Sat-ND, 17.6.96

Sat-ND 96-06-17 - Satellite and Media News

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

Fairy tales
Once upon a time (exactly two weeks ago) strange things happened at the
Toronto Stock Exchange. So strange indeed that the company involved was
asked by the Stock Exchange to explain what was happening. But Tee-Comm
Electronics Inc. from Milton, Ontario, claimed to have ''no information
which would explain the significant market activity" in its shares. Their
value had by then almost gained 50 percent in just a few days of heavy
Somebody might have known back then what we all now. Today, Hyundai
Electronics America (HEA) announced a "strategic investment" in Tee-Com,
including its subsidiary AlphaStar Television Network Inc. HEA will invest
Can$27 million in Tee-Comm's public offering of subordinated debentures
which are convertible into Tee-Comm common shares. In return, Tee-Comm
orders one million digital satellite set-top boxes for the Alphastar
package from HEA's subsidary TV/COM. 
AlphaStar will offer a digital direct-to-home TV service in the USA later
this summer, the first one in America that complies with MPEG 2 and DVB
standards. First transmissions began on TELSTAR 402R (89W) on March 31,
1996. Alphastar has also leased a total of 24 Ku-band transponders on
TELSTAR 5 which is scheduled for launch in 1997. The service will then
move over to the new satellite completely.
HEA is a subsidiary of the Hyundai Business Group, Seoul, South Korea. It
bought TV/COM in 1995. Although all TV/COM products claim to be MPEG2 and
DVB compliant, there's still an embarrassing episode to be remembered.
Tee-Comm and its partner TV/COM tried to sell their technology to the
Canadian digital TV service ExpressVu earlier this year. The company
tested the equipment, and it failed. ''Unfortunately, important parts of
the systems under development by TV/COM, which it and Tee-Comm had hoped
to sell to ExpressVu, do not yet meet our high quality standards'', an
ExpressVu executive said, even though Tee-Comm actually is one of the
ExpressVu shareholders. Owing to licensing problems in Canada, the
ExpressVu project has meanwhile been halted anyway.

More MPEG2 problems
There are problems with MPEG2 receivers all over the world, so why not in
Germany? German manufacturer Kathrein has informed me that its long MPEG2
receiver awaited UFD 240 will be delayed once more. Originally announced
to be available by May 1996, the first samples will now be available in
autumn, their public relations department said. The combined
analogue/digital receiver UFD will be available by the end of this year.
(Norbert Schlammer)

Middle East Transponder Update
Surprise on the Israeli Broadcasting Authority's SNG transponder half on
INTELSAT 707 (1W), 10.970 GHz v. Today, Portugal's RTP International
appeared there without sound but just a blank carrier on 6.60 MHz.
ESC Egypt at 4.134 GHz lhc remained switched off in the evening and at
night during the last few days. There may be changes at the Uplink site
although no official news is available.
There's still almost nothing to be seen on Israel's newly launched AMOS 1,
just a low-power signal at 11.092 GHz v that was switched off at 0900 UTC.
Instead, a very low power signal appeared at 11.576 GHz v. No other
activities were noted.
On PAS 3R and PAS 4, the international Chinese service CCTV 4 just showed
a test card today, accompanied by test tones on the usual subcarriers. On
both satellites, the carrier frequency was increased by 0.001 GHz. The
shift is thought to allow a simultaneous broadcast of an MPEG 2 digital
signal on the same transponders. On PAS 3R, the test card also was
broadcast in NTSC instead of PAL occasionally, probably owing to
adjustments made at the US Uplink. (Henk C. Room, Cairo)

Mad Murdoch Disease
On ASTRA (19.2E) a BSkyB trailer appeared today at 11. 671 GHz h,
announcing "a brand new channel (to) be broadcast on this frequency.
Further details to follow soon. Available in UK and Eire only." What else?
Maybe ASTRA should really be re-christened RUPERTSAT, regarding the fact
that not only three of the four Kinnevik transponders go to Murdoch's pay
TV. Rumour has it that he will also get hold of the three transponders on
ASTRA 1D currently occupied by RTL 4, RTL 5, and Veronica. It may not be
too much of a relief from what's known as the "British disease" on the
continent, but actually one of the four Kinnevik transponders goes back to
SES, the ASTRA operators. (Obviously it's not the TV3 Norge transponder,
as we know by now.) 

Re: Sat-ND, 16.6.96
44-LP has two solid-propellant strap-on boosters and two liquid ones a
Ariane with four solid boosters is called 44-P with four liquid boosters
Robert Piber <mcp@sbox.tu-graz.ac.at>

You're right, of course. The description was correct, however; it was an
Ariane 44-P that was used launching INTELSAT 707.

Zeroes and Ones (German Edition)

German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, reportedly regarding the typewriter as the
ultimate technical device, has had his technological coming out. The
country should use new media as the Internet (he knows it?!) to promote
German language and culture. "Sometimes I have the impression that our
global partners have a clearer idea about this reality than we do," he
added. And just for once, the man is absolutely right.

German commercial broadcaster Radio Salü has, ahem, unveiled its Web Site

Another regional commercial station (this time from the North) will be
available in the future. Delta Radio (not to be confused with a planned
long wave station with the same name) does not yet have its own pages on
the Web. But the domain name has been registered, and right now it
teleports you to a very strange page by their Presence Provider.

Censorship, the other way
German Internet access providers exert self-censorship on themselves in
order to avoid legal restrictions. A specially configured News server has
been set up at DE-CIX, the central node of German Access providers in
Darmstadt. All postings to News groups will not only be archived but also
occasionally be checked for compliance with German laws. A so-called
Internet Content Task Force (ICTF) will be able to either cancel unwanted
postings or even bar whole newsgroups from access. The ICTF also announced
to support investigations carried out by legal authorities with their log
files. The move was hailed by German minister Rexrodt shortly before he
went to intensive medical care owing to a Malaria infection. And no, I'm
not joking: Doctors say he'll survive it although he will be kept in an
artificial coma for some time. Further information (in German) is avaible

Germans may especially be interested in who supports this strange News
server. Be careful with what you post should your access provider appear
in the following list:

CERFnet GmbH, Heidenrod
ECRC GmbH, München
EUnet Deutschland GmbH
GTN GmbH, Krefeld (also: Contrib.Net)
ipf.net GmbH, Frankfurt/Main
IS/Thyssen Internet Service GmbH, Hamburg
Point of Presence, Hamburg
nacamar GmbH, Dreieich
NTG-X/link GmbH, Karlsruhe
roka GmbH, Duisburg
seicom GmbH, Pfullingen
spacenet GmbH, München

Thanks to our contributors 
Stefan Hagedorn: DXStefan@aol.com
Henk C. Room: hcroom@intouch.com
Norbert Schlammer: 100415.3560@compuserve.com

Copyright 1996 by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.

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