Intelsat, SISLink Team Up on HD Satellite Newsgathering

Satellite operator Intelsat and European uplink-services supplier SISLink are targeting the U.S. satellite-newsgathering (SNG) market with Intelsat uPod, a new HD-ready automated video-delivery service that doesn’t required a trained uplink engineer to operate.

Under a strategic alliance, the companies will provide a fully integrated broadcasting solution that combines Intelsat’s space and ground infrastructure with SISLink’s uPod system to support Web-based scheduling and transmission of live standard-definition and HD video, as well as voice and Internet communications.

SISLink’s uPOD uplink system -- which has found favor with European broadcasters like Sky Italia -- is designed to facilitate a true one-person SNG operation. As part of the deal with Intelsat, SISLink developed a new, smaller version of the uPod, the uPod Micro, which is small enough to be mounted onto any vehicle.

The new service is scheduled to launch in April, initially targeting customers that lease full-time space segment capacity for SNG use. A version of the service targeting occasional-use customers is planned for later this year.