TS News - South Korea Launches Digital TV

TELE-satellit News, 1 July 1996

South Korea Launches Digital TV
  SEOUL, South Korea, 07/01/96 (TS) -- South Korea's KBS national
broadcasting launched a new digital TV package by satellite today but the
number of viewers is unknown.
  At midnight on the morning of 1 July, the new service was switched on to
begin providing Koreans with 2 channels of digital television which include
KBS Satellite 1, a channel currently sending arts, culture, sports and tests
signals with KBS Satellite 2 providing relays and replays of exisiting
programming for areas with poor terrestrial reception.
  From next year programming will shift to become more news, sports and
entertainment orientated on Satellite 1 with culture on Satellite 2, very
similar to NHK's BS service from Japan which is popular in Korea.
  The satellite, Koreasat, is a high powered DBS satellite that can also be
received in neighboring countries such as Japan and China.
  The amount of viewers is somewhat unknown as receiver sales have been very
poor. The high price of the units, some ten times that of a cable TV hook
up, is putting many off because they will get just 2 channels compared with
the many on cable. The new KBS channels are also available on cable.
  Further providing problems is that the conditional access system has yet
to be decided so receivers sold now will have to be retrofitted with
conditional access technology, something which will be expensive for
manufacturers to do. For this reason, the electronics companies are not
putting very much effort into promotion of the new service.
Martyn Williams                        |Internet   : martyn@twics.com
Shimizu, Japan                         |Internet   : martyn@newsbytes.com
http://www.twics.com/~martyn           |CompuServe : 74777,1301
Fax 0543-64-0199                       |NiftyServe : PXQ00623

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