Sat-ND, 28.10.1997 yy
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
Please send contributions and comments regarding Sat-ND to Peter C. Klanowski, email: pck@LyNet.De
Sat-ND is sponsored by TELE-satellite International
Looking for a specific channel on satellite? Try Satco-DX
Sell all your stocks and unsubscribe right now
This does not work with all browsers. For information on how to do it manually, have a look at the end of this message.
Ariane 5, second try
LAW & ORDER
Canal+Polska sues HBO
A message from the Office of Signal Integrity
SABC to launch African news channel?
BT in India
To end upon a happy note...
German TV in the USA
The second test flight of the European launcher Ariane, designated Flight 502, is scheduled for Thursday (October 30) between 14:00 and 17:00 CET.
The US$9 billion Ariane 5 programme suffered a major setback when the first rocket exploded seconds after its maiden launch in June 1996. My favourite news agency said that another failure would probably eliminate Ariane-5 from the competition for a share of the lucrative satellite launch market. World-wide, more than US$30 billion are spent for satellite launches this year.
A European space official, commenting on competition, reportedly said "the paradox for us is that Ariane-5's biggest rival is not on the other side of the world but down the street -- it's Ariane-4." The rocket, originally scheduled to be replaced by Ariane 5 in 2000, will probably be around for a few years more. Over the past 2½ years, it has operated reliably. Since March 1995, Ariane-4 rockets put 40 satellites into orbit with 29 consecutive successful launches, averaging to a launch rate of one every three weeks.
Interestingly, Arianespace has so far not attracted any launches for those trendy low Earth orbit (LEO) systems. Of course, several of those small birds would fit into their existing rockets. The problem is, of course, that you can't just put them in; you need a special device that accommodates the satellites. There may be one developed for Ariane-5.
The rocket, developed to lift heavy payloads, is expected have have better chances with future satellites as the LEO craze has ebbed (even though most of them even haven't been launched so far.) New satellite systems planned today for the next century include heavy-weight spacecraft.
Frederik Engstrom, launch director of the European Space Agency, nonetheless is optimistic. "When the decision was taken to develop Ariane-1 everyone laughed. Nobody ever dreamed it would become a commercial business."
Did you notice I didn't write too much about Ariane flight 502 and its payload, MAQSAT, TEAMSAT and Phase 3D? You can find out yourself on the World Wide Web:
Ariane 5: http://www.esrin.esa.it/ARIANE_NEWS/
Phase 3D: http://www.amsat.org/amsat/sats/phase3d/
France's Canal+ has sued its U.S. rival HBO for fraudulent competition on the Polish pay-TV market. The company distributing Canal+ Polska filed the lawsuit with a local court in Warsaw.
Canal+ claims HBO was operating without a broadcast license, thus circumventing rules the Polish radio and television commission has opposed on licensed companies.
Canal+ Polska has been operating since 1994 while HBO launched its Polish-language program in June 1996.
For further information on the Polish TV landscape, have a look at the home page of TELE-satellite International where you can subscribe to the bilingual news service sat-poland.
"These actions serve as a reminder to those individuals who may continue to facilitate the theft of DirecTV programming. We will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute such dealers, businesses or individuals to the full extent of the law."
Strong words, uttered by Larry Rissler, who heads DirecTV's Office of Signal Integrity. They come, however, after DirecTV, a unit of Hughes Electronics Corp., announced the settlement of an anti-piracy lawsuit. The defendant was alleged of being involved in the distribution of counterfeit access cards in violation of federal and state statutes.
He now agreed to pay DirecTV and its encryption provider, Rupert Murdoch's News Digital Systems (NDS,) an undisclosed sum of money. Previously this year, DirecTV and NDS settled claims against two defendants named in a similar anti-piracy lawsuit. Each defendant made payments in "six figures" to DirecTV and NDS.
DirecTV said in a statement it was, in co-ordination with News Digital Systems, continuing to provide technical support to law enforcement officials in their ongoing battle to prevent the theft of DirecTV programming signals.
The international satellite TV channel Australia Television, which was privatised last June, has adopted a new programming format.
Starting November 1, the new line-up will feature a number of programs from the channel's new owner, Seven Network, including news and current affairs, sports and Australian drama.
Australia Television is a a free-to-air English language satellite television service which covers most of the Asia Pacific region.
To get an in-depth look on satellite TV in Australia, have yet another look at the home page of TELE-satellite International where you can subscribe to sat-australia. If you like Sat-ND, you'll just love sat-australia.
South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) officials said the broadcaster would move into Africa and beyond as a major supplier of news. New satellites such as a PanAmSat to be launched next year make it possible.
SABC television head Alistair Sparks was quoted as saying he believed that a genuine gap existed in Africa for a news broadcaster, both to Africa and the world. Sparks said he believed that a wealth of positive stories went untold in Africa owing to what he described as "parachute reporting". Aptly put.
Every time something nasty happens, an armada of foreign journalists heads for the trouble spot, report the bloodshed and upheaval of a revolution or whatever, and then disappear once the rest of the world has had enough. There probably is no ongoing coverage of African issues on most channels (and that applies to certain other regions of the world as well.)
According to Africa News Online, the SABC has already closed down bureaux in Washington and London to free funding to expand news-gathering interests in Africa. SABC CEO Zwelakhe Sisulu supported Sparks' plans, saying that M-Net's success in Africa proved that expansion further north was economically viable.
In South Africa, the SABC is expected to become profitable by March next year, following the implementation of recommendations made by the management consultants of McKinsey and introducing more entertaining programmes.
A problem that might hamper further expansion, according to SABC officials, is that many other African countries were reluctant to carry democratic-style reporting in any form.
BT and Bharti Enterprises, one of India's leading telecommunications groups, officially launched the 50:50 joint venture company Bharti BT.
Based in Bangalore, India, Bharti BT offers satellite communications solutions to domestic and multi national corporations. It replaces BT's previous joint venture with Wipro.
Bharti BT installs and manages private VSAT (very small aperture terminal) satellite networks which carry voice and electronic data, providing companies with an alternative to using the often inadequate terrestrial communications infrastructure in India. Bharti BT aims to expand the whole VSAT market and set the Indian standard for customer satisfaction.
BT's findings showed that Indian customers are often subjected to lengthy waits for installation, frequent network failures and slow maintenance -- all of which have a negative impact on business and profitability. As a result, BT and Bharti Enterprises have equipped Bharti BT with the structure, resources and expertise to deliver secure, reliable satellite solutions that meet individual business needs in both the short and long term.
The VSAT market in India is expected to grow 55 per cent on average in 1998/99 which is at a higher rate than other VSAT markets in the developed world.
Subscribers of satellite TV services in the U.S. may soon have to pay more money for what they receive. The U.S. Copyright Office more than doubled the fees that satellite operators have to pay to air network TV programs.
The increase is a result of recent federal legislation that changed the method by which the Copyright Office and the librarian of Congress set crucial broadcasting fees. "This is outrageous," said Bob Marsocci, a spokesman for DirecTV Inc. An appeal by the satellite industry is expected.
Lawmakers also oppose the decision: it "defies common sense," said W. J. Tauzin, who chairs the House Commerce subcommittee on telecommunications. "It will force consumers to pay significantly higher rates for satellite services and slow competition in the marketplace." He noted that "it may be time to begin exploring some legislative remedies."
Sat-ND is probably the only publication on the Internet that makes you feel depressed after reading just a single issue. One week of reading this so-called newsletter inevitably and irreversibly turns you into an antisocial cynic, and after a whole month we guarantee you a full-blown gastric ulcer. If not, we'll give you your money back (sorry, that does not apply to your connect charges to retrieve this nonsense.)
So, isn't there any positive aspect? Of course. First of all, life in itself is a great thing, no matter where you live. And I mean it. But apart from that, have you ever bought a CD which you knew it contained some nice tracks but then had to notice that the rest of it was just useless, indigestible crap? No? You must be living in a different world I'd like to live in.
Anyway, the Internet now offers a solution for this problem. Pick the tracks you like from a broad repertoire, listen to them first using Real Audio, and then compile your own CD. A dream? No. It's reality, although on a rather small scale yet. It's going to be expanded soon, and from the beginning of next year, the company will also accept non-U.S. orders.
The site, founded by former record company executives, is called musicmaker and, in my view, is the best idea since the invention of the CD. It currently offers two types of products:
MIX&MATCH CUSTOM MUSIC CDs
This allows you to choose from thousands and thousands of songs and create your own Custom CD. You can choose from a single artist to create your own "Greatest Hits" CD of your favourite artist or you can create your own collection of different artists from different genres of music.
HARD TO FIND OR OUT-OF-PRINT CDs
There are also many hard to find or out-of-print CDs on offer. These albums are not easily available, but they will be custom manufactured as they were originally released for anybody who orders them.
I have to admit that I'm completely unaware of the cost of a standard CD in North America. However, the quoted maximum price of US$19.95 for 15 songs is even less that what I have to pay here for a standard CD (less than the equivalent of US$18.) Add US$10 for package, posting and customs; I would even pay that for a CD that contains no crap at all. Oh yeah, and a self-compiled CD is also a great present to someone you love.
The bottom line: this is the greatest idea since the invention of the CD.
If you don't speak German, the following won't be of any interest to you anyway ;-)
Wer in den USA lebt und auf den deutschen Fernsehquark, Dr. Alfred Biolek eingeschlossen, wirklich nicht verzichten will, kann entgegen anderslautenden Gerüchten wenigstens ein paar öffentlich-rechtliche Sendungen empfangen, die nicht von der allgewaltigen Deutschen Welle stammen. Mich erreichte folgender, streng vertraulicher Hinweis auf den folgenden URL. (Jaja, URL [Uniform Resource Locator] ist männlich, nicht weiblich. Benutzt mal Eure Wörterbücher.) Ende der Durchsage.
Copyright 1997 by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.
To unsubscribe, send Email to Majordomo@tags1.dn.net (not to me, please, and not to any other address) and include the line
unsubscribe sat-nd xxxxx
in the body of your message. xxxxx stands for your email address. Or have a look at