Sat-ND, 27.11.96

Sat-ND 96-11-27 - Satellite and Media News

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To anybody who noticed that yesterday's issues was sent out two times, at
least to email subscribers: This issue will be sent out even three times!
-- PC


Mounties ordered to give back dishes
It's not only countries like Iran that confiscate satellite reception
equipment. The same happened back last summer in Canada when the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police seized dishes and decoders offered for receiving
U.S. digital TV. But who initiated the raids on those grey market
A court judge in British Columbia has now ordered the police to return the
equipment to retailers, saying the police may have been fooled by U.S.
satellite services, making them act in their interest instead of that of
Canadian consumers.
This, of course, is pretty bizarre since U.S. digital TV ventures wouldn't
mind serving paying Canadian customers at all. A spokesman for Hughes'
DirecTV consequently pointed out that the ruling contradicted the Canadian
government's policy of effectively banning U.S. digital TV. 

Digital TV compromise?
Television and computer industry officials in the U.S. seem close to an
agreement on technical standards for digital TV systems that will both
serve the needs of the television as well as the computer industry. So far,
both had proposed different standards to be finally decided upon by the
U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC; cf. Sat-ND,
The compromise that reportedly has been reached calls for the FCC to adopt
a standard that does not specify any video format at all, instead leaving
the decision to manufacturers of computers and TV sets. [Wonder if that's
still a standard.] 
The recent row reportedly was sparked off by the issue of interlaced video
as used with current TV transmissions. Computer industry officials claimed
supporting this standard it would add a few hundred U.S. dollars to the
cost of each PC.

Brazil takes to space
The Brazilian newspaper Gazeta Mercantil has published some details of the
country's activities in the satellite launch sector. The first launch of
their indigenous carrier rocket VLS (Veiculo Lancador de Satelites) is
expected between February and April 1997, lifting the 350-kg test satellite
SCD-2 into orbit. 
So far, US$270 million have been invested into the VLS project. More than
US$9 million will be necessary to test the equipment and finally launch the
Further plans call for the development of five new satellites and a new
version of the VLS which will then offer a payload capacity of 2 tons.

Carlton grows
Carlton Communications is expected to become Britain's largest (regional,
terrestrial) commercial broadcaster following the purchase of Westcountry
Television. Already equipped with licenses for weekday TV in London and for
the English Midlands, Carlton will now cover most of south-western England,
reaching 22 million people that make up 38 percent of the country's
"Westcountry is a successful ITV company and we will build on its
strengths. With Carlton, Central and Westcountry, we will continue to
enhance ITV's reputation as Britain's most popular channel," Reuters quoted
Carlton chairman Michael Green.

Beeb and 5 buy Murdoch movies
The BBC has joined forces with Britain's yet-to-be-launched Channel 5,
buying a package of 68 movies from Rupert Murdoch's 20th Century Fox. The
deal, which is estimated at some 26 million pounds (US$16 million,) gives
the BBC exclusive rights to 22 movies while Channel 5 will get 37. Nine
films will be shared, with Channel 5 premiering five of them and the BBC
Channel 5's Director of Programmes Dawn Airey said: "This is a key deal for
5. We are serious about film and we will be showing top movies every night
of the week." A BBC spokeswoman commented: "This represents good value for
money to our licence payers and helps to maintain the BBC's commitment to
offering the widest possible choice of feature films to our viewers."

Iran again
I saw a report on the Deutsche Presse Agentur wire the other day that
Iranians are confiscating satellite dishes once again and that they have
established additional and serve retribution for dish owners. I wonder if
you have heard anything about that. (Ken Donow)
Here's something in addition to Sat-ND, 25.11.96, that covered the recent
move. Iranian police reportedly seized 1,300 satellite dishes so far. On
top of this, a dedicated telephone number was set up for people to report
any illegal dish use they observe. [Maybe that's why telephones aren't
banned over there yet. -- Ed.] Dish owners face not only confiscation of
their equipment but also a fine of up to 3 million rials (US$1,000.) 

By Dr Sarmaz <DrSarmaz@aol.com>

Murdoch calls FTC
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has filed a formal complaint with the U.S.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about Time Warner's not carrying Mr
Murdoch's Fox News on their cable systems despite an agreement. Time
Warner, although admitting negotiations, said it never reached a final
agreement with Fox. 
News Corp. strangely enough is supported by New York City which also filed
a brief with the FTC complaining about "anti-competitive activity." 
A U.S. federal judge had recently stopped New York City from using some of
its public access channels on Time Warner's cable network to air commercial
channels such as Bloomberg TV and Fox News.

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

Belarus Web site crack?
Web site cracking seems to become increasingly popular all over the world.
An group in opposition to Belarus' hard-line president Aleksandr Lukashenko
today claimed its Web site was "destroyed" by hackers, leaving visitors
with just a notice that "The Enemies of Democracy Have Destroyed Our
Server." Well, would their opponents set up a message like that? I doubt
it, somehow.

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

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