Sat-ND, 8.3.97

Sat-ND 97-03-08 - Satellite and Media News

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Of course, there are many ways you can describe a rocket launch. But
the language used by a news agency today (no, it wasn't Xinhua) was a
bit rich. "The slender white rocket," it said, "climbed gracefully
off its launch pad," leaving a "fiery comet-like streak through the
Florida night sky." Oh well.
That slim white vehicle was in fact an Atlas IIA by Lockheed Martin,
and the satellite it hoisted into orbit so elegantly is TCI
Satellite's TEMPO. It was the 29th consecutive successful Atlas
launch from Cape Canaveral Air Station and the second Atlas launch of
Being a direct broadcast satellite, TEMPO will be used to provide the
continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico with just
another digital direct-to-home service. TEMPO is different in a way,
though: it's the first satellite with an on-board power of more than
10,000 watts. (As a consequence, it may get pretty hot, but I have
certain doubts that it will really be positioned at "the 118.8
Celsius West longitude orbital location," as TCI Satellite announced
in a press release. What's that in Fahrenheit by the way?)
The satellite's solar wings span nearly 30 metres (90 feet) and
generate sufficient electricity to provide 32 Ku-band transponders
with 115 watts each. They can be combined to provide 16 transponders
at 230 watts each. 
TEMPO is one of two direct broadcast satellites designed and built by
Space Systems/Loral for TEMPO Satellite, Inc., a wholly owned
subsidiary of TCI Satellite. TEMPO has an expected lifespan of over
12 years.
After a period of in-orbit testing, the satellite will be available
to TCI Satellite for signal delivery and will be controlled by GE
American Communications for long-term operation. TSAT's "cable plus"
service is initially expected to be available by autumn.
TCI Satellite Entertainment, Inc. (TSAT) is a leading digital
satellite company headquartered in Englewood, Colorado. Formerly part
of Tele-Communications, Inc., TSAT became a public company in
December of 1996, with assets and operations including a 20.86
percent interest in PRIMESTAR Partners, L.P., PRIMESTAR By TSAT,
which markets and distributes PRIMESTAR equipment and programming,
and Tempo Satellite, Inc., which represents TSAT's high power
satellite interests.

FEEDBACK: Sat-ND, 6.3.97
Star Choice will adopt General Instrument's DigiCipher II digital
compression technology and will use single feed technology, beaming
its programming from ANIK E2 to subscribers' 60-cm satellite dishes.
"Single Feed: Star Choice was originally going to use two satellites
for their programming. Anik E2 (Canadian content) and Echostar
(American Content). Since the merger with Shaw they will now only
need one satellite so they no longer need a dual feed dish. (Two
(Peter Walling)
[Thank you for this explanation. Using a dual feed dish for a DBS
service actually doesn't sound like a success idea. -- Ed.]

FEEDBACK: RupertWatch, 7.3.97
The protagonists of digital TV in Germany have learned to think small
meanwhile. premiere has even warned that the entire digital pay TV
industry in Germany could fail unless both rivals agreed upon a
common platform. Most Germans wouldn't mind, though.
"Think you have a point there - Peter. The problem is, that there is
nothing new on DF-1 and premiere one or two, same movies. So why
subscribe to new services? The only ones that are interested in
digital TV are the same people that liked to watch Sky and they are
hoping that with dream boxes appearing and new pirate software the
access to foreign channels will once again be possible!"
(Marc Ruenger)
[Da könnse aba lange warten, wa? That is not very likely to happen as
there are even several layers of encryption, addressing and access
control involved with digital TV transmissions. Besides, I have the
impression that most d-box users spend more time delving into the
depths of the internal menu, tweaking undocumented parameters and
collecting PIDs than actually watching TV. -- Ed.]

Copyright 1997 by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De. All rights

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