Sat-ND, 21.8.96

Sat-ND 96-08-21 - Satellite and Media News

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Iranian satellite Venus ready
For the first time, the Iranian government has commented on the country's
planned satellite system ZOREH (meaning Venus.) This is at least the name
under which Iran had filed six orbital positions with the International
Telecommunications Union ITU back in 1995. They are 26, 34, 41, 47, 59, and
However, talking to the newspaper Kayhan, Iranian Minister of Culture and
Islamic Guidance Mustafa Mirsalim didn't have many details to offer except
that "the government is making preparation and the project is underway."
According to the minister, the project mission is to counter what he calls
the Western cultural invasion. It is yet unclear how this will work for
Iran as the state has issued a ban of individual satellite reception.
Another Iranian publication meanwhile quoted an official of Iran's
Telecommunications Corporation as saying "The satellite is ready. We are
waiting for the permission to launch it by the authorities." It would of
course be very interesting to know who built the satellite and what rocket
will be used to launch it. It is also very interesting to consider the fact
that the ITU recently set a deadline for Iran to use its orbital slots,
otherwise the reservations will expire.
An educated guess would be that Iran might enter the slot business and
become a second Tonga (Sat-ND, 15.3.96.)

Nokia pumps up d-box output
It looks as though Leo Kirch's digital TV customers will have to wait
before the required decoder, known as d-box, will be available in large
numbers. Nokia's Multimedia Network Terminals unit today announced it will
built a new factory in Motala, Sweden, capable of producing one million
d-boxes per year. (One million is the exact amount Kirch ordered one year
ago at the consumer electronics fair IFA in Berlin.)
The new factory will employ a staff of 300. It is yet unclear when it will
be opened.

Optus and Galaxy to merge satellite infrastructure
Two Australian pay TV services, OptusVision and Galaxy, have concluded a
joint venture enabling them to share DTH (direct to home) satellite
infrastructure. Both will share digital DTH satellite uplinking compression
and conditional access equipment, associated equipment and software;
subscriber management systems, and customer service centres. Satellite
transponder contracts will remain with the respective parties. Galaxy's MDS
subscriber base, receiving the service via terrestrial microwave systems,
will not be affected. "The proposed joint venture does not impact the
independent business of the parties as providers of their separate
programming packages," Australis Media Ltd, operator of the Galaxy service,
said in a press release.

US C-band goes digital
General Instrument Corporation announced today that TCI's Head End in the
Sky (HITS) has agreed in principle to support distribution and digital
programming to the consumer C-Band market when HITS begins transmitting at
the end of this year. HITS is a national television distribution system
providing program transmission utilising GI's MPEG-2 digital video
compression technology.
Consumers with new digital C-band receivers will be able to access HITS
programming primarily off G7. Utilising 12 transponders on Ku-band
satellite G7, HITS anticipates providing over 80 video and 40 audio
channels, including new networks, expanded pay-per-view data services and
premium movie services.

BBC World launches in Berlin
BBC World, reaching more than 21 million households via satellite and
cable, will tomorrow add 1.9 million terrestrial viewers to reach. In an
unusual decision, the media authority of Berlin and Brandenburg had issued
a terrestrial TV license for the BBC's 24-hour English language news
service BBC World. Tomorrow at 2000 local time, 1800 UTC, a switch-on
ceremony will take place. Some programming will even be broadcast live from
The channel is said to be funded by advertising. (Yes, they have
sponsorships. But has anybody ever seen any _real_ commercial there? If so,
please email me.)

Re: Sat-ND, 20.8.96 (EOL shutdown)

End of the Internet Hype? Come on! where are you live? On the dark side of
the moon? Most endusers and couch potatoes even do not heard about Internet
right now. More and more "killer services" like bank accounting become
included. So the target group becomes bigger and bigger. EOL screwed up
because of strategic mistakes and missing marketing power. Watch out for
overall Internet and AOL accounts. The end is far away and will just be a
stage to the next level. 
Oliver Ahrens <oliver_ahrens@ccmail.acer.de>

I asked our Internet columnist Grandpa Zheng, who resides in a luxurious
hotel suite in Timmendorfer Strand (at the Baltic Sea, not on the moon) for
a comment. He just giggled and said "I knew it was a nifty, provocative
one. Especially for computer companies. He, he." Before falling asleep
again, he murmured a few more words: "Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary
Of Current English, Fourth Edition, page 612." He was probably referring to
the definition of the word hype: "misleading and exaggerated publicity." --

Zeroes and ones
By Grandpa Zheng

What have Schumacher's Ferrrari, the Internet, and TV Today in common?
German TV guide 'TV today' (it does have an English title) will start to
offer 20 TV channels quasi-live over the World Wide Web next week. German
channels incidentally, but "in principle we could also feed in New York
cable channels", said Andreas Schmidt, TV Today's editor in chief. The
service will be launched on August 28. Providing a good connection has been
established (with is not just the exception on today's Internet but a
downright miracle) users will be able to watch stills of each channel
updated every five seconds. Teletext services will also be available.
Later this year, live transmissions will be introduced. "Our project is a
the stage of the Benz motorcar from 1886. We'll talk about the fast Ferrari
later," said Schmidt. Let's hope it's not Michael Schumacher's car. Its
performance has astoundingly much in common with the current situation of
the Internet: It just never gets through.

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

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