Do-it-yourself TV microcasting via satellite

As many as 6 million North American viewers can receive the new UonTV service
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UonTV, a San Diego-based start-up, has 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 new program service, which can be received by viewers equipped with inexpensive free-to-air (FTA) satellite receivers, is targeted to 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 an FTA satellite set-top receiver and 30in mini dish.

The company said as many as six million North American viewers are currently equipped to receive programming via FTA and that as many as two 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 for broadcasting. UonTV said it uses MPEG-2 compression and will encode video for its customers.

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