In a Sat>IP system, satellite-delivered DVB-S and DVB-S2 signals are demodulated and converted to IP in a Sat>IP server close to the point of reception and distributed over an IP network, like normal IPTV, to any IP-enabled client multimedia device. Tablets, PCs, laptops, Smartphones, “connected” TVs, video game consoles, media players, etc. can all be used as satellite viewing clients.
SES unveiled and demonstrated Sat>IP at the fifth annual SES Industry Days conference showing the distribution of satellite programmes over CAT5 Ethernet, Power Line, plastic optical fibre and WiFi networks. The first devices implementing the Sat>IP protocol became available in 2012.
Sat>IP is particularly aimed at satellite TV distribution in the home but can be applied to large multi-dwelling and hospitality reception systems too.
Conventional satellite TV reception systems convert the received transmissions to an intermediate frequency (IF) for distribution via dedicated coaxial cables to one or more satellite tuners and demodulators in set-top boxes. Sat>IP allows the satellite TV distribution to share a data network and enables display and viewing of the signals on any multimedia IP device equipped with suitable software. Multiple Sat>IP servers and clients can operate on the same network with both free-to-air and encrypted pay-TV transmissions.
The intention of the Sat>IP Project is to make Sat>IP an international standard that can be widely implemented worldwide and compatible across manufacturers and operators.
The Sat>IP protocol was developed jointly by the Sat>IP Project partners, satellite operator SES, UK broadcaster BSkyB, and Danish TV software company Craftwork. Prototype Sat>IP equipment and the first certified Sat>IP converter was developed by Inverto Digital Labs, a Luxembourg-based Set Top Box and software designer. SAT>IP is a license free technology available to all manufacturers.
The Sat>IP server removes the RF tuner and demodulator from the client device, providing their functions as a common resource of the IP network. The server will typically contain two or more tuners to serve several clients with different channels simultaneously. It converts the satellite TV signals to IP in their broadcast quality, transparently without any transcoding, effectively removing the DVB-S/S2 layer and replacing it with an IP transport layer.
This process can happen in a master STB (even as an addition to conventional receiver operation), in a distribution device analogous to an IF multiswitch positioned close to the antenna, or even at the antenna itself in the LNB (an IP-LNB).
Converted to IP, the satellite TV signals can be distributed over any IP network, depending on the configuration of the server, using wired Ethernet, wireless (WLAN, 4G), “Power Line” home networks, optical fibre, plastic fibre, coax, twisted pair (xDSL) or visible light technologies. The Sat>IP protocol is independent of manufacturers and was developed to enable Sat>IP client devices to communicate with Sat>IP servers.
In the Control Plane, clients request access to satellites, transponders and MPEG streams using RTSP or HTTP. Only those transport stream packages needed for the TV transmission requested are carried over the IP network.
The full protocol description (v1.2) is public available at http://www.satip.info/sites/satip/files/resource/satip_specification_version_1_2.pdf
Encrypted pay-TV transmission
The SAT>IP protocol doesn't provides any specific support for encrypted services. The specification only targets the tuner, and how to access to DVB streams over the network. So if the client likes to access to encrypted feeds it can do it, but needs to have the correct support for them. This is easy when the client is a device with CAS/CAM hardware support (like a television or set-top-box), but it's unclear how to do it in a PC, mobile or tablet.
Two categories of Sat>IP products exist: Sat>IP clients and servers.
Software applications to use computers and display devices as SAT>IP clients have been produced by a number of companies. DVBViewer Pro is a digital TV viewer and recorder for Windows PCs which has been extended to use SAT>IP. Elgato Systems produces an app for Android tablets and phones, and an iOS app for iPad and iPhone as a Sat>IP client.
The first certified Sat>IP equipment to be produced for commercial sale was the IDL400S Multibox server from Inverto. The Linux-based Multibox can tune to four satellite signals and stream selected TV/Radio programs to four users' tablets, smart phones, smart TVs, game consoles or connected video devices over a wired and/or wireless home network.
Clients supported by IDL400S Multibox
- iOS (iPad) and Android Tablets and Smart phones
- UPnP/DLNA compliant connected media players and video streamers (e.g. Xtreamer, Boxee)
- UPnP/DLNA compliant Smart TVs (e.g. Sony, Samsung, Loewe, Philips, LG)
- PC client (Windows Media Player, VLC player, TVersity, XBMC or Boxee)
- Connected game consoles
- Proprietary Inverto clients (Volksbox Essential, Volksbox 2, Volksbox Movie)
- Sat>IP compliant Clients
The Zinwell ZIM-1800 SAT>IP switch/server is the second to be certified to the new standard. The ZIM-1800 offers an opportunity for portable and IP device users to watch rich satellite programmes on their favourite devices, such as iPads, iPhones, Android tablets, smartphones, laptops, smart TVs or any networking devices. The installation and distribution cost can also be significantly reduced by using the Multicast and Unicast features in SMATV systems in hotels and flats.
Other Sat>IP products released in 2012 include the Triax TSS400 server, GSS DSI400 server, Schwaiger MS41IP server and DSR41IP client receiver, Telestar Digibit R1 server and Digibit B1 client receiver, and Blankom SIA-108 professional headend streamer,
In April 2013, SES announced the development by Inverto, Abilis and MaxLinear Inc of a prototype Sat>IP LNB (IP-LNB), which was demonstrated at a conference held at SES' headquarters in Luxembourg. The IP-LNB incorporates eight-channel satellite-to-IP bridging technology to deliver eight concurrent channels via IP unicast or multicast to fixed and portable client devices. By combining satellite reception and IP bridging at the dish, the IP-LNB enables satellite content distribution to the home over a single Ethernet cable, which carries both the IP TV and power for the LNB through Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology, reducing the overall system cost and power consumption. As of July 2012, the prototype IP-LNB was being developed into a commercial product.
In September 2013 at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam, SES demonstrated a prototype IP-LNB, that is a SAT>IP server integrated into an LNB that can deliver eight concurrent HD channels via IP unicast or multicast from its Ethernet output.
The SAT>IP website recognises the following companies as supporters of the SAT>IP standard: 
- Digital Devices
- DVB Logic
- Elgato Systems
- Global Invacom
- Grundig SAT Systems
- HyperPanel Lab
- Red Bee Media
- ST Microelectronics
- Unitron Group
- "Sat-IP: Physical layer independent satellite distribution to IP devices" (PDF). Company White Paper. SES. March 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
- A Home Base For Distribution Of Content. Satnews.com April 30, 2012
- "SES unveils IP-based in-home distribution of satellite TV signals" (Press release). SES. April 27, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- "SES ANNOUNCES INDUSTRY’S FIRST SAT-IP CONVERTER CERTIFICATION" (Press release). SES. June 12, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- SAT>IP website Accessed May 2, 2013
- Elgato Sat>IP iOS App
- Inverto IDL400S Multibox product details
- Zinwell ZIM-1800 product details
- Triax TSS400 product details
- GSS DSI400 product details
- Schwaiger product details
- Telestar product details
- Blamkom SIA=108 product details
- DVB-C and DVB-T Sat-IP servers at Digital Devices
- "SES, Inverto, Abilis and MaxLinear revolutionise satellite TV home distribution with industry’s first IP-LNB" (Press release). SES. April 22, 2013. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- "SES SHOWCASES LIVE DEMO OF IP-LNB AT IBC 2013" (Press release). SES. September 12, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
- SAT>IP website list of supporters Accessed November 1, 2013
- SAT>IP Website - Official Sat>IP website
- Sat>IP - SES Sat>IP page
- OnAstra - Official Astra consumers/viewers' site
- SES - Official SES trade/industry site
- BSkyB - Official BSkyB site
- Craftwork - Official Craftwork site
- Elgato - Elgato Sat>IP App at Google Play
- Inverto - Inverto (manufacturer) site
- Zinwell - Zinwell (manufacturer) site