Horizon HD Recorder in the Test

The horizon HD recorder requires a horizon subscription by Unitymedia.Available in Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia and since early November in Baden-Württemberg supply horizon of Unitymedia KabelBW to perfect triple-play services-so phone line with DSL and TV option-and reduce also the equipment: the horizon HD recorder combines a 3Play box all in one package. The Unit produced by Samsung is used as a high-speed cable modem with built-in wireless network router, provides two analogue telephone lines and is a cable TV receiver with 500-GByte hard drive.

With its four built-in cable tuner, the horizon HD recorder can parallel capture multiple shots on the plate and send live TV on the connected TV, according to computerdo.  Also, the function of horizon transfers to go on tablets and smartphones in the Heimetzwerk the live program of all-to-air transmitter from the box. In addition, the networked receiver offers an online video store, TV-online-archive, and other network functions.

The Complete Rates

The related to the horizon HD recorder triple-play offering of Unitymedia KabelBW offers all of these services including rent for the box. Special feature: A part of horizon is the fastest Internet connection in Germany – with 200 Mbit/s download and 10 Mbit/s upload data rate. All the usual features today’s telephone and Internet connections are also part of the package: an Internet and fixed network Flatrate, public and private HD channels as well as-in the horizon-200-tariff-a pay base package with 17 channels such as AXN, FOX or TNT series.

You can also book more Pay-TV options like about sky. The decryption technology is integrated: the horizon HD recorder works as a receiver with a card to be plugged, but has an integrated, virtual smart card. Those who so opt for horizon, which must use this device for all pay TV channels.

The prerequisite for the triple-play package is a modernized, back-channel-enabled cable connection in the House. Almost the entire network is expanded in the distribution area of Unitymedia KabelBW in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hesse and North Rhine – Westphalia, has a range of more than 12 million households according to the provider. An Adressabfrage on the website of the provider to create clarity about when in doubt, if horizon or other triple-play offerings are available. The cable connection is charged separately, but is a part of costs in many communities. Individually, it costs typically 19.80 euros per month.

The Box In Practice

The commissioning of the horizon HD recorder works very easily, because the box takes off almost the entire installation owner. First, it is connected to the TV and then connected the cable box. The recorder then checks whether the cable connection provides Internet channels, it makes contact with the unity server and updated its operating system if necessary up to date.

While a dose of patience is needed. In the test the horizon HD recorder on the update stuck twice longer. In this case, the box from the mains is disconnected and restarted. In case of doubt the technical hotline helps with such problems.

Further control steps and configurations arise in the clearly arranged screen menu of the horizon recorder almost by itself. However, it’s in the menu except about TV options include the establishment of the network, as well as standby modes, with or without network activity. In the normal case, if the network is to be constantly active, the box without TV reception sucks well 30 watts from the mains socket.

This is also the telephone much, covers but in addition to the network and Wi-Fi. Who wants to save at night about a power saving schedule switch off the horizon HD recorder and so long to reduce the standby to less than one watt. Then also the phone is silent.

The transmitters are pre-sorted factory: all available HD channels are to position 100, followed by the SD Division. A conversion of this list is not possible, you can but create a Favorites list and enable it as a program list. It is essential as a single sortable list in the device: third programmes as are available only in SD and sort only in the Favorites list in the top ten.The horizon receiver with its short changeover times gained brownie points. Apparently he adjusts itself before switching to neighbouring stations.

Also the program guide has proven itself in practice and detailed information with a simple programming. Up to four parallel images are possible. Post-processing, but on request the box seen recordings automatically deletes.

Video Library And Streaming

Factory offers the horizon HD recorder access to the Unitymedia rental video store, which offers a good selection of blockbusters in SD and HD pay-per-view – on similar terms as maxdome & co. In addition, some broadcasters Archives provide series and movies – partly for a fee. Series episodes are free to see from booked Pay-TV channels often one or two weeks after the TV broadcast.

The TV libraries from ARD, ZDF and ARTE were missing but completely-in the app collection of the recorder. There are competing international news services like CNN, a TV-version of Wikipedia, YouTube, Dailymotion, games and music video apps to the favor of the audience.

More video and game rentals, as well as German news portals are not an issue. The horizon HD recorder well echoed their own media content.With USB disks he could although nothing start, he played the popular formats of AVI, DivX, MOV, and MPG to WMV but from a network drive with DLNA server and launched videos compared to specialized streaming boxes afloat.


Horizon opens a new dimension in unity cable networks: the fastest Internet of our time. As TV recorder offers the horizon HD recorder but not the full range of smart TVs or streaming boxes. Who wants to have no cable chaos and on other devices gets TV libraries or USB sticks, is very well advised with the package.

In Detail: The Horizon-Cable Rate

Triple-play means that a port telephone, Internet and TV in the House.The fastest horizon variant 3play PREMIUM 200 is accordingly. In addition to television, the broadband here offers an Internet connection 200 megabits per second, even slightly exceeded the test connection.

Also telephone calls are transmitted over the Internet. Price: 50 euros including a telephone line, recorder rent, the private HD channels and pay package of TV highlights. There is alternatively 3play PLUS 120 with correspondingly lower data rate, without pay, and with a pure receiver instead of the recorder for 40 euros per month. New customers pay only 43 or less than 25 euros per month in the first twelve months.

High Speed Cable Networks

Kabel Deutschland operates cable networks, where Unitymedia KabelBW is not active there. Here, too, there is a triple-play package with 200 Mbps data rate. It costs less than 80 euros per month in the first year of 20 euros of less. Kabel Deutschland provides but no receiver with built-in cable modem. This is a HD recorder with network function in combination with a special cable Internet router type FRITZ! Box 6490 used. The rent of the equipment is as much part of the monthly cost, the basic cable will be billed separately. Also Kabel Deutschland offers access to its own online video library via the cable receiver.

KABELKIOSK and M7, the new owner of the pay TV package provider for smaller cable networks, are currently developing a multimedia triple play service for the German market. So far the independent, regional cable operators like about TeleColumbus even offer Internet access over its cable networks-under similar conditions as the two major cable networks.

KABELKIOSK and M7 offer to do so in the future not only as today pay TV packages. They provide the operators in the future also TV services from the network about libraries, network recorders or mobile TV streams.Starting point: Beginning of 2015.