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TIS17: More Pay TV Providers Join SES’s 4K Trial

SES said 30 U.S. pay TV providers are using its platform to test the delivery of 4K programming to the home after adding nine cable MSOs and IPTV providers to the mix.

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The latest batch of trial participants includes Alliance Communications; Cincinnati Bell; Douglas County Community Network in Washington; Hotwire; Midco; Midwest Video Solutions (MVS); Oneida Telephone Exchange; Skitter TV; and South Dakota Networks (SDN), which delivers IPTV services in partnership with 19 telcos in South Dakota.

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They’re on board to test out an integrated platform that offers a package of programming from content partners that include Fashion One 4K, Travelxp 4K, 4KUNIVERSE, NASA TV UHD, Insight TV, UHD1, C4K360, Funbox 4K, Nature Relaxation 4K, as well as SES’s UHD demo channel. SES is hosting the channels using a set of satellites (SES-1, SES-3, AMC-18).

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“Momentum continues to build as SES accelerates the delivery and commercial availability of Ultra HD services throughout North America, and we expect more cable and IPTV providers to join the trio of operators who have already launched their commercial Ultra HD services using our platform,” Steve Corda, VP of business development at SES Video, said in a statement.

Other trial participants include Marquette-Adams Communications; Highlands Cable Group; EPB Fiber Optics; Verizon Communications; Frontier Communications; Buckeye Broadband;  Service Electric Cable TV; enTouch Systems; Cable America, Golden West Telecommunications; MTC Cable; Aureon; GVTC Communications; KPU Telecommunications; Shrewsbury Community Cable; and Sjoberg’s Cable TV.

SES has been delivering 4K TV at 18 Mbps using HEVC coding. In an earlier interview, Corda reasoned that that bit rate squares with cable operators, because it allows them to fit two 4K TV signals into a 6MHz-wide channel.

RELATED: SES: 18 Mbps Is the Right Rate for 4K TV (subscription required)

Most of the cable operators that in the pilot are delivering the signals over QAM transport to set-top boxes, but some are also considering deliver over DOCSIS networks using IP multicast technology.

DirecTV, Layer3 TV, Dish Network, and Comcast are among other U.S. MVPDs that have rolled out or are testing 4K services.