10.9.1997 A shadow hunting shadows
service is provided free of charge for personal use. It may be used
and redistributed for non-commercial purposes only, provided the
following notice is included:
Copyright 1997 by Sat-ND
send contributions and comments regarding Sat-ND to Peter C.
Klanowski, email: pck@LyNet.De
is sponsored by TELE-satellite International
How to unsubscribe <<<
to push U.S. business
a spare computer?
follows France on Arabsat
5's just fine, really
Globo to hit Portugal
to offer global satellite Internet access
Corp issues annual report
push U.S. business
- BT North America Inc, British Telecommunications' U.S. unit,
plans to triple its satellite-generated revenues within three years.
BT North America already is one of the dominant satellite services
providers in other parts of the world. Officials said the company
would push onto the U.S. market, competing mainly against Comsat,
the U.S. Intelsat signatory, that currently is one of the dominant
satellite services provider in the United States.
- Worldwide, the BT North America unit generates annual revenues
of about US$160 million through its network of four geostationary
satellites and three land-based stations. Over the next three years,
BT aims to begin generating US$20 to US$25 million per year in
satellite revenues from the United States.
- Two Japanese companies have applied to the country's Ministry
of Posts and Telecommunications to launch new satellites in 2000
but only one will succeed.
Both projects by Space Communications Corp. and Japan Satellite
Systems Inc include the use of the orbital slot at 110 degrees East.
According to international regulation, Japan may place just one
spacecraft there. So, the government will have to choose between
Superbird D, which would be Space Communication's fourth satellite,
or Japan Satellite Systems' seventh bird, JCSAT 7.
- Both systems are estimated to cost ¥20 to 30 billion. They
are expected to carry Internet traffic and provide telecom services
site seems to exist but at this time of day, the Internet is so
congested I couldn't get trough to almost any site even
though I tried several Internet Access Providers. Sigh. What a
stupid bloody invention that Internet is.]
- Hughes Electronics of the United States has finally been
awarded the US$1.2-billion to supply, launch and operate the first
Arab telephone satellite system.
"The negotiations are over. We have officially awarded the
contract to Hughes," an official of the Thuraya Satellite
Telecommunication Company (TSTC) said.
- Hughes won the contract under competition from France's
Aerospatiale and another US rival, Lockheed Martin. France's Alcatel
was also in the running but excluded for technical reasons early
- Hughes had been named the winner for the contract on August 27,
however TSTC held further negotiations with Hughes to improve the
- "We arrived with a good deal that meets our business plans
spread over 12 years. The satellite will be designed in such a way
that it may even do 15 years," Yousuf al-Sayed, project manager
for Abu Dhabi-based TSTC said. He said the contract was "for
the manufacture of two satellites, one delivered in orbit and one in
- [So, now we finally know everything about Thuraya except
what it means. Explanations offered by various sources range from
"chandelier" to the star cluster Taurus, also known as the
Pleiades. The most probable explanation is that this star
constellation is know as "chandelier" in Arab countries.]
a spare computer?
- What do you need to run a satellite Earth station?
A Pentium-based PC running at 166 MHz or higher, using the Windows
NT operating system, 16 MB RAM, 1.2 GB hard drive, CD ROM, sound
card, speakers, and 17" VGA colour monitor. [Hey almost
a description of my computer. I have more RAM, of course.]
- What's needed in addition to that (and a satellite ground
station, of course) is Scientific-Atlanta's SkyStation Controller of
which a newly designed edition will be presented at the upcoming IBC
trade fair in Amsterdam.
- The new controller software system will provide an advanced
graphical user interface for this versatile control platform that
will support a variety of teleport, service provider, or broadcaster
requirements, the company said in a press release.
- SkyStation Controller's capabilities will include:
- I think that will do. Further information:
follows France on Arabsat
- Canal France International will be replaced by a Qatari TV
channel on Arabsat 2A, 26 degrees East, after having been kicked off
from the satellite system.
CFI was dropped after accidentally broadcasting a portion of a
pornographic film two months ago, and there's no dispute about that.
However, before the incident CFI was given a series of warnings
incriminating programmes deemed inappropriate for Islamic countries.
- The unnamed Qatari channel will be launched next week on
5's just fine, really
- Despite some public criticism on its programming, Britain's
latest (and last) terrestrial network Channel 5 is "exceeding
expectations after its first few months," said United News &
Media Plc chief executive Lord Hollick.
United News is part of the four-company consortium which owns
Channel 5."We are already hitting five percent in homes we can
reach," Lord Hollick said. He told Reuters that Channel 5
advertising revenues were slightly better than forecast and the
station was also ahead of schedule in terms of its reach and
- Channel 5 was launched last March and now reaches two thirds of
UK homes, a figure that is expected to rise when more terrestrial
transmitters become operational.
[nothing there, really]
Globo to hit Portugal
- TV Cabo Portugal, a wholly owned subsidiary of Portugal
Telecom, has joined forces with Brazilian media conglomerate Globo,
the largest TV network outside the U.S., and Portuguese commercial
television network SIC.
The companies involved plan to set up a "strategic partnership"
to provide premium movie and entertainment packages, including pay
TV, to subscribers of TV Cabo, Portugal's largest cable operator.
The company's cable network passes more than 1.15 million homes and
thus covers 20 percent of the country.
- TV Globo is also Brazil's largest pay TV operator with a 70
percent market share and more than 1.7 million subscribers.
- And yet again, the face of Canadian television viewing has
changed forever. That's at least what ExpressVu Inc said about the
launch of its DTH service.
The ExpressVu DISH Network service will offer Canadians from
Vancouver Island to Newfoundland an unprecedented lineup of
programming, delivered directly to their homes with digital clarity,
using a small 60 cm satellite dish. ExpressVu has acquired the
rights to EchoStar Communications Corp.'s DTH technology and the
exclusive use of EchoStar's DISH brand name in Canada.
- The company's offering will include 69 digital video channels in
the east, 48 in the west, plus more than 34 CD-quality music
channels. ExpressVu said it was the only Canadian DTH service that
will move to a Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS), enabling the
company to offer television viewers more than 180 channels. This
satellite will be launched in September, 1998. Subscribers to
ExpressVu's Dish Network service will receive a free hardware
upgrade and will be able to use the same set-top box technology.
- In related news, DiviCom Inc., a leading provider of digital
video networking solutions, announced that ExpressVu Inc. has
selected DiviCom products and integration services for its uplink
- At the heart of the uplink system are DiviCom's MediaView MV25
digital video encoders. The fully MPEG-2/DVB compliant broadcast
system also includes Nagra conditional access technology and
EchoStar's Model 1000 set-top boxes.
offer global satellite Internet access
- ZAKSat of Kuwait, a provider of pay television channels in
the region, is targeting Internet users in some 63 countries
stretching from Egypt to Japan while even having global ambitions.
It's the same old unidirectional stuff we know from other systems:
Users will still need an old-fashioned Internet Access Provider,
using either modems os ISDN to request anything from the Internet.
Download will in contrast be performed via satellite, in this case
via China's Asiasat 2 at 105.5 degrees East.
- "It's 10 to 100 times faster than the normal Internet
today," said ZAKSat general manager Mario Pino. [Yes, we know
hat kind of talk.] He added the company's goal "in the Middle
East and Asia is to have 50,000 to 100,000 customers in the first
year and a half." The service will be extended to cover Europe
by December 1997 and North America by the first quarter of 1998.
- Pino said developing the ZAKNet service required the trifle of
some US$20 million to US$30 million. Customers will not only be
charged between US$15 and US50 per month but will also have to shell
out US$250 for a card to be fitted into their personal computer.
Existing satellite reception equipment can be used for the service,
- ZakSat is a joint venture between two Kuwaiti companies, Zaid
al-Kazemi Sons (ZAK) and Kuwait Investments and Projects Company.
The service uses technology developed by French companies Sat (Sagem
Group) and France Telecom.
- http://www.zak-sat.net/ [I
- PrimeStar, the U.S. DBS service that wants to take over
Rupert Murdoch's digital TV assets in the U.S., has probably set a
new [negative] word record in attracting new subscribers.
Just 500 (in words: five hundred) TV households wanted to subscribe
to the still medium-power satellite based service offered by major
U.S. cable companies. This was reported by SkyREPORT, an email-based
service that keeps track of U.S. digital TV subscriber figures.
- PrimeStar officials hastily made their point of view be known,
claiming an error had been made with company subscriber counts as
the reason for the bad overall result. They said that the company's
financial department had discovered an approximate
100,000-subscriber over-reporting of numbers dating back to January,
- PrimeStar also said it was "cleaning out" its
subscriber files, looking for non-paying customers and eliminating
them from its files. After all, new subscribers n August totalled
- The winners of last month include DirecTV (90,000 new
subscribers) and EchoStar's Dish Network (75,000 new subs.)
[Isn't it just about silly to include all those links? You can guess
them anyway, using the www.<company name>.com scheme.]
By Dr Sarmaz
- "I think Rupertwatch is much more exciting than Dexter's
Mathias Helm (who favours
plain ASCII, by the way sorry mate! Even though I'm
absolutely flattered, I disagree with you nonetheless. There's more
whit in any Dexter's Lab episode, let alone Cow
& Chicken, than in this so-called newsletter. Thanks anyway
for your comment!)
Corp issues annual report
- Rupert Murdoch has loads of cash at hand. That's what he told
the world in News Corp.'s annual report.
News Corp. Ltd. has cash balances of more than US$2.7 billion and is
in a strong financial position to pursue its global growth strategy,
News Corp Chairman Mr Murdoch said.
- He stated that "These cash resources, together with our
established cash flows, give us the flexibility to finance future
investments without jeopardizing our investment-grade credit
- "The competition in the global market place will remain
fierce and will favour those companies with financial strength,"
Mr Murdoch added. What a surprise.
- Commenting on his ventures in Latin America and Japan, Mr
Murdoch noted that "In each of these markets, we have joined
forces with other partners who bring significant expertise and
important local language programming to these operations. That
combination, I believe, insures our success as we continue to focus
on our rapid growth."
- Mr Murdoch claimed that News Corp. is the largest TV network
operator in the world with either full or partial ownership over 90
channels around the world across the Asia Pacific region, Europe and
the Americas. Soon more than 75 percent of the world's population
would have access to News' programming, he said.
- The bad thing is, of course, that obviously nobody can prevent
him from that. "The potential for our satellite distribution
and programming businesses is enormous," Mr Murdoch noted. He
quoted China as an example, a country with a population of 1.3
billion. Nonetheless, just 40 only million households had access to
multi-channel television and only 600,000 owned satellite dishes, Mr
- This is not really a surprise, or rather, it is indeed as
satellite dishes are banned in China. Mr Murdoch's satellite and
cable plans in China currently burn just on a small flame while his
intentions to introduce pay-TV in India have been answered by the
government with a temporary dish ban.
- Well, had I written an analysis of all the comments coming in
in favour of or opposing the HMTL/ASCII dual format of Sat-ND, there
would be no issue of this so-called newsletter today, just a
discussion paper on the objections German university staff have
towards HTML-formatted mail. Yawn! Couldn't care less. Subscribe to
some German language service instead and have fun with 8-bit ASCII
that comes in many different flavours over the Internet, in contrast
Thanks for all your comments and contributions, though. I reckon
some two percent of Sat-ND subscribers have so far pledged for plain
ASCII, but there were at least as many comments in favour of the
dual HTML/ASCII format (including readers who said they couldn't
care less and I should do whatever I please, pointing out that it's
the content that matters.)
- I usually do not do this, but for a change, I'd like to quote an
email on that subject because the guy who sent it knows what this
service is all about even better than me, and I mean it (no irony
involved whatsoever:) constant improvement, surprises and changes,
and maybe even a new background colour soon ;-)
- Pantha rei (or something like that, I don't speak Greece)
everything flows anyway. Now here's the email I mentioned, quoted in
- "Very good choice!
"I didn't know of the possibility of dual-feed (txt-html),
and it's perfect.
"Let me throw an arrow against those who wanted it
unchanged: I personally like your newslettter not because I'm
waiting for a lift on the next launcher, I'm fascinated by the
innovations, so the people against html should exchange news via
(Gianni Barberi, Italy)
- I couldn't have described what this service is all about better
in my on words, really. Thank you very much indeed., Gianni. You
saved my day ;-)
09.97 by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De.
All rights reserved.
information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe, send Email to
(not to me, please, and not
to any other address) and include the line
in the body of
Or have a look
[Other mailing lists]