Sat-UK-News #272 02.08.98: Thor 3 active!

Sat-UK-News Report #272:
- Thor 3 active!
- Reception reports
- Sky Digital
- Film Four
Sunday 02.08.98
Email: dsedghi@TELE-Satellite.com OR dominic@bigrp.demon.co.uk
UK Satellite Control: http://www.sat-net.com/uk-satellite/
And now the news:

---------- Thor 3 active!
 Thor 3 has started broadcasting to Scandinavia, in case you hadn't
already noticed. Four channels are currently being beamed in
D2-MAC/Eurocrypt. These include Sky Entertainment on 11.727 V, which
also broadcasts on Intelsat 707 before DR 2; Sky News & Documentaries,
now broadcasting on 12.054 H as well as on Thor 1; TV1000 Cinema & The
History Channel, which are on 11.823 H, in parallel with their
transmission on TV-Sat 2; and finally TV3+ Denmark, on 11.747 H, which
is also simulcasting on TV-Sat 2. Now that all these channels are
available on Thor 3, we can expect their signals on the other satellites
to be turned off soon. TV-Sat 2 in particular is getting old and will
soon be sent to the scrap yard.
 In addition to all this, MTV Nordic has left Thor 2 leaving plenty of
people bewildered and wondering where to go. Well, for those of you with
larger dishes, MTV Nordic is still available on Sirius 2 on 12.207 V,
putting it on the Nordic beam. It was up until recently also available
digitally in the clear on Intelsat 605 (27.5W), but has just encrypted.
Reception reports from Thor 3 are welcome!

---------- Reception reports
 "11am Saturday morning. Reception of tv1000 cinema is OK. Signal coming
in slightly weaker than tv1000. Grainy but perfectly watchable. Weather
is slightly overcast so picture will get worse as the weather
deteriates. It's a darn sight better than Thor 1 so I'm not complaining
<grin>. I think in this part of the country - a dedicated 80cm will
suffice for most weather conditions." Pace MSS1000, 80cm triple feed
dish, 1.1dB standard LNB; SE England (Rochester, Kent).
 - Ian Cass

 "Tv1000 Cinema is coming through at an adequate level in central
Scotland on a 1.2 dish but I suspect may be liable to sparklies in rain.
No digital sightings yet but I will try a DVB Scanner today."
 - Bruce

---------- Sky Digital
 All those of you who may have been wondering where the UK TV package
went to after I reported a couple of days ago that it was in the clear
will be wanting an explanation. Well, the UK TV package is now
encrypted, but three channels appear to still be there (Gold, Horizons
and Style). I haven't yet seen Arena, but people assure me it is there.
Furthermore, it appears that Challenge TV on 11.740 V is broadcasting
all day, not just in the evenings as in analogue. In addition, Home &
Leisure has been added to the package, as has the Disney Channel. The
only Sky channels left to be added to the package are QVC and Playboy

---------- Film Four
(source: Mediatel via alt.satellite.tv.europe)
 Channel 4 is about to announce that it has secured distribution deals
for its digital film service with both BSkyB and British Digital
Broadcasting (BDB) - now operating under the name of ONDigital. C4 has
been in discussion with both groups for some time regarding its plans
for a cult and independent digital film channel. The service, to be
called Film Four, is hoping to become a significant player in British
cinema. It is expected that the channel will screen several movies each
evening during a 12 hour broadcast. There is also to be film-related
programming around the films themselves.
 Film Four will be wholly owned and managed by Channel 4 but will be
distributed on Sky via both its analogue and digital services, and on
digital terrestrial television through ONDigital. In the race to snap up
digital subscribers Sky yesterday announced that it plans to install
satellite systems for free, saving customers around 100. However,
following this announcement BSkyB's shares dropped by just under 9% from
474p to 432p yesterday. ONDigital is promoting its service by the fact
that it does not require a dish, something which BDB research finds to
be unattractive to most customers , and by the fact that its set-top
boxes are portable.

All contents (C) 1998 Dominic Sedghi, except where indicated. All rights
reserved. Contents may be reproduced providing the following is
included: "Provided by Sat-UK, a part of TELE-Satellite". Information is
subject to change and/or may be incorrect.

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