Sat-ND, 7.11.96

Sat-ND 96-11-07 - 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/ <<

Sat-ND's double whammy
Yes, it has happened again! Sat-ND was posted twice to Email subscribers.
My apologies for this waste of bandwidth and disk space. But believe me, I
really did not press "Send and Receive" twice. (Which, by the way, wouldn't
work anyway as sent mail gets moved from the "Outbox" to a "Sent Items"
folder -- and it won't be sent from there.) So, really I have no
explanation for this malfunction. -- PC


RTL Polska
European TV giant CLT of Luxembourg will launch its Polish channel RTL 7 on
December 7, 1996. It will be available on cable networks and on EUTELSAT
Hot Bird 1 (13E.)
The channel's schedule holds no surprises, offering what could be
subscribed as family-oriented entertainment -- unencrypted and financed by
commercials. While the line-up of programming was developed by a mostly
Polish team in Warsaw, the technical facilities are situated in Luxembourg
according to a press release issued today by CLT. In other words: the
channel will be broadcast from there. 
* CLT plans to merge with Bertelsmann's subsidiary Ufa Film- und
Fernseh-GmbH soon. In order to raise some money from international money
markets, Bertelsmann announced setting up a "Debt Issuance Programme." It
is due to be signed in London by mid-November. Apart from delivering their
TV business to CLT, Bertelsmann/Ufa will have to pay an additional amount
of DM1.5 billion (US$1 billion) to CLT's main shareholder Audiofina.
Bertelsmann's cash raising programme is expected to contribute a major part
to that sum.

Monty Python's Déjà Vu sketch performed by Canadian government
Will there ever be a Canadian digital TV service at all?
The Canadian government has, as expected, invited domestic companies to
submit bids for an orbital position assigned to Canada for direct broadcast
satellites (DBS.) Industry Minister John Manley expressed his concern about
the growing grey market in TV services. Canadian viewers are not allowed to
subscribe to U.S. DBS services such as DirecTV. Nonetheless, they do so,
for instance by using U.S. addresses. 
"We need to get our own industry going so that Canadians have a legitimate
way to obtain these services,'' Mr Manley said. He added that talks with
the industry had shown an interest in setting up what he called the
''Canadian direct-broadcast satellite solution.''
Domestic companies which have some ideas on how to get satellite, or at
least some satellite capacity, will be eligible for ''fast track
licensing.'' They have until December to submit an application. Others have
time until the end of next February to present their bids.

Eye in the sky I
A report in the science magazine "New Scientist" indicates that the USA may
have found a "secret" orbit to hide their spy satellites in. At least,
that's what some enthusiast satellite trackers, including the well-known
Canadian Ted Molczan, think after the mysterious disappearance of four U.S.
satellites within a period of just a few weeks back in 1990.
They found their theory supported by the latest U.S. strikes against Iraq
last September. At the time cruise missiles were launched, not single known
American spy satellite was over the target area. This is highly unusual as
spy satellites are normally used to track the damage done by such attacks.
From this perspective, it is interesting to notice that the four satellites
disappeared in 1990, the year of the Gulf war. Observers don't believe they
simply went out of order for several reasons. First of all, they would have
been left in their current orbit. And then, sooner or later, U.S. Congress
members would have complained about wasting money for malfunctioning
satellites even if those spacecraft were destroyed.
Instead, the (somewhat vague) theory is that the spacecraft were shifted
into orbits where they would move more slowly, hence allowing them to
examine their target areas more thoroughly and to take some more snaps.
Ted Molczan's orbital elements:
Find four missing satellites ;-)

Eye in the sky II
For the first time, a phased-array communication antenna developed by
Boeing has been installed on a private 757 business jet. It enables
in-flight reception of two DBS satellite systems at a time, ECHOSTAR (Dish
Network) and DBS (DirectTV/USSB,) supplying not only TV entertainment but
also high-speed data transmissions such as the inevitable stock quotes. 
Of course, it's not a dish. The antenna consists of 1,500 separate elements
covering an area measuring 2 by 3 feet (60 by 90 cm) and is approximately
an inch (2.5 cm) thick. Unlike mechanically steered antennas, which take
some time to switch between satellites, the Boeing phased-array antenna
steers beams electronically. This allows for instantaneous connections
between satellites and receivers on mobile platforms.

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

Mickey Duck and Donald F*** go online
Reports suggest that Walt Disney Co. is poised to set up an online service
that, believe it or not, may even compete with AOL and CompuServe (that
seems to call itself CSi nowadays.) Disney declined to comment a report
first published by c|net. Reportedly, the new service would start next
spring and focus on family Internet access. (How exciting. Yawn!)
Just accessing Disney's own site would cost US$5 per month; a more or less
full-blown Internet access including an email address would be available at
US$20 per month.
Find the story at http://www.cnet.com/ (I didn't)
Have a look at http://www.disney.com/ (Before they charge you)

Speaking of mice: Have a look at your balls!
***) Taken from a song by John Lennon (I guess it was "Steel and Glass,"
but anyway, it's on the "Walls and Bridges" album.)

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

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