Thousands of customer requests and suggestions were evaluated for development of the new Swisscom Box. They gave a very clear picture: “Customers want one device for everything. They want all the content at a glance and on the one platform. Whether it is the News, a Netflix series, Spotify podcast or their holiday photos,” explains Dirk Wierzbitzki, Head of Residential Customers and member of the Swisscom Group Executive Board. “And this is precisely where we started with our development team. The new box that we have created here in Switzerland brings everything together. Not only for television, video, music and streaming – but also for smart homes in the future. It is a set-top box, voice assistant and streaming player in one.”
The new Swisscom Box offers the following specific innovations:
A central control system for entertainment and the smart home: The Voice Assistant enables the central control of Swisscom products and services: for starters, Swisscom TV, including the radio function, can be conveniently controlled with your voice. Also available are up-to-date weather forecasts – an information service provided by LocalSearch, both on screen and purely as voice information. Voice Assistant can also be addressed in standard German, French, Italian and English to control the devices of most well-known smart home providers. Among other functions, the assistant is currently able to control lighting – either switching it on or off or setting it to a pre-programmed mode.
Maximum protection of privacy: The integrated microphone is automatically switched off on delivery and can be switched on and off at any time via a switch on the box. Even when switched on, however, the microphone is only active for 7 seconds after the “Hey Swisscom” command has been given – as indicated by illuminated LEDs on the box. If the microphone is switched off, this is similarly indicated by a small dot of light.
Entirely new interface with Entertainment OS4: Not only does this enable improved navigation and individual programme suggestions, it is also one of the world’s first TV interfaces to integrate a new Netflix interface, providing access to Netflix content direct from the home screen. This gives customers the best content from all sources in a single overview. Content from DAZN, Sky and OCS is also available on the home screen from the outset.
‘Play next’ for uninterrupted viewing pleasure: Before now, finding the start of a recorded show or the end of the ad break took laborious searching and rewinding or fast-forwarding: now you can just push a button to start one of your own recordings or skip the ad break. You can also play back several episodes of the same series in a row and without interruption, even if the individual episodes were recorded on different channels at different times.
‘Play next’ is only available for the following channels: 3+ HD, Channel 4 HD, DMAX HD, ORF 1 HD, Pro7 HD, RTL HD, RTS un HD, RSI LA 1, SRF1 HD, Super RTL HD, VOX HD, ZDF HD.
Multi-channel serial recordings: Does the new season of a programmed series run at a different time or on a different channel? It’s no longer a problem for the new Swisscom TV. It automatically detects when a series moves to a different channel or a different provider is offering new episodes of a series programmed earlier.
UHD & HDR in the highest quality: Customers with the Swisscom Box enjoy even clearer viewing quality courtesy of Dolby Vision. This format is used by Netflix, amongst others, to offer movies and series in UHD and HDR. Dolby Vision’s unique dynamics allow for unprecedented true-to-life image quality.
New content: Swisscom is the first Swiss provider to integrate the new, personalised music channel MyMTV Music. Thanks to ‘Play’, Swisscom customers in French-speaking Switzerland also benefit exclusively from the new Canal+ series streaming platform.
The new Swisscom Box is available from 17 November for CHF 129.– or free of charge for new TV M or L subscribers. Customers with a UHD-enabled Swisscom TV Box will automatically benefit from the listed advantages of the new Entertainment OS4 following an update at the beginning of 2020.
“This is only the start,” explains Dirk Wierzbitzki. “With the Swisscom Box, we have laid the foundations that we and our development team here in Switzerland can build on. It is clear that applications such as Smart Home and Voice Assistant offer lots of opportunities and could become an integral part of our lives in future. The Voice Assistant, for example, is currently trying hard to learn all the various Swiss dialects.”
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