Thomas Wrede speaks about SAT>IP SES' exciting new product initiative

Thomas Wrede, VP Reception Systems, SES

SES Industry Days was an exciting place to be. This year’s annual event for SES customers and industry partners witnessed industry trends and topic discussions such as satellite and OTT, television beyond HDTV and new chip technologies. Thomas Wrede, SES Vice President, Reception Systems, talks about SES’s exciting new product initiative SAT>IP in a personal interview.

1 – Could you tell us about the significance of the introduction of SAT-IP? You described it as a “quantum leap”. Why is that?

It is a "quantum leap" as it will make available linear satellite TV in its high picture quality to devices that do not have an integrated tuner. Furthermore with SAT>IP devices satellite signals can be transported over any wired or wireless IP link.

2 – Which companies do you think will benefit most from the SAT-IP protocol? What types of products might we see as a result?

SAT>IP will benefit operators and equipment manufacturers. Operators can introduce neat solutions for in-home multi-screen viewing and manufacturers can bring out a range of respective products. First products to reach soon the market will be SAT>IP multiswitches (servers) and set top boxes that accept satellite content also via their Ethernet interface.

3 – How will such a protocol benefit the satellite industry? What are the medium to long-term benefits of this?

Satellite will benefit from the evolution of Ethernet based in-home networking technologies, ie. higher speed wireless, powerline, etc. The big benefit will be that linear satellite signals can be interfaced easily into IP in-home networking topologies.

4 – What role has SES had in setting up such a protocol? What have been the challenges involved? How long did the process take?

SES has been coordinating the SAT>IP project and has been bringing operators and industry together. The result is the SAT>IP communications protocol that will become a European standard. The major challenge is to agree with operators and industry on a suitable DRM solution for transporting securely encrypted content. The project so far runs for about a year now.

5 – How will SAT-IP impact pay-TV operators such as Sky Deutschland and BSkyB? Are these the types of operators that will most benefit from such a protocol?

All operators will benefit. SAT>IP will provide operators with the tool kit to develop and bring to market user-friendly solutions for a multi-screen environment.

6 – In your opinion, with the popularity of smart phones and tablet devices, how is this impacting the overall satellite market? How must the satellite industry adjust to these new dynamics?

Consumers will continue to watch linear television in HD- and "Beyond HD" formats on large screens and only satellite has got the bandwidth to deliver the required plethora of programmes. With SAT>iP the satellite industry now has got an excellent technology to make linear satellite content available also smart phone and tablet devices. In so far, it is further strengthening the position of linear TV as a main distribution way, complementing it with new technologies. A SAT>IP solution for the popular iPad has been demonstrated during the recent SES Industry Days.

7 – What are the next steps for SAT-IP? What would you like to see happen over the next 12 months?

The next steps will the European standardisation of SAT>IP and the market launch of SAT>IP compliant hard- and software. In parallel SES will make available to industry the necessary tools to implement compliance testing and devices certification.

8 – Finally, what other standards/technical issues is SES working on right now? What other things have been coming out of these ‘SES Industry’ days?

Lots of exciting stuff that will be announced when it is ready. SES Industry Days is an annual event for SES customers and industry partners. During the two day event industry relevant topics such as satellite and OTT, television beyond HDTV and new chip technologies have been discussed.