The new VOD service will offer movies, series and TV programmes accessible at any time by pressing a button on the remote control. The videos can be paused, fast-forwarded and rewound like a DVD. It is initially available to 2.3 million households in Berlin, Munich and Hamburg. In the next 2 years, Select Video will be rolled out to nearly all customers served by Kabel Deutschland's upgraded cable network.
The line-up comprises around 2,500 hours of content including Hollywood blockbusters and classic movies. 60% of the films can be watched in high-definition (HD), some in 3D and 50% are optionally available with the original soundtrack. The movies are provided by 10 studios, for example Constantin Film, Disney, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros.
Each film costs between €4 and €6 and can be watched as often as the viewer likes within a 48 hour period. TV programmes are available from €0.99. The billing is through Kabel Deutschland's regular monthly invoice.
The VOD portal also comprises movies, series and TV shows available at no charge which are provided by free-to-air and pay-TV channels. The subscribers of pay-TV package "Kabel Digital Home" can additionally access hundreds of titles offered by the channels part of the bouquet. 25 TV channels also want to open virtual shops within Select Video.
The VOD service, which is accessible to all owners of Kabel Deutschland's HD digital recorder, is based on a hybrid solution: The video streams are sent through the conventional cable network (DVB-C) while the content catalogue and the navigation signals such as fast-forwarding or rewinding are using an internet connection (IP). Kabel Deutschland recommends a data rate of at least 6 Mbit/s. The internet connection can be from Kabel Deutschland or any other ISP.
After Kabel BW, Kabel Deutschland is the second large cable operator offering a 'real' VOD service in Germany.