07.21.2005 05:31 PM
Do-it-yourself TV microcasting via satellite

UonTV, a San Diego-based start-up, last week announced a new microcasting satellite TV service that enables anyone to digitally broadcast TV programs across North America for as little as $20 per half hour.

The program distribution service, which can be received by viewers equipped with free-to-air (FTA) satellite receivers, is targeted toward small businesses, churches, organizations, sports leagues and consumers. Reception does not require a fee or subscription. Rates for a half hour transmission range from $20 for late night to $120 for prime time.

UonTV transmits digitally via the Intelsat Americas 5 satellite covering all of North America, Alaska, Hawaii and the Caribbean. The signal can be received with a sub-$200 FTA satellite set-top receiver and 30-inch mini dish.

At least 6 million North American viewers are currently equipped to receive programming via FTA and as many as 2 million new FTA receivers were sold last year in the United States.

With UonTV, independent producers can shoot video using DV camcorders, edit shows on a PC, and upload the completed file to the company’s server (www.uontv.com) for broadcasting. UonTV said it uses MPEG-2 compression and will encode video for its customers.

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