UPDATE 15 Aug 2013 – Full review of UPC Horizon HERE
Well we have just got back from UPC HQ after been giving a hands-on demo of the brand new UPC Horizon TV app and online service. We were also informed of their plans in the very near future to upgrade all it’s eligible members to broadband speeds of at least 50mb but more on that later.
Horizon TV app and online service
What can be seen as the big announcement at today’s event is the launch of UPC’s latest venture into broadening their service to more and more screens. With today’s announcement, UPC TV and Broadband customers can now log onto Horizon.tv, type in their ‘MyUPC’ account details and have access to a wide range of both Irish and international channels, completely free of charge.
Not only will you be able to watch live TV from over 40 channels (package dependent) but you will also be able to watch their on-demand TV boxsets and other offerings such as the movie rental service. To begin, this service will only be available withing a UPC Wifi connection and will allow 2 people to be logged into the service at once.
You will be able to watch any movies you have rented from the service on any other Wifi network with the aim to add the ability to watch the live TV on other Wifi networks coming in the near future. They have also launched an iOS App into the App Store (an Android app is due in early Summer) so that you can watch all this content on an iPhone or iPad. So, in theory, if you have a upc box in one room, another upc multiroom box in another part of the house, a laptop and then finally an iPad or iPhone, all of these devices will be able to watch live TV simultaneously.
The service is launching with an impressive roster of channels and puts other on-demand apps and online services to shame such as Sky Go. Once they inevitably allow users to watch live TV over 3G connections, Sky and other services really will have a lot of catching up to do.
Broadband Speed Increases
Along with the announcements I discussed above, UPC also plan to boost all eligible customers’ broadband speeds. Unfortunately, some customers (about 30-40,000 or so) are in areas that aren’t ready to receive the speed increases just yet but I was told that UPC are working on this. They plan to bump customers on 30mbps connections to 50mbps and customers already on 50mbps to either 100mbps or even 150mbps. This announcement will really send shivers up the spines of UPC’s competitors who are still lacking in their broadband offerings.
UPC Horizon Box
Finally, at the very end of the announcement, we were told about UPC’s plans to introduce a brand new set-top box that will compliment all of the brand new services and they have told us that they are beginning to allow to people to sign up and be part of the first trials of this new box. The box is said to be able to record 4 shows at once, connect to your local Wifi to see any media servers you have on the network and will eventually allow you to watch recorded shows on other devices and not just on your TV along with many other features. Now all that sounds very promising to us.
You may or may not know that UPC have already launched this new box in other regions such as Switzerland. They have encountered quite a few customer complaints with this new service in these regions but announced yesterday that they will be rolling out an major update that will address many of these issues along with a new remote. Lets hope these improvements are part of the launch package when the new set-top box launches here.
Click the link below for the full press release and feel free to ask us any questions.
UPC plans a Summer Spectacular of New Products
Starting with a Unique new Irish Horizon TV App & Horizon TV Online service, and boosting Irish broadband speeds to record levels
From the market leader in broadband speeds in Ireland, as part of its Summer Spectacular, UPC is today launching two ground-breaking initiatives.
The first is the introduction of UPC’s new Irish Horizon TV App and Horizon TV Online service, free for UPC customers and the second will see it boost Irish broadband speeds to record levels with a free upgrade to a minimum of 50 Mbps for all UPC broadband customers.*
For TV lovers, UPC’s pioneering new Horizon TV App and Horizon TV Online service allows UPC TV and broadband customers to enjoy their favourite TV programmes on PC’s, laptops, mobiles and tablets for free.
UPC customers will have unique access to 45 channels across multiple devices, addressing growing viewership of TV content on other devices aside from the TV, reflecting that 11% of viewing is already on PC’s, laptops, mobiles and tablets.
Another first in Ireland, the line-up will include all Irish terrestrial channels and the best of UK terrestrials including BBC 1,2,3, 4, UTV, ITV 2,3, 4 and Sky News, amongst others. In addition to the TV channels, UPC customers will also be able to rent the latest movies, and watch box set content using UPC On Demand.
The service gives access to channels that cover over 60%** of Irish peak-time TV viewership compared to only 7% of viewership on Sky’s equivalent service as published by Nielsen TV Audience Measurement.
Another first for UPC in the Irish broadband market is to offer free speed upgrades to all its Broadband customers, and ramp everyone up to a minimum speed of 50Mbps. Putting this in context, the average non-fibre power speed of operators including eircom and Vodafone is 5.5Mbps based on latest Ookla stats. By contrast, 300K UPC Broadband customers will receive or be offered speeds of 50Mbps or more, without any upgrade fees or charges.
In conclusion, Mark Coan, Sales & Marketing Director, UPC Ireland said: “Our market strategy is to constantly set new standards by always bringing our customers products that are way better than the competition using the sheer power and speed of our fibre power network. With these two announcements we are making good on that promise by further enhancing the Irish TV viewing and broadband speed experience for UPC customers to make it even further ahead of others in the market.
“The Horizon TV App and Horizon TV Online service is the first stage in the introduction of the full Horizon TV experience from UPC, which will revolutionise TV viewing in Ireland.
In preparation, UPC is piloting the Horizon TV service with a number of its customers and will begin a pre-registration for the full Horizon TV experience from today.