Sat-ND, 30.10.96

Sat-ND 96-10-30 - Satellite and Media News

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TCI's Canadian adventure is over
Sometimes, not all the news arrive in time for Sat-ND. Yesterday, there was
a story about a statement by Canadian Industry Minister John Manley, but it
unfortunately contained only half the news. Here's the rest.
The reason for Mr Manley's statement actually was an announcement made
earlier by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC.) The FCC said
it upheld its refusal to license the digital TV venture by
Tele-Communications Inc. and TelQuest Ventures LLC which would use Canadian
orbital slots to beam pay-TV services to the U.S. and Canada. Last July,
the FCC had for the first time rebuffed the bid, saying it was premature.
The reason for dismissal back then was that the Canadian government still
had to issue the licenses for the satellite slots.
It has done so in the meantime, obviously. The reason for the latest FCC
decision is about programming content. While Canada still wants to keep
U.S. pay-TV services from its borders, it would at the same time help
companies to beam their programming to the U.S. even though they failed to
get hold of a domestic broadcasting license.
Minister John Manley said he sent a letter to Telesat Canada late yesterday
informing the company that, if the FCC didn't approve Telesat's plan by the
end of this week, the Canadian government would revoke its ''approval in
principle.'' The government will then invite bids for obital slots for
direct-to-home television transmission via satellite. ''My belief is that
the time has come for us to proceed with a possible Canada-only solution,''
Manley said. ''My hope is that some companies will be able to pursue that
including Telesat Canada.''
It's unlikely that anyone will benefit from this offer. There are already
some Canadian digital TV services holding broadcasting licenses, but not a
single one has went on air (as far as I know.) And TCI may reconsider its
plans to join the alliance between Mr Murdoch and MCI. Both have confirmed
to be looking for new investors.
* In a different move, Canada has issued licenses to three corporate groups
providing LMCS services, including cable television and Internet access.
LMCS (Local Multipoint Communication Systems) resemble the microwave-based
MMDS service. LMCS services will be transmitted from a central station and
picked up by compact antennas within a radius of up to 6.5 kilometres (4

A.R.T. Europe uses analogue Hot Bird 2 transponder
There is some confirmation about Hot Bird 2 channels. On
http://www.art-tv.net/ I found this:
Channel(s)	A.R.T. Europe
How To Receive	40-60 Cm Dish & Generic Receiver
Position	13 East
Polarisation	H-Pol
Band	Ku-Band
DownLink Freq.	12015.18 Mhz
Format	Analog
Deviation	19 Mhz
Standard T.V.	PAL
Audio	6.6 MHz J17
Igor Uvodic (igor.uvodic@mds-uni.si)
*) The launch has been delayed and should take place on November 12.

Re: Sat-ND, 25.10.96 [Geostationary satellite received with 7.5 cm antenna]
Sure it is possible to make smaller antennas and receive a satellite with
them. But not for the purpose of satellite-tv reception. The article does
not mention that, but its inclusion in a satellite-tv oriented newsletter
could make readers assume that. 
Rob Janssen
[Sorry if the impression has come across. The antenna didn't receive TV
signals, and it will mainly be used for cellular phone applications and for
pagers. However, may I reject the characterisation of Sat-ND as
"satellite-tv oriented"? -- Ed.]

Re: Sat-ND, 29.10.96 [Rupert rules digital TV]
The most tricky move of Rupert is the introduction of the new channels
which are in fact only new program blocks. Why would a company as Granada
introduce them as new channels when they know there will be a lot of hassle
about it? The only reason can be that as soon as they will start on ASTRA 2
in digital, the now part-time channels will become full time channels. So
they can motivate people to go over to the digital package. The analogue
will still hold the part-time channels. And the digital package has all the
channels full-time (or almost full time). It will be the only way to speed
up the change to digital in the UK. My guess is that this is the reason why
they do that.
Gerard van Eldik
[Well, BSkyB's digital services do need some motivation as they will be
beamed from a different orbital slot. Apart from upgrading their reception
systems to digital, UK viewers will also have to re-align their dishes and
say good-bye to the analogue channels at 19.2E. -- Ed.]

Rupert Watch
By Dr Sarmaz <DrSarmaz@aol.com>

Troubled judge asks for justification
Mr Murdoch's Fox News Channel does not seem to have a great chance to be
carried on Time Warner's New York cable system. During a recent hearing,
U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote said she was troubled by the
justification delivered by New York's for using a city-run cable channel to
air Mr Murdoch's commercial new channel. 
While these were preliminary views of hers, Cote asked the city's lawyers
to show how their plan would be legal under the Cable Act, which forbids
cable operators from censoring programming on city-run channels.

News Corp. too big for Mr Murdoch, says newly appointed president
Media moguls usually have a big problem: they just cannot be replaced.
Germany's Leo Kirch will set up two foundations shortly to preserve his
empire. His only son, Thomas, will play an important role there, but he
definitely won't take over the business. 
Rupert Murdoch has a son and a daughter, and both of them are already part
of their father's global media empire. However, Mr Murdoch doesn't rely
completely on them. Instead, he appointed his film chief, Peter Chernin,
president of News Corp., making him the second most important man in the
At least, Mr Chernin has some ego. Mr Murdoch "just felt the company had
become too big for him to run by himself and he needed some help," Chernin
What about the kiddies then? Mr Murdoch announced that his son Lachlan,
recently appointed managing director of News Ltd. in Australia, would
become a board member of News Corp. Daughter Elisabeth, head of programming
for the BSkyB satellite TV service, will join News Corp.'s executive

Zeroes and Ones
By Grandpa Zheng <http://www.sat-net.com/pck/zheng/>

I just can't hear any of that high-speed Internet stuff anymore
Japanese telecommunications company NTT today announced plans for a new
network service to be introduced in 2005. Mega Media, as the service is
called, is carried on an optical fibre network that will connect the
Japanese households on an nation-wide basis by 2010.
While there may be other features, NTT officials stressed that Mega Media,
which provides transmission rates of up to 10 megabits per second, will
also allow a much faster access to the Internet. "It will allow users a
smooth and cheap downloading of motion pictures from the Internet," said
executive vice president Toshiharu Aoki.
No, it won't, unless the data requested is cached somewhere on a proxy
server within the network -- but that isn't the real Internet, is it?
Remember that the Internet is a network that spans the globe. You can't
predict the route an data traffic takes, but anyway, it hops from computer
to computer. They may be connected using very different transmission lines.
The speed for any connection, however, is determined by the weakest line
involved. That may be an ISDN or even an analogue modem connection
(although this should be rare nowadays, it may still happen.)
So, quite simply, there will be no general high-speed Internet unless every
connection has been upgraded. Even if so, the exploding number of users and
the growing abuse of the Internet (telephony, video, you name it) will
probably make high speed access in 2005 look very much the same as today's
ISDN access: just slow.

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

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