their own TV service.
The first deployment in the US with Hotwire Communications was achieved by porting the platform through usage of a local TV hub. This approach will be replicated in Asia Pacific and other regions.
Zattoo will show its B2B TV solutions at the Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona from February 26 to March 1 at stand 5D10. The company will also exhibit in Asia at this year’s CommunicAsia from June 26 to 28 at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
IPTV platform Entertain TV has emerged as a growth driver for German telco Deutsche Telekom in 2017 with 260,000 new customers added.
This corresponds with an increase by 9% to a total of 3.14 million customers. In 2016, just 196,000 new customers were recorded.
The number of broadband customers rose by 287,000 to 13.21 million in 2017 with 5.8 million of them having fibre-optic connections (including Vectoring).
For its controversial zero-rating tariff option StreamOn in the mobile business, Telekom has won almost 800,000 customers so far. Comparable options are offered by Telekom’s subsidiaries in Croatia, Poland, Romania and Greece as well as by T-Mobile US.
German public utility company Stadtwerke Langenfeld is adding IPTV to its telephony and internet service.
The basis is the purTV white label product from purtel.com, a German B2B service provider for network operators. In addition to live TV, the platform contains catch-up TV and video-on-demand.
In the city of Langenfeld there are 25,000 households of which the municipal utility company is currently able to serve 12% with telecommunications services through its fibre-optic network, corresponding with 3,000 households.
“By 2030, we plan to attract 30% of the connected premises as customers in Langenfeld. We see IPTV as a perfect entry point for our customers into the media world of today and in the future,” said Kersten Kerl, Managing Director of Stadtwerke Langenfeld.” In the industrial and commercial areas, the company already covers around 98% with its network.
Dr. Markus von Voss, Managing Director of purtel.com, added: “We are pleased to welcome Stadtwerke Langenfeld as a new client. The response to the modern purTV service has been very positive when we approach public utility companies. The modern media offer supports the attractiveness as a telecommunications provider and promotes customer loyalty. An advantage in this context is the inclusion of news from the region, up to local advertising. Stadtwerke Langenfeld are pioneers and plan to use this opportunity for their first own report on their association’s waterworks.”
Austrian IPTV service provider Ocilion has equipped Wobcom, the telecommunications subsidiary of German public utility company Stadtwerke Wolfsburg, with an end-to-end IPTV solution.
The offer which Wobcom obtained through the purchasing group of German industry association BREKO includes both the technology as well as the content rights and service. Network operators can freely choose the white label product’s layout and design of the user interface.
In addition to a video-on-demand service and an online video recorder (network PVR) with series recording function and expandable storage space, Wobcom also individualises its IPTV service with a comprehensive range of HD channels and the option of viewing the TV channels on several mobile devices through an app.
The IPTV set-top-box (pictured) Wobcom customers require for reception is an in-house development in cooperation with TechniSat, an Ocilion spokesman told Broadband TV News. The device is included in the monthly price of the IPTV package.
“With the IPTV wholesale service from Ocilion, we are pleased to be able offering our customers an IPTV product in addition to our already available services, just like an innovative company should do today,” said Jenny Vieweg, Sales Manager of Wobcom.
Hans Kühberger, Managing Director of Ocilion, added: “Wobcom’s TV offering is a great example of the integration of our IPTV solution with all functions – in the interest of the end customer. Viewers can choose from a wide range of TV packages for enhanced viewing enjoyment on the big screen, smartphone and tablet.”
MX1, the technical services subsidiary of Astra satellite operator SES, is providing content aggregation for a number of channels from the new digital TV platform offered by German ISP 1&1.
As Germany’s first fully cloud-based TV service, 1&1 offers its DSL customers a multiscreen TV platform with free-to-air and pay-TV channels.
Currently, MX1 supports nine channels with signal feeds and processing, including A&E HD, TNT Film HD, Universal Channel SD and HD, TNT Comedy SD, Cartoon Network SD and HD, Boomerang HD and kabel eins Classics SD.
“As content offerings increase, the demand for content management solutions and distribution services is growing, making partnerships like this even more important,” said Christoph Mühleib, Managing Director of Astra Deutschland, responsible for the marketing of Astra and MX1 services in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “We work in a highly dynamic market and with MX1 we can address challenging and complex requirements in a flexible way.”