SAT Observations 97.11.07

A news release from Cairo, Egypt, located at 30.3 North - 31.15 East,
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- Satellite and Transponder Observations in C- and Ku-Band,
- Commented from the Middle Eastern perspective.
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	(Yalla biena, yalla...e, que cosa ?)
- Launch Information
- Thaicom 3 in coming
- Apstar 2R on the rise
- Hot Birds in plenty
- Bits & Pieces

LAUNCH INFORMATION, http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
The latest Ariane launch schedule:

V102	44L	11/11	Sirius 2 & Cakrawarta 1 (Window 23:48 - 00:33 CAT)
V103	44P	01/12	JCSat-5 & Equator S
V104 *	42L	20/12	Intelsat 804
V105	44L	22/01	Brasilsat B3 & Inmarsat F5
V106	44LP	27/02	Hot Bird 4 & BSat1B (evt. Nilesat 1)	
V107	40	25/03	Spot-4 (no communications satellite scheduled)

V111	503	xx/07	Hot Bird 5 (actually May, but an A5 without delay ?)
(*) In case of an eventual delay, and Intelsat agrees, Arianespace is
prepared for an eventual launch of flight V104 between Christmas and New

The launch of the first satellite of the Eutelsat W series will take now
place at March 16th, pushed by an Atlas 2A launcher on flight AC-132.
The satellite is targeted to take over the duties of Eutelsat II-f2 at
10 East.

The launch of Astra 1G with Proton from Baikonur, Kasachstan, is delayed
from 21 to 24 November, with a scheduled launch window from 02:10-02:20

The launch of Asiasat 3 with Proton from the same space port, is delayed
from 12 to 16 December.

Apstar 3D will be launched in 1999, featuring 16 Ku transponder with a
frequency range of 11.700-12.500 GHz, to be located at either 92, 80 or
62 degrees East.
(SATCO DX, source: Apstar)

The launch of Thaicom 4 is delayed from 1998 to 2000 due to a lack of
demand caused by Thailand's current economic woes.
(SATCO DX, source: AFP)

EUTELSAT W4, 36 East, http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
Eutelsat has signed a contract with Aerospatiale for a fourth satellite
in the W series that will be operational at 36 degrees East in early
1999. Called W4, it will be built upon the company's Spacebus 3000
platform and will enable Eutelsat to respond to market demands in Russia
in particular.

It will be one of a number of Eutelsat satellites at 36 degrees East,
which include TDF2 which will start television broadcasts this month,
and the new SESAT satellite which will go into service in early 1999.

Equipped with 32 transponders and including in particular a steerable
beam, W4 will mainly be used with fixed beam coverage over Russia for
analogue and digital television transmissions by a private Russian
broadcaster with the agreement of the Russian government.

Seven new Eutelsat satellites, including W4, are currently under

Since the launch of Amos 1, state-owned Israel Aircraft Industries is
also known as a satellite builder. IAI now hopes for a US$ 500-million
subcontract to provide the Teledesic satellite system with electronics,
stabilisation and control systems.

Using almost 300 Low-Earth orbit satellites to set up an "Internet in
the sky," Teledesic is mainly a joint venture of billionaires Craig
McCaw and William Henry ("Bill") Gates III with Boeing as prime
contractor for the space segment, as US$-100 million investor, and as
10-percent shareholder.

Newspapers quoted IAI managing director Moshe Keret as saying "We
submitted a proposal for supplying a number of systems. We have a proven
ability and we hope to receive a piece of this big project."

However, IAI is not alone. Among the companies hoping for a slice of the
Teledesic pie (total cost now US$10 billion) are Honeywell of the United
States, Japan's Mitsubishi and Germany's DASA, press reports said.

 Copyright 1997 by Sat-ND

International Ettelaat Daily which is published by Iran's government has
informed that the Iranian Satellite TV is to be broadcast in very near
future, supposingly on Hot Bird 3. No frequency is mentioned in the

The programs will be 21 hours in Farsi and 3 hours in English and
Arabic. They are planning to use English subtitles on some of the
programs. The programs planned  are Salaam Hamvatan, family programs,
children programs, teaching Farsi, sites of Iran and the world,
different cultural magazines, sports programs, Iranian traditional music

Announcements like these have been frequently seen in the last
years...New fear...NOT !
(SME, various sources)

THAICOM 3, 78.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/thai78.html
On 3.520 GHz, H, is until November 9th a MPEG-2/clear package to be seen
with Service 1 through Service 8, with on the first two channels the
Army Channel 5 in the classic TV format on Service 1 and in the 16:9
format on Service 2.

The stored SR is 26666 and the FEC is 3/4. From the 10th of November an
official start of the service is announced. Future coding should be
Present Video PID's are from 4200 through 4207, Audio PID's from 4280
through 4287.

Another digital package is reported from 3.880 GHz, H, however I
couldn't get hold of this service. A strong carrier however could be

Following channels should be availabale with SR 27500, FEC 3/4:

P1	4021	4022	Super
P2	4023	4023	Colorbar Test Card
P3	4025	4024	Specials, Documentaries	
P4	4027	4026	Politics
P5	4029	4028	Colorbar Test Card
P6	402B	402A	Sports
P7	402D	402C	Music Channel

** Attention: PID's could be different, while un-confirmed **

During test sequences Punjab TV appeared timewise again in PAL on 3.580
GHz, V, with audio subcarriers on 6.60 and 7.02 MHz.
Various other frequencies were active with carrier signals this week.

APSTAR 2R, 76.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/apstar2r.html
Several test signals could be received last week from various
transponder, however rather low saturation. It seems that testing of the
C-Band frequencies not really has started yet. Expect big improvements
in the coming week.

A reminder of the used frequencies: 3.643 GHz through 4.180 GHz, as
transponder middle frequencies both on horizontal and vertical
polarization levels.

Just this Friday afternoon a range of extremely strong carriers could be
observed. Testing through the transponder from 1A, 3A, 5A etc was seen
as of 14:30 CAT. Signals stronger as observed from Hot Bird 3 in the Ku
band could be received in the C-Band.

PANAMSAT 4, 68.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/pas4.html
The "On-TV" programm listing channel of the SHOWTIME DStv bouquet, has
changed its audio from live VH-1 TV-sound to popular Arabic Music, in
support of the constant progress of the Arabisation of the package.

On all channels the reminder that SHOWTIME remains on Panamsat 4 is
regular made public, and an increase in Arabic undertitling by 600% for
1998 is announced, focussing on the channels: Movies, Paramount, TV Land
and Style.

SME Comment: Mr. Einstein does a marvellous job in increasing the
subscriber numbers, but all this arabisation ??? Isn't the
American/English initial nature of the SHOWTIME package just attracting
the people ? Too much Arabic in audio and video would let the local
community choose the alternative Orbit or 1stNet packages and surely
keep the huge expatriate communities in the Middle East and Gulf Areas
away from a subscription.

Question: Why not use the possibilities of digital TV and let the
subscriber decide with his remote control which sound he would love to
here, undertitles to be visible or hidden and plenty of other
attractions already NOW possible with the MPEG-2/DVB systems ?

It's more and more getting true: DStv is not a customer oriented
service, it's just a progressive way of making money out of anyway
existing TV offerings. It's quite sad...

INTELSAT 801, 62 East, http://www.satcodx.com/i801.html
The IRIB channels have, opposite to the reception in Europe, increased
in quality in the Middle Eastern region. It could be that the beam on
the Intelsat 801 has been adjusted, but I tend to believe that the
channels have been transferred again to the Intelsat 602, which is
located at almost the same position at the time. The frequencies have
not changed.

Please any reception reports are welcome, anybody out there who can read
out the baken frequencies of both the satellites and find out more ?

TDF 2, 36 East, http://www.satcodx.com/tdf2.html
NTV Plus 1 and NTV Plus 2 are scheduled to start on TDF 2, but can't
physically be uplinked to the satellite from Moscow. That's why both of
planned channels will start only on January 1st. They will be digital
transmitted via an Intelsat satellite and then re-uplinked from

SME Comment: Alternative reports speak from a possible start of both
channels in this month.

EUTELSAT II-f3, 16 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f3.html
Eurotica Rendez-Vous has left 11.163 GHz, H.

EUTELSAT II-f1, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f1.html
Canal 24-Horas intends to transmit from a Hot Bird 3 transponder as
early as December. The moved service will include Radio stations as
RNE1, RNE3, RNE4, RNE5, Clasica  and REE on the available audio

Fashion TV on 11.055 GHz, H is now in stereo on 7.02/7.20 MHz. The
MPEG-2 version in the MCM bouquet on Hot Bird 3 features only two mono

HOT BIRD 2, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb2.html
The test channel in the Multichoice Hellas package on 11.823 GHz, H is
now labelled Future 1 and has been newly ranked in the data stream.

The data stream of the RAI digital channels on transponder 54, 11.804
GHz, V, has been amended, and appeared refreshed with new data on
Friday, November 7th.

In case you're not fluent in Italian, I would recommend to take a look
at the RAI MPEG-2 transmissions on this transponder. Various movies and
other interesting  stuff, are here undertitled in English, which is not
appearant in the PAL transmissions of the same channels on Hot Bird 1.

La Chaine Sud left the Mediaset transponder 11.919 GHz, V, on November
1st, and since then Canale 5 is the major user of this "TEST" channel,
with sometimes overnight audio to a colorbar testcard.

Following on the footsteps of Italian state television RAI which has
it's own international satellite channel called RAI International, the
private TV holding company Mediaset plans to start it's own global
satellite channel.

At a recent press conference the president of Mediaset (which operates 3
TV channels - Rete 4, Italia 1 and Canale 5), Fedele Confalonieri,
openly criticized RAI International saying that besides Italian football
it offers very little else to expatriates. Mr. Confalonieri used this
opportunity to announce that Mediaset will start transmitting a
selection of programs from its three TV station to viewers in North

The Mediaset International channel will start broadcasting at the
beginning of 1998, as part of the DirecTV bouquet (currently has around
9 million subscribers) and will initially be on air 8 hours a day
(repeated 3 times a day).  The program schedule will be made up of news
programs, live football (European Champions League games) and popular
variety programs such as "Striscia la Notizia", "Maurizio Costanzo Show"
and "Pressing".

Polonia 1 on 11.977 GHz, H, is, opposite to earlier assumptions, on the
wide beam and not on the superbeam, but transmitted with lowest signal
(SME, source: Eutelsat)

Eurotica/Rendez Vous can stay one month longer, untill the end of
November, on 11.785 GHz, H, and will remain at the Hot Bird position, 13
East after the ceasure on this transponder. An alternative frequency has
not been announced yet.
(SME, source: Eutelsat)

SME Comment: Since November 1st, transponder 53, 11.785 GHz, H, has been
switched to the super beam or has drastically reduced its saturation

A soon as from December this year, SCT - Satisfaction Channel TV will
use transponder 64, 11.996 GHz, V, from 02:00-04:00 CAT, for an
encrypted PAL version of the adult transmissions.
(SME, source: Eutelsat)

HOT BIRD 3, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb3.html
The Multichoice Hellas channels are now continious labelled through
transponder 55 on Hot Bird 2 and transponder 73 on Hot Bird 3.
The nine channels on 12.169 GHz, H, are named Future 2 to Future 10,
whereby all are coded. CCTV-4 is again hidden behind Future 8's IRDETO

During the week a lot of movements on both Multichoice transponders
could be observed, whereby temporary all channels could be seen in the
(FilmNet, Supersport, Mega, Antenna 1, ET-1, ERT Int, CCTV-4, Future1)

Various transponder have been tested during this week however not
resulting in additional channels visible in the Middle East. The
Eutelsat colorbar testcard on transponder 89, 12.476 GHz, H, has ceased.

On Friday the colorbar on the second channel (SERTE 2) of the FT
Globecast (previous MAXAT) transponder with Kuwait TV was replaced by a
blank screen. The Kuwait audio was still forwarded, as well as on
channel 3 (SERTE 3).

The promotional video of the (Swiss) SRG SSR Sat Access on transponder
85, 12.399 GHz, H, has been re-worked this week and is since two days in
a new version presented, with the how's and why's of the channels, in
four languages (English, French, German and Italian). 

SCT - Satisfaction Channel TV plans to move to transponder 84, at 12.380
GHz, V, with three versions of their adult service. 
(SME, source: Eutelsat)

SME Comment: Other sources see SCT on transponder 72, 12.149 GHz, V,
which might very well be more reasonable.

In short the digital transmissions of the Croatian/Slovenian package
will be aired on transponder 80, 12.303 GHz, V, SR 27500, FEC 2/3.
The Croatian part includes HRT 1, HRT 2, HRT 3 as well as the radio
channels HR 1, HR 2 and HR 3.
The Slovenian channels are SLO1, SLO2, Koper Capodistria & 5 Radio

EUTELSAT II-f2, 10 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f2.html
ERT International, which is now on Hot Bird 3, transponder 79, 11.284
GHz, H, left transponder 33, 11.596 GHz, H, on Monday November 3rd. No
new channel has appeared.

EUTELSAT II-f4M, 7 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f4.html
Radio station RIK 3 has started on 11.141 GHz, H, at an audio subcarrier
of 7.80 MHz.

INTELSAT 515, 21.3 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i515.html
Intelsat seem to have decided that Intelsat 515 will go to 29.5 West.
Intelsat 515 will operate in inclined orbit and only C band to Europe,
because of being located so close to Hispasat 1A/1B at 30.0 West.

INTELSAT 605, 24.5 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i605.html
Intelsat seem to have decided that Intelsat 605 will go to 31.5 West.
The Intelsat 605 Ku band East spot will be positioned on Europe, and the
Ku band West spot on the Eastern USA.

INTELSAT 803, 27.5 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i803.html
BBC Prime has ceased on 10.995 GHz, V. The still remaining D2-Mac
transmissions of BBC-Prime from Intelsat 707 are not receivable in the
Middle East.

INTELSAT 601, 34.5 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i601.html
In search for a Nigerian transmission I got hold of the long lost TPA
(Angola) channel on 3.970 GHz, LC, PAL, on the South-East zone beam.
It has a very weak signal in Cairo, but the on-screen logotype is

Intelsat 601 is said to not being able to use its global beam
transponder 38.

PANAMSAT 3R, 43 West, http://www.satcodx.com/pas3r.html
"Mina Africa Network" (Nigeria) is said to be on 4.062 GHz, V, African
beam, in an unknown transmission standard. Any reports on this channel
are welcome !

That's it for today, have a great week !

Henk C. Room / SAT-MidEast / Cairo - Egypt
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