Satellite operator SES and a group of technology partners have unveiled what the company says is a key component in the delivery of cost-effective IP distribution of satellite TV to the home – the first low-noise block down-converter (LNB) that will incorporate eight-channel satellite-to-IP bridging technology.
SES, Inverto, Abilis and MasLinear collaborated to create a prototype IP-LNB device that will deliver eight concurrent channels from any of the transponders of a satellite orbital position. These channels may be forwarded via IP unicast or multicast to fixed and portable devices. Satellite signals will be distributed via Ethernet, power-line communications or a Wi-Fi LAN.
Since the IP bridging is located in the antenna, the technology can enable satellite content distribution to the home over a single Ethernet cable. The IP-LNB may be powered over that same cable through Power over Ethernet technology, which SES says will greatly reduce the overall system cost and power consumption.
The satellite signal can be sampled digitally at the antenna, making satellite spectrum data and other link-quality metrics accessible over the LAN, thereby simplifying the installation process.
SES was responsible for the creation of what it calls the Sat>IP protocol. MaxLinear provided its Full-Spectrum Capture DVB-S2 receiver chipset, while Abilis contributed the TB101 Broadcast-to-Broadband Bridge system-on-a-chip and Inverto delivered the necessary software stacks and new LNB design.
SES said th parties were now engaging with key customers with a view to producing a commercial product and deployment schedule.
“The IP-LNB will give satellite television providers and consumers new options for distributing unmatched quality satellite television to multiple TVs, computers and tablets over IP at the lowest cost,” said Thomas Wrede, vice-president of SES Reception Systems. “When we committed ourselves to making SAT>IP an open standard, we envisioned this type of innovation. It is exciting to see it now come to fruition.”
The announcement comes on the heels of Spanish satellite operator Hispasat’s completion of a three-year trial to test the distribution of satellite-delivered content to IP-connected devices around the home from a single receiver. The Saturno project, which started in 2010, was carried out with Spanish companies Blusens Broadcom, Gradient, Iecisa, Ikusi and Promax.