The new satellite will be delivered in December 1999, and will have basic characteristics that enable Eutelsat to operate Ressat at 7, 10, 16 and 36 degrees East. Equipped with 28 transponders and based on the Hot Bird spacecraft platform [never heard of it,] it will operate in the fixed-satellite services band and provide one fixed widebeam over Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and one steerable beam.
Eutelsat's W series is to replace the Eutelsat II series in 1998/1999. The new satellites will allow for the expansion of telecommunications services as well as supply some television services to other markets than those served from 13 degrees East, including an extended coverage of the Middle East. They will be equipped with 24 transponders of 90 Watts (in comparison to 16 transponders of 50 Watts on the Eutelsat II generation) and their minimum lifetime will be 12 years.
The initial order [with Aerospatiale of France, I think] was for three satellites. Eutelsat has meanwhile ordered a fourth W satellite with different specifications from Aerospatiale that is supposed to serve the Russian market from 36 degrees East in early 1999.
Eutelsat's W series: http://www.Eutelsat.org/about/sesat.html
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The first opportunity to launch the satellites from the Virginia Space Flight Center, located on Wallops Island in Southeastern Virginia, USA, is on August 2. The launch schedule is subject to final preparations and testing, as well as acceptable weather conditions at the launch site.
Following the launch, Orbital expects that it will take at least 24 to 48 hours before reliable data can be assembled and reported on the basic status and health of each of the new satellites in the Orbcomm network.
Orbital plans to launch the Orbcomm satellites into a circular orbit at an altitude of 818 kilometers inclined at 45 degrees to the equator. The eight spacecraft will bring the total number of satellites deployed for the Orbcomm network to 20.
Orbital Sciences: http://www.orbital.com/
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The four partners will have the opportunity, pursuant to conditions to be approved by the French Minister of Economy, Finances, and Industry, and after submission to the Commission des participations et des transferts to take each a 7.5% minority share interest in Thomson Multimedia through an increase of capital, representing a maximum 30 % of the capital.
Thomson is a leading manufacturer of DirecTV's satellite dishes [those that have "RCA" written on them.]. World-wide No. 4 in consumer electronics, Thomson sold about US$6 billion worth of TV sets, VCRs and other consumer electronics items last year. The group is No. 1 in the USA and No. 3 in Europe. At present, Thomson is wholly owned by the French government.
Microsoft and Thomson already have teamed to develop "enhanced TV" services for Microsoft's WebTV system. Microsoft said in a statement that "As part of this MOU, the companies will work to develop and promote new "enhanced" televisions (eTVs), which include an electronic programme guide and support for interactive television programs. Microsoft will provide HTML-rendering technologies based on the Microsoft Windows CE operating system for use in these eTVs. The new eTVs will provide consumers with an integrated TV receiver, in both analog and digital versions, that provides access to the types of interactivity only available today through set-top boxes.
"Also, as part of the MOU, Thomson will license and sell WebTV set-top boxes under its RCA brand in the United States and the Thomson brand in Europe."
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Symah Vision Inc. said that for the first time in the history of the Goodwill Games, its EPSIS Boards technology for virtual signage will be used during the live national broadcast of the Goodwill Games on CBS and TBS Superstation.
During the live transmission, virtual billboards will display in real-time logos and IDs from Turner Networks including TBS, CNN, CNN/Sports Illustrated, the Cartoon Network and TNT.
What happens basically is that computer generated advertising boards are inserted into the digitised picture, replacing real billboards or other spaces. The technology is not exactly new, it has been used by Canal France Internationale and Coca-Cola for all 64 matches of the World Cup '98 broadcast throughout Africa.
Symah Vision Inc. said in its press release that "the technology takes the pictures coming from the broadcast source and enhances [sic!] them before the outgoing programme feed is fed to the satellite or broadcast network. The technology is not restricted to billboards and has been used by multinational advertisers who advertise similar products under different names in different countries."
If you got this far [yawn,] you're in for a bit of a surprise. Symah Vision's EPSIS technology is a spin-off from imaging technologies developed for the satellite industry. So it's no surprise that Symah Vision actually is the U.S. subsidiary of Symah Vision, S.A., which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the US$11 billion communications, technology and defence giant Lagardere of France.
Established in 1998, Symah Vision is a world-wide leader in digital TV sports sponsorship with an estimated 70% share of the global market.
Symah Vision: http://www.symah-vision.fr/
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Bulgaria's parliament has allowed broadcasts in the Turkish language in a move sure to appease its biggest ethnic minority. The decision stipulates that "radio and television operators can broadcast in foreign languages when the programmes are intended for Bulgarian citizens whose mother tongue is not Bulgarian." Bulgaria's ethnic Turks comprise nearly 10 percent of the population. Many of them reportedly already watch Turkish satellite channels, though.
Taleban religious police smashed or confiscated television sets, video cassette recorders and satellite dish receivers in shops in the Afghan capital Kabul, according to witnesses. The action came on the expiration of a two-week warning to shop owners to get rid of their TVs, VCRs and satellite receivers. The Taleban militia says they want to build the world's purist Islamic regime in Afghanistan.
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