Satellite TV – everyone’s favourite dish

People just love satellite TV, and the global direct to home (DTH) audience keeps growing in their millions.

There’s no mystery. With one phone call, you can arrange installation of a consumer-friendly dish, a state-of-the-art set-top, and in a heartbeat, thousands of channels are at your fingertips.


Of the massive 276m people worldwide enjoying TV via SES’ fleet (end-2012 figures) the lion’s share are choosing DTH. Over 85m households in Europe alone are tuned into TV beamed directly from SES satellites, compared to 78m watching terrestrially, 68m cable homes and 17m via IPTV.

The attraction of DTH to broadcasters is also a no-brainer – it delivers an instant audience, spanning vast population centres, while also reaching viewers in remote locations where cabling is impossible.

“There’s still plenty of demand and we have seen a rapid growth over the last few years,” says SES’ Martin Ornass-Kubacki. “The beauty of satellite is that it covers the territory from day one and that’s a hot topic.”

More and more new DTH platforms

As economies around the world grow, and their people crave more entertainment, new DTH offerings are springing up everywhere

In Turkey, for example, a fast-growing economy, demand for new TV services is exploding. So Anadolu Networks chose ASTRA 1G to launch its DTH platform to broadcast local channels nationwide.

Niche appeal

The flexibility of DTH means broadcasters can swiftly launch packages to engage niche audiences, and deliver products at prices everyone can afford.

In Indonesia, MNC Sky Vision will use SES 7 to launch a Chinese-language DTH package for Indovision. Now Indovision can reach beyond its existing 2m subscribers to a whole new audience by launching services in their own language.

For viewers in Ukraine, Modern Times Group has launched UA.TV, a monthly pre-paid service.

“The addition of a new, prepaid mass-market entry level pay-TV brand [will make] our services available to even more households in Ukraine, as the service is easily accessible to those who choose not to have one of our more comprehensive subscription services,” explains Jørgen Madsen, MTG CEO.

The next DTH game changer – Ultra HD

More than any other medium, DTH can efficiently deliver new services, including countless digital TV and radio channels, interactive apps and of course crystal-clear high definition TV. SES pioneered HD and remains at the forefront. 80% of all European homes watching HD are tuned into ASTRA satellites.

What’s the next big thing? Ultra HD (UHD), with super-high resolution four times that of ‘normal’ HD sets.

FIFA World Cup 2014, Euro 2016 and the Rio Olympics all look set to bring UHD into our homes.

SES’ Romain Bausch believes UHD will be a true game-changer: “Ultra HD will be really different from the launch of HD years ago. This is because of the processing capabilities of the reception equipment. There will be much more content available than when HD launched.”

It seems the sky’s the limit when it comes to the power – and consumer appeal – of DTH.