From: Satellite Journal <71165.2032@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 17 Sep 96 10:54:34 EDT
From email@example.com Tue Sep 17 10: 59:40 1996
V1.6 15 September 1996
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Atlas Successfully Launches GE-1
A Lockheed Martin Astronautics Atlas IIA rocket
successfully launched the GE-1 commercial communications
satellite into supersynchronous transfer orbit from Complex
36, Pad B. It was the fifth successful Atlas launch of 1996
from Cape Canaveral Air Station and the 25th consecutive
successful flight for Atlas.
The Atlas IIA, designated AC-123 for the GE-1 mission,
is one of four variants in the Atlas family presently
launching satellites for domestic and international
customers. Atlas IIA is capable of placing satellites of
the 6,200 to 6,500-lb. weight class into geosynchronous
transfer orbit. The Atlas II series, including the II, IIA
and IIAS, has had 100 percent operational success since the
introduction of each launch vehicle.
GE-1, built by Lockheed Martin Astro Space Commercial,
is the first commercial communications satellite to use the
advanced A2100 bus design. Once in final orbit at 103
degrees west, GE-1 will join the rest of GE's commercial
domestic satellite fleet in providing cable television,
broadcast television and radio, private business and
government communications services to the 50 U.S. states and
the Caribbean region.
Arianespace Flight 91
On September 10, 1996, Arianespace successfully
launched the EchoStar II telecommunications satellite for
Echostar Communications Corporation of the United States.
Flight 91 was carried out by an Ariane 42P, the version
of the European launcher with two solid propellant strap-on
boosters. This was the 62nd of 86 Ariane 4 launch vehicles
ordered from the European space industry.
Lift-off from the European Space Port in Kourou, French
Guiana took place on Tuesday, September 10th at:
9:00 p.m. local time in Kourou
or 8:00 p.m. in Washington, DC (EDT)
or 12:00 a.m. GMT (Wednesday, September 11th)
or 2:00 a.m. in Paris (Wednesday, September 11th).
Commenting on this successful launch, Arianespace
Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Francis
Avanzi said, "We are very pleased to welcome aboard a new
client, Echostar. As a private DBS operator in the United
States, Echostar has shown a very high degree of
professionalism, based on the quality of its customer
services, and a dynamic approach, through the management of
the risks inherent to this business. Our own company has
succeeded thanks to these same qualities, which also allowed
us to offer EchoStar the ninth launch slot of 1996, without
interrupting our launch schedule or commitments this year."
Provisional parameters at third state injection into
geostationary orbit were:
Perigee: 199.8 km (+ 3km) for a target of 199.8
Apogee: 35,923 km (+ 150 km) for a target of 35,958
Inclination: 6.97 degrees (+ 0.05 degrees) for a target
of 7.00 degrees.
ECHOSTAR II was designed and manufactured by Lockheed
Martin Astro Space for Echostar Communications Corporation.
Weighing 2,885 kg (6,360 lb.) at lift-off, it is equipped
with sixteen 130 watt Ku-band transponders, and will provide
direct TV broadcast services over the United States. In
conjunction with ECHOSTAR I, it will distribute some 200 TV
The next launch, Flight 92, is scheduled for November
7th. An Ariane 44LP launch vehicle will be used to place
into orbit the two telecommunications satellites: ArabSat 2B
for the international organisation Arabsat, and MEASAT II
for the Malaysian company Binariang.
Pacific Satellite to Incorporate Macrovision
Macrovision and Pacific Satellite International, Ltd.
of Hong Kong jointly announced that Pacific Satellite's new
line of addressable Pay TV scrambling products, including
subscriber set-top converters and subscriber management
system, will incorporate Macrovision's patented PhaseKrypt
video scrambling technology.
PhaseKrypt is a proprietary scrambling technology that,
through advanced digital processing in the encoder and low-
cost analogue implementation in the decoder, allows
manufacturers to offer a highly secure, addressable pay TV
system at a low cost. Available in all major PAL and NTSC
formats, Macrovision provides the PhaseKrypt technology
through an OEM encoder and decoder chip set. Currently, the
technology is used world-wide through various transmission
paths including satellite, microwave, and cable.
Network Ten Chooses Scientific-Atlanta's PowerVu
Network Ten has installed a Scientific-Atlanta
PowerVu digital video compression system to carry
contribution video feeds from the United States to
Australia. Network Ten began planning its move to digital
video compression in November 1994. According to Wayne
Dickson, design engineer at Network Ten, more than 18 months
were spent evaluating competitive systems world-wide before
selecting Scientific-Atlanta's PowerVu system.
Scientific-Atlanta Licenses Screen Subtitling
Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. will incorporate multilingual
compression receivers using software developed by Screen
Subtitling Systems Ltd. of the United Kingdom.
Screen Subtitling's software uses bit-mapped graphics
technology, enabling virtually any language characters to be
displayed with high-quality resolution on video monitors.
Since it does not rely on the transmission and reception of
character codes, the system operates with no restrictions on
the fonts or characters, and supports European, American,
Middle Eastern, and Asian languages. By incorporating
Screen Subtitling's software into its PowerVu digital
satellite receiver software, Scientific-Atlanta has
eliminated the need for a separate subtitling decoder box in
The subtitles are created using a computer and stored
on a diskette along with the time coded data necessary to
match them with the video. This disk is then used in
conjunction with the video and a subtitle transmission
system to output characters to an Imitext scanner. The
Imitext scanner functions much like a fax machine and scans
in the subtitles and converts them to a digital format.
This digital data is then passed to the PowerVu digital
transmission system for integration with PowerVu's MPEG 2
/DVB digital transmission format. The data is transmitted
to the decoders where they receive the bit-mapped
representations of the subtitles and send this information
directly to the Onscreen Graphic Display unit in the
decoder. Like a fax machine, the decoder need not know any
information about the language or character size or shape.
It simply displays what the Imitext scanner at the
transmission system tells it to display.
TV Filme encouraged by new Pay TV regulations
TV Filme, Inc. reported that Brazil's Ministry of
Communications adopted new Pay TV regulations. Based on the
Company's preliminary review, the new regulations provide
that companies which operate multipoint, multichannel
distribution systems (MMDS) in markets with more than
700,000 inhabitants, such as TV Filme, are entitled to
utilise all 31 channels available in such markets, rather
than the 16 channels which have historically been available
in most circumstances.
These regulations also allow MMDS licensees to apply
for extended service areas covering up to 50 km in radius,
which represents a doubling of the 25 km limit set forth
under the previous regulations. TV Filme intends to apply
for the additional channels, as well as the extended
coverage areas in its markets, which are expected to
slightly increase the number of households covered by the
Company's licenses. In addition, under the new regulations,
MMDS licenses are awarded for 15 years, rather than 10 years
as was the case under the previous regulations.
JSAT expands constellation with new Hughes satellite
Japan Satellite Systems Inc. (JSAT) of Tokyo has
announced a contract for a fifth communications satellite
from Hughes Space.
The satellite, an HS 601 body-stabilised model, will
allow JSAT to meet increased customer demand for multimedia
and Internet access. It will carry voice, data and
television signals to Japan, the Asia-Pacific region and
Hawaii. The satellite is scheduled for delivery in November
1997. JSAT is contracting separately with Arianespace for
the launch vehicle.
JCSAT-5 will carry two octagonal communications
antennas and two wings with four solar panels each that
together provide more than 5,000 watts of power. The
payload consists of 32 active Ku-band transponders.
There will be 16 transponders operating with 27-MHz
bandwidth, each with 60 watts provided by a travelling-wave
tube amplifier (TWTA); four operating with 36-MHz bandwidth,
using 60-watt TWTAs; and 12 operating with 36-MHz bandwidth,
each with 90-watt TWTAs. Four of the 36-MHz transponders
can be switched to two with 76 MHz with 90 watts.
This is the fifth satellite to be built by Hughes for
JSAT. JCSAT-1 and JCSAT-2 are HS 393 model spin-stabilised
spacecraft. These were Japan's first commercial
communications satellites and were launched in 1989. JCSAT-
3, an HS 601 model, was launched Aug. 28, 1995. JCSAT-4,
also an HS 601 model, will be launched early next year.
US and Canadian News
Canada to get 23 new channels
The CRTC has approved 23 specialty television services.
Seven channels were given priority access to the existing
analogue distribution format.
- The Comedy Network, owned jointly by Baton, Shaw Astral
- CTV Television Network Ltd.'s headline news channel,
which is controlled by Baton.
- Alliance Communications Corp.'s History and
- Teletoon animation channel, which is partly owned by
Cinar Films Inc. and Nelvana Ltd.
- Tele-Metropole Inc.'s Le Canal Nouvelles, a French-
language headline news channel.
- Radiomutuel Inc.'s Le Canal Vie, a French-language
health and lifestyle channel.
- MusiquePlus Inc.'s Musimax, a French-language music
An approved 13 additional television channels which will
have access to distribution systems as
soon as the switch from analogue to digital technology
extends available channel capacity.
- Canada Learning Television, which is controlled by CHUM
- Home and Garden Television, which is controlled by
Atlantis Communications Inc.
- CHUM's MuchMore Music
- Outdoor Life, which is partly owned by Baton
- Prime TV, an entertainment channel aimed at viewers 50
years old and older.
- Pulse 24, a regional news service, which is controlled
- Report on Business Television, which is partly owned by
Canadian Satellite Communications.
- S3, a regional sports channel which is jointly owned by
CTV, Molson Rogers Communications
- CHUM's Space: The Imagination Station
- Sportscope Plus, a sports highlight channel
- CHUM's Star TV, an entertainment channel
- Talk TV, which is controlled by Baton
- TreeHouse TV, which is owned by Shaw Communications Inc.
We have reactions and details of some the channels involved
in the decision.
PRIME TV is expected to begin airing in September,
1997, or as soon thereafter as cable carriage can be
negotiated. The licensing of this cable service means that
CanWest, an over-the-air-broadcaster, will be entering the
field of cable network television for the first time.
The channel will be directed toward the age 50 and over
audience, the fastest growing and most under served audience
segment in Canada. PRIME TV will offer Canadians in the 50+
age group original Canadian programming ranging from travel
to lifestyle, health and fitness and cooking to financial
planning. In addition, the best in classic films and series
television from around the world will complete the schedule.
Report on Business Television
Report on Business Television (ROBTv) said, "This
decision will allow us to offer a comprehensive service to
our cable and DTH clients. The next step for us now is
obviously carriage arrangements, and we'll be talking to the
cable and DTH industries about that as soon as possible. We
are also well advanced in preparing, with our partners of
The Globe and Mail and others from Quebec, a submission for
a similar business information service in French. We hope
to be able to file with the CRTC this fall."
Shaw Communications Welcomes New Television Services
TreehouseTv wholly owned by YTV Canada Inc. will be
dedicated to pre-school programming for children aged 2 to
6. Shaw also welcomed the CRTC's licensing decision that
provided the Comedy Network and Teletoon, national licences
that were given priority access to distribution systems such
as cable and satellite for a launch date of September 1997.
Teletoon's animation service will be distributed nationally
in English and French.
"We are thrilled and mindful of the challenges and
responsibilities that lie ahead. We're gratified that the
Commission has recognised the importance of creating
Canadian alternatives in the world-wide race for specialty
services and has recognised Chum Limited as the Canadian
leader in the field," said Moses Znaimer,
HGTV Canada is a partnership between Knoxville-based
HGTV and Life Network, the 20-month-old specialty channel
which reaches up to 5 million Canadian households. HGTV
Canada will be a stand-alone cable network. The new channel
is owned 80.2% by Life Network and 19.8% by HGTV. HGTV
plans to increase its ownership position in HGTV Canada to
Egyptian Satellite Channel
Good News for those Egyptian or Arabs living in USA.
The Egyptian Satellite Channel has contracted with AlphaStar
to provide authorisation, billing and collection for their
service. The service is tentatively scheduled to begin on
September 15, 1996.
The Egyptian Satellite Channel is transmitted from
Egypt and consists of a variety of daily top quality
programs from Cairo to over 250 million viewers world-wide.
Programs consist of movies, episodes, drama, comedies, soap
operas, tele news, interviews, sports, live sports games,
plays, serials, childrens programs, women's programs, Good
Morning Egypt and more. The cost of the service is $12.99
Although the Egyptian Satellite Channel is not part of
AlphaStar's programming line-up, those customers who are
interested in this channel can access the Egyptian Satellite
Channel via an AlphaStar hardware system (Star Trak 1000
Digital Satellite System). Call 1-888-ALPHASTAR (1-888-257-
4278) for more information.
The Family Channel Selects Scientific-Atlanta PowerVu
The Family Channel, which currently reaches
nearly 99 percent of America's cable households, has
selected Scientific-Atlanta's PowerVu digital video
compression system for delivery of its programming to its
western U.S. cable affiliates by the end of this year. The
PowerVu system will enable The Family Channel to deliver six
video/audio channels over its west transponder on Satcom C3.
Installation will take place at The Family Channel uplink
facility in Virginia Beach, Va.
COMSAT Wins Antitrust Lawsuit
United States District Court Judge John F. Keenan ruled
in COMSAT's favour on every count of an antitrust lawsuit
brought against COMSAT by PanAmSat in 1989.
PanAmSat had claimed that COMSAT violated the Sherman
Antitrust Act, engaged in predatory pricing, interfered with
PanAmSat's business in other countries, conspired with other
companies to suppress or eliminate PanAmSat and unlawfully
refused to do business with PanAmSat, among other
allegations. The company had sought treble damages
amounting to $1.5 billion.
FCC approve Echostar merger with DBSC
The FCC has granted final approval to EchoStar to merge
privately held Direct Broadcast Satellite Corp. (DBSC) with
an EchoStar subsidiary.
This approval allows Echostar to use 11 transponders
at 61.5 degrees West Longitude to better serve consumers in
the eastern and central United States.
DBSC has been constructing a "next generation" DBS
satellite while awaiting approval of the merger. That
satellite, a Lockheed Martin AX2100, is equipped with 32
transponders operating at 120 watts of power per channel.
The satellite, which will now be known as EchoStar III, can
also be switched to operate with up to 16 transponders
operating at 240 watts per channel, which would allow for
dishes as small as 12 inches.
EchoStar III will launch atop an Atlas IIAS from Cape
Canaveral, Fla., in the fall of 1997. The satellite will
include programming complimentary to that offered by the
DISH Network on EchoStar I and EchoStar II. The programming
line-up on the satellite could also include Internet
delivery applications, and in light of recent pronouncements
from the U.S. Copyright Office, it may also be possible to
include local programming to select large markets.
Hughes Electronics may bring DBS to Spain
Hughes Electronics Corp. has confirmed an agreement to
form a study group with Sogecable SA of Spain, a unit of
Prisa Grupo, and Divtel of Venezuela, a unit of Grupo
Cisneros, to explore the possibility of creating a venture
to bring digital television via satellite to Spain.
Reports that the DirecTv International unit of Hughes,
Sogecable and Divtel have concluded an agreement to provide
this service are premature and inaccurate. The companies
are only in the second of a three- to four-month study on
the viability of such a business arrangement.
The purpose of this study is to develop a potential
business plan on direct-to-home service in Spain for review
by the companies' boards of directors. There is no
assurance that an agreement will be reached.
LSI Logic and News Datacom
LSI Logic signed an agreement with News Datacom to
integrate NDC's proprietary Conditional Access (CA)
technology into LSI Logic's Integra TV set-top box chipset.
Conditional access, one of the key functions within a set-
top, carries out scrambling and descrambling of television
signals to prevent unauthorised reception. The new chip
will give digital television broadcasters added security
since the conditional access features are embedded deep
within the silicon, making it difficult to gain unauthorised
access through reverse engineering.
NDC, a subsidiary of multinational media group News
International Plc, has captured the largest market share of
conditional access technology world-wide. Its conditional
access is being used by major satellite broadcasting
services such as Hughes DirecTv, STARTV and BSkyB. This new
chip will be available to all NDC licensees at the end of
LSI Logic will use its CoreWare design program to
integrate NDC's conditional access features into one of the
Integra chips, called TECC: Transport, Embedded Central
processing unit and Control chip. The TECC chip integrates
several pre-tested building blocks including a transport
demultiplexer, a 32-bit MiniRISC microprocessor, a DVB-
compliant descrambler and peripheral control circuitry_all
on a single chip.
Hyundai to Produce Digital Decoders for Nethold
NetHold, the international pay-television group, has
signed an agreement with Hyundai Electronics America (HEA)
as a major partner to manufacture digital IRDs for supply by
the end of 1996. Under the agreement, Hyundai will supply up
to 60,000 decoders per month for all the territories where
NetHold has, or is about to launch, digital television.
Digital platforms have already been launched by NetHold
via satellite in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, and
will soon also be offered on cable networks in Belgium,
Italy, and the Netherlands, along with "Movies On Demand," a
new near video-on-demand service.
Nethold NV has agreed to merge with Canal Plus
The $2 billion deal will extend Canal Plus's reach into
1.5 million Nethold homes in Belgium, the Netherlands,
Luxembourg, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe, and give it a
45% stake in Telepiu SpA of Italy. Nethold subscribers in
Greece, Cyprus, the Middle East and Africa aren't part of
the acquisition. Europe now has two major players in the
digital domain. The Kirch Group and BSkyB in Germany and
the U.K and Canal Plus (plus) in most of the rest of Europe
COMSAT Corporation, through its COMSAT Mobile
Communications division, filed an application for authority
to participate in the launch and in-orbit testing of the
Inmarsat-3 (F-2) satellite.
Loral Space & Communications, Ltd. filed an
application to construct, launch and operate a fixed-
satellite service space station to be located at 81 W.L.
Loral proposes to provide service to the contiguous United
States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands,
Canada, Mexico, and Central and South America. Loral
proposes to use the standard (14.0-14.5/11.7-12.2 GHz) and
extended Ku-band (13/75-14.0/11.45-11.7) for coverage of
North and South America. Loral proposes to offer services
on a non-common carrier basis.
Loral Space & Communications, Ltd. also filed an
application to construct, launch and operate a fixed-
satellite service space station to be located at 77 W.L.
Loral proposes to provide service to the contiguous United
States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands,
Canada, Mexico, and Central and South America. Loral
proposes to use the extended Ku-band (13/75-14.0/11.45-11.7)
for coverage of North and South America and the extended C-
band (6.425-6.725/3.4-3.7 GHz) for coverage of South
On August 6, 1996, the Commission released a Report
and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopting
rules implementing Section 207 of the Telecommunications Act
with respect to nonfederal restrictions on installation of
satellite and certain other antennas used to receive video
programming. In this order, the Commission stated that the
International Bureau would issue this public notice
soliciting comment to update and refresh the record with
respect to issues that are not addressed in the August 6
order but which remain pending in IB Docket 95-59. Comments
filed in response to this public notice should be filed on
or before September 27, 1996 and replies should be filed on
or before October 28, 1996. Copies of relevant documents
can be obtained in the FCC Reference Center, 1919 M Street,
N.W., Room 239, Washington, D.C.
New files and documents at our WebStand
DVB News International Vol. 1 No 9 now available.
PBS September programming schedule
In The September EXTRA Issue Of DVBNI
International Broadcasting Convention News
DiviCom Ships its 1000th MPEG-2/DVB Encoder
TV/COM's VBI Teletext Processor
Canal+ and Discreet Logic
Digital Video Anticopy IC From SGS-Thomson
Digital Decoders for Nethold
The Pace DVC500 MPEG-2 digital cable unit
DTH Transponder Charts....and more...
More information on these and other stories
in the September EXTRA issue of DVB News Itl. coming
NBC Asia Ltd has launched a separate satellite feed
for Taiwan. The feed with 19 hours of Chinese subtitling a
day reaches more than one million households in Taiwan.
China is to establish 13 satellite ground stations to
boost internal telecommunications links in 13 cities
including Jinan, Nanjing, Nanchang, Zhengzhou, Hangzhou,
Yichang, Yinchuan and Taiyuan.
Russia has successfully launched the Inmarsat-3
satellite on a four-stage Proton rocket from Russia's
Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The 1,130 kg satellite
was built by Astro Space at a cost of $80 million. The
satellite will be located at 15.5 degrees East and has five
high powered spot beams and one global beam. This launch was
the second of 20 launches planned by the year 2000.
Fox Kids Network will begin broadcasting in Britain
on Oct. 19 on cable and satellite television. The British
version of the network will include 13 hours of programming,
including live-action and animated comedy shows as well as
drama. The network also will broadcast up to seven hours of
commercial-free educational series each week.
Winnebago Industries, Inc. has sold its subsidiary,
Cycle-Sat, Inc., to the WilTech Group.
IUA (Institute Universitario Aeronautico) launched
the first microsatellite, the U-Sat 1. The device was
launched by Lavochkin, from the base of Plesetk in Russia.
The U-Sat 1 will provide images of Argentina to the
Gemstar International Group Ltd. developer of the VCR
Plus+ Instant Programming System, has entered into an
agreement with UPN under which the network will support
Gemstar's TV Guide Plus+ System by broadcasting data in its
vertical blanking interval. Gemstar's TV Guide Plus+ is an
interactive on-screen television guide, to be built into new
televisions and VCRs, which allows users to find out about
current and future programs.
Rogue information sent by a computer doomed the
maiden flight of China's Long March 3B rocket carrier on
February 15. The crash was caused by the changes of inertial
reference in the rocket's control system. The changes
produced wrong information which was sent to the computer-
driven control system, which ordered the spacecraft to
change course, with disastrous results. A spokesman for the
China Great Wall Industrial Corporation said that the
conclusion was made after extensive tests and a detailed
analysis of the launch.
The U.S. Air Force launched the third replacement
Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite aboard a McDonnell
Douglas built Delta II rocket. The launch, carrying a
Department of Defence payload, was dedicated to American
Prisoners of War and those declared Missing in Action.
JSkyB hopes to tie up with Japanese rival PerfecTV.
PerfecTV will launch Japan's first digital satellite
broadcasting service next month. It plans to offer a 60-
channel service. No request has been received from JSkyB
but a proposed tie-up is not impossible since it would
benefit PerfecTV's subscribers. JSkyB plans to offer a 150-
channel service in Japan. through a joint venture with
Softbank Corp. A licence for a TV service using the JCSAT-3
satellite is expected this autumn with service to start late
next year. Why a link-up? Two reasons, the large number of
existing terrestrial TV channels and DirecTv, which plans to
launch in 1997.
Two programs from MSNBC will be broadcast in Europe
this autumn on the NBC Super Channel -- "Internight," a talk
show , and "The Site," which offers news on new technology
and the information revolution. The NBC Super Channel, is
broadcast to nearly 70 million homes in 44 countries across
Europe via cable and satellite. A debut of MSNBC Europe is
planned for late 1997.
Pro Sieben Television Ag announced it has shelved
its plan to become the first publicly traded German
television station until mid 1997. Pro Sieben will however
launch its digital pay television service in November,
offering near-video-on demand, a cartoon channel, a games
show channel and an adult channel. The digital package will
use the same decoder technology as DF1.
The US Federal Trade Commission has given gave final
approval to a settlement that will allow Time Warner Inc. to
proceed with its $6.5 billion acquisition of Turner
Broadcasting System Inc.
BSkyB and Scottish Television are teaming up to
provide Scottish news and sport for an estimated one million
Scots living outside of Scotland. Sky Scottish will be
available UK-wide on the Sky multi-channel service for two
hours a night.
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