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Sat-ND, 2.7.96




Sat-ND 96-07-02 - Satellite and Media News

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"(c) Copyright 1996 by Sat-ND, http://www.sat-net.com/pck/"
Please send any contributions and comments regarding Sat-ND to
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/ <<


EUTELSAT: Customer is king
In a statement released today, the German EUTELSAT agency pointed out that
the planned new satellite at 13E, Hot Bird 2, will carry digital as well
as analogue services: "At EUTELSAT, the customers decide which system they
use".
What's more, four transponders on the new bird, which is expected to be
launched next year, can be received with any kind of equipment. Their
frequencies are 11.728 GHz v, 11.747 GHz h, 11.766 GHz v, and 11.785 GHz
h.

American radio satellites to be operated from France
Radio satellites used to be a bit like the Loch Ness monster. From time to
time, they appeared in the press, although nobody really knew whether the
whole thing was just a joke. No, it wasn't.
WorldSpace, Inc. today signed a contract valued in excess of US$60 million
with Alcatel Espace for the in-orbit operation of its radio satellite
network. The operations centre, a three-storey building, will be
constructed in Toulouse, France. The satellite system will broadcast
hundreds of radio channels to be received with newly designed hand-held
digital radios. Additionally, other digital services will be offered,
including text, fax, email, message paging services, and multimedia
applications.
The basic satellite network will consist of three spacecraft in
geostationary orbits, covering Asia, Africa, the Middle East,
Mediterranean Basin, Latin America and the Caribbean. Each of the
satellites to be delivered by the French/U.K. joint venture company,
Matra-Marconi Space will have a total power of 5.5 kW.
The first one, dubbed AfriStar 1, will be launched in mid-1998. The
spacecraft is to be positioned at 21E, covering Africa, the Middle East
and the Persian Gulf, as well as parts of the Near East and Europe.
AsiaStar 1 will follow in late 1998, operating from an orbital slot of
105E. This satellite will broadcast to an area extending from India to
Korea, and Southeast Asia. The third satellite is CaribStar 1, slated for
launch in mid 1999. CaribStar will cover the Caribbean, South America,
Latin America, and parts of the southern United States. Europe's
Arianespace will launch all three spacecraft from Kourou, French Guyana.
Relatively small dishes will be used to directly uplink programming to the
satellites. Hub stations also will be available in each region to enable
broadcasters lacking own facilities to commonly uplink programming from a
single site.
The satellites will broadcast up to 288 different channels each which will
be provided by national and international broadcasters. Each of the
channels can carry monaural voice and music in AM quality. They can be
combined to deliver FM monaural with two channels, FM stereo with four,
near CD quality with six and stereo CD quality with eight channels.
The hand-held radios will be equipped with an integrated circuit called
Starman. WorldSpace recently awarded contracts to SGS Thomson and ITT
Intermetall for the first two million chips. Consumer electronics
manufacturers from around the world will be able to produce products with
Starman chip sets and market them through existing consumer distribution
networks.

Radio 538 to go digital?
I received an email from Rick van Velthuysen, a DJ at Radio 538, and I
asked him a few questions on 538's digital plans. Here is his answer: "You
can receive 538 by SBS 6 perhaps in the near future on the Filmnet
carrier." I assume that the Filmnet carrier is the one meant for the
digital broadcasts.
(Richard Karlsson)

Deutsche Welle becomes Internet provider
Deutsche Welle TV yesterday launched its data broadcasting service. Called
DW direct, it provides users with a data transfer rate of 100 kbits/sec.
Programming information is delivered free of charge. In addition, selected
Internet contents are being delivered on a subscription basis (20
DM/month.)
Data is received through a special decoder and saved on the PC. A WWW
browser is used to view the received information off-line. 
A few details about the service are available on DW-TV's new teletext
pages (100 to 105.) Data transfer seems to happen on page 777 where
sometimes HTML fragments can be seen.
Although German tax payers' money is used for financing Deutsche Welle TV,
it is unlikely that the new service will be available in Germany, too. Of
course, programming may be watched on satellite, but redistribution of the
channel in German cable networks is expressively forbidden.
(Peter Fleury/Holger Zeissler/pck)


Transponder News
By Norbert Schlammer

THAICOM 1/2, 78.5E
Analogue transmissions on 3.886 GHz h have ceased. Possibly, the
transponder is now used for digital transmissions.

AMOS 1, 4E
Helmut Zastrow today received a test card at 11.347 GHz h on the
satellite's Central Europe beam. The transmission was short-lived,
however. 

EUTELSAT II-F3, 10E
Kurdish channel Med-TV did not turn up on 11.575 GHz v today. Instead,
programming started on 11.162 GHz h at 1811 UTC. It is yet unknown what
caused the delay and the frequency change.


Zeroes and ones

US Government wants to restore "decency"
As widely expected, the US Justice Department has asked the country's
Supreme Court to overturn a ruling blocking a new law banning distribution
of "indecent" material to minors over the Internet. The decision recently
made by a three-judge panel in Philadelphia blocked parts of the
Communications Decency Act as unconstitutional. It was signed into law by
US President Clinton on February 8 as part of sweeping new
telecommunications regulations.

3sat tests the World Wide Web
The arty TV channel 3sat, set up by German language pubcasters ARD, ZDF,
ORF and SRG, seems to have an unofficial home page on the World Wide Web.
May the Lord prevent all that satellite related fads, fallacies and fairy
tales as featured on their teletext service, which is much worse than the
TV channel itself anyway, from turning up there. Boo! Boo! (pck/Holger
Zeissler)
http://www.3sat.com/


Thanks to our contributors --
Peter Fleury: pfleury@spectraweb.ch
Richard Karlsson: richard@gotlandica.se
Norbert Schlammer: 100415.3560@compuserve.com
Holger Zeissler: Holger.Zeissler@darmstadt.netsurf.de

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

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