UPC to trial Horizon TV with 1,200 customers

Next-generation service allows viewers to sync television sets with iPads and iPhones


UPC is warming up for the launch of its next-generation Horizon TV box in the Irish market by asking existing customers to trial a beta version of the new service.

About 1,200 UPC television and broadband customers will be selected for the trial, which includes the installation of a new mediabox, a higher-cost package and a confidentiality requirement that asks the testers not to discuss the service on social media.

The aim of the trial, which will begin “in the coming weeks”, is to collate feedback from users of the service. A date for the full commercial launch of Horizon TV in Ireland has not yet been announced, but Mike Fries, chief executive of UPC parent company Liberty Global, indicated last November that it would be introduced in Ireland this year.

Horizon is already available in the Netherlands and Switzerland and is marketed by the company with the tagline “Endless TV from UPC”.

Its main advantage is that it allows viewers to synchronise their television sets with iPads and iPhones, meaning television content can be accessed on Apple tablets and smartphones, while content stored on those devices such as family photographs and videos can be viewed on the television screen.

The service further breaks down barriers between traditional television sets and computers by featuring a selection of news, social media and utility apps.

The brochure for the Dutch version of Horizon notes that up to four channels can be recorded simultaneously to its digital video recorder and it talks up a personalised recommendation capacity designed to inform users about particular television shows and other content that they might enjoy.