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Watch satellite TV on your PC over the Internet

Here is how it is done:

Receiving the satellite TV programmes into your PC, via the internet

You need a PC with Windows Media Player or Real Player.

You need to access any web server that is able to send out satellite TV programmes.  Some TV stations provide this service, typically feeding out short clip downloads of particular programs you may have missed the night before.  Some TV stations may also provide live continuous feeds but it is rather expensive for them to do this as each viewer needs their own transmit feed.

Sending out TV over the Internet

You need a PC, a satellite TV dish, a satellite TV receiver card type DVB-S or DVB-S2 and a software program to process the off-air signals and retransmit the video and audio via the internet.  This progdvb allows you to download the software package.

There are two problems: 

a) Licence fee.  In some cases you are permitted to retransmit the Free-to-Air (FTA) TV signals.  In other cases the originator of the programs will charge you a licence fee. Some TV companies are keen for you to do it and will encourage you.  Other refuse to allow retransmission.  Often there are problems with program material that has been licenced only for reception in certain areas.

b) Unless you are a charity, you will need some income to pay for the internet connection.   The possibility exists that you might charge for the service or insert advertisements into the program stream.  In such cases check and agree the licence conditions carefully.

Implications of using PCs to watch live TV video feeds over the internet

The main problem is the cost of the traffic load. PC users typically download no more than an average of about 10kbit/s.  If people start downloading at even 128kbt/s continuously then their monthly bills will need to go up 10 times or more, form say 10 per month to 100 per month.  If the number of viewers is very low then perhaps via the internet is feasible.  If the number is larger then it is cheaper to truly broadcast the signal via satellite for example.  If the broadcasting is within a private network such as a hospital then the it is possible to use multicast IP packets to minimise the cost.  Maybe the future is for domestic PC connections to be provided in private IP address space to permit this on a larger scale. 

If you have a multi LNB satellite TV antenna or several satellite TV dishes you could simultaneously receive from several satellites and with multiple PCs receive and rebroadcast multiple satellite TV channels.  The same sort of thing may be done with terrestrial TV channels using a terrestrial DVB-T card.

If you want to add your comments here please email me eric@satsig.net

Page last amended 29 May 2014, 5 Dec 2014