SAT-MidEast 98.08.07

A news release from Cairo, Egypt, located at 31.15 East - 30.3 North,
- Events and News interesting to the Middle Eastern SAT-viewer
- Satellite and Transponder Observations in C- and Ku-Band,
- Everything commented from the Middle Eastern perspective
- SAT-MidEast maintains a web site with relevant Middle Eastern
- satellite information, and a regular updated, satellite based,
- archive of observations, features & news for the Middle East. 

- SAT-MidEast: http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hall/2878
Send relevant infos, interesting news, and creative comments to :

- sat-mideast@geocities.com 

E-Mail via IRIS
ESA's LLMS (Little LEO Messaging System) payload was launched with the
Russian Earth observation satellite "Resours-N4" July 10 at 07:30 CET,
from the Baikonour launch site in Kazakhstan on board a Zenit launcher.

This new telecommunications payload will provide a low-cost, worldwide
electronic mail (e-mail) commercial service dubbed IRIS, for
Intercontinental Retrieval of Information via Satellite.

The host satellite, on an inclined polar orbit at 850 km altitude, will
"view" any point on the Earth's surface at least twice a day and will
collect and distribute e-mail (like a postman with conventional mail).
Remote subscribers will need a relatively inexpensive dedicated small
satellite modem (half the size of a portable PC). Automatic data
collection will also be possible.

The hub station, located in Spitsbergen (at 78 North), will load and
retrieve messages from the satellite once per orbit and interface with
public data networks to connect users via a service centre in Brussels,

The target customers for that service are people travelling in remote
areas or at sea without access to terrestrial communications who need to
exchange a few messages a day at low cost. Large organisations with
staff in remote areas of the world are a typical example.

For ESA this is a small project of a new kind in which special efforts
have been made to reduce development costs and duration and to
capitalize on several years of spread spectrum technology development.
The contractual aspects are also innovative, with delivery in orbit and
a commitment by the prime contractor to offer a commercial service.

Under an ESA ceiling-price turnkey-contract, the prime contractor SAIT
Systems of Brussels, Belgium, undertook not only to develop, but also to
launch and commercially operate LLMS/IRIS for an initial period of 3
years.This concept is in line with the evolution of ESA's procurement
approach, asking industry to fully assume the programmatic, technical
and financial responsibility for close-to market missions.

Development of this advanced communication payload under the leadership
of SAIT systems, was carried out by European companies of Belgium (SAIT
Devlonics, Alcatel Bell), Germany (OHB), Spain (SEMA), and the UK
(Warberry Communications). IMEC vzw, Barco-Silex and Verhaert D&D, also
of Belgium, were involved at the level of the LLMS modem, while
subcontracts with NPP WNIIEM of Moscow, Russia and with the Norwegian
Space Center covered respectively the payload accommodation with launch
and the hub station installation in Spitsbergen.

LAUNCH INFORMATION, http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
A satellite to be used by Taiwan and Singapore will be launched on
August 25. ST-1 according to one of its operators is on its way to the
European Space Centre at Kourou where it will be launched aboard an
Ariane 4.

Chunghwa Telecom of Taiwan said that ST-1's footprint will cover China,
India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Sri
The satellite, built by Matra Marconi Space, will provide satellite
services for local TV, broadcasting, telecommunication and internet
Chunghwa and Singtel of Singapure would operate seven C-band and eight
Ku-band channels each.

Launch window for ST-1 with an Arianespace launcher is scheduled for
25/26 August, between 23:07-00:03 UTC.

SME Comment: The ST-1 footprint touches the Arabian peninsula, covering
Muscat and most of the rest of Oman.

ASIASAT 2, 100.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/asia2.shtml
The Hallmark Network has left 3,940 V (MPEG-2).

Taiwanese channel TTV was observed on 3,785 V, MPEG-2/clear, PIDs

APSTAR 2R, 76.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/apstar2r.shtml
The Hallmark Network channels in the MPEG-2 package on 3,720 H are now

PANAMSAT 4, 68.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/pas4.shtml
CNBC Asia on 3,785 H (PAL) was replaced last Tuesday at 20:00 CET by a
colorbar testcard "Asia Broadcast Centre". Various other testcards have
been displayed since then, a new steady user of the transponder could
not be determined.

ASTRA 1G, 19.2 East, http://www.satcodx.com/astra1g.shtml
Canal + Netherlands, Info Channel was moved from 12,344 H to 12,574 H

EUTELSAT II-f1, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f1.shtml
Eros TV promotional videos on 11,658 V, are starting now at 12:00 CET
and are time sharing with some Fashion TV promotional transmissions.

Sima-yeh Moghavemat on the same transponder frequency is now starting
earlier, 11:00-12:00 CET.
(C Lyngemark)

The French TPS package on 12,542 V, MPEG-2/Viaccess, widebeam, SR 27500,
FEC 3/4, could be seen in the clear for almost all of this week. Now
only the political Canal Assamblee remains in clear.
(SME, sources: SAT-Corfu, SATCO DX)

Fashion TV has returned to 11,638 H, PAL/clear, superbeam.

HOT BIRD 2, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb2.shtml
HOT BIRD 3, 13 East, http://satcodx.com/dig/dpiu.shtml
All channels in the D+ package have moved around. See the D+ digital
SATCO DX chart for complete details.

HOT BIRD 3, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb3.shtml
Mreza Sat on 12,303 V is encrypted again.

HOT BIRD 4, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb4.shtml
A "D+ Info card" has replaced the Digi promotional broadcast on 10,892 H

San Marino RTV has started testing on 10,719 V, MPEG-2/clear, PIDs
4881/4882, 17:00-24:00 CET.

Krisma has returned after a few days of absence on 10,719 V,
MPEG-2/clear, PIDs 5121/5122.

A new package has started testing on 10,727 H, MPEG-2/clear, SR 27500,
FEC 3/4, wide beam, line-up:

1001/1201	Service 1	Test Card	(no audio)
1002/1202	Service 2	Quantum 24	(Track1: CNBC Europe, Track2: studio
APID:1302	.	.	(Sinus Wave)
1003/1203	Service 3	VH-1 Export	(no audio)
1004/1204	Service 4	Quantum 24	(no audio)

The French AB-Sat package on 12,692 H, MPEG-2/Viaccess, SR 27500, FEC
3/4, also uses the wide beam. Two channels are in the clear in this
package, the first shared by German music channels Onyx and Zik and the
other with an AB-Sat promotional transmission
(SME, source: SAT-Corfu)

Eutelsat started tests on 12,735 H, MPEG-2/clear, SR 20000, FEC 2/3,
PIDs 36/37, by showing a view of the "Parc Andre Citroen" in Paris.

Quantum 24 has started on 10,914 H, MPEG-2/clear, superbeam, SR 3998,
FEC 1/2, VPID 1160, APID 1120: English, APID 1122: German, SID 1.

SME Comment: This explains why the reception in the Levante of the
Quantum 24 PAL transmission from the same transponder 121 has declined

EUTELSAT II-f2, 10 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f2.shtml
MED TV has finally left transponder 25A at 10,972 V, and is now only in
PAL on Hot Bird 4. Transponder 25A shows no replacement transmission or
test card.

SCT has left 11,163 H, could eventually be back on 1 September.

SIRIUS 2, 5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/sirius.shtml
Two feeds for DF-1 by Merlin Communications on 12,111 H,
MPEG-2/encrypted: 13th Street and Studio Universal.

THOR 3, 0.8 West, http://www.satcodx.com/thor3.shtml
Some reception reports:
The signal level of the active transponder is 4 dBW higher than the
signals on Thor 2, so I'm actually getting a good enough signal on my 9
meter solid for the D2-MAC decoder to lock on and get clear audio.
(KA in Bahrain)

Here on Cyprus, Thor 3 is brilliant ! I get a BER of 0 for all four
channels. The signals are far stronger than TV1000 was when it was on
Intelsat 702 before they changed it to the present 707. Presently,
TV1000 on 707 is very weak - I can sometimes get it to clear in the late
afternoon but there are always a lot of sparklies. I'm using a 3 meter
mesh Perfect 10 dish, Ku only by the way.
(RJ on Cyprus)

Reception in Cyprus is very good with 1.25 x 1.40 cm offset dish.
(AL on Cyprus)

Some additional info on the subject:
Almost all D2-MAC receivers can now handle both Eurocrypt M and S2, and
all(?) of the D2-MAC receivers have built-in Eurocrypt M and/or S2.

If a D2-MAC transmission is encrypted, you need a smart card. It WAS
very easy to get a smart card for the Eurocrypt channels..., but it's
got considerably harder the last few months.

NILESAT 101, 7 West, http://www.satcodx.com/nile101.shtml
Iraq Satellite Channel has left both 11,862 V (PAL) and 11,823 V
(MPEG-2). The re-occurance of the channel should be expected.

All channels on 11,881 H and 12,073 H of the 1st NET package have
swapped transponder. Some ID's have been adjusted. For full details
please see the SATCO DX 1stNET digital chart.

Some additional testcards appeared in the packages on the various
transponder (11,746 V, 11.823 H). On 11,865 H the channel naming of RS
508 (PIDs 1008/1208) was changed to V-CA and is still used for
occasional feeds.

SME Comment: From the day the ART transponder change took place, the
inter-relation of the channels (networked transponder loading) was
complety disturbed. Presently I can't tell how a Mediamaster performs or
the new Galaxy IRD, but the original (CNE) delivered PANASAT 520 does
not cope well with the new data.

When tuning in to any of the broadcasting MPEG-2 transponder the data
for the whole package is loaded in the EPG, presently showing 60
channels. When tuning into the SHOWTIME channel TMC "The Movie Channel",
the channel appears after entering the the four digit parental code.
When going to the next channel N/P "Paramount" the parental code has to
be re-entered, and the channel appears.

All-in-all a little much tipping, but it works. When trying to select
the first channel of the package coming from a different transponder,
s.a. STY "Style" the IRD starts correctly to look for frequency 12.034
H, but does not find it. 

It has to be entered as base frequency for a new search, and then the
channels of this frequency appear (everytime after entering the parental
code for each channel - individually). To see any channel from a
different transponder the base frequency has to be entered and a new
search has to be performed. It is very time consuming and - by far - not
consumer friendly.

All of the above practises are NOT required when tuning into the
respective SHOWTIME and 1stNET/ART packages on Panamsat 4 or Arabsat 2A.
Here both services perform flawless.

Could it be that that something in the original localized "CNE-  Cable
Network Egypt" software for the PANASAT 520 is incompatible with the
transmissions from Nilesat 101 ? All transmissions from the other
"egyptian" transponder remain also in the dark, failing to open up due
to the missing parental code in the digital data-stream.

I believe it is really at the time that both SHOWTIME and 1stNET/ART
should offer an update for this receivertype, which is upgradable
over-air (the same is valid for the in the start period of both services
sold PACE 500).

EXPRESS 2, 14 West, http://www.satcodx.com/e2.shtml
NTV International has left 4,075 R (SECAM), and was replaced by an info
card advising viewers to switch to Hot Bird 2 at 11,938 H.

SAT-MIDEAST INTERN, http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hall/2878
For everyone expecting to see the final ASK-ME mailing, sorry: will not
arrive. It has been prepared, and was send out to all subscriber, but
the server refused to do it's serving duties and did not distribute the
mail anymore, even worse - not even a non-delivery message came back, so
it may be still delivered after a couple of light years.

Complaints and much needed sympathy calls please to:
President Bill Clinton - Phone: +1(202)456-1414 & Fax: +1(202)456-2461.

Best regards,

Henk C. Room / Cairo - Egypt
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