Satmode Modem Layer specification announced

The Modem Layer specification of the SATMODE system is now available for comments. The SATMODE project is an ESA co-funded activity launched in Dec 2002 for the development of a very low cost satellite interactive system for consumer applications.Remote interactivity is the key element needed for the continued growth of digital television. Indeed, there is a strong demand for TV enhancements using interactivity to allow the introduction of new services. This interactivity requires a secured, always-on, permanent, instantaneous connectivity, scalable to millions of viewers.

The purpose of SATMODE is to connect TV consumers individually, both ways with their content providers, with other TV consumers and with other infrastructures, in real time, at any time, all the time.

SATMODE is an ultra low cost interactive TV solution via satellite, targeting the mass-market through consumer products.

SATMODE brings several new services to the viewer, like the following typical ones:



  • Betting

  • Communication: Chat, SMS, e-mail

  • Tele-Voting, Polls, Play-along, Quiz

  • Games: standalone or multiplayer

  • Interactive advertising

  • Home Shopping

  • Personal Data Consultation / banking

  • Internet Services

SATMODE also brings new features allowing the technical management of the iTV platform:



  • Enhanced conditional access

  • Audience metering

  • Statistics gathering

  • Hard disk drive content management

SATMODE presents several specific advantages over competitors, which are mainly based on terrestrial technologies for the return channel. The messages are sent through SATMODE without any establishment time with a total transmission time lower than a few seconds. The system is scalable up to the complete DTH market and is designed to minimize the terminal cost. Due to the nature of iTV traffic, SATMODE is also very competitive in terms of communication costs and thus in terms of total cost of ownership.

The publication of the present document is the result of a commitment that was taken by the SATMODE team at the beginning of the development project.

The SATMODE specification is supported by:






Newtec Cy N.V.
NDS France
Thomson Multimedia R&D France
STMicroelectronics N.V.
SpacebridgeSemiConductor Corp.
          ESA
SES-ASTRA S.A.
SES-GLOBAL S.A.
Eutelsat S.A.
Hispasat S.A.

The SATMODE specification is an ESA Public Domain Document (PDD) with no IPRs attached.


Companies interested in receiving a copy of the SATMODE PDD are invited to send a request to Carlo Elia stating:



  • Company's name

  • Contact name

  • Reason for Interest in SATMODE

Comments on the SATMODE PDD shall be sent back to ESA by Sept 30th 2004.

Event Date

23 July 2004
Published 02 September 2004
Last updated at 02 September 2004 - 00:00