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Sat-ND, 14.8.97




Sat-ND, 14.08.97 -- Don't abuse your vegetables!
 
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Today's Headlines
LAUNCHES 
Iridium launch update 
SATELLITES 
Space and ground combined 
DIGITAL 
Polish outdoor units 
CHANNELS 
Hot Bird 3 gets cold 
No Casablanca before 10 p.m. on UK TV 
FEEDBACK 
Sat-ND, 13.8.97 -- Must-carry rules for DTH? 


LAUNCHES
Iridium launch update
This is just to let you know that the Iridium launch mentioned 
yesterday will take place on August 17, 5:55:30 p.m. PDT within a five-
seconds launch window. 
Want to watch it? Coverage of the launch from Vandenberg is scheduled 
to be on SBS-6/14, 12.0435 GHz, vertical polarity, beginning at 8:30 p.
m. ET on Sunday. 


SATELLITES
Space and ground combined
Skybridge! Spaceway! And now, there's SpaceBridge, too -- but for a 
change, it's not yet another satellite system. 
COM DEV International Ltd. and Newbridge Networks Corporation 
announced the formation of a new company focused on the development of 
broadband products for multimedia satellite networks [which I keep 
referring to as either trendy or sexy. You get the idea.] 
SpaceBridge Networks Corporation will develop and market products for 
both the space and ground segments of rapidly expanding low-cost 
satellite networks. In a press release, the companies mentioned 
satellite network operators such as Teledesic (288 satellites in low-
earth orbit [LEO]); Motorola's Celestri (63 LEO satellites as well as 
four in geostationary orbit [GEO]); Lockheed's AstroLink (nine GEO 
satellites); Alcatel's Skybridge (64 LEO satellites); Hughes' Spaceway 
(20 GEO satellites); and GE Americom's GE*Star (nine GEO satellites). 
For the space segment, SpaceBridge will deliver high bit-rate on-board 
satellite switches using ATM, frame relay or time division 
multiplexing (TDM) technology. The switch architecture and design will 
leverage the expertise Newbridge has developed in delivering cost-
effective products for terrestrial markets plus COM DEV's proven 
ability to design and manufacture space qualified equipment. 
SpaceBridge will also offer products for the gateway stations that 
interconnect satellite networks to public and private networks. The 
company will customise terrestrial ATM and TDM switches from Newbridge 
for use within broadband satcom applications. In addition to gateways, 
SpaceBridge is developing a portfolio of fixed and transportable 
satellite user equipment. These terminals will connect to the 
terrestrial traffic on a variety of analogue and digital, electrical 
and optical interfaces that support various communication protocols. 
SpaceBridge is also implementing enhancements to the TCP/IP protocol 
suite (used for Internet traffic), to optimise the performance of 
these protocols for satellite networks. [Aha! So it doesn't work that 
well over satellite, or what?] 
COM DEV International is a Canadian-based technology company and 
employs more than 1,200 people in facilities in Ontario, New Brunswick,
 the United Kingdom and China. Newbridge Networks designs, 
manufactures, markets and services a comprehensive family of 
networking products and systems that delivers multimedia 
communications solutions to organisations in more than 100 countries 
throughout the world. 


DIGITAL
Polish outdoor units
A binding Memorandum of Understanding was signed by @ Entertainment 
and Philips Business Electronics B.V. under which Philips will supply 
500,000 digital consumer decoder systems, including a smart card and 
an "outdoor unit" for @ Entertainment's digital direct-to-home 
television service in Poland. 
So, what is an outdoor unit in this context -- a portable receiver? 
Don't think so. Guessing from what I know about European digital 
satellite receivers [I don't have any, of course] it seems as though @ 
Entertainment is in its press release referring to what is known to 
the rest of the world as "Conditional Access Module" [CAM.] 
Anyway, in addition to supplying half a million of those boxes, 
Philips will also supply the entire satellite broadcast distribution 
centre, including the CryptoWorks conditional access system. [That's 
what the CAM is used for.] 
@ Entertainment, Inc. claims to operate the largest multi-channel pay 
television business in Poland. The company said it intends to expand 
its activities and develop a complementary digital direct-to-home 
broadcasting service with its own branded platform of proprietary 
Polish-language programming. Earlier this month, @ Entertainment 
completed a successful initial public offering of its common stock and 
sold 9.5 million shares for a total of almost US$200 million. 
Philips Business Electronics is a division of Philips Electronics of 
the Netherlands, one of the world's largest electronics companies, 
with sales of US$41 billion in 1996. 


CHANNELS
Hot Bird 3 gets cold
The Budapest Sun today reported that a launch delay of Eutelsat's Hot 
Bird 3 also affects some of the country's TV channels. 
Hot Bird 3, which will not be launched not before September 3, is to 
become the new home for Hungarian Television's second channel after a 
one-month transitional period. Only after that, its terrestrial 
frequency can be taken over by MTM-SBS's TV2 and Magyar RTL's RTL Klub 
as planned by the country's media law. 
The problem is that Hot Bird 3 was supposed to be launched together 
with another satellite (Meteosat) which unfortunately isn't ready yet. 
The search for another launch companion was not successful, so 
Eutelsat decided to have the Ariane launch rocket modified for a 
single-satellite launch. The modifications are reportedly being paid 
for by launch provider Arianespace. 
In a nutshell: if we were to believe the Budapest Sun, the next Ariane 
flight will only put Eutelsat Hot Bird 3 into orbit but not Meteosat 7 
as announced by Arianespace less than one week ago. [No, their Web 
site has of course not details on this latest development, so don't 
bother pointing your browser at it.] 

No Casablanca before 10 p.m. on UK TV
As ridiculous as it may sound: Cigarettes may soon be banned from UK 
TV screens. And besides, the so-called watershed will be effectively 
pushed backed to 10 p.m. -- strangely enough, that does not apply to 
cable and satellite pay TV. 
The association of the UK's commercial terrestrial broadcasters, ITVA, 
has critisised the Independent Television Commission's (ITC) draft 
amendment to its programme code that contains regulations such as a 
requirement that every programme starting before the 9 p.m. watershed 
should be suitable for family viewing right up to 10 p.m. 
"It introduces an extra rigidity to the system," an ITV Association 
spokeswoman said. "Because of the News At Ten, ITV will effectively 
have to wait until 10.30 p.m. to begin post-watershed programming." 
The proposed code also contains "unrealistic" restrictions on smoking 
and drinking in pre-watershed programmes unless there was "strong 
editorial justification for inclusion," she said. "Taken literally 
that would mean we couldn't show Casablanca before 9 p.m. because 
Humphrey Bogart smokes, for example," she said. According to the ITC's 
recommendation, "It is desirable that smoking or drinking should only 
be included in a context where dramatic veracity requires it."[
Veracity: 'truthfulness' according the Oxford Advanced Learner's 
Dictionary. I'd prefer 'authenticity.'] 
An ITC spokesman said the draft was a discussion document intended to 
clarify the existing situation. "Families sitting down to something at 
8.30 p.m. don't necessarily look at the clock at 9 p.m. and pack the 
children off to bed," he said. [Well, they should! Anyway, it's a bit 
strange that any Commission, however independent, interferes with 
families' private life in that way.] 
There's more wishy-washy form the ITC:"We are not saying there will 
never be films or dramas starting before 9 p.m. which resolve with a 
certain amount of violence just before 10 p.m., only that it should 
not become a regular thing." [Okay, just a bit of violence, and not 
too often, eh? Do those guys know what amount of violence often is 
contained in children's programmes, by the way? Don't say 'It's just a 
cartoon.' Any violence there is gratuitous violence. Phew!] 


FEEDBACK
Sat-ND, 13.8.97 -- Must-carry rules for DTH?
Yesterday, I summarised a report of the U.S. copyright The following 
is from a loyal reader who is not overly interested in being mentioned 
by name. 
Thought you might be interested to know that the above report is at: 
http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/cpypub/study.pdf 
in Acrobat format. The complete report is lengthy, but there is also 
an 'executive summary' available. Report can also be downloaded in 
WordPerfect 5.1 format." 

Thank you very much; I thought other readers might be interested as 
well. I just love the WordPerfect 5.1 part of it anyway ;-) -- Ed. 


Copyright 08/97 by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De. All rights 
reserved. 

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