Eutelsat yesterday launched NewsSpotter, a satellite newsgathering system first trialled by Sky during last year’s Athens riots.

The 75cm satellite dish and terminal can be carried in a backpack for fly-away use or fitted to the roof of a car to transmit HD or SD footage, or deliver rushes and proxy files from the field.

“Our main target is broadcasters and news companies involved in satellite newsgathering, but because of the low cost of throughput we believe the product will broaden the market to include occasional satellite users involved in web casting or radio,” Eutelsat director of presales and customer care Cristiano Benzi told Broadcast.

Benzi said the system was currently undergoing “extensive” tests with the BBC, which has mounted the dishes to different sized vans and at fixed stations such as stadiums.

It has also been trialled by European broadcasters RTL and RAI, as well as UK production company Jackshoot.

Using IP routing, the service is capable of transmitting at up to 20Mbps.

“The system is natively IP so it requires a change in some broadcasters’ minds, because many are used to delivering encoded video,” added Benzi.

“In this case, it is streamed over IP,and that is in keeping with the evolution of workflows used to produce news.”

NewsSpotter connects with Eutelsat’s Ka-Sat satellite, which covers Europe, North Africa and parts of the Middle East.

The terminals start from £5,000, with estimated savings of up to £16,000 compared with rival products.