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NAB: Inetsat Pitches Internet-Based TV Distribution Service

Uruguay-based startup Inetsat is taking on satellite video distributors with a system designed to deliver pay-TV networks over the Internet, with the combination of a content distribution platform, low-cost video servers and centralized playback and monitoring software.

According to Inetsat, its system -- which caches content at headend-based servers for later playback -- is more cost-effective than real-time satellite distribution to integrated receiver/decoders (IRDs).

Liberty Global's Pramer, a producer and distributor of nine pay-TV channels based in Argentina, is participating in the Inetsat´s beta program and is considering the system as an alternative to satellite.

"The Inetsat model -- in which the cost is proportional to the amount of distribution points -- opens a wide range of business opportunities to launch new channels or customize existing ones for specific regions that were not economically viable before," Pramer chief operating officer Marisa Piñeiro said in a prepared statement.

According to Inetsat, the system delivers each network feed via the Internet but differs from other streaming solutions in that it is only distributed once and then saved on a server located at each operator's headend for later broadcast. Inetsat said its pricing model is proportional to the amount of headends that receive a channel and that each feed has a cap price to make sure that "you always pay less than satellite distribution."

Pay-TV operators receive a channel's feed from the Inetsat video server through either an ASI, SDI or Ethernet in the same way they currently receive feeds from an IRD. One of the startup's technology partners is DekTec America, which developed a server using ASI/SDI cards and off-the-shelf hardware at what it claimed is the same price of an IRD.

Based in Montevideo, Uruguay, Inetsat is a private company founded by CEO Pablo Salomon, founder of instant-messaging developer Interactive Networks and previously a consultant on Adobe Systems' Acrobat.

Inetsat is showing its solution at the 2012 NAB Show this week in Las Vegas.