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Home network tech for satellite TV could revolutionise multi-room viewing: Digital Home

Satellite TV and EPG signals could be sent to tablets, TVs and set-top boxes around your home using a new technology developed by satellite operator SES.

The SAT-IP format transmits satellite both video and data signals like programme guides as Internet Protocol data which can be mixed into your other network traffic.

Prototype devices unveiled at the SES Industry Days 2012 can route up to eight channels to eight different devices and screens on a network.

The system works over any home network connection such as CAT 5 Ethernet, Powerline, optical fibre or WiFi, and has tested on many existing devices such as the iPad and Sky+ HD set-top box.

Thomas Wrede, SES’s vice president of reception systems, said: “SAT-IP is a quantum leap for the industry and the TV viewers and shows SES’ role in pioneering technological developments in the media and TV industry. We see how consumers are increasingly complementing their TV viewing experience with alternative devices.

“With SAT-IP, we put ourselves at the top of the trend and ensure that viewers can watch satellite TV potentially on any IP-based device at home and with an unrivalled flexibility when they move around.

“Our new way of connecting devices will allow millions of consumers to enjoy satellite TV on multiple screens with the highest convenience and quality.

“We also give an important impulse to the industry, creating an open standard that allows manufacturers to realise innovative distribution solutions.”

SES operates the Astra 2 satellite family which transmits both Sky and Freesat TV channels across the UK.

SAT-IP overcomes several of the problems of traditional satellite TV broadcasting and multi-room TV distribution. The first SAT-IP products are scheduled to go on sale later this year.

It makes the entire satellite signal, with hundreds of audio, video and data channels, available for the whole home via a home network, without having to route expensive and bulky coaxial cables from the dish to different rooms.

The SAT-IP data stream also maintains the original signal quality instead of recompressing the signal to squeeze across the network.