Sat-ND, 25.7.96

Sat-ND 96-07-25 - Satellite and Media News

This service is provided free of charge for personal use. It may be
reproduced for non-commercial reasons only, provided the following notice
is included:
"(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/ <<

*** Sat-ND summer break: August 1 to August 15 ***

White House High... Ultra High!
That applies to frequencies only, of course. An Atlas II rocket
successfully launched the Ultra High Frequency Follow-On (UHF F/O) F7
communications satellite today. It was the fourth successful Atlas launch
of 1996 from Cape Canaveral Air Station and the 24th consecutive successful
flight for Atlas.
The 3,000-kg (6,700 pound) US Navy satellite will be used to distribute
classified military information, including secure White House
communications, but also news and entertainment to U.S. troops at sea and
on land. 
The UHF F/O Program incorporates extremely-high frequency (EHF) capability,
which began with the fourth spacecraft in the series launched by Atlas in
January of 1995. 
The fourth through the tenth satellites are being launched on Atlas II and
IIA, which offer added performance over the Atlas I used to launch the
first three satellites. At a total of 10 missions, the UHF F/O Program is
Lockheed Martin's largest single commercial launch services program.

Alcatel strikes deal with GE
NBC and its offspring channels may finally be broadcast on own satellites
all over the world. General Electric Corp (GE), owner of NBC, has also a
subsidiary named GE Americom. It happens to be one of the world's largest
satellite service providers -- but so far only in America where it operates
the GE SATCOM, SPACENET and GSTAR satellite fleets. GE's first European
satellite will be SIRIUS 2, due to be launched in mid-1997. It will be run
in co-operation with the Swedish satellite company NSA, so far operating
But there are more GE satellites to come. French telecommunications
conglomerate Alcatel Alsthom SA today announced it has signed a contract
with GE Americom to distribute GE's satellite data transmission services in
Europe. Alcatel had also recently been awarded a contract to supply "a
satellite constellation" for the GE system and ground control station
network -- whatever that may be.

Californian earth station for China
California Microwave, Inc. announced that its Satellite Transmission
Systems division had won a contract valued at approximately $2.9 million
from Lockheed Martin Corp. for the design, manufacture and installation of
a Tracking, Telemetry and Command satellite communications earth station. 
The station will be part of the satellite communications system being built
by Lockheed for China Orient Telecomm Satellite Co., an affiliate of
China's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. 
The earth station will support CHINASTAR 1, an A2100 model spacecraft being
built by Lockheed, which is expected to be launched in the autumn of 1997.
CHINASTAR 1 will provide voice and data communications and television
distribution services throughout China. 

Grey market to become black
ExpressVu Inc., Allarcom Pay Television Ltd., The Family Channel Inc. and
TMN Networks Inc. have taken legal action to prevent the distribution of
reception equipment for the US digital TV service DirecTV in Canada.
Amongst others, they accuse NII Norsat International Inc. of selling
digital receivers which normally would be useless in Canada. Owing to legal
restrictions, DirecTV is not available in Canada, but many Canadians use US
addresses to subscribe to the service.
ExpressVu, one of the plaintiffs, has been attempting to launch a Direct
Broadcast Satellite service in Canada over the past two years without
success. The others sell television programming to Canadian cable networks,
Norsat stated in a news release, which makes them likely to be opposed to
any direct broadcast service.
Norsat said the plaintiffs should know ''that the purchase and use of large
and small satellite dishes is far from illegal provided subscriber's
programming is authorized and a regular subscription fee is paid.'' If
successful, the plaintiffs ''will only succeed in driving DirecTV equipment
sales underground,'' and consumers ''will pay more for the equipment, taxes
and import duties will be avoided and the proliferation of chipped
receivers will continue and expand.''
According to Norsat, DirecTV equipment is being sold in Canada by close to
1,000 businesses and outlets. Consumers were also buying equipment directly
in the US, bringing the merchandise across the border.

CBS launches digital version of TeleNoticias
US network CBS entered the direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television market
by launching its 24-hour Spanish language news service CBS TeleNoticias on
the DirecTV service offered by Galaxy Latin America. 
CBS TeleNoticias, which is owned by Westinghouse/CBS, is the world's
leading 24-hour Spanish-language news channel. Under the direction of CBS
News, the network provides continuous international news, business reports,
sports, lifestyle features and international weather updates.
"Currently, CBS TeleNoticias reaches more than 20 million homes in 22
countries via cable and broadcast," said Stephen Soule, Sr. Vice President,
Affiliate Relations of Group W Satellite Communications, which markets CBS
TeleNoticias. "It is our goal to bring our quality news service to every
Spanish-speaking home in the region. CBS TeleNoticias' distribution via
DirecTV is another step in reaching that goal."
The DirecTV service, which launched in Venezuela on July 18, is scheduled
to begin service in Brazil and Mexico in early August. It is the first
service to offer DTH satellite television entertainment to Latin America
and the Caribbean. Galaxy Latin America is a strategic partnership between
DirecTV International, Inc., a Hughes Electronics company; Venezuela's
Cisneros Group of Companies; Brazil's Televisao Abril, and Mexico's MVS

Vox to switch satellites
By Stefan Hagedorn

According to a spokesman of Vox, the German commercial channel will switch
its distribution from DFS 3 Kopernikus to EUTELSAT II-F1 (13E.). Either
11.055 GHz h or 11.596 GHz h will be used. A contract has not been signed
as a few details remain to be negotiated. The channel's broadcasts on DFS
3, 23.5E, will cease by the end of this year. 

Zeroes and Ones
By Grandpa Zheng

Receiving digital data while watching analogue TV seems to become the
latest trend in the online business (Sat-ND 25.6. and 03.07.96.) Of course,
this is more offline than online, but it's also a big advantage: You don't
have to pay telephone fees or access charges. 
Today, the Canadian company Norpak Corp. announced another system capable
of delivering data, in this case pages from the World Wide Web, to
subscribers' computers at a rate of more than 5 million bits per second.
According to Norpak, the non-visible portion of the TV picture is used (the
so-called vertical blank interrupt,) which makes a data transmission rate
like that very unlikely. As always, some data compression will be involved,
but its effectiveness depend on the contents. Plain text can easily be
crushed down to a few percent of its original size. But pictures in GIF and
JPEG format, the two main formats used on the World Wide Web, are already
compressed and cannot significantly be reduced in size.
The Norpak system works with analogue television, even when it's broadcast
terrestrially. It wouldn't, by the way, make much sense to use systems like
that for digital TV as some space in those packages are set aside for
dedicated data transmissions, for example Hughes' DirecPC. (Actually, even
TV channels are nothing but data transmissions there.)
Norpak's new service has been tested with Sinclair Broadcast Group of 
Baltimore, Md./USA. Sinclair said it plans launch a new
advertising-supported service called "Supercast" that will deliver
Internet-style information at no cost to users. But before any of them will
be able to receive anything, they will have to buy a computer card for
US$92. Besides selling cards, Norpak is looking to set up alliances with
content providers -- and TV stations, of course.

Satellite Helter Skelter*
* ARABSAT 2A has reached a geostationary position at 26E, according to
NASA and NORAD data. Test transmissions have already been observed from
that position.
* INTELSAT 510 is drifting westward at a rate of 0.25. It is now supposed
to be around 49.5E. Its final position is expected to be at 33E.
* INTELSAT 709 is on the move again. Yesterday, the satellite was observed
at 50W instead of 57W where in-orbit tests were performed earlier. The
drift was about 0.7 eastward. 
INTELSAT 709 is to take over services from 515 at 18W. 515 will be moved
to 21.3W where it will replace 512, the latter being moved to 40.5W to
replace 502. Or something like that. Help!!
* When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide
where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride
till I get to the bottom and I see you again, yeah yeah

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

For information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe, send email to
majordomo@tags1.dn.net and include the line
in the body of your message.


[Other mailing lists]