SkyStream introduces IP router

Data-insertion-technology supplier SkyStream Networks has released its next-generation Source Media Router (SMR), a device designed to sit at a satellite uplink or cable headend and broadcast streaming video or other rich IP content to multiple locations.

The new SMR is capable of data rates up to 160 Mb/s, double the 80 Mb/s handled by the company's previous product. That reflects the increased efficiency of new satellite-modulation schemes such as 8-PSK, says SkyStream Vice President of Marketing Clint Chao. "You need performance of above 150 Mb/s to saturate a transponder with data."

The SMR also is only 2 rack units (RU), compared with the previous 4 RU, and has dispensed with hard-disk memory for 90 MB of flash memory. That eliminates moving parts, thus improving reliability, which is important for many SkyStream customers that install SMRs in remote locations.

The routers start with a 20 Mb/s model for about $25,000 and scale up to 80 Mb/s and 160 Mb/s versions priced in the mid $30,000s, says Chao. Currently in beta testing, the product goes into production at the end of the month. SkyStream will show the digital cable version, the SMR-C45, at the upcoming Western Show in Los Angeles.