SES adds Tier 1 North American operators, expands into Latin America for end-to-end Ultra HD solution

Steve Corda, VP of business development for SES Americas, and Jurandir Pitsch, VP of sales and market development for SES Video in Latin America and the Caribbean. (Image: Daniel Frankel)

LAS VEGAS—European satellite distribution company SES announced that its turnkey Ultra HD solution is now in various stages of trial and deployment with a number of Tier 1 North American pay TV operators.

The Luxembourg-based company also said that it has expanded its solution to Latin America. 

At an NAB news conference today featuring Steve Corda, VP of business development for SES Americas, and Jurandir Pitsch, VP of sales and market development for SES Video in Latin America and the Caribbean, the company highlighted the rapid expansion of its Ultra HD ecosystem.

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In Latin America, Pitsch said SES has its end-to-end 4K solution in trials with “four or five” operators across Mexico, Peru and Brazil, with the aim of getting the services live by the time the World Cup begins in the summer. 

In Brazil, SES-6 will provide dedicated delivery of Ultra HD channels across the entire market, while the company’s NSS-806 satellite, will serve the rest of the region until it is replaced by the recently launched SES-14 satellite in September. 

RELATED: Frontier partnering with SES for 4K trials

Initially, the Latin American territories will receive only four Ultra HD channels, NASA TV UHD, produced by Harmonic, as well as the SES Ultra HD demo channel, an incubator for emerging 4K content producers.

Once SES-14 initiates service, SES plans to expand its Latin American channel lineup.

SES is already a leading satellite distributor of HD channels in Latin American and now boasts 300 HD and Ultra HD channels hosted on its satellites. 

The company has taken advantage of the vacuum for Ultra HD services among pay TV operators worldwide, with cable, satellite and telco companies previously unsure as to how to cost-effectively move ahead. 

SES is appealing to these operators with the proverbial end-to-end solution, first encoding, encrypting multiplexing Ultra HD programming to its satellites; then distributing Ultra HD channels via the satellites directly to the head ends of pay TV operators, which ingest the channels into their broadband networks and distribute them in IP format. 

In October, SES announced that it had 35 North American pay TV operators either in trials or deployment of its Ultra HD solution. In February, the company revealed that it had signed up Frontier Communications. And today, Dish Network was in its partial list of North American operators—a list that also includes WideOpenWest. 

SES executives would not reveal which other Tier 1 companies it has in trials. Notably, however, SES helped Comcast with its Ultra HD broadcast of the Winter Olympics. Asked if any of the unlisted North American Tier 1 operators had names that start with C, an SES representative nodded his head affirmatively.