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China is in the early process of deploying DTH services soon to be followed by interactive TV services. The purpose of the iSatTV project is to establish the solid roots for the development of an operational satellite-based interactive TV solution ready to be successfully deployed in China.
The key issues addressed by the project are:
This project will bring as benefits:
The iSatTV system, based on the Satmode technology, provides a 2-way satellite connectivity between a hub and consumer premises. It consists in a Hub with Forward and Return Link capabilities coupled with interactive consumer equipment. The Hub is based on a standard architecture for the Forward Link complemented with the equipment needed to implement a return link on another satellite channel. Global modules are added or modified to manage the new hub and enable forward and return communication between the hub and the terminals.
A general view of a complete iSatTV system is given below.
The key project milestones are as follows:
The iSatTV hub was deployed in Beijing in July 2007, along with 6 set-top boxes in Sinosat premises. Demonstrations were executed in front of major players on the DTH market.
However, various events slowed down the market evolution towards DTH and subsequenctly interactive TV by satellite:
The hub was shipped back to Belgium in June 2007.
The iSatTV project produced some very important results both on the technical and business side: