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Sat-ND, 20.5.96




Sat-ND - Informationen zur Satelliten- und Medienszene

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Peter C. Klanowski, Fax +49-451-5820055, pck@LyNet.De

This issue is sponsored by TELE-satellite, Europe's Satellite Magazine 
Have a look at their homepage! >> http://www.TELE-satellit.com/ <<


Nachrichten vom 20. Mai 1996

Pfffft....
It was a nice try, but there's still some work to be done before we will
be able to receive TV broadcast over inflatable antennas. After all, what
happened outside the space shuttle Endeavour today was a pioneering
experiment. The question was whether light-weight inflatable structures
can serve as antennas, and above all, would they keep their shape and
reflect electromagnetic waves? There have been problems, it seems. "The
antenna has a sort of rippling to it almost as if it were in a wind,"
reported astronaut Mario Runco. After having been separated from the
spacecraft ("Spartan") it was attached to, the antenna was expected to
re-enter the Earth's atmosphere within a few hours.
NASA is examining inflatable antennas for various applications such as
deep space probes and Earth-sensing satellites. Not only are they cheaper
and lighter than usual equipment, they should also be less accident prone.
Instead of using complicated mechanisms like those for putting
conventional antennas into position, it takes just some nitrogen to, well,
pump them up.

Feng Shui
Almost all Western satellite programming for Asia's 400 million TV
households originates in one place: Singapore. Therefore, it's no surprise
that one of the most advanced broadcasting centres in the world was
officially opened there on Saturday. The Asia Broadcast Centre (ABC) is a
joint venture of Group W Network Services (Westinghouse, USA) and The
Yellow River Network (Singapore). From there, at least for US companies
will broadcast their services to Asia, including The Discovery Channel,
Asia Business News, Sony Entertainment Television, and Liberty Sports
Communications. ABC will also provide various services to PanAmSat. The
centre's facilities are fully digital and offer a range of services from
production, post-production to dubbing, signal compression and satellite
delivery. In fact, ABC is the only independent broadcast distributor
granted a carrier class license for satellite uplink from Singapore's
Telecommunications Authority. But what's even more, it also offers
censorship services, although this is officially called "editing of
culturally sensitive material". 
What about that feng shui then? It might seem culturally sensitive to
Europeans, like eating dogs does, but actually this is an old Chinese
philosophy that was  used not only to determine the date of the official
opening, but also had its influence on the exterior and interior
appearance of the ABC building.

HS 376 will do
GALAXY IX will be launched from Cape Canaveral with a Delta II rocket on
May 22, 0836 EDT. The satellite which will be operated by Hughes
Communications Inc. is, of course, built by Hughes Space and
Communications Co. But it's not based on the HS 601 platform, instead it's
model HS 376, one of the most-purchased satellite platforms in the world.
Thus, this bird won't be one of those trendy microwave ovens hovering in
space, just an normal telecommunications satellite. Its 24 transponders
will operate in the C band and provide just 16 Watts transmission power
each. The satellite, which is expected to stay operational for twelve
years, will be positioned at 123W.

NBC goes digital
NBC Asia has switched its transmissions on its PAS-2 transponder to
digital. A total of six channels is planned, three of them broadcasting
English-language versions of CNBC. Two channels will be used for NBC, one
channel being subtitled in Chinese. And undoubtedly NBC will find some use
for the sixth channel, too.

Etisalat + Arabsat = Thurraya?
The Arab Satellite Communications Organisation (Arabsat) might soon become
a mobile communications provider. According to the country's official news
agency WAM, the United Arab Emirates government has invited Arabsat to
participate in the THURRAYA satellite project. It will provide most Arab
states, Europe and India with mobile telephony services compatible with
the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM). The UAE
telecommunications company Etisalat will probably be inviting bids for the
satellite system within next few weeks. The deal is estimated between
US$700 and 1000 million.

More pay TV for France?
Merging two media giants isn't that easy, at least in Europe. Together,
Germany's Ufa (Bertelsmann) and Luxembourg's CLT will become Europe's
largest TV company. The problem is, however, that Bertelsmann has been a
long time partner of French pay TV company Canal+, so far the only pay TV
company in France. Canal+ is definitely disturbed by CLT's plans to launch
another package of subscriber channels there. In an interview, Bertelsmann
head Mark Woessner admitted that there had been irritations about the
issue. Nevertheless he hoped that Bertelsmann could act as a mediator. The
merger of Ufa and CLT still goes ahead as planned. The contracts are due
to be signed by the end of June.


Transponder News

PAS 4 (68.5E)
Sports channel ESPN has been transmitting on another transponder for about
a week. In addition to 3.860 GHz h, 3.927 GHz v is now being used. Even an
8 feet (2.4 m) dish shows only poor reception results with lots of
sparklies. On top of this, ESPN has gone BMAC on May 15. (Martin van der
Ven)

INTELSAT 602 (63E)
A few days ago, transponder 10.963 GHz v was fired up showing a b/w test
card. It comes with the same polarisation and the same field strength as
the three IRIB channels from Iran. Maybe this is going to be the fourth
one? (Martin van der Ven)

INTELSAT 705 (50W)
For about the next two weeks or so, there will be transmissions from
Surinam to The Netherlands. For the uplink, a fly-away unit (UKI 43) with
a modified antenna is used. The first transmission could be seen on Sunday
at 1500 UTC on 11.600 GHz v. Audio subcarriers 6.6 and 7.2 MHz were used.
(Eddy van Dijk)


Thanks to our contributors --
Eddy van Dijk: edvdijk@pi.net
Martin van der Ven: vanderVen@T-online.de

========================================================
Alle Angaben ohne Gewähr. Copyright 1996 by Peter C. Klanowski,
pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.
Einsender erklären sich mit Bearbeitung und Veröffentlichung
einverstanden.

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