I've always said that I do want your contributions. This issue contains an interesting one. It's a story sent to me by a reader whose real name I do not know. I even haven't checked the story simply because I possibly can't (any contributor is responsible for what he or she writes anyway.) By the way: I wouldn't have written the story that way. I probably wouldn't have written it anyway. That's exactly the reason why appreciate any input from you--I'd like some variety. It's quite nice to know that some (most?) readers like what I write and share more or less the same opinions, but I'd also like to hear from those who don't. Thank you very much!
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Thor III, to be located at 0.8 degrees West, will add additional capacity for television, telephone and data information services to Telenor's international communication system.
The estimated life span for Thor III is 11.5 years. The satellite has 14 operational channels of 33 MHz bandwidth, operated by travelling wave tube amplifiers of 47 Watts power each. The downlink frequency range is 11.7 to 12.5 GHz. The major difference between Thor II and III is the broadcast radius footprint. Thor III's stronger signal reaches a total of 18 European countries, extending the coverage area much further into central and Eastern Europe.
Telenor said in a press release that the new satellite will join the Nordic 'hot spot' at 0.8 degrees West where Telenor's Thor 1, Thor II and TVSat satellites are located, as well as Intelsat 707 on which the company has leased capacity. The 100 television channels and 25 radio stations broadcasting from there are monitored from the Nittedal Earth Station north of Oslo. Telenor has satellite uplinks in eight additional countries.
Among the first broadcasters moving onto Thor III are Sky and Viasat, who will broadcast in analogue format. Telenor already has contracts and a large number of potential customers who it expects to fill 50 percent of Thor III's capacity within 1998.
Kjell Lovbakken, who heads the media section of Telenor Satellite's broadcasting division, said: "Some of Thor III's capacity will be used by broadcasters transferring over from the older Telenor satellite TVSat, which will be phased out later this year. A small portion will be used for new digital services to the Nordic market such as home shopping, video-on-demand, turbo Internet access and business television." While most of Thor III's capacity will be used by television and radio broadcasters, some capacity could also be used for business networks.
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FCC rules require high-power satellites to stay within just .05 degrees of their designated orbit. Both Echostar I (designated slot: 119.2 degrees West) and Echostar II (118.8 degrees West) were .2 degrees outside of the designated parking zone.
An Echostar spokeswoman emphasised that both satellites were still within the 119-degrees area, and service was never impacted by the shifting birds. She said the company also filed documents with the FCC concerning the satellite's changed location.
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GLA's DirecTV service, which is using Galaxy capacity, competes with the DTH service TDH, so far the only one in Argentina. TDH, which currently has 12,000 subscribers, is broadcast via Argentina's national satellite system Nahuelsat. DirecTV reportedly will invest US$40 million to launch local operations, including setting up a teleport and purchasing programming. According to press reports, Argentine retail outlets are already stocked with reception dishes.
Sky Latin America, a joint venture of Keith Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, Globo (Brazil), Televisa (Mexico) and TCI, is also expected to offer a DTH service by the end of the year.
[That's true competition, folks! Now Argentinean companies are also allowed to offer DTH services in the U.S. Will they? Don't hold your breath.]
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Scott Fleck, DTN Vice President and Director of Engineering, just had this to say: "This new satellite is the best possible solution. It is arguably the best bird out there, with a geographic footprint much larger than most data delivery satellites. With one hundred watts of power, DTN subscribers will experience improved satellite reception."
The mystery satellite allows the company to reach new areas such as Mexico, Alaska and Hawaii. The company offers data transmission services geared toward customers in these areas that it was unable to reach with its former satellite. However, the transition will mean "significant costs." The company will take a pre-tax charge of US$5.8 million associated with the Galaxy-IV failure, said Brian Larson, DTN's Chief Financial Officer.
Data Transmission Network Corporation in Omaha, Nebraska, offers information and communication services for the agricultural, energy, farm implement, financial, mortgage, produce, golf, turf management, construction, aviation, automotive, emergency management and weather-related industries.
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The new service for broadcasters and commercial customers will be launched on July 1. KDD said it expected the domestic market for relay services, currently worth about ¥30 billion a year, to expand at an annual 10 percent following the launch of new digital television channels in Japan in around 2000.
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Intelsat's TVMax service allows customers to gain 24-hour, real-time, direct access to Intelsat's television reservation and confirmation system via the Internet. Through this service, customers are able to check available capacity for occasional-use TV service; place, track, amend or price an order; directly book a service, and receive instant acknowledgement.
Recently, Intelsat's Indonesian Signatory, PT Indosat, used the TVMax service extensively to schedule Intelsat satellite capacity for their customers in covering the government turnover which occurred last month. Purwanto Fibihaka of PT Indosat's programme Booking Center stated, "TVMax allows us to book orders for our customers quickly and efficiently ... In the past, we needed to phone, fax or telex our requests, and wait much longer before we had confirmation of service."
Use of TVMax is gaining momentum across the globe. For example, Pakistan Telecommunications has doubled its use of TVMax in the past month, and submitted almost 40 percent of its service requests via TVMax during the last two weeks of May. So far, TVMax has over 100 users world-wide.
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by Andrew GTI
The first camera crews were on the scene within the hour, but it was 2.09 pm before the first footage was on the air--a full ten-minute report on Sky News, which, it turns out, was probably intended for RTL. The same scenes were first shown in Germany at 3:02 pm local time.
In the chaos that followed the crash, local TV news agency DFA were the first to get an SNG truck to the scene and this was soon besieged by several cameraman from German television trying to get their footage to their newsrooms. The situation was made worse by the entire area being fenced off by the police, so that news crews had to scramble nearly a mile to get from the scene of the crash to the DFA SNG truck. One of the first was RTL, but this footage was mistakenly sent to APTV in the belief that it was DFA material.
A spokesman for DFA stated, "We tried to find out what went wrong the next day, but the crash site was such utter confusion that nobody could remember any more which footage was sent to whom."
RTL was unaware of the mistake as they did not have anyone watching the competition that day. When the mistake was noticed by the duty manager at RTL News, several "unpleasant phone calls" were made, pointing out the error.
Although the footage was sold internationally as belonging to APTV and originating from DFA, it was not made available to local news channel n-tv, with whom DFA have a deal to provide them with exclusive footage in just such an event. n-tv showed the DFA footage at 3.02 pm.
Nigel Baker, head of news at APTV: "We tapped into the transponder in the usual way during a time slot that was booked for us and the footage came over from DFA. We did not steal footage from anybody."
The dreadful scenes on bodies strewn across the railway embankment in the small North German town of Eschede were made available to Sky News by APTV via a satellite link from 2.00 to 2.15 pm. According to RTL, this same transponder had been booked for that time slot by RTL News.
"APTV stole our pictures." said an RTL spokesman.
At 2.25 pm, RTL was able to show just two minutes of footage taken from a helicopter that disobeyed air traffic control and flew directly over the crash scene. At 2.38 pm, ARD had just one shot taken from a helicopter. Although news and footage of the biggest train crash in Europe since the last war were coming in all the time, none of the German stations interrupted their programming until 2.58 pm.
By 3 pm, nearly all major German stations had reporters at the scene linked via SNG, but local public station NDR had one minute of footage and was unable to reach Eschede via telephone.
An NDR insider said, "Eschede is a 20 minute drive from Hanover. This is incompetence on a grand scale."
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PTK currently has approximately 850,000 subscribers and is the largest cable television operator in Poland. @ Entertainment is also in negotiations with third-party cable operators representing a total of approximately 850,000 additional subscribers, regarding their possible carriage of the Wizja package. @ Entertainment intends to launch the Wizja TV package to a limited number of subscribers in the Polish digital satellite direct-to-home ("D-DTH") market on July 1, 1998, and to launch Wizja TV with full commercial introduction into the D-DTH market in September 1998.
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by Dr Sarmaz
According to reports, it is nonetheless rather unclear whether KRM actually has discovered his love for radio or whether there are other reasons for the move. Fact is that Talk Radio, broadcast over former BBC medium wave (AM) frequencies for three years now, has recorded a loss of £10 million last year.
The consortium to take over Talk Radio is led by Kelvin MacKenzie, who was the editor of KRM's largest tabloid, The Stun... no... The Scum... no... The Sun for 13 years. Four years ago he left, but six months ago he re-appeared overseeing a major revival for rival newspaper, The Mirror.
MacKenzie reportedly found no backers for his Talk Radio bid when he addressed venture capital firms. News Corp did not reject him, though. Incidentally, MacKenzie resigned from his job at The Mirror last Monday. Analysts were quoted as saying "Murdoch wanted him out there, and this is a very easy way of doing it, and a cheap one."
True. It is estimated Talk Radio could be bought for less than £15 million.
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News Corp. will receive US$800 million in cash and 30 million shares of United Video, valued at US$1.2 billion. After the deal, 40 percent of United Video will be held by News Corp., 44 percent by a venture that includes TCI Ventures Group and Liberty Media Corp., and 16 percent by public shareholders.
The deal will combine TV Guide, the best-selling weekly magazine in the U.S. with a circulation of 13 million, with the electronically delivered TV listings provided to 50 million American homes and another 3 million homes outside the United States by United Video's satellite system.
United Video, which operates the television listings guide called Prevue Networks, said it plans to rename some its products using the TV Guide brand name.
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