Liberty Global's German subsidiary Unitymedia will deploy the multimedia box Horizon to its cable customers from 4 September.
The device acts as a central media platform combining conventional TV, video-on-demand (VOD), TV archives, Internet portals like YouTube, and personal content such as video recordings and photos. Horizon resembles a set-top box, hard-disk recorder, cable modem for telephony, and Internet and Wi-Fi router in a single device.
Up to four different HDTV channels can be recorded simultaneously on the 500GB hard drive. In addition to the TV set, Horizon can also be used on the PC and mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad. An Android version is in preparation.
The integrated recommendation function suggests content based on the viewer's individual taste. Facebook, Twitter and other Internet services are available as apps on the TV screen.
The Horizon HD recorder will cost a one-off fee of €299 until 31 October 2013 and €399 afterwards. Customers not requiring the recording function and the Wi-Fi module can purchase the Horizon HD receiver for €199 until 31 October and for €249 thereafter.
As a rental box, the Horizon HD recorder will cost €8 instead of the €10 per month at launch. The monthly rental fee for the Horizon HD receiver will be €5 (regular fee: €7). When opting to rent the box, customers have to pay an activation fee of €50. The minimum contract period is 24 months.