Joseph O'Halloran | 28-07-2013
Satellite operator Eutelsat has completed the first phase of development of a 'smart LNB' for a DTH antenna that it says will open the door for broadcasters to operate their own ecosystem of linear television and connected TV services.
Now entering into the industrialisation phase in advance of commercial availability in 2014, the smart LNB is designed for a DTH ecosystem that Eutelsat says is poised to enter a new era. The LNB takes the form of an electronic feed connected to an antenna with an embedded transmitter for interactive applications such as HbbTV, pay-per-view, social networking, personal subscription management and live show participation.
Such capabilities, argues Eutelsat, will transform mass market direct-to-home satellite services by enabling broadcasters and platform operators to bolt interactive value-added services onto their broadcast platforms, circumventing viewer dependency on terrestrial fixed and mobile networks.
"The 'smart LNB' will enable broadcast players to more efficiently serve their customer base and diversify the range and nature of applications offered, from direct customer support to audience measurement and enhanced security," commented Jean-François Leprince-Ringuet, Eutelsat's chief commercial officer. "This new technology can benefit satellite homes with limited options for the return link as well as mature markets where platform operators are seeking to build and sustain a close direct relationship with their subscriber base."
At the same time, the company announced that Ukrainian pay-TV platform Lybid TV has initiated full commercial operations on the EUTELSAT 36B satellite. The platform has signed a multi-year lease for two transponders for broadcasting up to 50 digital channels. These include the premium sport channels Football, Football +, Sport-1 and Sport-2, in addition to European and Russian brands including Travel Channel, Tiji, Gulli, Universal Channel, Boets and Zagorodnaya zhizn.