SES Partnership Targets Cost-Effective IP Distribution of Satellite TV

SES, Inverto, Abilis, and MaxLinear Inc. announced that they have been jointly designing an essential component for cost-effective IP distribution of satellite television to the home – the first low-noise block down-converter (LNB) that will incorporate eight-channel satellite-to-IP bridging technology.

The IP-LNB is a prototype 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 (PLC) or a Wi-Fi local area network (LAN). The technology can be used for free-to-air (FTA) or pay TV applications.

“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 LNB is a crucial element of a satellite system, receiving signals collected by the satellite dish, amplifying and converting them to intermediate frequencies to be carried to the set-top box (STB).

By locating the satellite reception and the IP bridging functions in the antenna the IP-LNB will 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 (PoE) technology, greatly reducing the overall system cost and power consumption.

This new technology enables the satellite signal to be sampled digitally directly at the antenna, making the satellite spectrum data and other link-quality metrics accessible over the LAN. These advancements greatly simplify the dish installation and enable remote monitoring from the LAN.

Designing such a novel LNB requires significant advances in satellite chipset and real-time IP streaming software technology in order to meet the unique system requirements on the size, power consumption, long-term reliability and price point required for a commercially viable outdoor unit (ODU).

The new device will combine SES’ SAT>IP protocol innovations, MaxLinear’s Full-Spectrum Capture (FSC) DVB-S2 receiver IC, Abilis’ TB101 Broadcast to Broadband Bridge (B3) SoC, and Inverto’s software stacks and a new high-performance LNB product design. Together, these technologies have produced a compact, cost effective and low-power eight-channel IP-LNB.

The IP-LNB technology was demonstrated at SES’ Industry Days 2013 conference that was held on April 18 and 19 in Luxembourg. The parties are currently engaging with key customers to characterize various parameters for a first commercial IP-LNB product and its deployment schedule.

IP-LNB Key Features

–        10.7-12.75 GHz Ku-band RF, compliant to SES requirements

–        8-channel Full-Spectrum Capture DVB-S2 single-chip receiver

–        Broadcast to Broadband Bridge SoC

–        IP and real-time SAT>IP streaming software stacks and protocols.

–        Gigabit Ethernet LAN connectivity, Wake-on-LAN

–        Power-over-Ethernet Type I, less than 10W for 8-channel operation

–        Remote spectrum, temperature and PHY metrics monitoring

–        SW upgradeable over Ethernet and over satellite broadcast

–        -40 to +65C operating temperature

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