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US cable adopts SES 4K/UHD demo channel

An additional four of the smaller US cable operators are taking a demo 4K/UltraHD channel from satellite operator SES.

SES is transmitting seven UHD channels from its satellites covering the US (SES-1 and SES-3) and potentially serving almost 100 million US and Canadian homes.

SES has struck new Ultra HD trial agreements with Marquette-Adams in Wisconsin, Buckeye Broadband in Ohio and Southeast Michigan, Service Electric Cable TV in Pennsylvania, and enTouch Systems in Texas, and now has eight operators currently assessing the satellite-based UHD solution aimed at accelerating 4K delivery to homes across America. The first wave of trials kicked off this past summer with Cable America in Missouri, Golden West Telecommunications in South Dakota, MTC Cable in New York, and Sjoberg’s Cable TV in Minnesota.

“Cable operators participating in the trials have been impressed with how easy it is to implement Ultra HD across their networks with SES’s pre-packaged solution. Ultra HD TV sales and demand for 4K content are both reaching unprecedented levels, and SES is leveraging the scalability and reliability of satellite to accelerate the delivery of Ultra HD to homes throughout North America,” explained Steve Corda, VP/Business Development in North America for SES. “SES has developed a fully-managed Ultra HD platform capable of quenching the increasingly insatiable appetite for Ultra HD. We are the leader in Ultra HD across North America and the world with the largest bouquet of UHD programming, and our UHD multiplex and neighbourhood has become the UHD destination of choice.”

“Ultra HD is on the verge of becoming an exciting reality for our subscribers, who are buying new Ultra HD TVs in anticipation of the best viewing experience available today,” noted Danny White, Director of Product Management, enTouch Systems. “enTouch is well positioned to provide game-changing 4K content quickly and cost effectively to our customers across the Greater Houston area, thanks to our collaboration with SES and its breakthrough Ultra HD solution.”

“We will soon be testing a great mix of 4K movies, cutting-edge TV shows, news and sporting event coverage from SES’s growing, satellite-based Ultra HD platform, with plans to deliver Ultra HD to subscriber homes on the horizon,” said Brad Mefferd, Chief Administrative Officer, Buckeye Broadband.

“The fact that the SES solution works over existing, high-capacity DOCSIS 3.0 cable networks and traditional digital QAM will enable us to be flexible in how we distribute Ultra HD content in our markets.”

“Ultra HD has arrived in Wisconsin and we’re just days away from delivering compelling 4K content to our subscriber homes,” said Shane McCann, Network Engineer for Marquette- Adams. “SES’s innovative and simplified platform solution has really allowed us to leap ahead to reliable and scalable technologies that have made the transition to Ultra HD much faster and more efficient.”

SES says that its Ultra HD solution leverages the scalability of satellite and delivery options, using either managed IP multicast DOCSIS 3.0 streams (versus over-the-top Internet connections) or traditional digital QAM transport streams. With its pre-packaged Ultra HD platform, SES combines Ultra HD channels, 4K set top boxes and reception gear in a cost-effective service, which is enabling small and medium tier cable operators to be among the first in North America to provide linear and live Ultra HD to subscriber homes. SES’s managed Ultra HD solution is delivered over dedicated bandwidth, providing a much higher quality viewer experience compared to current Internet-delivered 4K offerings susceptible to buffering and network congestion.

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