A couple of years ago if you wanted to use all the nice things IPTV offers and watch satellite television you needed to have two completely separated systems. Today, with a growing number of software and hardware supporting the SAT>IP protocol it is possible to enjoy the high-quality satellite programs along with the traditional IPTV on any IP-enabled device.
SAT>IP is IP-based architecture for receiving and distributing satellite signals which enable satellite programs to be distributed, over any IP network. Satellite-delivered DVB-S and DVB-S2 signals are demodulated and converted to IP in a Sat>IP server and distributed to any IP-enabled client multimedia device connected to the IP network inside a house, hotel, hospital or wherever it is needed. With SAT>IP satellite distribution becomes physical layer agnostic and satellite services can be forwarded over all the latest types of IP wired or wireless technologies such as Powerline (PLC), Wireless LANs, Optical Fiber Distribution, etc.
Image: SAT>IP Home Network
In SAT>IP environments, RF tuners and demodulators are removed from end-clients and become a common resource of the IP network where they act as servers for live satellite programs. SAT>IP clients talk to SAT>IP servers using the SAT>IP protocol. SAT>IP clients can be specialised devices or software applications on tablet, smartphone, game consoles, PC and others. SAT>IP servers forward live television programs to clients upon receiving and processing client's requests. They are connected to the Intermediate Frequency (IF) satellite signals on their input and the IP network on their output.
The SAT>IP protocol has been designed with the following most common usage scenarios in mind:
a) The IP Adapter / IP Multiswitch: A device which is located close to the satellite antenna or traditional RF multiswitches and converts satellite programming towards IP for in-home distribution.
b) IP LNB: A device which features direct Ethernet connectivity and is powered via Power over Ethernet (PoE). IP LNBs no longer need to be connected via coaxial cable and function as live media servers for the in-home network.
c) Master Set-Top-Box: A Master STB receives DVB-S2 satellite programming via its standard IF interfaces and forwards live television programs to one or more client STBs via an in-home IP network. It often features the possibility of recording content.
d) Universal Service Gateway: It combines access to both broadband and broadcast networks in one device.
e) IP-based SMATV / Multi-Dwelling Units: SAT>IP STBs can be designed to work in small as well as in very large environments.
The number of clients that can be simultaneously supported depends on the particular server implementation. Large servers can potentially serve an unlimited number of SAT>IP clients. SAT>IP servers can also be stacked and run in parallel on the same network.
Image: Common Usage Scenarios
Considering that SAT>IP is a license free technology available to all manufacturers and the intention of the Sat>IP Project is to make Sat>IP an international standard it is clear that the way satellite content is distributed is changing. This shows that satellite industry is very active and creative in finding new markets and opportunities for offering its services.