31/8/00

Got my G drive back, lost what was on it (just pictures,mp3s and a cd image or 2). Keep an eye out for those Russian channels they may pop up FTA on some of the Russian satellites.

From my email

H.Spitaler reports reception of Knowledge Channel on Pas 8 with less picture breakup than before this signal may be a lot weaker than other transponders. One person in the chatroom reported it was fine on a 3.6M. Programming is in Tagalog (Philipino and English)

B.Richards supplys some screenshots of the Ebu feeds on Asiasat 2

From the Dish


Nothing to report other than the satellite at 103E has been renamed Express 9


NEWS


Russian Tower Fire


From www.tvnewsweb.com/

The fire at Ostankino television tower knocked Russia's state TV channels off the air in Moscow on Sunday. Firefighters brought the blaze under control by Monday, but by then at least three people had been killed and public channels ORT and RTR were still off the air.

Only Russia's private television station NTV broadcast the news to some 10 million Muscovites waiting to know why their screens had gone black.

NTV usually broadcasts via the Ostankino tower but was able to transfer programming to parent company Media Most's other channel TNT, which uses an independent satellite.

NTV director Yevgeny Kiselev offered the other channels the chance to broadcast on NTV's satellite. On Tuesday Media-Most suggested ORT had agreed to use NTV Plus satellite broadcasting equipment for the fee of $500,000 per annum but on Wednesday, RTR confirmed that both RTR and ORT had declined the offer.

Observers suggest that the state channels were uncomfortable at the idea of accepting a favour from NTV. NTV owner Media Most has been a stern critic of the Russian government, particularly of President Vladimir Putin.

According to Russian media reports, the Kremlin has put pressure on Media Most owner Vladimir Gusinsky to sell NTV to Russian gas giant Gazprom and negotiations for the sale have been under way this summer. Gusinsky spent three days in prison last June, but was later freed after a meeting with Putin.

RTR's Chief News Editor Alexander Abramenko confirmed to TVnewsweb an offer had come from Media-Most but it had financial strings attached: "The Media-Most offer was made but we had to pay money to broadcast with TNT and this was something the parties involved could not agree upon."

Alexander said ORT and RTR would be back on air on Wednesday evening, sharing a channel which would broadcast via the Ostankino tower. " We will have a mix of programmes from ORT and RTR on one channel - this will include news bulletins of each broadcaster. Our chief executives are meeting at the moment to discuss how we share the channel."

Technically this is possible by putting up a temporary analogue aerial at a height of 140 metres up the tower - below the area damaged by fire.

But this will transmit only one channel and its range will be less than the aerial at the top of Ostankino tower which is now out of action since the fire. As a result, some neighbourhoods in Moscow may still be without ORT and RTR for some time to come.

According to experts, it would take two to three months to erect an alternative transmission mast and restore broadcasting to the Russian capital. This may be the only realistic option. The 540-meter (1,770-foot) skyscraper -- Europe's tallest structure -- is listing visibly in the aftermath of the blaze and its long-term stability may be in doubt.

Featured earlier this month in News Talk, MIR TV is centrally involved in trying to get ORT and RTR back on air. Vladimir Suryokin of MIR TV told TVnewsweb the MIR team were already working on a more permanent solution: "We are trying to put together a digital packet which will allow five or six channels to broadcast." It is not clear how a digital transmisson solution would interface with the exisiting broadcast infrastructure across Russia, most of which is still analogue.


(Craigs note I saw this also which is of interest )


Two thirds of Russia's satellites decrepit

It's time for the annual warning issued by Russian Space Agency about the
state of the country's satellites. While the figures change from year to year,
not to the better, the general message has been the same for years: it's a
miracle that so many Russian satellites still work. Most of them are way beyond
their design life. Of 44 satellites, 34 could stop functioning at any moment,
according to an agency spokesman.


Gusinsky's NTV Plus profits from Ostankino fire


Russia's two biggest television channels, ORT and RTR, resumed limited
broadcasting in Moscow after the blackout caused by a fire at the Ostankino
television tower. In the meantime, sales of satellite dishes in the Moscow area
have mushroomed. Media mogul Vladimir Gusinsksy's NTV Plus pay-TV seems to be
the big winner as there is little free-to-air satellite TV that could be
received with small dishes.

A single terrestrial transmitter is currently operating from the tower,
broadcasting a joint ORT-RTR channel. By Monday, TV6 and NTV services are to be
restored, followed by two more channels by the middle of next week--all
operating from the lower part of the tower, which is more stable that initially
thought. From a height of 150 m, a transmitter has a reach of up to a 60-km
radius while from the top of the tower (500 m) the radius was up to 120 km.
Thus, the emergency transmitters only serve about a quarter of the area covered
by the regular ones.
Managers of NTV television have accused the authorities of giving priority to
state television, which is rather ridiculous not only because NTV Plus added
ORT to its satellite platform. The TV blackout helps NTV Plus acquiring new
subscribers for their pay-TV in an unprecedented manner, according to the
Moscow Times:

* Saturday, 26 August: 502 calls; 20 new subscription

* Sunday, 27 August: 7,951 calls; 86 subscriptions

* Monday, 28 August: 209,787 calls (of which only 2,790 could be answered);
1,000+ subscriptions.
Reportedly, factories in France and The Netherlands supplying NTV Plus
decoders switched to three-shift work.
Psychologists have said the television blackout could have negative
consequences for thousands of people addicted to daily viewing. Many Russians
spend up to five hours a day watching television, but they spend even more.
Most people who ordered NTV Plus during the past few days subscribed to its
standard package of (US$18.95 per month,) in addition to US$184 for dish,
decoder, and installation.
Prior to the Ostankino fire, NTV Plus had 140,000 subscribers, half of them
in the Moscow region.

Zee to start Rs 10 crore game show


From Indiantelevision.com

In an interview given to a business television channel, R K Singh, CEO of Zee Telefilms has said that Zee will soon launch a new game show offering Rs 10 crore as prize money to counter Star TVs Kaun Banega Crorepati. The show is likely to be aired in the same time slot as that of KBC and will directly compete with it.

The show will have a high degree of viewer interaction along with a very transparent elimination round. There will be around thirty participants who would be gradually eliminated to pick out a winner. Each elimination round is expected to reward the participants who made it till there.

Apart from the game show, Zee will be adding quite a few new shows of different genres to their channel

This move shows the pinch that Zee was facing from Star's KBC and the money that can be staked in these cable wars having fierce competition. However it is the Indian viewer who will eventually benefit from these one-upmanship moves.


* Six Indian satellites, GSLV delayed


India keeps up its satellite programme despite recently announced U.S.
sanctions. The inaugural flight of its Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle
(GSLV,) though, might be delayed until 2001 according to the Bangalore Deccan

Herald.
There are six Indian satellites to be put into orbit over the next two years:
communications satellites INSAT-3A and INSAT-3C are slated for launch aboard
Ariane rockets by the first half of 2001. Remote sensing satellites Cartosat
(IRS-P5) and Resourcesat (IRS-P6) are planned for launch during 2001-02 aboard
the Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV.)
In addition, there will be two experimental satellites: GSAT, which will be
the first GSLV's payload carrying an S-band and a C-band transponder for
digital audio and television broadcasting and Internet services. The second one,
TES (Technology Experiment Satellite,) will carry light weight solar arrays for
use in IRS satellites in future. It will be launched aboard a PSLV.
The inaugural flight of the GSLV, originally expected this year, might be
delayed according to unnamed sources at the Indian Space Research Organisation
quoted by the paper. "We are looking for a date before October and if that is
not possible due to the monsoon, then almost certainly we will launch it by the
first quarter of 2001. The final dates will be decided by the end of this
month," the sources said.

Interactive TV still showing test pattern

By Megan McAuliffe, ZDNet Australia News

From www.zdnet.com.au

Waiting for Interactive TV to launch in Australia? Don't touch that dial. Organisers are demonstrating their set-top boxes and talking up features, but there's no network, no content and no launch date anytime soon.

Oracle, SGI, ICE Interactive and Liberate Technologies are partners in a bid to introduce an interactive TV and video-on-demand - iTVoD - service. Officials claim that the service they want to launch in Australia will be the first of its kind in the world. It will provide viewers with movies on tap, interactive program guides, program recording, Web access, online banking and limited e-mail facilities.

A pilot of iTVoD is being tested by 150 homes in the New South Wales country town of Orange. However, officials are unable to provide even an estimated commercial launch date, nor can they speculate on which content providers will be turning the blank screen into an interactive one for a commercial debut.

"It is network independent so a whole range of networks can use it from cable to DSL...," Managing Director of ICE Interactive Carl Braden said. However, there is no word as to which network providers may be interested in supporting the project.

Organisers expect the iTVoD system to be available in two versions when it hits the market. One version for residential users and another for use by hotels, hospitals and multi-dwelling units. In a hotel situation, for example. interactive TV could additionally offer electronic room service menus.


30/8/00

Live chat tonight at 8.30pm Sydney time onwards (may change next week) Nothing else to report for today except my G drive has disapeared and scandisk and Nortons will not find it.

From the Dish

Thaicom 3 "CMM Network" has left 3600 H Dig. "Aastha Channel" is now 24h/day. Same boquet
"CMM Music" is on 3554 V, Dig, PIDs 512/640.

NEWS

Zee Movies to be rebranded as Zee-MGM Movie Channel

From indiantelevision.com

In a bid to revitalise the sagging Zee Movies channel, Zee TV is relaunching it as Zee-MGM by mid October. No details were made available about the deal between MGM and Zee Telefilms for the partnership, excepting that it has been labeled as a joint venture.

Zee Movies had launched in mid-March 2000 with a library consisting of a la carte movies and shows from MGM, Pearson, Diskovery, Passport, Pearson, Fremantle. But it failed to make a dent with the channel. Offering competing fare was HBO which had launched around that time with better movies and packaging.

Indian viewers also failed to buy Zee TV's foray into English language programming as it is primary perceived to be a provider of Hindi entertainment and information fare. The rebranding and association with MGM should go some way in removing some of the dissonance in the earlier branding exercise. Mainly because MGM is an international brand and has had a pretty good run in the local theatrical cricuit.

But one will have to wait and watch whether viewers will get swayed away from the attractive fare that HBO is supposed to start beaming out over its south Asia channel with all the four studios agreeing to participate in the channel after close to three months of bickering.

The MGM library mainly consists heavily of sixties and seventies products. It includes such legendary series as James Bond, Rocky, Pink Panther. Other titles include award winning and popular movies - Thelma & Louise, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Moonstruck, Silence of the Lambs, Rain Man, Fargo, Dances with the Wolves and a host of others. Zee-MGM will also showcase critically acclaimed MGM masterpieces from the Woody Allen series as well as its vast repertoire of timeless classics.

Latest Olympic game: the race to prevent Webcasts

By Reuters

Special to CNET News.com

August 29, 2000, 12:40 p.m. PT

NEW YORK--Olympics officials will be sprinting after renegade broadcasters who attempt to deliver video of the Summer Games illegally over the Internet, in what could amount to an unofficial sideshow next month in Sydney.

Internet broadcasts of the games have been effectively banned because Olympic broadcasting contracts prevent companies from sending video or audio signals outside of their own national or regional territory.

But in an age when anybody with an inexpensive Web camera and Internet access can send an original broadcast around the world, restrictions that keep Olympic broadcasting off the Internet are seen by some as out of date.

"I don't think realistically there's anything to prevent someone from putting a camera or taking a feed off Australian TV and--against the rules--streaming" video over the Internet, said David Bohrman, chief executive of Pseudo.com, a New York-based producer of Internet video.

"The Internet doesn't know any international boundaries," he said.

But Olympics officials will be watching next month.

"If someone has the capacity for major distribution, it's a copyright violation, and we will find some way to close it down," said Richard Pound, vice president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

"We have a pretty sophisticated monitoring system. If someone is stealing a signal off a satellite, we can find out where it's originating and take action," mostly through legal injunctions, he added.

Even then, stopping a renegade Internet broadcaster quickly could prove to be an uphill battle.

"It can be very difficult to trace back and find the person," said Andrew Toner, a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers' technology-risk services division.

Demand for live access to the games will be a particular concern in some countries, such as the United States, where broadcasts are going to be delayed for many hours. For example, the women's 400-meter swimming finals will be shown by NBC on the evening of Sept. 16 in the United States--more than a half-day after they actually occur in Sydney.

This is likely to act as an incentive to hackers, who could react by sending the games over the Internet live.

Challenging intellectual property rules is nothing new for hackers and entrepreneurs. The U.S. recording industry has been locked in a struggle to quash Napster, an Internet-based music sharing service, and Hollywood and the computer industry face an increasing challenge from video and software pirates.

The IOC sells rights to about a dozen national and regional broadcasting groups, which are allowed to send signals only within their area.

The Internet has thrown a wrench in such deals; by its nature the Web can reach anyone connected to a computer, regardless of location. In recent years, local radio and TV stations have sent out select broadcasts over the Internet, using services such as Yahoo's Broadcast.com.

General Electric's NBC, the biggest spender on Olympic broadcasting rights, wants to direct as many viewers as it can to its TV broadcasts--where advertisers pay top dollar--and keep video coverage off its Internet site.

"I think when we paid $705 million for the rights to the games, you have a duty to protect it and steer the biggest possible audience toward the coverage," said Kevin Sullivan, vice president of communications for NBC Sports.

But some Internet companies say video broadcasts over the Web could enhance traditional broadcasts.

"There's a huge pie, and it needs to be looked at more closely," said Tonya Antonucci, Yahoo's senior producer for sports, news and weather. "TV only has so many programming hours. There's a huge opportunity to expand that and make more use of it, and leverage (coverage) on the Internet, where there are limitless viewing hours."

Antonucci and other Internet executives will have an opportunity to raise issues about Olympics broadcasts at a conference on new media and the games to be hosted by the IOC in December in Lausanne, Switzerland.

There, TV broadcasters, Internet companies and media experts will discuss how to incorporate the Internet into future Olympics broadcasts.

One solution is to use Internet location tracers--which work imperfectly--or to limit Web broadcasts to fixed, high-speed Internet connections, such as cable, that tie people to specific locations.

Axient Communications will be demonstrating the latter method in one of two experiments with Web broadcasting technology approved by the IOC. The other is a similar trial in Australia, said the IOC's Pound.

Phoenix-based Axient will deliver 10 minutes of Olympics video coverage from the previous day's NBC video feed to high-speed Internet users who subscribe to specially licensed U.S. Internet service providers.

But even if compromises can be ironed out among some broadcasters at the December discussions, any one of the broadcasting partners from around the world can effectively block changes that allow for Internet broadcasts, Pound said.

Contracts that ban Internet broadcasts are in effect until 2008, the Olympics official added.

Still, officials will continue to evaluate how new technologies change the rules of the game and make it possible to satisfy a variety of audiences.

"On the basis of what we learn from our experience in Sydney, we'll try to devise a strategy for the Internet that will allow us to make the maximum use of an exciting new medium," Pound said.

Story Copyright © 2000 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

Seven Breach Copyright?

Reuters Television may consider taking legal action against Australian broadcaster Seven Network over an alleged breach of copyright.

Both parties confirmed to TVnewsweb that the material in question is footage of a shark attack shot in South Africa. Reuters Television claims these pictures were used without its permission by Seven Network.

As the matter is still under discussion, Reuters and Seven Network would only comment further in general terms. Neither side confirmed one hundred percent that legal action would ensue.

Phillip Melchior, Managing Director of Reuters Media, told TVnewsweb "Reuters takes the protection of its intellectual property very seriously and in any instance where it appears our property is being used outside the provisions of a contract, we can be expected to pursue redress against whoever is using our material outside the provisions of a contract."

Seven Network's top lawyer, General Council Michael Lloyd-Jones confirmed to TVnewsweb that discussions with Reuters on this issue have taken place. He said "We have had discussions with Reuters but we weren't aware of any further legal proceedings outside of these discussions."

Michael said Seven Network was waiting for Reuters to make the next move: "The next step has not yet been defined, the discussions are ongoing and we are waiting for Reuters to come back to us."

Phillip said Reuters was increasingly concerned by breaches of copyright, with areas like the internet being difficult to police: "This has been of concern to us for some time in a variety of different areas - for example the way in which the Concorde crash picture was used outside contractual provision. Another example of this was Channel Seven's use of the shark attack footage."

29/8/00

Site update was delayed due to a weird crash on my pc when I rebooted after leaveing it downloading overnight. Has anyone checked the russians sats? There may be some channels shifted to satellite due to the big tv tower fire they had over there. A Digital camera has just turned up at my place on loan. Expect some pictures of sheep to appear soon on the site.

Main Television and Radio Broadcasting Centre

http://www.tvtower.ru/2_Razdel_TotalInfo/eng

From my Email

D.Holbrook supplies some screenshots of the new Testcards appearing on Pas 8

From the dish

Apstar 1A 134E "CETV 2" is back with regular transmissions on 3900 V PAL, 6,60 MHz.

Express 6A 80E "ORT" (+4h) has started on 3875 R, SECAM, 7,50 MHz.

Thaicom 3 78.5E "CMM Network" has started on 3554 V, Dig, PIDs 512/640. makeing this much harder for any one in Australia to receive without a huge dish

NEWS

* Moscow without radio and TV


The blaze in Moscow's Ostankino television tower certainly is a tragic event

that claimed the lives of several people. Notwithstanding, as a side-effect one

of the greatest social experiments of our time was launched: millions of

households might be without almost any television and radio for months.


15 TV channels were broadcast from the tower in addition to 14 stereo radio

channels, each requiring a transmitter of its own. According to the Main

Television and Radio Broadcasting Centre, transmitters of up to 60 kW of power

were installed.

The tower also was a central hub for radio and TV lines, which explains why

electronic media in other parts of Russia were also briefly off the air. Links

could be re-established using satellite feeds, but the region within a radius

of up to 120 km around the tower is left virtually left without terrestrial

radio and TV channels, affecting up to 10 million people (at least those without

access to cable or satellite.)

Reportedly, only two TV channels can currently be received in Moscow. Alexei

Malinin, deputy head of NTV, told one of those stations that "Unfortunately our

forecast right now is not optimistic. We will not be able to establish regular

broadcasting, by my forecasts, for several months."

Emergency transmitters could be set within two or three week's time, but they

will at best reach only one third of the audience in the Moscow region.

The fire seems to have been started by a short circuit and then spread along

the cabling--something that actually could have been prevented by higher safety

standards (which were known in Eastern Europe at the end of the Sixties, and

applied for instance in the design of the East Berlin television tower.)

Moscow tower fire out

By OLGA NEDBAYEVA

MOSCOW

Tuesday 29 August 2000

From www.theage.com.au

Firemen managed finally to put out the flames ravaging Moscow's high-rise Ostankino media tower late last night.

But Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov said he feared three people trapped since yesterday in a lift inside the tower were now dead.

The tower is Europe's tallest structure and ranked second in the world after a similar needle-point in Toronto.

Nearly 24 hours after the fire broke out, disrupting television and radio broadcasts to the Moscow region, police reported that the flames had been extinguished.

"The fire has been put out. It is now only smoldering," Marat Syrtlanov, deputy head of the Russian interior ministry press service, said.

He confirmed that three people, one fireman and two civilians, were known to be missing.

The 540-metre concrete and metal structure, twice the size of the Eiffel tower and a once-proud landmark on the Moscow skyline, was listing slightly but visibly.

President Vladimir Putin admitted that the blaze had underlined the desperate state of the nation.

In the wake of the emergency, and following the Kursk submarine tragedy that killed 118 seamen earlier this month, the Russian president said it was no longer possible to conceal that the country was in shambles and could only re-emerge by rebuilding its economy.

"This new emergency situation shows what state our most vital objects, and the country as a whole, is in," Putin told ministers.

Rescue workers said that more than half of all inside cables that support the 33-year-old tower - which also boasts a restaurant - had ripped.

Firemen said that the top third of Ostankino had been destroyed.

Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said restoring television was the government's chief priority.

"By the end of the day it should become clear how much work will have to be put into this," Kasyanov was quoted as saying by Interfax.

Moscow prosecutors launched a criminal probe, citing an article of the criminal code which covers damage to property as a result of negligence.

Both Interior Ministry officers and Federal Security Service (FSB, ex-KGB) investigators were on the scene to inspect damage to a tower that was also reportedly the base for some of Russia's most important intelligence-gathering devices.

Although mobile telephones functioned today, several of the city's main paging services were no longer online.

Some 250 firefighters with 40 fire engines and a helicopter were deployed to the tower by mid-day yesterday when the blaze went off, apparently sparked by a short circuit in the wiring.

The blaze knocked 12 television stations off the air and disrupted radio and video transmissions.

Journalists at the scene have been offered only scant details of the accident and advised to move hundreds of metres away from the tower in case it came crashing down.

Authorities had ordered the evacuation of a zone 500 metres around the tower. No residential buildings were situated within the circumference.

"It's theoretically possible that the tower could collapse," said Nikolai Saradzhev, head of Moscow's fire department.

Experts sounded more optimistic, saying they thought the structure would withstand the extreme temperatures.

Luzhkov, the Moscow mayor, was one of the first to rush to the scene and quickly conceded that Ostankino, a tourist attraction known for its view of the city, could never be rebuilt.

In a sign of the seriousness of the effects of the television blackout, Putin also met Communications Minister Leonid Reyman to discuss ways to resume broadcasts through reserve antennas, news agency reports said.

The fire initially knocked out the broadcasts of only six stations, NTV, TV-6, STS-8, M1, TV-Centre and the cultural channel, Kultura.

But, shortly afterwards, interruptions started to cut into the main channels such as the semi-public ORT and RTR, both of which finally blacked out entirely with all other stations at 6pm yesterday.

Rationale for TV laws flawed, says `godfather'

By JANE SCHULZE

Tuesday 29 August 2000

From www.theage.com.au

A self-styled "godfather" of Australian broadcasting regulation, Mike Hutchinson, has publicly disputed the underlying concept of our broadcasting regulation - that Australia has the best TV in the world.

Mr Hutchinson, who oversaw the the partial privatisation of Telstra and was deputy secretary of the Department of Transport and Communications in the late '80s, said he never doubted the competitive restrictions on the TV industry was aimed at protecting TV network profits.

He said that rationale, which stems from the idea that we have the best TV in the world and the industry needs oligopolistic profits to maintain that standard, was flawed.

"We do not need to underwrite oligopoly profits to require licensees to observe mandated community standards," he said.

He gave the analogy of a restaurant being protected from competition, enabling it to earn oligopolistic profits so it could afford to comply with public health and hygiene regulations.

Mr Hutchinson was speaking at the end of a conference on regulation of the broadcasting and telecommunications industries as they converged.

He argued that companies able to bypass the current restrictive broadcasting regulations should not be suppressed by further regulation.

According to his speaking notes, he disagreed with the policy approach based on the argument that the local TV industry was the best in the world.

"Jingoism is usually a poor basis for much public policy," he said. "We also know that, other than perhaps in technical picture and sound quality, the statement is at best improbable and at worst demonstrably false as a generality."

Mr Hutchinson said some aspects of Australian television could be considered the best in the world, such as the sports coverage.

"But the worst is almost certainly among the worst in the world. The overall balance is - personal view - pretty mediocre," he said.

He described as "extraordinary" the decision to protect TV networks from competition until 2006.

Mr Hutchinson said the existing political system did not accept that the market will meet community needs in relation to broadcasting.

"The urge to protect citizens from themselves and their own free choices seems increasingly pervasive in segments of our political system," he said.

"We should all be deeply worried about the national harm that is now flowing from the repeated signals of lack of confidence in market mechanisms that are coming from our national leadership institutions."

But he argued that converging industries should not be subjected to further regulation.

"Just because an emerging service appears to lie outside regulation is no reason to extend that regulation," he said. "Regulation is addictive and contagious and largely debilitating."

Although intrusive regulation was a corollary to the broadcasting sector's economic protection, he said it should be quarantined to that industry sector.

"If innovators can create a bypass to this protection and this regulation for new services then good for them," he said.

He described the convergent industries as a high-wire act.

Pay TV has short lead over free-to-air

By JANE SCHULZE

Tuesday 29 August 2000

From www.theage.com.au

While pay TV will gain a jump start in interactive TV, the free-to-air TV industry's mass reach will allow it to quickly catch up, according to a new survey.

Digital Business Consulting principal Tim O'Keefe and Webb Consulting's Peter Webb were commissioned by interactive TV group ICE Interactive to conduct a survey of companies with stakes in the interactive TV future.

They concluded that most believed the introduction of interactive TV would be an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary process, but it could eventually become an important vehicle for e-commerce in homes.

They found there were two approaches to interactive TV - connected iTV (which has a two-way link) and unconnected iTV (where information is stored on theset-top box).

Mr Webb said pay TV companies were in the best position to provide connected iTV services due to their cable or satellite links, and existing population of set-top boxes, while the free-to-air broadcasters believed unconnected iTV may initially help them offer program enhancements.

"They appear to view unconnected iTV as being the forerunner to connected iTV," he said.

28/8/00

Live chat tonight 8.30pm Sydney time onwards, yes I know about the Daylights saveings time we will see how it goes and Wednesday or next Monday adjust the time forward 30-60mins. Thats going to mess up a lot of tv guides and program times! D. Holbrook has sent me some screenshots and I have done changes to the Asiasat2,3,Pas 8 pages and gallerys adding new shots of channels like Urdu tv and Ekushey etc plus a lot of the missing ones. Sattrader page updated with new advert also (this page will go once the new design is finished)

I have got my hands on a copy of Adobe Golive 5, a newer version of the software i use to do the site with so hopefully that will go ok when I install it later. The old version 4 has a few annoying bugs which can cause crashes when I update the page also the ocasional glitch where it puts ? instead of " in sections of text.

From my email

Mixo reports Mega working again on Thaicom 3!! Data table is back with the signal and all is well again with the Strong 4600

Advert

For sale! Prices are in NZ$ and don't include postage

12' Mesh dish (new) Horizon/Horizon mount $1500.00
18" and 24" Jacks offers
3.4m Mesh dish (new) Polar mount $1000.00
3.8m Mesh dish, polar mount with 24" jack (slightly used) $650.00
Yuri analogue receiver
Echostar analogue receiver


The Antenna Man
Craig Julian
Ph 06-758 1633
antenna.man@xtra.co.nz

From the Dish


Panamsat 2 169E "One TV" (South Korea) is back on 3980 H SR 4413, FEC 3/4.

Panamsat 8 166.5E "Bloomberg TV Asia" has left 3940 H a TV test card for Rav TVand an Olympics Data Channel test card have started in this Boquet.

Thaicom 3 78.5E "Mega Cosmos" Data table is back in channel stream

NEWS

Hong Kong to Decide on Digital TV Standard

From www.satnewsasia.com


/Satnews Asia/ -- Hong Kong is expected to announce by year-end its transmission standard for digital terrestrial TV. According to Samuel Lui, assistant secretary at the Information Technology and Broadcasting Bureau (ITBB), the department is currently working on a consultation paper, which will also map out DTV legislation and roll out schedule.

There are no details, though industry experts point out that Hong Kong?s selection would depend very much on greater China. ?From an economic point of view alone, Hong Kong would benefit from selecting the same standard as China?, said Tim Kelly, controller of engineering at TVB, a local terrestrial broadcaster. He said that the proposed launch date is beginning of 2003, at the earliest. A committee set up by TVB, ATV (another terrestrial broadcaster) and ITBB completed a one-year test at the end of 1999.

The test was conducted using ATSC, DVB and ISDB standards. The current school of thought is that Hong Kong may go for a hybrid of DVB and Japan?s ISDB standard - but it is highly unlikely that it will pursue the US? ATSC.

Last October, Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting, K C Kwong, stated at the 1999 Asia Pacific Electronics Symposium and Intelligent Transportation Technologies Forum that following the completion of the 1998 Television Policy Review, the Government decided to proceed with a technical trial with a view to determining the most suitable DTT standard for adoption in Hong Kong. The Government has since established a government-industry steering committee to coordinate the trial.

The Government is well within their time frame since their target was to commence DTT broadcasting within two years on satisfactory completion of the trial. Kwong said that but the government will allow simulcast of analogue and digital television broadcast in Hong Kong in the initial stage. On radio broadcasting, Mr. Kwong noted that countries all over the world were at various stages of testing or launching digital broadcast services. And Hong Kong is no exception.

"We are making good progress towards paving the way for the early introduction of such services," he said, adding that since the end of last year, the three local radio broadcasters had been conducting a technical trial of digital audio broadcasting (DAB) with a view to establishing the feasibility of territory-wide coverage of DAB signals.

The technical trial has just been completed and the results are generally positive and assuring. Apart from examining the technical aspects, the Government has commissioned a consultancy study to examine the market and regulatory issues concerning the introduction of DAB in Hong Kong.

Worldspace, Malaysia's Asiaspace.Com Discuss Broadcasting Deal

From www.satnewsasia.com

/Satnews Asia/ -- World Space Corporation of Washington DC and Asiaspace.com are currently negotiating to co-promote satellite-based digital audio and multimedia broadcasting services in Malaysia.

Early this month, the All India Radio (AIR) commenced broadcast of programs to countries in West Asia and north-east Africa in digital mode to ensure greater clarity in reception without distortion or fading effect using WorldSpace Communication's facilities, Afristar with uplinking facility in Johannesburg.

WorldSpace is a pioneer in direct-to-receiver satellite audio service, initially implementing its digital audio technology in Africa last year via the Afristar satellite, and Asiastar, launched in March 2000.

After the successful launched of AsiaStar in March this year, WordSpace is now making its debut in Asia, Dr. MG Chandrasekhar, executive vice president and co-chief operating officer of the corporation announced last week.

AsiaStar is located at 105 degrees East and will provide the continent of Asia with high quality digital music, news, information, and educational audio and multimedia services.

Noah Samara, Chairman and CEO of WorldSpace said, "In parallel with the launch and acceptance of the AsiaStar satellite, we have been working very closely with broadcasters and government administrations in several countries to bring the very best mix of programming to the people of Asia."

The AsiaStar satellite is the second of a three-satellite global digital radio system pioneered by WorldSpace, a company founded by Mr. Samara in 1990. Worldspace's satellite network will consist of three geostationary satellites. The third satellite, Ameristar, is scheduled to be launched in second quarter of 2001. Each satellite has three beams with each beam capable of delivering more than 40 channels of crystal clear audio and multimedia programming directly to portable receivers.

Once fully completed the WorldSpace system will usher in a new era of digital radio broadcasting via satellites. This global satellite services will transmit information, education, lifestyle and entertainment programs to a service area that includes 4.6 billion people, Chandrasekhar said. Listeners will use special receivers needed to receive the WorldSpace service. WorldSpace has worked with Hitachi, JVC , Matsushita (Panasonic) and Sanyo to produce receivers that range in price from US$250 to US$400.

AsiaStar, like its sister satellite AfriStar, has three large downlink beams. These beams cover the entire continent of Asia, including a part of Eastern Africa. Anywhere in its coverage area, portable WorldSpace satellite receivers will have access to over 40 high quality broadcast channels. These channels can be broadcast from anywhere within Asia and neighboring regions within the uplink beam covering one-third of the earth. Currently, two uplink stations are in operation at Melbourne and Singapore and additional stations are planned. The service offerings include regional and global news and music channels, global and Closed User Groups (CUG) multimedia and real-time data broadcasts.

WorldSpace has built an uplink facility in Singapore at which the majority of Asian regional content providers will send their programs to the AsiaStar satellite for broadcast to Asia.

Only recently, the company has entered into joint venture agreement with Media Citra IndoStar of Indonesia that will help install and operate a feeder link uplink station, and with the state of Gujerat in India to provide fishermen with receivers to broadcast cyclone-warnings and other weather data to warn fishermen of dangers in the deep seas.

AGIS and MIH International to Develop DTH in Indonesia

From www.satnewsasia.com

/ Satnews Asia/ -- Listed Indonesian company Artha Graha Investama Sentral (Agis) will expand its media business by bringing in a strategic investor South African multi-media company called MIH International to develop DTH services for Indonesia, according to Television Asia.

According to the publication's sources, the project has a total capital projected of US$40 million and services is expected to commence as early as the end of this year.

Agis is the largest electronic chain store in Indonesia with 1,500 agents all over Indonesia. Just recently, Agis became the sole distributor of electronic home appliances for US General Electric after entering an alliance with General Electric (GE) Capital.

MIH is an international pay-television, internet and interactive technology group. It operates in over 50 countries delivering services and entertainment to millions of people on a business to business basis and to consumers via the television or the Internet. Supported by a network of high profile and influential partners MIHL has grown into a multinational provider of entertainment, interactive and e-commerce services. MIH was one of the first pay-television companies in the world to provide digital satellite service and it has remained at the forefront of technology development ever since.

The MIH group manages leading internet operations in Africa and Thailand and has begun investments in internet operations in China. It currently owns a 16,85 % interest in M-Web Holdings Limited (M-Web Africa), the leading African online service provider. Utilizing the MCA digital satellite television platform and its own broadband satellite service, M-Web Africa is well positioned to bring the internet to 41 countries on the African continent.

Indonesia is a substantial and attractive market for DTH services. Indonesia has an estimated 50 million homes, of which around 25 million have television. Television broadcasting had been provided exclusively by the government for 27 years, until in 1988 the government issued the first license to broadcast commercially. Commercial broadcasting is now a competitive industry operating on a national basis.

Today, only Indovision provides Indonesia with DTH satellite television service, featuring 20 channels, both national and international. Indovision is a joint-venture between Datakom Asia and Rupert Murdoch's Hong Kong-based STAR TV.

27/8/00

A view screenshots today. Not a lot else happening. Crickets probably on Ekushey tv right now, perhaps 701(180E) 4060R SR5632 fec 3/4 Apid 256 Vpid 308 PCR8190 again.

From my Email

H.Spitaler asks if anyone can still receive Lakbay tv from Pas 8 or Knowledge Channel also on pas 8 Cband?

Pete (In the U.S.A) needs a analog signal on I701 to peak his dish with if you spot a analog signal there give him a buzz on icq 20244951 if you see one.

From the Dish

Asiasat 2 100.5E 4085V SR1065 Fec 2/3 "Football Feed"

HTB 130E

THT 130E

26/8/00

Problems with power levels at Napa? Ihug in there message of the day wrote

UNSCHEDULED : Satellite carriers interrupted.
Sat Aug 26 13:16:42 2000
Ultra DBS users will have experience a brief interruption to service due
to a problem with power control at the uplink site in the United States.

Other users may have experienced some international connectivity problems
as traffic would have switched to ground links.

The problem has now been resolved and we apologise for any inconvenience
caused.

Ihug uses Pas 2 and Pas 8

From my Email

Hi,

In response to your request on Mega TV reception via Thiacom3.

I can confirm that my Nokia 9200 loaded with DV2000 software will only load Mega TV video when it is specifically selected through PID input but NO AUDIO. The video also blanks out every 5 - 10 sec, so it is not reliable. it will acknowledge that the service is there when doing an Auto search BUT comes up with PAT Error.

My Strong 4800 will not load the 3640 transponders in Auto search, BUT when you do a channel copy through the crude ch editing system and load all the PID's you do get Mega TV both with Video and Audio.

I hope that helps.

Alek

H. Spitaler reports problems with picture breakup on the "Knowledge channel" this is on pas 8 cband

Problems also reported by R Anthony with the Jedi channels on Pas 8 KU

(update R Anthony reports Pas 8 TVB power back to normal)

From the Dish

Palapa C2 113E "Open TV" has left 3916 H Dig

NEWS

Race on for the Sri Lankan cricket rights

from indiantelevision.com

The race is on to bag the rights to telecast Sri Lankan cricket in India. The major players in the running are Sony Entertainment Television's Set Max channel, Zee Sports, ESPN-Star Sports and other production companies.

Set Max, which had acquired the telecast rights for all the cricket matches played in Sri Lanka in the previous season, had paid a sum of $7.75 million to the Sri Lankan Cricket Board. Channel bosses have been making a pitch to bag the rights over the past two-three weeks. Sony Entertainment's Anand Desai is believed to have made a pitch, as also ESPN-Star's Manu Sawhney. Sony apparently has the first right of refusal for the rights.

The Sri Lankan board is hoping to make an announcement soon. Zee Sports is in desperate need of good cricket product for its Zee Sports channel as is Sony for Set Max. If ESPN-Star bags the rights it will be in the drivers' seat in the Indian market as it will have wrapped up all the major telecast rights for cricket for cricket mad Indian audiences. Stay tuned.

MTV India will join the pay-TV clan; to be encrypted soon

from indiantelevision.com

Riding on the success of it's music channel, MTV has decided that it is the time when it can exploit its potential as a strong brand an take the pay-TV route.

Speaking to The Economic Times, MTV Networks Asia president Frank Brown announced that the channel will be encrypted at the 'right opportunity'.

The decision to go from free-to-air channel to pay-TV is fueled by the findings of a recent study conducted by MTV to judge its performance throughout the various countries it is aired. India was the fourth in terms of growth of the channel next only to MTV strongholds Brazil, the US and Italy. Even in terms of revenue earnings in Asia, India was somewhere on the top of its list.

Also, close on the heels of launching MTV clothing and other branded merchandise in India, MTV will be taking the air waves by storm and will enter the radio broadcasting business. This would mean that music aficionados can tune into the FM radio channel and listen to their favourite music from MTV. This is part of MTV's strategy to become a 360 degree brand and extend the brand in other possible youth products.


Packer has a thing for the Big B

From indiantelevision.com

If there is one person who seems to be smitten by the Big B's charisma then it has to be Kerry Packer.

The Australian media tycoon, whose broadcasting company Channel Nine, has bagged the rights for the prime time slot between 7 pm to 10 pm on Doordarshan's Metro (DD-2) channel is actively wooing Amitabh Bachchan. Rumours are that James Packer wants him to quit the tremendously popular game show on Star Plus Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) and move onto anchor the show Greed which it plans to introduce on the DD-2 channel for which Packer has the rights for prime time slots.

Amitabh Bachchan is said to have signed an agreement with Star TV which restricts him from anchoring any show with a similar format on any of the satellite channels. Star says that it has extended the contract with AB from 130 episodes to 450.

However, DD-2 is a terrestrial channel and Packer might be eager to exploit this loop hole if Star TV has not plugged it already. The show, Greed, is apparently a take off on the popular ABC show Who wants to be a millionaire on which KBC is based.

Kerry Packer has offered sops to AB such as showing an interest in picking up a stake in the beleaguered A B Corp, formerly known as ABCL or Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited.

Recently restructured, A B Corp has decided to restrict its scope of activities to producing and distributing movies after burning its hands in many other ventures like organising the Miss Universe contest.

Sony and Sky launch digital satellite set-top box

200,000 units to be produced by end-2000

Sony United Kingdom Limited is to launch its digital satellite set-top box on 1 September, bringing a wider choice of reception equipment than ever before to Sky digital subscribers and other digital satellite viewers. The new decoder is characterised by a unique, slimline design that is expected to appeal to image-conscious consumers and strengthen digital satellite television's position as the UK's leading digital TV service.

Production of the Sony set-top box is already well underway, with shipments to retailers having begun in the week ending 26 August. Sony, the sixth manufacturer of digital satellite set-top boxes, is committed to producing in excess of 200,000 units by the end of this year.

The new unit will form part of Sky digital's free digibox and minidish offer, which is helping millions of viewers to join the digital television revolution. Under the offer, viewers receive a free minidish and digibox from Sky, paying only for installation of the equipment.

Richard Freudenstein, BSkyB general manager, said:

"Sky is delighted to welcome Sony's leading-edge design to the existing range of digital satellite set-top boxes. This initiative extends choice for Sky digital viewers and further demonstrates Sky's ability to meet continuing strong demand for digital satellite television, especially in the lead-up to the key Christmas sales period."

Steve Dowdle, deputy managing director and head of consumer products group, Sony United Kingdom Limited, said:

"Sony is pleased to announce the development of its digibox. Sony already has a vast range of digital terrestrial products and this digibox is the first of many products we expect to launch for digital satellite."

Mr Dowdle continued:

"The Sony set-top box is the first digibox to feature a digital audio output (DAO). This feature allows digital audio recording of most channels, including the many audio channels now available, and is ideal for downloading directly to your MiniDisc. The DAO of Sony's digibox features the SCMS copy protection system."

Sky and Sony are working together to develop integrated digital television sets (iDTVs) that can receive both digital satellite broadcasts and free-to-air digital terrestrial channels. The iDTVs are expected to come to market in summer 2001.

Both companies are also co-operating on future developments in home networking technologies such as the IEEE1394 standard, "i.Link". This technology offers a vision of the digital future, seamlessly interconnecting household appliances and audio and visual equipment via a high-speed digital connection.


25/8/00

Was up untill 4.30 a.m due to a windows crash my fault i installed the wrong software for the usb-usb transfer cable mind you on the site it was labled usb-usb-networking software. Stupid pc would not even boot in safe mode after and of course windows crashed in the middle of reinstalling all fixed now though. Crickets on now NZ not doing well as usual.

from my email

For Sale hyndai hsc100

does everything except mega!

Can see working if you live in Melbourne!

$$300

mixo66@hotmail.com

Another for sale

Satellite / CATV Equipment For Sale (New & Used) Price in $NZ

Name: Steve Johnson

Location: Pukekohe, Sth Auckland

Contact: (09) 238 3083


1 Paraclipse 3.8m eclipse mesh antenna (polar mount) 750.00
1 Patriot 3.1m solid antenna (polar mount) + custom made tripod mount 1400.00
1 Andrews 3.0m solid antenna + custom made mount (needs finishing). 850.00
Currently mounted on custom built tandem trailer (needs finishing) 3000.00
1 Cal-Amp C-band LNBF (3.7 – 4.2 GHz / 25 K) new, in box 140.00
1 Zintech C-band LNBF (3.4 – 4.2 GHz / 20 K) new, in box 85.00
1 Cal-Amp CP400 C-band feed (linear/circular, f/d .285 to .335) 200.00
1 Chaparral C-band micropak feed + mounting ring (3.7 – 4.2 GHz) new, in box 120.00

1 Scientific Atlanta 9223 Power Vu receiver (authorised for CMT) 1750.00
2 Strong SRT-4600 digital receiver (new in box) 485.00 each
1 Palcom SL-7900RP analogue receiver with positioner 180.00
1 Echostar LT-5300 analogue receiver with positioner 150.00

1 Von Weise 24" actuator100.00
1 Von Weise 24" actuator (as new)200.00
1 Von Weise 18" actuator (as new)150.00
1 CDM-600 Standards converter (PAL, NTSC & SECAM) 200.00
1 Spectra Explorer spectrum analyser (uses TV as a monitor) 200.00

3 Winersat WCM-300 RF modulator (Ch E6, S11 & S12) 19? rack mount 100.00 each
2 PDX PSA-1060S CATV sine wave power supply (60V AC / 10 amp) 250.00 each
1 PDX CATV line extender amplifier (model: LA-750 MHz) – as new 200.00
2 PDX CATV line extender amplifier (model: LA-750 MHz) – new in box 280.00 each

All equipment + GST except for Australian buyers

Genuine enquiries to: Steve Johnson (09) 238 3083 New Zealand Phone Number

From the Dish

Possible feeds this weekend

Saturday 26th August

4 a.m Syd Golf Nec Invitation

9.am Syd Baseball Little League World Series (Pas 2 maybe)

2.pm Syd AFL

Sunday 27th August

7.30 am Syd Golf Senior Pga Tour

1.30 pm Syd NRL Grand Final B1/B3 or mediasat

2.30 pm Syd AFL

NEWS

Home Box Office movie channel operations from September 1

RECORDER REPORT

from www.brecorder.com

LAHORE (August 25) : The Home Box Office (HBO) the world's famous movie channel, is to launch its operations in Pakistan from September 1 as part of the newly-formed HBO South Asia venture.
This was announced by James Marturano, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing HBO, South Asia, in a press conference here on Thursday.
.He said this 24-hour channel would air English language blockbuster movies from four major Hollywood Studios, -- Warner Brothers, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The subscribers in Pakistan will be able to enjoy blockbuster movies from the top Hollywood studios, he said.
"We expect HBO will be welcomed by the cable operators and subscribers alike throughout Pakistan," James said.
.He further stated that LEO Communications had been awarded the exclusive rights to distribute the HBO service in Pakistan.
.To a question he said: "We understand that Pakistan is a lucrative market for TV cable business and HBO channel will receive a tremendous success here."
.Qaiser Khan, chief executive officer, Leo Communications, said that the HBO was the leading English language subscription movie channel having 37 million subscribers throughout the world...The affiliation between the LEO Communications and the HBO represents the start of a revolution in the emerging cable TV market. The HBO will set a standard for further entrants into the Pakistani market, he said.

The HBO South Asia operations will be managed through HBO Asia in Singapore, he said.

24/8/00

Cricket 11.45a.m tommorow NZ vs South Africa winner plays in Sundays Final vs Pakistan, on Ekushey Tv As3 and probably on I701 again Intelsat 701(180E) 4060R SR5632 fec 3/4 Apid 256 Vpid 308 PCR8190

Knowledge channel new on Pas 8 see below. Screenshots posted soon.

P.S my Laptops here :-)

From the Dish

Pas 8 166E "Knowledge Channel" has started on 3706 V , sr 3200, fec 3/4, SID 10, PIDs 4090/4091.

Asiasat 3 105.5E "Zee Music" has encrypted (still fta on Aurora Zee though)

NEWS

Optimism grows for interactive TV

KATE MACKENZIE of australianIT.com.au


PROSPECTS for interactive television in Australia improved today with the launch of software for set-top boxes.
OpenTV, a Nasdaq-listed company which has deployed its technology in 50 countries, today launched its Sydney offices with Communications Minister, Senator Richard Alston.

Set-top boxes are devices which can be attached to a standard television set, and use a modem chip to access interactive content via a standard phone line.

The future for Australian interactive television in appeared volatile when the Federal Government's digital television legislation, passed by the Senate on June 29, placed restrictions on the type and amount of content which could be transmitted via datacasting.

However OpenTV's Australia and New Zealand business development director, Miranda Dyson, believed interactive television was going to be "absolutely huge" in Australia.

Ms Dyson said interactive television would address geographical problems for regional Australians who missed out on access to services such as banking.

"They may not even have a computer, but they all have TV, and they'll be able to email, do their shopping, and banking et cetera through TV - we think this will be popular for everyone," she said.

Ms Dyson said the restrictions on datacasting content would not hamper the take-up of interactive television, because of the range of services that would still be available.

"Even under the legislation, HDTV only has to be broadcast for 20 hrs per week, which means there's a huge chunk of bandwidth the free-to-airs can use for interactive services," she said.

Austar has already deployed OpenTV's technology while Foxtel, Optus Satellite and SkyNZ have committed to using it.

There are several initiatives towards developing an open standard for web content on television.

The leading options are the Java-based Multimedia Home Platform (MHP), and an extension of the existing HTML standard.

Ms Dyson said globally, terrestrial broadcasters seemed to prefer MHP while cable-based companies preferred the HTML solution.

OpenTV offers both, as well as its own proprietary version, and technology for deploying content in a wide range of formats.


Interactive TV, of a sorts, comes to Australia

From www.it.fairfax.com.au

By JOE HILDEBRAND, AAP

SPORTS lovers who want to follow their favorite player around the field or home chefs who need an instant recipe will soon never have to leave their lounge rooms.

Australia's first interactive TV software was launched in Sydney today, signalling an end to the passive couch potato and a beginning for the "active viewer''.

The software is used in a set-top box, a device which can be connected to any standard television to provide "enhancement programs'' or "virtual channels''.

Communications Minister Richard Alston became one of the first Australians to send an e-mail via television when he opened the Sydney office of OpenTV.

Senator Alston said interactive television, which allows the viewer to choose camera angles at a sporting event or see extra information on a lifestyle show, was a dream come true.

"I think we're going too find this technology offers us something we've only ever dreamed about and today is a very big step forward in terms of that digital reality,'' he said.

Senator Alston said that advertisers in particular would find the medium far more useful, immediate and accurate than conventional television.

"These sorts of platforms are going to provide endless opportunities for providing products that people really want,'' he said.

"It will have enormous opportunities for advertisers who still rely on some of the bluntest instruments available.''

Using interactive television a viewer can order a product from the screen at the exact moment it is being advertised simply by entering a pin with the remote control.

OpenTV's Australian and New Zealand business development director, Miranda Dyson, said that within two years half the Australian population would be using digital TV following its introduction on January 1, 2000.

"We would see up to 50 per cent of Australians regularly using interactive services once the free-to-airs have fully deployed an interactive solution,'' she said.

The set-top boxes are expected to cost around $300 but it is possible that pay TV networks may incorporate this cost into their subscription as BSkyB has done in the UK.

"It really depends because it's going to be down to the network to decide how they launch their business model,'' Dyson said.

The company is already providing its software to the Foxtel, Austar and Optus Satellite networks however it has yet to receive a commitment from the free-to-air channels.

SONY: THE BIG PICTURE

from www.indiantelevision.com


It was really a latecomer in the Indian cable & satellite television business. But today, it has shot ahead in the viewership sweepstakes. Sony Entertainment Television was set up as ACE by seven Indian promoters who later managed to interest the Japanese mega corp to take an equity stake in the company. Today Sony Pictures owns 65 per cent of the company and the Hindi entertainment channel is ruling the roost with 22 of its shows ranking among the Top 50 according to TAM-AC Nielsen peoplemeter ratings. Once market leader Zee TV is yards behind with just eight top 50 shows.

What's more Sony Entertainment Television is slowly but steadily cobbling together a bouquet of channels which it can bundle together and retail to India's 30,000 or so cable operators. It has branched out overseas with its television channels. And it is getting ready to foray into theatrical distribution and production of mainly Hindi movies.

Says CEO Kunal Dasgupta: "I am looking for business growth in three major revenue streams: free to air television advertising sales, pay television subscription and theatrical distribution and production of films."

Its first major foray outside its core television business and into Hindi movies is commencing with the launch of Mission Kashmir - a film it is distributing internationally. The movie is slated to premier in October 2000 in both New York and London. Two other movies are in the process of being signed on.

"We would like to produce 10 films a year," says COO Rajesh Pant whose been given the responsibility of steering Sony Entertainment into new businesses, the foremost of which is theatrical distribution.

Dasgupta says that the Hindi movie business could end up being as big as Sony's television business is today. "It would be in the region of Rs 3-4 billion a year. We have to ramp up to this level."

The company does not have a presence in cable TV, as compared to the market leader Zee TV which owns Siticable. But Dasgupta does not believe that it is a disadvantage. He has cobbled together a bouquet of channels, which are being distributed by Sony Entertainment in order to create a pay TV package and make India's errant cable operators pay.

Currently, it is chalking up revenues of $10 million per annum from its pay TV business. In the bag are channels such as CNBC India, AXN, Set Max. It is handling both the distribution and ad sales for the three channels, a kind of model which it maintains it will follow.

Set Max, an events, sports and movies channel is the most recent of its additions as it was encrypted in July 2000. Some 1,700 decoders have been placed in the marketplace giving it a penetration of 2.3 million homes. "We want to take this up to 4,000 boxes within the next couple of months," says Dasgupta.

AXN on the other hand has a claimed 2.5 million paying subscribers - that is cable operators are claiming that figure as their subscriber base when they are making payments to the Sony distribution team. CNBC has a penetration of 1 million with cable operators paying between Rs 3 and Rs 5 depending on the subscriber base they are disclosing, reveals Pant. 720 boxes for the business channel have been activated.

"We are working on our pay TV plans hard and are in talks with several programmers," says Dasgupta. "The market for international product is opening up in India. We see another three or four channels joining our package," adds Pant.

He expects pay TV operations to pitch in with Rs 1.5 billion in revenues in the next three years.


Currently, both Sony and Star TV India are believed to be the front runners to distribute the Disney channel in India. Disney has been hovering around on the sidelines of the Indian television market for nearly half a decade without talking the full plunge with a 24 hour channel.

Recently, it terminated its programming contract with Zee TV on which it used to air two hour long morning and evening animation programming bands. It opted for Sony Entertainment Television instead. The network is looking at really creating a lot of hype around these two bands in the next two months, and will even fly viewers to Disneyland every week should they win the contest. "Disney animation is extremely popular in India and we are serious about taking the maximum out of it and make it a big viewing option," says Dasgupta.According to him the standoff for the Disney distribution contract is sometime away but he is going to ensure that Sony will be at forefront when it happens.

On the international front, Sony Entertainment is looking at foraying into newer markets teeming with pockets of people of Indian origin. It already has a presence in the UK, is getting ready for a launch in the US, is aiming for Africa, is already viewed in Malaysia. On the roadmap are possible forays into Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji.

Pant says the stellar performance has been in the UK, where it is being sold along with Bollywood music and film channel B4U as a package on the BskyB platform and on cable systems. "We are at 12,000 subscribers last year around this time and we were falling," he says. "This year we are at 62,000 and climbing rapidly. It has been phenomenal growth." 25,000 subscribers are on cable and 37,000 on the DTH package with B4U. As against this Zee is at some 130,000 subscribers in the UK.

While some people credit the super showing to the slick new movies that B4U brings to the table because of co-promoters Kishore Lulla and Bharat Shah, Dasgupta says Sony is attracting audiences too because of its well-packaged programming.

The channel is expected to do a soft relaunch in the US in September on the Echostar platform after the Ethnic American Broadcasting Corp went bust. "We have been freed from EABC and now are on our own and being distributed with Zee TV, TV Asia among, other channels as part of the Asian package," says Pant.

A foray is expected into south Africa too on the Multichoice platform. In Malayasia, it is on Measat's Astro service and Pant, says Sony should sing up 20,000 subscribers at about $3 each to start with. "We would like to build it up to 100,000," he points out.

Dasgupta and Pant and his team will have to work hard on building up the mother channel Sony Entertainment Television. The channel which had been leading the viewing sweepstakes until June has slipped to the number two spot after the stellar success of the Indianised version of Who wants to be a millionaire? (Kaun Banega Crorerpati -KBC) on Star Plus. The show has raced to the top of the ratings chart. And it is attracting viewers to soaps before and after it as they are getting in and staying on to munch on the fare.

Agrees Dasgupta: "KBC has been a major success. We are cutting back our revenue target to Rs 6.5 billion from Rs 7.5 billion set earlier. Imagine how much it will impact Zee TV."

Nevertheless, he is doing something about it. A couple of new game format shows are to be launched before the year is out. "Game shows had not done well in the country before until Star Plus showed what they could do with KBC," reveals Dasgupta. "We did not want to take the risk then. We will take the plunge soon."

But more than that Sony will sport an entire new entire fixed point chart come September. Seven new series have been announced - ranging from comedy to soaps mythological shows (Shree Ganesh produced by Creative Eye on the elephant God).

The 9 pm to 10 pm slot has almost been vacated with lesser known series being aired then. A revamp of the Indianised Jay Leno Movers and Shakers is also on the anvil. The time slot has been pushed back to 10:40 pm. "There will be bigger stars on the show, the sets will be bigger," says Dasgupta. "This is going to be a show to watch."

The channel is also upping its promotional budget to about Rs 250 million this year. "Our marketing spends are going to go up," says Dasgupta. "We've got our programming line up in place. From matinee soaps through the day, we move on to the kids band in the evening then onto light entertainment late evening and finally heavy entertainment late at night. Our viewers are loving the channel. Yes we were No 1 in ratings, and now Star has moved us back to the No 2 spot, but we will fight back."

Dasgupta reveals that the network is also on the verge of signing on a programming head to replace Ravina Raj Kohli who left to head Kerry Packer's Channel Nine India operations. The buzz is that it could be a former agency creative director who had made a mark with her focus on linguistic copywriting. The channel has also lost close to 40 employees in recent times. "But we have also hired strongly on the creative front. And we have built up a strong management team on top," says Dasgupta.

The Internet strategy for the Indian operations has been scaled back. Earlier, Dasgupta had talked of acquiring portals and building up a strong Sony India Web frontier with lots of investments being poured in. Now the decision has been taken to put minority investments in the business and only as part of the overall Sony Worldwide portal.

"I'm very bullish," says Dasgupta. "We are going to do well. I'm looking at a revenue of Rs 10 billion by 2002, going up to Rs 30 billion by 2005. Sony Entertainment will be an Indian entertainment powerhouse then."


23/8/00

FEED ALERT, P.EADES found the cricket FTA feed If you prefer your cricket without ads and with Mike and Erica calling cues then try I701 4060R SR5632 A256 V308 PCR8190 that will help our U.S readers!

23/8/00

Livechat tonight in the chatroom, not much happening so I guess I will work on the redesign again.

One thing Wednesday Night in the states the Final episode of Survivor screens, keep an eye on I701 for a possible feed around lunch time perhaps?

Cricket is on Ekushey tv Asiasat 3 Pakistan vs South Africa as expected right now!

NEWS


Foxtel considers appeal, Seven says 'let's deal'

from http://www.smh.com.au

By ANNE DAVIES


The Foxtel board is still considering whether to seek leave from the High Court to appeal against last week's landmark ruling on access to pay TV, amid overtures from the Seven Network yesterday for a commercial solution to the dispute.

Legal advisers to Foxtel yesterday briefed the board on the practical implications of last week's decision by the Federal Court as well as the likely chances of success of an appeal.


The Full Court ruled that the Foxtel network was a carriage service network, which means it is subject to the Telecommunications Act.

Although the decision is limited to the existing analog network, it means broadband cable is now likely to be opened up in the same way as the telephone system in the mid-1990s.

The board of Foxtel has been told that Seven must first obtain capacity on the cable from Telstra. It can then apply to Foxtel for access to its subscriber management system and set-top boxes in people's homes.

But as there are only between nine and 12 channels available on the Telstra cable - Foxtel has 50 of the available 62 - Seven may well face an uphill battle getting capacity. Mr Mike Boulos's TARBS has already sought 16 channels, while Seven is yet to make a formal application for capacity.

A Seven spokesman confirmed yesterday that Seven was hoping to lodge its application later this week, but Seven was hopeful that a negotiated commercial solution would be reached rather than further litigation.

Even if Foxtel does not appeal, it could take months for Seven to gain access, as Foxtel and Seven must agree on a price for access.

The Foxtel board also considered the likely impact of the decision on its plans to invest $200 million in converting its system to digital.

Several board members said the ruling made the capital expenditure less attractive as it would only increase capacity for competitors.

The board also discussed the option of developing Foxtel's satellite distribution system, which now serves about 300,000 subscribers.

This system is not subject to the court ruling.

Foxtel board yet to decide whether to appeal against court decision opening up pay TV to competitors.


22/8/00

South Africa vs Pakistan should be on Ekushey TV , Asiasat 3 Wednesday from about 11.45a.m Sydney time, let me know if you see it. I have neglected the site redesign a bit over the past few days as I have been trying to sort out a laptop (the cheque for it went missing in the post) Also I have organised a screenshot grabber. Which combined with the laptop should be very usefull. No progress with my dish yet, Brothers VERY VERY busy at work (Both top engineers in my city) Big news day today!

Currrent list of receivers handling Mega on Thaicom 3,

Pheonix 222,333 Satcruiser (all)

Problems, Pacific Satellite, Strong 4600 and Prosats.

Anyone tested it with a Nokia?

From my Email

No replies to emails sent to Mega or Ekushey Tv

Steve Johnson of Auckland has sent in a big list of satellite gear he has for sale check it out on the Sattrader page!

Collin Ferris reports APTN and Reuters on Asia 2 seems to be back as it was ie FTA.

(Craigs note, perhaps getting things prepared for the Olympics)

P.Eade writes. Re Singapore Challenge Cricket (on Ekushey tv?) next game Pak v SA Wednesday 23, NZ v SA Friday 25, Final Sunday 27.
Was also carried Sunday I701 briefly on one of the TVNZ transponders but can't remember which one.

NEWS

DIGITAL AGENDA BILL PASSES THROUGH PARLIAMENT
Copyright Amendment (Digital Agenda) Bill 2000

From http://law.gov.au

The Copyright Amendment (Digital Agenda) Bill 2000 passed through the Senate and House of Representatives on 17 August 2000, and is currently awaiting Royal Assent. The Bill will commence 6 months after this is received. The 6 month delay will allow affected parties to re-negotiate, where appropriate, current arrangements in light of the comprehensive amendments that the Bill makes to the Copyright Act 1968. The Government also proposes that the operation of the legislation be reviewed within three years of its commencement.

The Bill was introduced into the House of Representatives on 2 September 1999 and referred to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs (the LACA Committee). The LACA Committee tabled an Advisory Report on the Bill in the House of Representatives on 6 December 1999. A number of Government and Opposition amendments were made to the Bill in response to the LACA Committee?s recommendations before the House passed the Bill on 28 June 2000.

As a result of further scrutiny of the Bill and consultation with interests, additional amendments were required in the Senate. The majority of these amendments are technical in nature.

It is worth noting Government amendments to the enforcement measure provisions of the Bill regarding circumvention devices and services, and rights management information. These amendments relate to both the parties who may have standing to bring an action under these provisions, and those who may give permission to perform one of the proscribed acts. The enforcement measure provisions have been amended to ensure that it is the copyright owner and any exclusive licensee who may both give permission and have standing to bring an action in relation to circumvention devices and services, and rights management information.

The Government also accepted an Opposition amendment to the transitional provisions in the Bill. The transitional provisions provide that where copyright owners have previously licensed or assigned the current wireless broadcasting right, they will not be taken to have automatically assigned or licensed the new broadcasting right, which encompasses both cable and wireless broadcasts. Neither will they be taken to have assigned or licensed the broader elements of the communication right, which includes the new right of "making available online". However, these provisions are subject to a contrary intention.

The Opposition amendment makes it clear that a contrary intention can be found outside of the terms of the agreement itself. The Government agreed that this approach gives effect to its intention that the transitional provisions should take into account the commercial practices and the conduct of the parties in determining whether a contrary intention exists.

The amended Bill and explanatory material are available on the Parliament House website at http://www.aph.gov.au/legis.htm. Copies of the Parliamentary debates, including the second reading speech can be found at http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/index.htm. Copies of the LACA Committee's report are available at http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/laca/digitalagenda/contents.htm.

Further detail about the central reforms of the Bill can be accessed in past issues of the e-news at http://law.gov.au/publications/copyright_enews/pastissues.html.



Copyright overhaul for Internet, pay television
AAP --

from http://news.ninemsn.com.au

Tough new enforcement measures will ban the unauthorised reception of pay television and help copyright owners to combat Internet piracy, Attorney-General Daryl Williams said today.

Pay television operators will also have to pay to re-broadcast works that have already been transmitted on free-to-air television.

Mr Williams said the reforms, passed by parliament today, represented a historic change that placed Australia among world leaders in copyright reform.

"This bill brings Australian copyright laws into the 21st century," Mr Williams told parliament.

"The reforms will update Australia's copyright standards to meet the challenges and harness the opportunities presented by rapid developments in communications technology especially the Internet."

The changes, contained in the Copyright Amendment (Digital Agenda Bill) 2000, outlaw the manufacture, import or distribution of devices to allow for the unauthorised reception of pay television services.

The government will undertake a review of the legislation within three years of its commencement.



Foxtel rethinks digital strategy

from http://www.afr.com.au

By Luke Collins


Pay-TV group Foxtel is rethinking plans to convert to digital services after Friday's Federal Court ruling that Telstra, which owns 50 per cent of Foxtel, open its cable network to other parties.

Foxtel, in which News Corp and Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd each hold 25 per cent stakes, has been planning to convert from analog to digital so that it can offer interactive services through its set- top boxes.

It is concerned that following the court ruling, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission could force Telstra to open up the digital platform to all comers, undermining the commercial viability of the costly conversion.

Foxtel's board meets today to discuss the ramifications of Friday's court decision, which rejected claims that Foxtel had exclusive access to the $3.5 billion network built by Telstra and found in favour of Mr Kerry Stokes' Seven Network.

Seven last night estimated its likely damages bill from the drawnout legal battle would be about $US500 million ($850 million), while Foxtel insiders claimed the shareholders were less likely to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to convert its subscribers to digital services.

"That's very much at stake. These are the issues that are being considered," one executive said.

"With digital services ultimately to be opened up by the ACCC, it's all at risk."

Telstra and Foxtel shareholders, Mr Kerry Packer's PBL and Mr Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, have been discussing the funding of Foxtel's transition to digital services for months.

The ACCC chairman, Professor Allan Fels, said yesterday there were "different issues over digital access compared to analog".

"Quite probably, there would be a far wider number of channels and a much better chance of access [to third parties]," Professor Fels said, adding that the ACCC had not yet been asked to rule on digital access.

Seven shares jumped 12.7¢ to $7.93 yesterday, continuing a strong run in anticipation of Friday's ruling.

Telstra stock fell 6¢ to $7.28, even though fund managers believe the decision "should increase the value of Telstra because the more content you put through it, the more subscribers you gain, the more valuable the network is".

Foxtel is believed to have only about 10 spare channels on its analog platform. Seven wants a handful to distribute its C7 sports service and other planned channels, but is yet to again formally request carriage following Friday's ruling.

Ethnic pay-TV group Television & Radio Broadcasting Services Australia is already engaged in arbitration with the ACCC and Telstra about commercial access rates and wants 19 channels, indicating that Seven could struggle to gain carriage.


It's all aboard for digital express

From http://www.smh.com.au/

By TOM BURTON

The earth moved last Friday.

The decision by the full Federal Court to give Kerry Stoke's Seven Network access to the Foxtel pay television platform dramatically changes the rules for analog pay TV.

But the judgment has far wider implications for the whole digital industry after the court ruled that access means not just access to the cable but also to the transmission and reception gear at either end.

Giving all operators access to communications infrastructure is a key principle of the telecommunications regime and what the Federal Court decision has conclusively determined is that access means the full technological infrastructure necessary to deliver a service.

Analog pay television is a comparatively simple technology in terms of the associated transmission and reception equipment needed.

If the courts find that access means the complete end-to-end service has to be opened up for analog pay TV, then it is even more likely they will find the same for more complicated digital services - where the associated servers and consumer equipment are even more integral to the delivery of the service.

This will have a huge impact on the whole digital industry and, in particular, any one wanting to build a digital business based on exclusivity

Which means almost everyone, ranging from telephone companies trying to lock users into their WAP mobile phone service, trunk radio operators giving only certain taxicab companies access to their service, and a gamut of would-be digital television operators looking to offer interactive television and other broadband type applications to their exclusive subscriber base.

Almost all the business models which underpin these services assume much of the infrastructure cost is recuperated from subscribers paying a premium to get access to the exclusive service.

This is certainly the case for the Foxtel board, which today is considering its whole digital roll-out plan, a plan which assumed Foxtel would be able to fund its digital conversion by capturing all the subscriber revenues which are associated with the service.

Foxtel and Optus already have a significant investment in digital boxes - all the subscriber equipment is digitalised - and a decision to go fully digital would have opened up the system not only for significantly more channels but also for interactive television services such as pay-per-view, interactive advertising and electronic commerce.

Given the farce surrounding the Government's terrestrial digital TV policy the digitalisation of the pay TV system was perhaps the best chance to get some serious go-forward in high-speed digital infrastructure. The decision will mean all the numbers which underpin the conversion to digital will have to be reworked. For both Foxtel and Optus this means the whole negotiations over the future of their businesses - and in Foxtel's case its shareholder structure - will also need to reassessed.

The big winners from the Federal Court decision are the start-ups and those established players which don't yet enjoy access to high-speed digital platforms. Most obvious are Seven itself, the Ten Network, the ABC and John Fairfax, publisher of this product.

None have any equity in a current network platform and now have the opportunity to distribute their services on the emerging digital systems. For a company like Fairfax, this dramatically affects its digital strategy. Whereas it faced a pay-out of between $250 million to $1 billion for a piece of datacasting spectrum to supply high-speed interactive and television services, it can now plan to deliver these services through other carriers' infrastructure at the marginal cost of delivery.

Ditto for Seven, Ten, the ABC and any other start-up which wants to access other wise proprietary hardware and associated infrastructure.

The interest from here will be whether Telstra and Optus and their partners - who dominate the high-speed carriage game - play ball. Unless there is a sudden change of heart, you'd have to expect delay, obfuscation and litigation are more likely.

The ACCC is the key player and it can use its considerable clout to force the pace of opening up the system. But as Seven's Stokes has found, there are a lot of hurdles to getting access. Winning the judicial fight is only the first step and getting appropriate access to the infrastructure which drives more sophisticated high-speed broadband services is not going to be a straight forward issue.

But still, Friday's full court decision means the digital lock-out days are now over.

New Internet Television Network

For those of us who get homesick while abroad, this could be the website to take those blues away. UnoDosTres.com, the first Internet Television Network, has arrived to bring that little bit of home to your doorstep.

"It's as simple as one, two, three", says Company Chairman and CEO Carlos Barba, "wherever you are in the world you can log on to the website and watch your local television. We are taking people back home."

Established more than a year ago, UnoDosTres.com serves the English, Spanish and Portuguese-speaking communities worldwide. Recently the company forged partnerships with broadcasters throughout the United States and Latin America, including an alliance with Globecast North America, to create its Internet Television Network.

"It's as simple as one, two, three. Wherever you are in the world you can log on to the website and watch your local television. We are taking people back home."
Carlos Barba has been in television and broadcasting for 30 years. His latest idea will, he believes, create a new kind of relationship between broadcaster and consumer.

"I could see that the internet was going to be the natural evolution of media", he said. "Billboards, print, radio, television, cable, direct television satellite have all given way to the internet. Now it is the most important way to get one-to-one with your consumer.".

The idea is for people all over the world to use UnoDosTres.com as their gateway home. For $5.95 per day, they can log on to the website and watch their local television station for as long as they want, whenever they want. They will also be able to communicate directly with the television station and voice their opinions on the things they see.

According to Carlos, the response from hispanics living in New York is enthusiastic. "The consumers are delighted. They are thrilled to have the opportunity to be interactive, to ask questions, to be in contact with home and to have their voice heard. This is television in a new way - this television is the consumer's television.", he said.

"I could see that the internet was going to be the natural evolution of media... now it is the most important way to get one to one with your consumer."

UnoDosTres.com has so far secured contractual agreements with 18 Latin American broadcasters and two from the Caribbean, for a period of five years. Each broadcasting partner gets 50 percent ownership of UnoDosTres.com in their country, 50 percent of the revenue from the Internet Television Network and 50 percent of the revenue from any sales in their country from the website's e-commerce.

In return the partner is required to provide broadcast content, of which they will own 50 percent, and to show an 'infomercial' for UnoDosTres.com once a week. The latter boosts local advertising sales on the website and e-commerce business, to date the company's largest source of revenue. What is unique is that there is no cash investment involved on either side - they are simply investing in kind.

Partners include Gamavision in Ecuador, TV Montecarlo in Uruguay, Puma Television in Venezuela, Televisiete in Guatemala, ATV Peru and Channel 22, Los Angeles.


Carlos considers UnoDosTres.com a traditional broadcasting network rather than just an internet site. On average, consumers spend 12-28 minutes on one website and he is determined, with good broadcast content, to increase his selling power by capturing the consumer for much longer.

"Germany, Sweden, France, Spain, Italy, Africa, any broadcaster who wants to be part of the idea - let's talk!"
Carlos is convinced he is sitting on a pot of gold. As Latin America begins to embrace technology, this is a great opportunity to seize on the region's $400 billion media market's buying power and to target the large population of hispanics living in the United States, who still have family and friends back home.

But Carlos will not stop at the Americas. He wants to go global. "Germany, Sweden, France, Spain, Italy, Africa - any broadcaster who wants to be a part of this idea, without cash investment, then let's talk!" he says.

You can visit the website at www.unodostres.com

21/8/00

Live chat in the chatroom 8.30pm Sydney time, also I will be in there from 9.30pm NZ. I hope people enjoyed the cricket yesterday. I emailed Ekushey tv to findout if they have a website and where can I find their tv guide. The next game in the series will be on Friday its either South Africa vs Pakistan or South Africa vs NZ I can't remember should be good anyway!

From the Dish

PAS 8 166E Phoenix Chinese has left 12606 H , is only on 12526 H.

Optus B1 160E: Herbalife Broadcast Network has left 12451 H (PAL) and 12739 V (PAL), moved to Optus B3.

Optus B3 156E Herbalife Broadcast Network has started on 12336 V

Palapa C2 113E RCTI is still on 3473 H, MPG, SR 8000, FEC 3/4.

Panamsat 4 68.5E 3716 H " Test Card" Dig sr 19850 fec 3/4 vpid 1560 apid 1520 pcr 1560

Asiasat 3 105.5E 4116 H "Test Card"Dig sr 19850 fec 3/4 vpid 1560 apid 1520 pcr 1560

Panamsat 2 169E 3716 V " TEST Card" sr 19850 fec 3/4 vpid 1560 apid 1520 pcr 1560

Those last 3 look interesting same settings? same organisation useing them I expect, Games feeds?

NEWS

Seven demands access to Telstra cable

By Luke Collins

from www.afr.com.au

Mr Kerry Stokes' Seven Network is pressing for immediate access to Telstra's $3.5 billion cable network after Friday's crucial court ruling, saying it plans to create a suite of pay television channels drawing on its extensive programming library.

While Foxtel's chief executive, Mr Jim Blomfield, warned yesterday the access issue "has a long way to go yet", Seven also indicated it would call on the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission should Foxtel refuse to carry Seven's only existing pay-TV channel, sports service C7.

Questions about the real impact of Friday's ruling began to circulate almost as soon as the Full Bench of the Federal Court handed down its decision requiring Telstra to grant outside parties access to its cable network for analog pay-TV purposes.

While the ruling grants companies such as Seven the right to use the network and gain access to set-top boxes, Foxtel is under no obligation to incorporate channels into its programming package. That means Seven would still have to operate as an independent pay-TV company unless it can cut a deal with Foxtel.

"There's a lot of detail to be worked out," Mr Blomfield told The Australian Financial Review yesterday. "They don't have access to our branding, they don't get access to the Foxtel marketing. I think it would be pretty tough."

A Seven spokesman said yesterday the company believed "the ACCC will take an interest in" Foxtel's position, adding it "would be in Foxtel's interest" to take Seven's channels.

"We've always said that the sports channels are the starting point of a greater involvement in subscription television and we will certainly be pursuing a strategy of multiple pay-TV channels," the spokesman said, referring to its library of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer product and its corporate relationship with United Kingdom production house Granada Media. Seven is expected as early as today to again request carriage for C7 on Foxtel. However, Foxtel is believed to have only about 10 spare analog channels and ethnic pay-TV group Mr Mike Boulos' Television & Radio Broadcasting Services Australia has already applied to use 19.

TARBS is also understood to be involved in arbitration talks with Foxtel and the ACCC in an effort to determine a reasonable commercial rate for carriage of its services.

Insiders are also closely watching the Australian Football League's reaction to Friday's ruling as it attempts to strike 10-year broadcasting rights deals. There are suggestions the AFL could now sell the free-to-air rights before the September 2 grand final and leave decisions on both the pay-TV and internet rights until later.

Seven has bid for the AFL's free-to-air, pay-TV and internet rights while Foxtel is seeking only the pay-TV rights and has promised to pass on any subsequent channels to both Optus Television and Austar Entertainment.


Plot thickens in pay TV wheel of fortune

GEOFF ELLIOTT, ICE Pick

From www.australianit.com.au

AUSTRALIA'S pay TV industry just got more complicated. Kerry Stokes' win in the Federal Court on Friday to ensure his Seven Network can access Telstra's cable network has caused a big splash. Now for the ripples.

What is John Porter at Austar thinking, for example? The American chief executive of the regional pay TV company has been in talks to buy at least part of Cable & Wireless Optus's city-based cable network to extend Austar's pay TV business out of the regions.
But if he can now win access to Telstra's cable and run out a competing pay TV service to Foxtel, why would he bother?

And, having done a fair amount of due diligence on the C&W Optus pay TV business, he'd be sure to pick up a few strategic salvos to compete with C&W Optus without having to fork out $1 billion, or more in cash or kind, to buy a stake in it.

Some industry watchers have used this scenario to paint a bearish picture for C&W Optus's chance of locking in a good price in the part sale of its cable network.

The Federal Court decision was a bad one for C&W Optus, they say. But not so fast. In the words of one Austar insider: "Well, I'd rather own the network than have to negotiate an access price."

And there's the rub. Winning a decent commercial arrangement on access to Telstra's cable, or on any of its services for that matter, is the thing that causes every budding telco executive in the country a big headache.

So, the talks with C&W Optus were still on, sources told Icepick.

And, more than that, the scuttlebutt is that UK-based NTL, which is building an east-coast fibre-optic network for basic telecommunications and internet services, could join the C&W Optus pay TV fray, too.

It's probably no coincidence that Adrian Chamberlain, who is overseeing the restructure of C&W Optus's cable business, was instrumental in selling to NTL the cable business of Optus's parent company, London-based Cable & Wireless. Market rumour is the talks with NTL about the Optus cable are continuing.

Chamberlain transferred from London earlier this year. Many industry watchers see his role as a rerun of his success in London: oversee an upgrade and successful sale of the network.

Still, some reckon that Telstra could play dirty.

With the Federal Court opening access to Telstra's cable, its commercial interest surely dictates that it not delay for one minute.

Notwithstanding its 50 per cent interest in Foxtel, Telstra would presumably like to get a high-volume, low-cost rival pay TV service on its cable quickly to help defray the costs of the cable.

If it did, it could then make life difficult for C&W Optus in its attempt to sell down its interest in the network.

But, again, Austar sources played down the chances of this. They say there is simply not enough capacity on Telstra's system for now, although that would change once digital upgrades to the cable are carried out.

It's anyone's guess on how the complex relationships between the likes of Telstra, the media players in Kerry Packer, Kerry Stokes and Rupert Murdoch and the folk over at C&W Optus shape up after the Federal Court decision.

If anything is worth punting on, it's probably this: that Telstra's monopoly practices are a hard habit to break. It will want to charge high access fees to its cable and that will mean the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be busy arbitrating pricing decisions for new pay TV players wanting access. Ironically, that's seen as one of the reasons there's so much competition emerging in Australia's telecommunications sector anyway.

Telstra's monopoly pricing has left room for others to dive under it.

Telstra's history of over-wrought internal processes and committees, as well as high prices, means making a quick decision to outflank C&W Optus's cable negotiations is highly unlikely. Then there's the partners in Foxtel - Packer and Murdoch - to think about, too.

Telstra boss Ziggy Switkowski likens shifting Telstra's business strategy to trying to manoeuvre an aircraft carrier. Others use a different analogy: if Telstra's executives and engineers were confronted with crossing a swollen creek, internal planning committees would draw up plans for another Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Korea's Arirang TV to Begin Broadcast to the Americas

from www.satnewsasia.com


/Satnews Asia/ -- Arirang TV, Korea?s best entertainment and information channel has began test broadcast to the Americas last August 11 in preparation of its 24 hour digital broadcasting service beginning on September 25th (EST). Using PanAmSat 9 as its distribution vehicle to the Americas, Arirang TV will be transmitted throughout the Americas including USA, Canada, the Caribbean, Central and South American countries.

During the trial broadcast, Arirang TV will air 10 and a half hour of programming which will be divided by three runs. The first block will start at 9:00 in the morning, the second at 2:00 pm, and the third at 7:30 pm. (EST) Arirang TV programming will be aired in English or Korean along with Spanish subtitles for the convenience of viewers with latin heritage. As the first Asian channel to provide Spanish in South America, Arirang TV will bring exotic tastes of Asia to the viewers in that region. In particular, Arirang TV?s entertainment programs ranging from dramas, movies, music, animation to sports will give unique enjoyment of TV viewing.

Programming: Entertainment & Information

Dramas, Movies, Music, Sports, Cartoons will make up the entertainment portion of the programming while general news, fashion, and tourism-related information will comprise the other half. The ratio will be 50 percent entertainment, 30 percent culture, and 20 percent news. The higher percentage given to entertainment reflects the growing interest shown by foreiners for Korean programs.

Language: English or Korean along with Spanish and English subtitles

Arirang TV's programs will be produced in English, but because of the large Spanish speaking community in the Americas, Spanish subtitles will be provided. For programs that are produced in Korean, both English and Spanish subtitles will be included to help viewer understanding. In addition, to help facilitate the understanding of program contents by the ever widening audience, Arirang TV will strive to expand its foreign language service in the future.

Arirang TV will examine its technical systems during the test air, while local cable operators investigate whether or not Arirang TV meets the needs of their subscribers.

Apart from the Americas, Arirang TV will also extend the coverage of its Asia-Pacific channel to Europe and Northest Africa via Hotbird from August 27th.

Headquartered in Seoul, Arirang TV brings Korea?s best entertainment and information programs to viewers beyond the peninsula. Since its launch of international satellite broadcasting on August 12, 1999 to the Asia-Pacific region via AsiaSat 3S, Arirang TV has gained much popularity with the access of 15 million households in just a year. As of the end of July, 7 million viewers from India alone have access to Arirang TV as well, the only Northeast Asian channel in India.

Arirang TV is temporarily using PAS5 until the official launch in the late September when it will switch to PAS9, which is currently still under test operation.

Driven by the success in Asia, Arirang TV will launch a new channel for the American audience, and extend the Asia-Pacific channel to Europe and Northeast Africa on this coming September 25th EST.

World1: A channel for the Asia-Pacific, Europe and Northest Africa

The Korea International Broadcasting Foundation, which owns and operates Arirang TV, also has a domestic cable channel ?Arirang TV Korea.?

CyberWorks Identifies 3 Growth Sectors, New Management Team

From www.satnewsasia.com

/Satnews Asia/ -- Richard Li, Pacific Century CyberWorks (PCCW) chairman and chief executive, has identified three key sectors for the company following its successful US$28 billion acquisition of Cable & Wireless HKT. The new company will operate eight business units within three operating sectors: telecommunications services, global communications services and Net enterprises, which Li described as "sustained, high and explosive growth" respectively.

The eight business units and their descriptions are:

Telecommunications Services

95 percent Broadband availability in HK via fibre and XDSL

2.1 million residence and 1.5 million business lines in HK

Strong earnings and revenues

Foundation for developing Broadband infrastructure across Asia-Pacific

Connectivity Services

Providing global Broadband connectivity

Broadband fibre optic and satellite network

One of Asia's largest IP Backbones >1,200 Mbps

Mobility Services

Wireless platform for access to NOW services

Wireless demand outstrips fixed line in Asia

Quality assets in Hong Kong that provide leverage for regional expansionity assets in Hong Kong that provide leverage for regional expansion

Nearly 1 million customers

Data Centres/Web Hosting Services

Over 300,000 square feet of Hong Kong operations facilities

Leading Asian-global partnerships and strong positioning

Strong position to capture applications and high demand for connectivity throughout Asia and beyond

Broadband Business To Consumer Services

World's largest producer of converged broadband content (NOW TV-web service)

Entertainment, e-commerce and communications content

Multiple revenue streams and co-branding opportunities

Rapidly growing broadband base in Hong Kong

Business to Business Services

One-stop-shop for e-business capability

eLogistics, eProcurement, eMarketplace, call center, ASP, IT

Strong (Fortune 500) customer base in Hong Kong

CyberWorks Ventures

US$780 million in strategic investments

Equity stakes in more than 50 Internet-related companies

Infrastructure Services

Synergies with all business units

Cash flows from flagship investment properties

Revenues from Cyberport in Hong Kong

Revenues from Pacific Century Place in Beijing

Cyberworks will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange on August 22. It will pay shareholders US$11.32 billion in cash and issue an additional 8.67 billion shares in the merged company, which is equivalent to about US$17 billion at current market prices. In February, Li, 33, valued the deal as high as US$38 billion. "We see a world of telecoms opportunities right here in Asia," said CyberWorks deputy chairman Linus Cheung, ex-HKT chief executive. "Our new company is already Hong Kong's leading provider of local and international services and Internet access, the second-largest operator of mobility services and a major player in broadband services as well. We will continue to build on this strong foundation."

For telecommunications services, CyberWorks said it intends to expand within Hong Kong and beyond by "building on the US$4.7 billion invested in network infrastructure in the last 10 years to accelerate the DSL and broadband migration of our customer base". CyberWorks said that its telecoms services comprises fixed line operations and represents the "engine room" providing cash for the other two growth sectors.

"Funds are generated from 3.7 million business and residential phone lines, and 77,000 broadband residential and business customers," CyberWorks said. The company added that it would expand this sector into Greater China, after Hong Kong, without providing a timeframe.

Global communications services consists of connectivity and mobility services. The company said that it hopes to leverage on its Telstra Corp joint ventures to develop a global distribution network that will involve the upgrade and rollout of additional cable and other infrastructure to meet future demand for carriage of voice, data and Internet services. "Mobility services will operate as an Asia Pacific provider of wireless voice and data network services," CyberWorks said.

In April, Melbourne-based Telstra said it would invest US$3 billion in CyberWorks, its first major investment in Asia, as part of a plan to expand its Internet, data and wireless businesses in the region. Three months later, Telstra said it was planning a US$1.5 billion global bond sale in mid-to-late October to help fund its proposed investment in CyberWorks.

CyberWorks' Net enterprises will include its broadband, B2C service or Network of the World (NOW); B2B and data centers plus Web hosting services, and CyberWorks Ventures.

CyberWorks new executive committee and management listed below:

Richard Li, 33
? CyberWorks chairman and chief executive
? Pacific Century Group chief executive
? Pacific Century Regional Developments Ltd. (PCRD) chairman
? Executive committee chairman

Alexander Arena, 49
? Executive committee deputy chairman
? PCRD director

Linus Cheung Wing Lam, 51
? CyberWorks deputy chairman
? Executive committee member
? Formerly HKT chief executive and Cable & Wireless plc executive director

David Prince, 49
? group chief financial officer
? Executive committee member

Peter To, 52
? CyberWorks deputy chairman
? PCRD managing director and CEO

Francis Yuen, 47
? CyberWorks deputy chairman
? Pacific Century Group deputy chairman
? Pacific Century Insurance Holdings Ltd chairman
? PCRD deputy chairman
? Executive committee member

Norman Yuen Kee Tong, 51
? CyberWorks deputy CEO
? Executive committee member
? Member, Business-to-Consumers executive committee

Richard Li, prior to becoming CyberWorks chairman and chief executive, held two prominent positions under his father Li Ka-shing's business. Li resigned as the deputy chairman and executive director of Hutchison Whampoa and executive director of the city's power utilities, Hong Kong Electric Holdings.

Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing controls Hong Kong's largest conglomerate, Hutchison Whampoa, and the power utilities, Hong Kong Electric Holdings.

A spokeswoman for PCCW said Richard Li made his intention to resign from Hutchison Whampoa known before the conclusion of PCCW's merger with Cable and Wireless HKT. "He wants to be free and to focus on PCCW," which has a staff of some 15,000, she said.

Li's path to success began in 1991, when aged just 24 he set up the satellite television Star TV network with his father's backing. The network was sold three years later to media baron Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, which retains control of the broadcaster today.

Li's father, dubbed "superman" by the local press, chairs the diverse Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd. and Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., with interests including property, utilities, container port operation, supermarkets, a retail electronics chain and gasoline stations.

Bachelor Richard, Li Ka-shing's second son after Victor, has been tagged by the press here as "little superman."

After a stint at Star TV, Richard went into the emerging opportunities of the cyber world, setting up the Pacific Century Group to engage in developing digital media, financial services and infrastructure.

Its Pacific Century Diversified Ltd. unit and Intel Pacific Inc. last year agreed to exchange their stakes in Pacific Convergence Corp. Ltd. for stakes in Tricom Holdings Ltd., renamed Pacific Century CyberWorks Ltd. The firm was established to provide high-speed Internet services, delivered via satellite to ground distributors.

Its first big deal was the CyberPort project in partnership with the government to build a high-tech hub in Hong Kong, but the 1.6 billion US dollar undertaking triggered a storm of protest as it was awarded without competitive bidding. Nevertheless, the project sparked a torrent of dot.com startups in Hong Kong at a time when the city was struggling through its worst recession stemming from the Asian financial crisis. Since then, Richard Li's deal-making has caught investors' attention.

NOW goes to i-CABLE

The identification of the three growth sectors comes after the announcement that PCCW Internet and digital TV content service, Network of the World (NOW) will be available on i-CABLE's Hong Kong Cable television service, a new dedicated channel (Channel 28) on August 28. The arrangement comes under a carriage agreement, with an initial period of three months. The two companies plan to continue to work on a longer term relationship with possible cooperation in other areas.

The Hong Kong Cable channel is the second television network in Hong Kong that distributes NOW. The first is iTV, an interactive television network under Cable & Wireless HKT (CWHKT), the telecom company to be merged with PCCW.

PCCW Pays $250M For Second Acquisition in Japan

PCCW also recently announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Japanese entertainment producer, Jaleco for $250 million. Upon completion of the transaction, PCCW is expected to hold about 80.72 percent of the enlarged capital of Jaleco, through its subsidiary CyberWorks International. The company will be renamed Pacific Century CyberWorks Japan.

The transaction is expected to be completed in three different stages, a tender offer and two third party allotments. The first stage is expected to be satisfied through a tender offering of a total of 6.11 million shares at a price of 379JPY (US$3.49).

The tender offer price was calculated by adding a 15.5 percent premium to the lowest price of Jaleco's share in the past four months. The tender offer is expected to be completed during the period August 11 to August 30.

The second stage is expected to take place on September 6, when Jaleco will issue 23.12 million new shares at an issue price of 328JPY (US$3.02). Among all the issued shares, 14.79 million shares, representing 36.97 percent of the enlarged issued capital will be subscribed by PCCW.

The other 8.33 million shares (20.82 percent) in the second stage will be subscribed by three other Japanese companies. They include an advertising agency, Dentsu, a Japanese financial services company, Orix and an entertainment ticketing service and lifestyle publisher, PIA.

In the final stage, Jaleco will issue 60.71 million new shares, representing 60.05 percent of the enlarged capital, at an issue price of 328JPY (US$3.02). This stage is scheduled to be held on November 6. According to Yoshifumi Mori, senior managing director of Jaleco, the company reported a debt of 1 billion JPY, despite a net profit of 150 billion JPY in the year ended March 31.

Mori admitted that the company is in debt, but he expected the injection from PCCW could help redeem the debt by this year. The reasoning behind the acquisition lies in Jaleco's involvement in videogame software production, which is expected to benefit the company's development of its TV-broadband content service, Network Of the World (NOW). Other business units of PCCW Japan include the export of Japanese content, like comics and drama through translations and to offer data center and ASP services.

Todd Bonner, executive director of PCCW and chief executive officer of PCCW Japan, admitted that the Japanese broadband service market is not mature in the distribution of content. "To acquire content, one needs a distribution platform." He said the company's involvement of building the broadband infrastructure is expected to provide opportunities for the new company to develop in the immature market.

"The broadband community is about to explode in Japan," said Bonner. The company expected the NOW Japan service would be available by mid 2001 and a Chinese version of NOW later this year.

20/8/00

FEED ALERTS

Live cricket NZ vs Pakistan Singapore Trophy tournament live on EKushey TV on Asiasat 3!!!!!

D.Holbrook

20/8/00

D.H reports

Brisbane/Parramatta NRL  game on Optus B1 12513 H Analogue

From the Dish

Intelsat I701 The Telefenua package has left.

Panamsat 8 166E 8 CNN Financial Network has encrypted. The Disney Channel Australia that was on 12726H has left.
CCTV 4 has returned to12686 H

Phoenix Chinese on 12,606 H is now in clear.

Optus B3 156E Transponder on 12407 V has been switched to a Australian & New Zealand beam.


Palapa C2 113E RCTI has gone from 3473H now only on the harder to receive 3755 V.

NEWS

Packer junior aims to create an entertainment conglomerate in India

from indiantelevision.com


James Packer, son of the Australian media baron Kerry Packer was in India this week. He spoke to The Economic Times about Channel Nine's (which is a JV between Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings and Himachal Futuristic Communication Ltd) plans for India.

Channel Nine's immediate activity in India is a joint venture with Doordarshan wherein it has bagged the contract for upgradation of production and technical standards for DD-Metro's morning and prime-time slots. It also has the production rights for DD for all international cricket matches played in India. In addition to the two hours of the prime time slot, Nine Broadcasting has bid for another two hours of prime time on the Metro channel. This is in keeping with Nine Broadcasting's strategy to create a platform for itself within Doordarshan.

Kerry Packer's Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd (PBL) is helping DD to increase Metro channels network from 75 transmitters to 125 transmitters by the year end. This move is expected to take DD-Metro's reach from 180m to around 350m when the project is completed.


BBC World, the preferred choice among decision makers

from Indiantelevision.com


BBC World, the international news and information channel form the BBC stable, is the most watched channel amongst the cream of Indian business decision makers. This was the finding of a recent survey conducted by premier research agency ORG-Marg.

The research was carried on with a sample size of 1030 respondents. The respondents were senior executives designated as general managers and above across the top 500 private sector companies registered in India, the largest 100 public sector companies and the leading 100 financial sector companies.

73 per cent of those surveyed said that they had watched BBC World during the previous week - more than any other channel. The survey also revealed that 84 per cent of the respondents watched BBC World in the previous month. Popular entertainment channels like Zee, Sony, Star and DD all failed to attract viewership of more than 50 per cent of the respondents.


19/8/00

Not much at all to report today other than Mediasat should be really busy tommorow so watch out for those feeds.

Report on Thaicom 3 Mega channel.

A few days ago I noticed that the 'Channel Data Table' which allows the full bouquet to load into any F.T.A. box was taken away from the data stream. Result being, if you try to load or re-load the Mega channel you will not do so, unless you force the receiver, by entering the video, audio, and pcr pids. (V513 A641 P513)
Thought you may like to put this on your page as it might save someone a headache through frustration!
Kind regards, Tony Drexel. FTASS S.A.

Article

Crazy about the cable in Pakistan!

ISLAMABAD (August 19) : The cable fever has engulfed Pakistan and nobody is complaining except those in the business of selling satellite dishes.
With the legalisation of cable TV operators in the country, the prices of dish antennas and its allied equipment have nose-dived to half of the original prices.
The military government with its liberal agenda has been generous in allowing private sector to provide cable service and start TV and radio stations. This has resulted in a proliferation of cable operators in the country.
Every locality has cable service providers competing for eyeballs by offering more channels at lesser rates.
.With dirt-cheap monthly rent of $5 compared to $160 tag of a satellite receiver plus the mesh antenna, not many are giving the idea of installing cable TV a second thought.
"It is so much convenient to have cable service. You don't have to make room for the antenna on the rooftop or your front lawn or rotate it to catch new channels every time you get sick of Cyrus making a goat out of people," says Maria Khanum, a college graduate.
Shahab Afroze, a teenage couch potato, says "you get a far better deal with cable TV. There's a host of channels to choose from, all rolled up in a single package."
Asima Ayyaz, a housewife, says with cable TV, you don't have to worry about your favourite channels going off the air every time someone decides to encrypt them. Who can afford a decoder for every second channel going blank."
.For Ghulam Hussain, an Islamabad based journalist, the answer is simple: "I get all my news channels, PTV, BBC, CNN, ZTV. you name it. My children have access to informative and education channels like BBC, Discovery, The National Geographic.... all for Rs 200 ($5) a month. What else can you wish for?"
.But not everybody is wild about the wire. To Gul Faraz, a staunch supporter of the largest religious party in Pakistan, cable is a four-letter word.
."Don't we have enough obscenity in the society without the cable TV adding to it! I weep for the future of our younger generation. They are exposed to Western culture and forgetting all about the teaching of Islam."
.With the scales tipped heavily in favour of cable TV, what choice do dishwallas have?
."I am thinking of shifting to the cable TV business as soon as I get this sold," says Muhammad Akram, a satellite dish dealer, pointing to a stack of imported and Pakistani satellite receivers and a lone mash dish in his shop in the busy Raja Bazaar in Rawalpindi..Under a cabinet decision, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) recently started issuing licences to interested cable TV operators for a $1,000 licence fee. The annual renewal fee has been fixed at $500.
.The price of a dish receiver has fallen from $90 to $40. Prices of allied equipment like the LNBs, polarisers and mesh have also dropped drastically.
."There is virtually no demand for the satellite dish anymore," says a dejected Muhammad Masood, a dish dealer with a shop on College Road, Rawalpindi.
..Along with the $5 monthly fee, a cable TV subscriber has to pay $30 for installation that is still far less than the price of a dish satellite receiver.
.."We are doing legal business and not afraid of anyone. We have a government licence to prove it," says Shoaib Ahmed, a cable TV operator in Bhabra Bazaar.
.He says initially they provide 16 to 18 channels including BBC, CNN, Zee TV, Sony, Star and others besides all PTV channels, which is mandatory under PTV regulations.-Internews

18/8/00

Ihug is now offering "Ultra Satellite service to Australia http://www.ihug.com.au

Dealers interested in doing installs (60cm dish, and PC card) contact gareth@ihug.com.au or ben.foote@staff.ihug.com.au . The new edition of Scat India satellite and cable magazine is out. Check it out mention of plenty of new channels to come via Insat,Pas 4, Thaicom3 and Asiasat 3.

from the dish

76.5°E "Apstar-2R" 3772 H sr 6110 fec 3/4 "SKY CITI LINK"? Reports wanted on this one please

088° E "ST-1" Global TV on 3,632 V is now encrypted.

113°E "Palapa C2", Global TV on 4,000 H and 11,130 V is now encrypted.

128°E "Jcsat 3", CTV, TTV and CTS on 3,960 V have encrypted.

177°E "Intelsat-702" 11463H SR 4443 fec=3/4 ??

108°E "Telkom1" 3506H? 3495H? SR 4339 fec=3/4 NT and asia only ??

Possible feeds this weekend.

Saturday 19th Aug

8.am Syd PGA Golf

??? Syd Cricket 2nd ODI Aus vs SAF

7.30pm Syd NRL Playoffs, (Live Sky NZ maybe mediasat)

Sunday 20th Aug

4.am Syd Golf Pga

9.50a.m Syd Cricket Aus vs Saf 3rd ODI

1 pm Syd V8 Supercars from Melbourne B1/B3 analog maybe

2.30pm Syd NRL playoffs (Live sky nz ) media sat maybe

9.55pm World 500cc motorcycles (Check Pas 2 espns usual feeds channels)

2.pm Syd AFL

NEWS

Poor manufacturing controls killed Orion 3

(Orinon 3 was supposed to be located at 139E and provide high power beams over most of the pacific region)


The final Delta III failure investigation report confirms that the Orion 3
satellite was lost because of a a combustion chamber breach that occurred in
the second stage's RL10B-2 engine almost 22 minutes after lift-off. The
investigation found the most probable cause of the combustion chamber breach
was defective brazing as a result of poor manufacturing process controls.


According to the report, in addition a braze inspection method (X-ray) was
used that could not properly detect all voids or debonds. "Also, the inspection
results were not recognised as nonconforming because of improper translation of
braze coverage design requirements to the acceptance criteria used by quality
assurance procedures."
Despite the engine anomaly, vehicle sequencing continued through the
remainder of the mission, and the stage regained attitude control. Spacecraft
separation occurred as scheduled, placing the Orion-3 satellite in a 1,380 km
by 153 km orbit, short of the targeted 25,996 km by 185 km orbital requirement.
The report states that "The combustion chamber manufacturing and process
control deficiencies have been corrected, and Pratt & Whitney has been
producing excellent chambers for the Delta, Atlas/Centaur, and Titan/Centaur
programmes since October 1999. Ultrasonic inspection has been added as a
complement to X-ray to ensure detection of all voids and debonds. The design
requirements for braze coverage have been translated properly to the quality
assurance documents, and Pratt & Whitney added engineering reviews of all X-ray
and ultrasonic test results."

Alston steps in to settle set-top box controversy

By ANNE DAVIES
from www.smh.com.au

The Minister for Communications, Senator Alston, has intervened in the latest dispute over the implementation of digital television, ordering that Australia adopt the cheaper MPEG sound standard.

The move is designed to ensure that digital set-top box prices are kept in check.

The free-to-air networks had been backing the technically superior Dolby AC3 standard.

But the datacasters, which need consumers to buy a digital set-top box to access their services, wanted prices kept down.

They had been arguing in favour of MPEG, the sound standard used in Europe, because this would enable European set-top boxes to be used in Australia without costly modifications.

Senator Alston had already indicated his preference for the cheaper MPEG standard but this week said he would issue a ministerial direction to ensure it was adopted in Australia.

Equipment standards are usually set by Standards Australia in consultation with the industry. But over recent weeks the committee overseeing the set-top box standards has been racked by serious divisions.

A proposal to reconstitute the membership of the committee was seen by several members as a move to stack the committee in favour of the free-to-air networks.

Several companies, including Telstra and Cable&Wireless Optus, have complained to the head of Standards Australia about proposals to push them off the committee at a time when the set-top box issue was being settled. The Australian Consumers Association said the Dolby AC3 system could add as much as $100 to the price of a set-top box in Australia.


17/8/00

A quiet day not much happening!, a few things to watch out for Zed Zee Tv's Education channel should be popping up fta any day on Asiasat 3. Also B4u Entertainment on Pas 4 which will be a digital channel and fta for at least 1 month. Theres a lot of news on that infosat site I posted yesterday. I will update the site later if I find any new news.

16/8/00

Live chat tonight in the chatroom 8.30pm Sydney time onwards. Not much happening around the place today but I notice Infosats online satellite type magazine has been updated http://www.info-sat.com/

Cricket on today Australia vs South Africa, the first Indoor outdoor match! Sky NZ are screening it live so possibly theres a feed of it headed our way perhaps via mediasat. Email me straight away anyone who finds a fta feed of it.

Scat India which usually puts there newsy satellite magazine online on the 10th has not been updated yet I will keep checking and let you know when it is on.

From the Dish

D. Holbrook passed on the following message from his suppliers Recently we have been alerted to a problem with the Zee Bouquet on Asia sat 3.
Its unclear exactly what has been occurring but it appears Zee has been attempting to download what we believe is some kind of proprietary software to their set top box via its data stream.
The result has been corruption of some receivers memory, the effects of the corruption can cause many varied symptoms.
A few of the symptoms reported are as follows:
Garbled characters appearing in TP configuration table
Loss of satellite position, actuator moving by itself!
On screen graphics distorted
This effect is occurring with several brands of receivers
The solution to the problem is to re-initialize the receiver, and then reload all channels, limits, satellite positions etc.
Naturally the Zee bouquet should be avoided all together so please don't reload this bouquet at all.

D.Holbrook asks if there is anyone haveing trouble with the Hyundai 800CI on the Optus B3 H channels, reports to my email or in the chatroom tonight.

Mega Cosmos reported on Tarbs. I know at least one user of this site who wont like it if they encrypt on Thaicom !

Panamsat 8 166E TVBS Asia and TVBS Newsnet on 12686 H also CCTV 4 has left PIDs 1810/1820, replaced by a test card.

Lyngsat reports major updates and changes to Sky NZ on Optus B1 http://www.lyngsat.com/dig/skynz_chno.shtml

Optus B3 156E Zee Music has started on 12532V PIDs 2592/2593.

NEWS

Sky wants $80m to fund interactive push

from www.nzherald.co.nz

16.08.2000 - By GEOFF SENESCALL

Pay television operator Sky TV was approaching institutions last night in a bid to raise $80 million.

The company is looking to place about 20 million shares at 399c each, according to institutional sources.

Overnight it was contacting overseas institutions to take part in the issue after tapping local institutions late yesterday. It hopes to have the placement completed by this morning.

Sky's chief operating officer, John Fellet, declined to comment, but analysts said Sky was looking to raise the money to expand the interactive side of its business.

Sky was likely to go on the acquisition trail, buying up companies involved in that field, the analysts said.

Indeed, Sky's chief executive, Nate Smith, indicated with the release of its annual result on Monday that it intended to launch soon its interactive software Open TV - featuring interactive weather and games as well as e-mail services.

"Interactive game show and sporting events, home shopping, concert bookings and clothing purchases will all ultimately become part of Sky's interactive future," he said.

It planned in the middle of next year to introduce a new generation of set-top decoders that would have up to 20 hours of video storage capacity.

"This storage will mark a revolution in television viewing, allowing the customer to watch what he wants when he wants," Mr Smith said.

Up to three channels of pay-per-view movies would be launched in October.

Sky's share price closed steady yesterday at 420c.

This follows its reporting a bigger loss for the June year, with higher costs affecting the bottom line as the company continues its move to digital technology.

Sky announced a $29.97 million net loss. Investors, however, shrugged the loss off, saying it reflected the company's migration to new technology.

Sky's operating cash flow grew marginally, reaching $74.1 million compared with last year's $73.7 million.

15/8/00

Anyone else haveing trouble with Mega? reports needed state your receiver and settings.

page to be trimmed tommorow

From the dish

Mystery signal to check out, not sure which beam but LMI 75E 3459V SR 21840 fec 3/4

News

China, India DBS Market Poised for Growth

Satnews Asia/ -- A newly released study on DBS for the Asian market has predicted that 40 million people will subscribe to satellite-delivered consumer services by 2009. The study concluded that if Asia recovers well from its current financial crisis, satellite TV providers could amass at least US$7 billion from DBS.

In its latest "Asia 2000 DBS Data Book," The Carmel Group urged content providers to recognize the Asian direct broadcast satellite (DBS) market as underserved and young enough to yield long-term profits.

Jim Stroud, a Carmel Group analyst said: "Content providers are the significant group among the space industry that should follow this market, but everyone doing business within the space community stands to gain from Asia developments."

Stroud also said there is such a big potential in China and India, with a population of 1.2 billion and 0.98 million, respectively. "A vast majority of them are completely underserved by DBS and subscription television," Stroud said.

The Asia 2000 DBS Data Book is intended to be a unique resource tool for busy executives who are building DBS systems in Asia and around the world. The report focuses on Asia because it promises to be the foremost region for growth of DBS. In addition, Carmel estimates that Asia will be relatively slow in growing its cable services, in large measure because of the sheer cost and efforts necessary to create that wired infrastructure.

The Carmel Group's Asia 2000 DBS Data Book is written with a focus on countries and companies within the region. It is designed to be easy to move through and easy to find important data, such as contacts and addresses, the authors said.

Philippines' Mabuhay Satellite Makes Profits

/Satnews Asia/ -- Philippine Long Distance and Telephone Co. (PLDT) President and CEO Manuel Pangilinan announced today Mabuhay Philippines Satellite Corp (MPSC) will be completely in the black this year.

MPSC, a subsidiary of PLDT, the country's dominant carrier, turned in profits of four million pesos (US$89,400) during the first three months of the year, an amount which rose by 10 million pesos in April. The company leased out half of the satellite's 48 transponder space and is expected to sign a deal with several parties in the next few months as the demand for satellite services continue to grow.

The Philippines' first satellite, Mabuhay-Agila, was launched in Xichang, China in August 1997. It has 30 C-band transponders used for telecommunications, broadcast and Internet, and 24 DU-band transponders used for direct-to-home and satellite news gathering.

Pangilinan said certain groups were interested in injecting equity in Mabuhay but he did not elaborate. "We want to see new money coming in and enhance the profitability of Mabuhay. Satellite has become a very important medium in transmitting data traffic aside from voice and video so many companies are turning to satellite for the communications requirements."

On the other hand, MPSC president Gabriel Pimintel said the company has signed an agreement with its local and foreign creditors for the restricting of its more than 5.4 billion peso obligation.

Pimentel said the restructuring plan had begun. He explained the obligation of the company was divided into two chunks: the $55 million owed to local creditors and more than $80 million to the US Export Import (Exim) Bank. Pimentel added that the interest rate on the obligations was pegged at 3/4 over the Libor rates, with the repayment period stretched out until 2007. He also drafted a letter of credit guaranteeing the more that $80 million owed to the US EximBank.

Among MPSC's local creditors are Philippine National Bank (PNB), which has the biggest exposure to MPSC, Equitable/PCI Bank, BPI/Far East Bank, Metrobank and United Coconut Planters Bank.

MPSC is 61 percent owned by PLDT. Among its Philippine clients are GMA-7, PTV 4, PLDT, Bayan Telecommunications Inc., Destiny Cable, Piltel and Smart Communications, Inc.

India's Doordarshan to Go Digital

/Satnews Asia/ -- Indian state broadcaster Doordarshan Television is launching its digital terrestrial TV service this September. Initially expected to begin by end-year, the service will roll out in major cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai.

The broadcaster plans to extend the service to smaller cities in India by March 2001. BBC Worldwide, the BBC?s international arm, is working with BBC Resources to upgrade Doordarshan?s existing studio and transmission systems.

India adopted the DVB transmission standard since January 2000, after assessing DVB and ATSC test results from various parts of the world.

Doordarshan is mostly devoted to public service broadcasting and is currently one of the largest terrestrial networks in the world. The flagship of Doordarshan—DD-1— operates through a network of 1042 terrestrial transmitters of varying powers reaching over 88 per cent of the population. It has 65 additional transmiters giving terrestrial support to other channels.

Doordarshan uses a large number of transponders on the INSAT and other satellites to network its terrestrial transmitters and also to provide additional satellite channels. It has established program production facilities in 47 cities across the country. Doordarshan programs are watched in India by 403 million viewers in their homes. Last year, Doordarshan earned around Rs 6.10 billion through commercial advertisements.

Telecasters tune with data trial

By JANE SCHULZE

from theage.com.au

Tuesday 15 August 2000

Datacasting provides more than your usual television picture.

The first analogue datacasting trials have taken off on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, where early-morning and late-night viewers are getting news headlines, weather and other information with their usual viewing.

The regional TV network Telecasters Australia and the new media division of APN News Media, APN Digital, teamed to try out the service, launched last week and dubbed "faux datacasting".

APN Digital chief executive Richard Newsome said the new type of broadcasting was similar to what could be expected with datacasting on the digital spectrum. Media companies will be able to start digital datacasting next year when digital TV begins in January.

Mr Newsome said the technology reduced the size of the TV picture to a quarter of the actual screen, then the other text-based information was shown around the television picture.

"It gives people a taste for the types of content they will be able to get (with digital TV)," he said.

Unlike the digital version, the system does not require a set-top box as the information is transmitted on the usual analogue TV signal.

Although the system is not interactive, Mr Newsome said the companies had an e-mail address and 1800 phone number for people to comment on the service.

He said it had been "well received". "The feedback from the early-morning sessions have been very positive because kids that like to look at the cartoons haven't objected (to the smaller picture) and it gives the parents valuable information as they prepare for the day," he said.

Mr Newsome said Telecasters had had feedback from advertisers keen to be involved in the trial.

While Telecasters has provided the technology to enable the trial and the service to use its signal, APN has provided content from its local newspapers such as The Fraser Coast Chronicle.

The service also provides information such as horoscopes and celebrity birthdays.

Telecasters chief executive Garry Draffin said the text services, called InfoWatch, were being broadcast between 6 and 7am and after 11pm.

Mr Newsome said the trial would initially run for two months.

Southern Cross plans bandwidth tease
By Michael Sainsbury, iTnews

The long awaited high capacity Internet link to the US, the Southern Cross Cable Network, is expected to be available for service on November 15 this year.

But the network, which is understood to have cost around $1.5 billion, will only release its capacity in small increments with the first major upgrade expected in March 2001.

Southern Cross marketing manager Ross Peffer said that the demand for capacity on the network has outstripped all its forecasts and the cable may well be chock-a-block in as little as two years time. But is Southern Cross foxing in order to squeeze maximum dollars from its customers?

While Peffer talks about 120Gb per second, the company?s real capacity is apparently 440Gb per second. And by being careful in releasing capacity in staged tranches, Southern Cross will not flood the bandwidth-hungry Australian market with a glut of spare bandwidth - which would drive prices into the floor in the medium term.

The network will also be keeping a wary eye on Telstra?s new Australia/Japan cable network, which will open up as much as four times the Southern Cross capacity throughout Asia and the United States.

While Southern Cross has capacity commitments for around $1.1 billion dollars, it will need a lot more than this to recoup its costs and run the networks that have expensive overheads particularly when it comes to the maintenance of cable laying ships.

Southern Cross on Monday also said it was slicing 20 percent off its headline capacity prices - the second cut of around that size in the past year. Peffer said the cable outfit will hold its third and last buyers? meeting in Hawaii, titled ?Surfin? URL?, where it hopes to offload more bandwidth and nail down some more customer commitments.

In Hawaii, Peffer said the network will announce new volume discount packages. Entry point for volume discounts will be cut from the present $20 million entry point. While he would not reveal exact figures, he suggested entry point would move down from $20 million dollars (with the discount of five percent at that point presently) to be more attractive. He added that the current top level discount of $200 million - which received a 35 percent discount - would also be reformulated to be more attractive to its customers.

Southern Cross is an independent company owned by Telecom New Zealand (50 percent), Cable & Wireless Optus (40 percent) and MCI Worldcom (10 percent).

Peffer said while there are many different models with worldwide cable companies, Southern Cross? model is to sell to all its customers, including its shareholders, at set prices. He said there are no plans at present for any public listing of the company. But Telecom NZ has talked up the possibility of floating off its cable assets as part of an upcoming restructure to try and drive more value out of the cash-strapped NZ national carrier.


14/8/00

Live chat tonight in the chatroom, 8.30pm Sydney time onwards. I notice Zee Television website has had a redesign I don't know about anyone else but for me it takes forever to load. I am busy checking the links as the programs links probably need to be changed.

http://www.zeetelevision.com

Asiasat 3 page updated, Added Zee music (will add rest of details if this stay fta), Ekushey, Urdu TV, Sun TV China, P3 Link to Zee,

Asiasat 3 news supplied a few days ago was supplied by Andrew Rajcher (AXIOM COMPUSAT SERVICES)

From my Email

Michael from Melbourne reports "Problems still with Mega, picture breakups etc"

Bill R supplies the following screenshot

hi,
i have not yet purchased any dish to see it.i only
knew about this channel from word of mouth.this
channel is fta only for one hour daily and rest is
encoded.i want to spend my money only once on such
equipment which can enable me to see it permanently
for long time that is why i want to purchase decoder
so i can enjoy this channel irrespective of whether it
is free or pay.i have yet to buy so guide me on proper
equipment to see this channel or other adult channel
like spice,playboy legally
thanks
sanjay

The coverage map shows a very good beam over India from the St1 satellite dark blue meaning a signal level of 40dBW, I am not what size dish is required but 1.8M would be enough to allow for any signal interuption in heavy rain. Perhaps even a 1.5M will do you are best to find out from a local dealer.

Fta Adult channels on there at the moment include HOT Channel and Rainbow Channel email Hot Channel :level@www.starwinged.com.tw email for Rainbow Channel is rtv@rtv.com.tw

Hotchannel and rainbow channel are also on the same satellite in an encrypted service called "Space TV" this is a service you should be able to subscribe to if the Hot channel and Rainbow channels encrypt.

Space TV Email address sales@spacetv.org

NEWS

SKY TV REPORTS $26.97 MILLION LOSS BUT SALES GROWTH STRONG
By: NZPA

Wellington, Aug 14 NZPA - Sky Network TV today posted a $26.97 million bottomline annual loss, on expectations and after accounting for an expensive push for more subscribers.
The result for the year to June 30 compares with a $4.38 million loss a year ago.

But sales figures showed growth was rampant, with sales revenue more than doubling to $204.81 million from $93.13 million.

Sky was relaxed about the loss, which it attributed to depreciation and interest costs incurred in the development of its digital network.

It said subscriber growth was strong, with 377,000 paying viewers by year end -- a gain of 31,000.

Total operating revenue was $262.46 million, against $120.45 million.

Nate Smith, chief executive of the pay TV company, said revenue growth was partially offset by the New Zealand's dollar's weakness against the US dollar, hiking up the cost of foreign programme purchases.

The weaker dollar combined with the one-off costs of acquiring the right to air international cricket saw Sky's operating cashflow virtually flat at $74.1 million against $73.7 million.

Sky expected the short-term impact, Mr Smith said.

``...This year's record level of subscriptions combined with one of the lowest rates of disconnects in Sky's history puts Sky in a very favourable financial position to continue growing its operating cash flow.''

Sky's share price was unmoved by the results, remaining at its $4.20 open mid-morning, up 3 cents on Friday's close.

Analysts had picked Sky to post a loss of between $33 million and $25 million.

Operating loss before tax was $27.07 million against $4.37 million previously, with tax deducting $39 million. Income from minority interests bolstered the bottomline by $138 million.

Mr Smith cited several new initiatives this year that would drive subscriptions and pay off in the long run.

These included introducing pay per view movies and events, the acquisition of the Kingz soccer team, entry into the music business through a venture with American company AEI Music Network and refurbishing the Sky web site.

Sky, 49.6 percent-owned by media group Independent Newspapers Ltd (INL), took an 80 percent shareholding in Auckland-based football team Kingz earlier this year.

In internet moves, Mr Smith said Sky was now providing real time statistics during rugby and rugby league matches through its website and had an entire digital channel devoted to a ``chatzone'' operating during international rugby matches.

``These projects provide a hint of the power that comes from combining interactivity with broadcast television,'' he said.

INL's shares were static in early trading at $4.30.

Sky planned to introduce new interactive internet software called Open TV shortly, which would open the way for concert bookings, home shopping and interactive game shows to be run through TV sets.

Sky would also introduce new set-top decoders mid-way through 2001 that would include up to 20 hours of video storage capacity, Mr Smith said.

``This storage capacity will mark a revolution in television viewing, allowing the customer to watch what he wants when he wants.''

INL, due to report its own profit on Friday, is required to absorb just under half of Sky's loss.

Analysts, taking Sky's anticipated loss into account, see INL posting a net profit of $37.9 million, up on last year's 30 million but still down on its $50 million two years ago.


Sky to offer e-mail
14 AUGUST 2000

from www.stuff.co.nz


Sky Television's digital subscribers will soon be able to read e-mails on their televisions, says chief executive Nate Smith, checking out one of the keyboards that customers may use to send and receive e-mail from their couch.

The e-mail offering, expected to debut within six months, will provide Sky customers with up to eight different e-mail addresses for each decoder or set-top box. Costing has yet to be decided.

Customers will be provided with username@sky.co.nz addresses. They will need an infra-red remote keyboard and Sky is talking to several keyboard suppliers, including Philips and Universal.

Sky is also talking to various Internet service providers about being the "back engine" for the Sky e-mail service, handling the maintenance of modems and so on.

Mr Smith expects the service to be most popular among the older generation who don't have a computer but would like to send and receive e-mail.

"I think a 16-year-old doesn't exactly want to be accessing his or her e-mail in front of their parents," Mr Smith says. "They'll do text-messaging on their cellphone long before they'll put e-mail on the TV."

Mr Smith says Sky will use the e-mail function to talk to its customers.

Sky installs an additional outlet with each digital installation it does, so Sky customers will not need another line installed to send and receive their e-mail.

New avtaar HBO for South Asia launched

From indiantelevision.com

Now here's a channel that will definitely give Star movies a run for its money. Come 1 September and Home Box Office or HBO as it is popularly known will air movies as a new entity in South Asia.

The new entity will have four of the worlds biggest studios with an equal stake in the venture. These studios banners include Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures.

With a library from all these banners available, the channel promises that there will be 52 new premiers throughout the year - one every week.

HBO was launched in India earlier this year on March 27. But then it had a very limited library because of a standoff between Turner and Sony Entertainment Television. The latter had insisted that it be given the distribution and ad sales contract for the channel in India. Otherwise, it would not part with its Columbia/Tristar library for the Indian HBO channel.

But then Sony decided that it would put an end to the quarreling and withdraw its distribution and marketing bid, thus allowing its library to be used for the India service. The other two participating companies also concurred thus lifting the obstacles for the launch of the mega-movie channel in the region.

According to channel officials, these changes would not result in a rise in the cable rate per subscriber, which currently is Rs 6. The channel will also introduce ad slots. HBO till now was an ad free movie channel.

The new channel will be a feast for the couch potatoes with an impressive line up of movies like Godzilla, The Mask of Zoro, Forest Gump, The Trueman Show and the likes.


13/8/00

Good news my brother showed up and we designed on paper a steel plate with bolts arrangement he will make up for the dish . I also built a cover over the hole in the meantime to stop it filling with water.

From my email

Bill. R reports

Arirang TV testing on Pas2 3793 Vert sr 4400 fec 3/4 Vpid 1160 Apid 1120
No video or audio information transmitted yet.
Regards
Bill

Also he reports

3926 Vert sr13091 fec 3/4 Vpid 2160 Apid 2120
"NAPSA2 for Adventist Church. Sunday Feed."

All the way from India Sanjay Soni writes

hi,
i live in india and we can receive hot channel on
ST1 satellite.for past few months it was free to air
digital but now it has become pay channel or it will
become soon.i want to buy a decoder and dish and
subsciption to see this channel.can u provide me any
information on where to buy decoder and dish from to
see hot channel

(Your in luck its gone FTA again! no idea where you subscribe to it from or if channels are available to subscribers in India.)

From the Dish

Mystery signals As3 105.5E 12474H sr 20000 fec 2/3 "direc pc internet???

Apstar 2R 76.5E 4011V sr 13330 fec 7/8 ?
Apstar 2R 76.5E 4025V sr 2978 fec 3/4

(reports needed of above)

Mixo66 reports Mega Channels haveing trouble loading. Any more reports on this ?

ST1 88e quite a few channels are fta here now includeing 2 Adult channels and several movies channels

KSB MPEG-2 SR 26667 3468V - FEC 1/2

KSB Movie 1 Vpid 1160 Apid 1120 K
KSB Movie 2 Vpid 260 Apid 1220 K
KSB Drama Vpid 1360 Apid 1320 K
ARS Games Vpid1460 Apid 1420 K

PowerCom Tech MPEG-2 SR 23437 3506H - 3/4
STV-MTV Vpid 770 Apid 771
Rainbow Channel Vpid 772 Apid 773
Hot Channel Vpid 774 Apid 775
TTV Vpid 776 Apid 777 C
CTV Vpid 778 Apid 779 C
FTV Vpid 780 Apid 781 C
CTS Vpid 782 Apid 783 C
Taiwan Entertainment TV Vpid 785 Apid 784 C
Mega Movie Vpid 786 Apid 787 C
Global TV Vpid 788 Apid 789 C
CASA Vpid 790

12/8/00

Sorry not a huge update my machines been taken over for the day.

From my Email

Bill.R has supplied some more high quality screenshots these will go up tonight when I get time.

From the Dish

Asiasat 3 105.5E 3700V "Nickelodeon India" has encrypted again, but Zee Music has appeared here FTA Vpid 169 Apid 116

Agila 2 146E 4080H sr 26700 fec 3/4 "5 channels from KSBN" this is the S.E Asia beam and requires a Large dish for Australian reception, try Analog GMA on 3787H NTSC to see if you get any signal from this bird.

Gorizont 25 seems to have replaced Gorizont 22 at 140 East

11/8/00

Friday and a reasonabley large update!, No success with the 2 new chatrooms I tryed neither of them giving me any admin control, will try another today which should solve all our problems as it will be actually hosted on this site it should be quicker.

Want to have a sneak preview of the sites new layout? www.apsattv.com/newlook.html as long as you relise I have not even fixed the links etc yet so don't complain they dont work its not optimised at all yet either

Keep looking for those stronger KU beams from Measat 2

From the Dish

Channel News Asia program guide HERE

Intelsat I701 180E 3772 R "Iaorana"?? sr 4566 fec 3/4 Reports needed on this one

Asiasat 3 105.5E "Nickelodeon India" back FTA on 3700V sr 27500 fec 3/4

Asiasat 3 105.5E "Now TV" has left 3,760 H, PIDs 1020/1021, replaced by a test card.

Possible Feeds this weekend

Saturday 12th August

6.30am Golf LPGA from Canada (Check Fox feeds on Pas 2)

11am Syd WNBA Basketball (Check ESPN feeds on Pas 2)

2pm Syd AFL

7.30pm Syd NRL Playoffs (Mediasat?)

Sunday 13th August

4.am Syd Tennis Masters (Check Espn feeds freqs on Pas 2)

6.am Syd Golf USPGA (I701?)

2pm Syd AFL (check usual locations)

2.30 Syd NRL Playoffs (Mediasat?)

News

This article supplied by Andrew Rajcher (AXIOM COMPUSAT SERVICES)

Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat) announced the
signing of a lease agreement with Sun Television Cybernetworks Holdings Ltd.
(Sun TV) for C-band capacity on AsiaSat 3S. Sun TV commences the official
launch of a free to air digital television channel today.


Sun TV, in alliance with The History Channel, a subsidiary of the
international
television media, A & E Television Networks and other partners, offers
serialised, historical and cultural programmes on the channel, targeting the
numerous cable systems across the Greater China region.


"We are very pleased to add this new thematic channel on AsiaSat 3S which is
the first of its kind on our satellite. AsiaSat 3S, now watched by millions of
TV homes in the Greater China region, offers our broadcast customers instant
access to this attractive market, as well as over 50 countries across AsiaSat
3S's footprint," said Peter Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of AsiaSat.


"We use AsiaSat 3S because of its unbeatable ground penetration in the region.
In addition to the instantaneous access to the Greater China market, we can
also reach the vast Chinese population covered by the satellite's extensive
footprint," said Lee Sil Hong, Senior Vice President of Sun TV.


"Our broadcast on AsiaSat 3S marks only the beginning of our vision to
create a
broadband multimedia platform to distribute our content," he added.


AsiaSat 3S, located at 105.5 degrees East, is broadcasting some of Asia?s most
popular television services such as Arirang TV, CCTV, CETV, Cartoon Network,
CNN International, Ekushey TV, Network of the World (NOW), Pakistan TV, SABe
TV, Sahara TV, STAR TV, TNT, Zee Network and UTN. In addition the satellite
also serves various VSAT networks for the aviation, banking and finance,
securities, oil and gas, and publishing industries.


AsiaSat 3S is a Hughes HS-601HP satellite, with 28 C-band and 16 Ku-band
linearised transponders and an estimated 16-year operational life. The C-band
footprint on AsiaSat 3S covers over 50 countries in Asia, the Middle East,
Australasia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. The Ku-band coverage
consists of two high powered fixed beams serving South Asia and East Asia, as
well as an in-orbit steerable beam.


Sun TV plans to establish an extensive database of historical and legendary
topics through self-production, acquisition or forming alliances with other
companies.


AsiaSat, Asia's leading satellite operator, serves over two-thirds of the
world's population with its fleet of satellites. The AsiaSat satellite system
provides services to both the broadcast and telecommunications industries.
Over
100 analogue and digital television channels and 90 radio channels are now
delivered by the company's satellites, reaching over 80 million households,
with more than 300 million viewers across the Asia Pacific region. Many
telecommunications customers also use AsiaSat for public telephone networks,
private VSAT networks and high speed Internet and multimedia services.


AsiaSat is a wholly owned subsidiary of Asia Satellite Telecommunications
Holdings Limited, a company listed on both the Hong Kong (SEHK: 1135) and New
York (NYSE: SAT) stock exchanges. AsiaSat?s two major shareholders are China
International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC) and Société Européenne
des Satellites (SES), the operator of Europe's premier ASTRA satellite
system.

TVNZ not in queue

TVNZ is not caught up in a European Union attack over restrictions on foreign tv access to the Olympic Park venue for the Sydney games. Head of sport Denis Harvey says TVNZ has paid "enough" for broadcast rights (NBC paid $A705 million) to get access to everywhere. The EU said this week it may complain to the World Trade Organisation. The problem is Reuters, APTN and other news agencies have found they are in a ballot for eight passes a day to the park so they can cover "news" events. Harvey figures it has been done to stop those who haven't stumped up the dosh for rights acting as a host broadcaster by sleight of hand.

TVNZ's presence has just been increased by a deal its subsidiary TVNZ Satellite Services has stitched up with the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) to provide eight different packages of live coverage, instead of the traditional one, to ABU members. Harvey says TVNZ will be providing all the commentary and switching, with Satellite Services providing the carriage via its Sydney satellite network uplink, to the ABU and Africa. Harvey also confirmed TVNZ has bought rights to the 18-29 October Paralympics and is not affected by a deal which has seen tv and internet rights go to WeMedia.com, a seven-month-old site which plans to push video coverage of the Australian games over the net.



RADIO NETWORK CEO KEEN TO BID FOR CANWEST'S NZ ASSETS

By: NZPA

Auckland, Aug 8 NZPA - New Zealand's largest radio company has indicated an interest in buying TV3, TV4 and its main radio rival if they are put up for sale by their Canadian owner.
The Radio Network (TRN), which has more than half the radio advertising market, today said it would be keen to talk to CanWest Global Communications about a possible sale.

Speculation about CanWest's plans for its New Zealand assets was bubbling last week, after Australia's Ten Network hinted it might be an interested buyer.

Ten, which is Australia's third largest television network, is 57 percent owned by CanWest.

On Friday, a CanWest spokesman denied a sale was on the agenda but the company's chief executive, Leonard Asper, confirmed this week it was ``not out of the question''.

Mr Asper also described a sale of the New Zealand assets as an ``obvious way'' to strengthen Ten.

TV3 is already believed to be considering ways it can co-operate with Ten on sales, and it has also acknowledged benefits in sharing programming and carrying out joint productions with the network.

However, there are no obvious synergies for CanWest's radio assets, which include a 72 percent stake of RadioWorks.

TRN chief executive Kevin Malone said he hoped CanWest would be willing to consider a bid from TRN, as it might get a better price.

Mr Malone said he believed it could persuade the Commerce Commission to accept a sale to TRN, although it would ``obviously'' need to restructure its existing assets.

The company would also be interested in TV3 and TV4, he said.

TRN is partly owned by Wilson & Horton and partly by Clear Channel, a United States-based media company with 19 television stations in the US, outdoor advertising assets, and more than 1000 radio stations worldwide.

TV3 managing director Graeme Hunter agreed last week there was a ``certain merit'' in a sale to Ten.

However, today he reiterated he believed any sale could be some time away.

``There are quite a number of issues that would need to be discussed and resolved if it was going to go anywhere, quite frankly. If anything did eventuate I don't see it happening quickly. It could be a considerable period of time down the track.''

Mr Hunter said there would probably be other players who would also be interested in buying the assets ``if we decided to divest the assets, which isn't part of the plan at this stage''.

It had been estimated a sale would reap CanWest at least $300 million, based on a multiple of 10 times the assets' current profits.


Vijay TV denies sellout to Star

From indiantelevision.com


UTV chairman Ronnie Screwvala denied any possibilities of Vijay TV being taken over by Star TV. This was to clear the faux pas made by The Economic Times on 3rd August,2000 in their article "Star TV makes moves to acquire Vijay TV".

The article mentioned the possibility of an acquisition of the Tamil language channel Vijay TV by the Rupert Murdoch's broadcasting platform. However, Screwvala clarified "There are absolutely no plans for Vijay TV being put for acquisition or any plans having being finalized between Star TV and Vijay TV". Star TV and UTV have been in discussion for Digital Distribution with the Star bouquet both in India and globally. That is the maximum extent of negotiations and discussions so far."


UTI to invest Rs 4.5 crore in Broadcast Worldwide

From Indiantelevision.com


The Unit Trust of India has invested Rs 4.5 crores in Rathikant Basu promoted Broadcast Worldwide. Broadcast Worldwide, which promotes the TARA (Television Targeted at Regional Audience) group of channels, has picked up 10% of the Rs 45 crores which are to be raised in the second round of funding.

UTI is the second investor which has picked up a 3.3% stake in the total equity of the company. The shares having a face value of Rs 10 per share are being issued at a premium of Rs 40 per share to the investors. A venture capital company from Gujarat has already picked up Rs 5 crore equity in this second round of funding which is likely to close by the end of the month.

The company is being assisted in its second phase by Ashok Wadhwa of Ambit Corporate Finance Pvt Ltd.


10/8/00

Thanks to those who turned up in the chatroom last night, I am checking out a new one today hopefully it will solve a lot of problems it will also allow IRC connections for those that prefer to use it. Just a note about the pictures used on here they are cut down to size and recompressed for display purposes. The S screenshot listed on a satellites page is generally 40-85k they take longer to load but are of better quality. The originals are kept offline and are usually around 200k! I try and keep pictures on the main page to 25k or less as to many really slow the page down, JPGing already MPG compressed digital video can create some pretty ugly pictures if you compress them to much, Still at least you can read the text while they load!

From the Dish

Measat 2 KU Power up?? Reports wanted please

Apstar 2R 76.5E Channel News Asia this channel is also on Palapa C2

3687 Vert 6610 3/4 Vpid Apid PCR
1160 1120 1160 CNA Pal Test Channel News Asia
1260 1220 1220 CNA NTSC Test Channel News Asia

B.Richards

9/8/00

Live Chat tonight in the chatroom, redesign is going well, not much to report happening satellite wise other than over at Satfacts they have some info about Zee TV and Competitor ATV.

From the dish

reported from www.tvro.com.tw 78.5E "Thaicom2/3" 3462V analog 6.6 "ETC " 3800V analog 5.5 "DD1"

"Big Dish reception only" in Australia I expect.

News

Zee sets itself 60 days deadline to raise finances
from indiantelevision.com

Alarmed by the recent fall in stock prices, dismal Q1 results for the year 2000 - Zee reported a mere 5% increase in the net profits and drop in TRP ratings due to rival channel Star TV's hugely popular Kaun Banega Crorepati game show, Zee Telefilms is setting itself an ambitious target of raising up to $700 to $800 million over the next sixty days.

The money raised will be used to fund various activities like strategic acquisitions of cable networks and regional channels, digitalisation of its bouquet of existing channels and updating its movie library.

Zee's flagship MSO Siti Cable is expected to rake in much of the moolah for funding its various operations. Siti Cable, which is one of the biggest cable operators in the country and also a major convergence player for Zee, is expected to be valued at $3 billion. Zee might dilute about 11% in Siti Cable which will bring in $330 million.

According to Business India, Zee is also in talks with Time-AOL as a strategic investor and another global financial powerhouse as a financial investor. Apart from this, Zee will raise additional $400 million through a convertible float of Zee Telefilms.


8/8/00

Thanks to those that turned up in the chatroom there was plenty of chatting which is good. Not much happening today just a bit of news. I forgot to mention in the chatroom Measat 2 KU power is supposed to be up if you checked it out before try it again and see if any new freqs are in use. The signals should be stronger hmm perhaps a 20cm dish might get it now :-)

Page will be trimmed tommorow

From the Dish

Sun TV from China on Asiasat 3 started regular broadcasting 4095H sr 5554 fec 3/4 vpid 160 apid 80

NEWS

CANWEST WON'T SELL NZ ASSETS; THWARTS TEN'S EXPANSION PLANS
By: NZPA

CanWest Global Communications, Canada's number one media group, said it has no plans to sell any of its broadcast assets, thwarting Ten Network's aspirations to expand into New Zealand.
Sydney-based Ten, an Australian television network in which CanWest has a 57 percent economic interest, said this week it was interested in buying CanWest's New Zealand radio and television business. The assets are estimated to be worth more than $A200 ($NZ259.6) million.

CanWest Monday agreed to spend $C3.5 ($NZ5.2) billion for most of the Canadian newspapers held by Conrad Black's Hollinger International Inc.

Ten Managing Director John McAlpine then said he would like to buy and manage CanWest's New Zealand assets from Australia.

``McAlpine is free to express his views,'' Geoffrey Elliot, CanWest's spokesman, said in an interview.

``As far as I know (a sale of New Zealand assets) is not on our agenda.''

While some analysts suggested CanWest might have to sell some assets to offset the higher debt it's assuming with the newspaper purchase, Elliot said there's no need to sell assets.

Elliot said the purchase increases CanWest's debt to $C3.5 billion from $C1 billion. At the same time, the company's earnings before interest tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) would have more than doubled to $C636 million from $C285 million in fiscal 2000 had the new assets been included.

``The EBITDA will be more than sufficient to cover the debt burden,'' Elliot said, adding the company planned more acquisitions in Europe and the US He said CanWest is forgetting about its assets in Australia and New Zealand.

``We haven't abandoned Australia and I haven't heard anyone suggest that we should,'' Elliot said.

Ten, Australia's third-ranking commercial television network, has a $A500 million loan to fund acquisitions and some analysts suggest that if it could find a good asset to buy, more investors would buy its shares.

The company's shares have risen more than 25 percent this year, giving Ten a market value of $A971 million.

Ten needs to work its balance sheet harder, said John Whiteman, a senior portfolio manager at AMP Asset Management.

McAlpine declined to specify the takeover targets he had in mind, though they would be ``advertiser driven assets.'' He said Ten expects to have record profits in the year ended August 31.

Ten earned $A54 million on sales of $A563.6 million in fiscal 1999.


TV deal links regionals

From financialnews.com.au

By FINOLA BURKE
08aug00

REGIONAL broadcasters WIN Television and Southern Cross Broadcasting have joined forces with US cable giant ntl to create an east-coast telecommunications company capable of delivering digital TV signals and phone calls.

WIN Television, a privately owned Nine Network affiliate in regional Australia, and Southern Cross, which owns TV and radio assets, will own a combined 49 per cent stake in ntl Telecommunications, which is building an east-coast network from Cairns to Hobart.
Southern Cross is contributing $10 million cash for what it estimates is a 22.5 per cent share of a $165 million "suitably geared" investment.

Ntl Telecommunications has also won a 10-year contract to supply both WIN and Southern Cross with the digital TV distribution link from the studio to the homes.

Ntl's director of telecommunications David Green said the carrier would offer wholesale access to a wireless local call network and mobile network using radio frequency spectrum.

It is ntl's first corporate play since March 1999, when it acquired the national transmission network from the federal Government for $650 million.

The network transmits radio and TV programs for the two national broadcasters, the ABC and SBS, as well as regional broadcasters and telephony companies through a network of 561 sites.

The company will lever off the infrastructure it owns through the network while WIN and Southern Cross will contribute radio tower sites to the venture.

"WIN and Southern Cross also contribute local market knowledge. They have very strong regional brands and a very big presence in regional Australia," Mr Green said.

He said ntl would offer access to the network to other telecom carriers and internet service providers.

The network, which will also use fibre optic cable in some areas, will have more than 100 points of presence in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania.

Mr Green said ntl was contributing technology developed in the UK, where the company was the largest new entrant in the telco market.

Chisholm puts money on interactive TV

from theage.com.au
By JANE SCHULZE
Tuesday 8 August 2000

Sam Chisolm: Two way bet.

As doubt remains on how the free-to-air TV networks will enter the world of interactivity, one of the founding industry executives has warned they must adopt the technology to remain competitive.

Sam Chisholm, previously chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB, which launched one of the world's first interactive TV services, British Interactive Broadcasting, has backed his conviction by taking a 20per cent stake in the interactive TV group Two Way TV Australia.

Two Way TV last week signed with regional pay TV company Austar to provide an interactive games channel to Austar's subscribers from October.

Mr Chisholm said that interactivity was the "hot new item" in the broadcasting sector.

"There is no question in my view that no matter what everyone's position is at this stage, within a short space of time broadcasters - be they free-to-air, pay, cable or whatever - will have to offer interactivity to simply remain competitive," he said.

Mr Chisholm said there were three main reasons why interactive TV had been successful overseas, and particularly in the United Kingdom.

"First, it allows the viewer to delve into program content," he said. "For example, if you are watching a program where there is an item of particular interest, you can access it directly through your remote control rather than having to go to a website on your PC.

"It's also value-added for the viewer - it adds another dimension for the viewer - and it gives them the capacity to e-mail, and this has proved to be the killer application in markets where this has been established."

Austar already offers one interactive channel, the Weather Channel, and has also tried out interactive advertising before signing with Two Way TV Australia.

"Interactive games is a very good starting point and Austar has been very astute in getting the first-mover advantage in interactive TV, and their competitors will have to be on their toes," Mr Chisholm said.

The chair of the marketing and media program at Murdoch University, Duane Varan, said the most optimistic date for the launch of interactive TV services by the free-to-air networks was June next year.

"The broadcasters have declared they are going to go with the multimedia home platform (interactive) standard and that's a smart move, but in terms of commercial deployment June would be the most optimistic date as there are a host of issues to be resolved," Dr Varan said.

He agreed that e-mail had become a killer application for interactive services.

Other popular services included electronic program guides, interactive advertising, interactive games, and the ability to gain player statistics from sports broadcasts, he said.

Mr Chisholm maintained e-mail was the killer application for interactivity.

Apart from the free-to-air networks, Australia's largest pay TV company, Foxtel, is also looking at how it can introduce interactive services. So is the other pay TV group, Optus Television.

America gives HDTV a poor reception

By JOEL BRINKLEY
WASHINGTON
Tuesday 8 August 2000

Nothing new to watch: Viewers have little incentive to buy a HDTV set.

As the changeover to digital television began, government leaders and industry executives described the transition as one of those rare touchstone events that would in time alter the life of every American.

"Everything will be different," Reed Hundt said in 1996 when, as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, he was about to approve the rules that set the transition in motion. "The change is so extreme that many people have not grasped it."

Many Americans still have not grasped digital TV. Four years after Mr Hundt spoke and two years after the first digital TV sets went on sale, few even know the change is under way. And the transition is so mired in intractable problems, squabbles and controversies that some industry executives now worry that the digital roll-out plan could fail.

How long will the broadcasters be willing to spend money transmitting digital signals to no viewers? How long will the government allow TV stations to tie up two channels - one analog, the other digital - at a cost of many billions of dollars? The government is eager to auction off the analog channels, and is already counting the proceeds - billions of dollars - in budget projections.

Although the questions have no answers at present, a consensus is emerging that the present approach is not working. "The transition as a whole is faltering," said Ben Tucker, chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters' television board, in a recent letter to the FCC.

Government initiatives to jump-start the transition have been either absent or ineffectual. FCC chairman William Kennard occasionally inveighs against the delays, threatening to pass rules that could clear some logjams. But the commission's rule-making procedures allow such long periods for public comment and internal discussion they can drag on for years. Congress, meanwhile, has shown little interest of late - despite one inconclusive public hearing on July 25.

Under federal rules, TV broadcasters were each given a digital channel to use alongside their existing analog channels during the transition. In 2006, all the nation's 1600 analog TV channels are to be shut down and auctioned off to the highest bidder; winners will use the airwaves space for wireless communication services or other purposes.

From that day, broadcasters will have only digital channels, and only people with digital TV sets, or converter boxes, will be able to watch over-the-air TV. The date can be pushed back, but when the government set the deadline three years ago, officials vowed that by now the transition would be well under way, as digital TV would offer so many compelling programs and dazzling new digital services that consumers would line up to buy the new sets.

Or so the thinking went. Despite two years of aggressive marketing by consumer electronics companies, only 230,000 digital TV monitors have been sold in the US, even though they now sell for as little as $US2500 ($A4260) from $US6000 two years ago.

The Consumer Electronics Association argues those numbers are impressive for a new product. But its figures also show only 40,000 of those buyers have also bought the digital receivers needed, and the latest figures show sales of receivers have fallen sharply in past months. In the digital world, the TV display and the receiver are usually sold separately, and the cheapest receiver now sells for about $US600.

Those sales figures are minuscule compared with 260 million TV sets nationally to be replaced or updated with a converter box by 2006. Price is an obvious sales dampener; a comparable big-screen analog TV costs $US1500 or less. But the largest reason seems to be that there's almost nothing to watch.

The most compelling feature of digital TV to many industry executives is its ability to broadcast high-definition pictures so sharp and clear that they look almost real. But even with 150 digital TV stations broadcasting in 52 cities, there is little true HDTV on the air. During nearly all the broadcast day, most stations are simply showing digital copies of their regular fare, giving viewers little incentive to change.

The few hours of HDTV - CBS is the leader, with sports, movies and prime-time shows - are paid for largely by TV manufacturers or other companies that, network executives contend, have more to gain from the format's success. Networks seem little interested in HDTV if it costs them any significant money.

At the same time, Sony's television division recently suspended until at least next year its line of HDTV sets to go on sale in autumn. Production problems played a role, but "there's too much political jockeying and positioning going on behind high-definition," said division head Victor Pacor. "And we're not comfortable building sets based on what we think will occur."

Konka, a Chinese firm hoping to enter the US market with a new line of HD sets, also announced a delay last month, for the same reasons.

What's more, hundreds of TV stations have made deals to lease part of their digital channel for other uses, mainly to send audio-video streaming media to personal computers equipped with digital over-the-air receivers. Network heads oppose these side deals; they fear not enough space will be left for HD programming, which can easily fill the entire channel. They also complain digital television was supposed to bring exciting new services to TVs - not PCs.

NEW YORK TIMES


7/8/00

Live Chat in the chatroom tonight 8.30pm Sydney time and 9.30pm NZ onwards

Whats happening with Thaicom 3? Power levels are up and down according to reports. 3554V has had The 4 Tara Channels added to it makeing 9 channels on this freq but these 4 Tara channels are also on 3585V! Lyngsat report that Alpha has gone is incorrect its still on 3430H. Look for the 4 Tara Channels on 3585V to disapear next. It might just be things are being shuffled around to free up some of the other channels for Olympics feeds.

From my Email

If anyone in Australi is receiving Sky NZ could they email me please.

From the Dish

Mediasat seen testing on Pas 8 on the weekend 3584H Sr 6110

Four Tara channels have started on Thaicom 3 3585 V, MPEG-2/clear, Asian beam these wont be visible in Australia unless you have a large dish and live in the NT:
517/645: Tara Bangla
518/646: Tara Punjabi
519/647: Tara Marathi
520/648: Tara Gujarati

Ekushey TV remains FTA on Asiasat 3, in a quest to gain more viewers.

NEWS

Progress and Future of Digital TV in Asia

by Peter I. Galace
from www.satnewsasia.com

Digital Television test broadcast in many Asian countries is in progress.
Digital Television is in Asia. And because of Japan?s highly advanced technology, the presence of highly developed markets such as Hong Kong and Taiwan, and the spectacular rise in cable TV connections in China now reaching about 90 million, Asia's digital TV industry is receiving much attention.



Like in the U.S., some Asian countries are converting to both digital signals and high-definition pictures at the same time. Some countries are already broadcasting high-definition pictures, but they're using an analog signal. But signals are also shifting to digital even in countries like Vietnam. Interactive TV is also actively being developed and should be in many Asian countries, including the Philippines, before the end of the year.


Japan leads in technology



Among Asian countries, Japan has, undoubtedly, the most developed digital TV technology. In fact, its Digital Satellite Broadcasting System has been adopted by the Radiocommunication Sector of the International Telecommunication Union, or ITU-R as an international standard, following those of Europe and the United States.

Early last July, top electronics makers Toshiba Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and Sony Corp. announced they would work together on a standard format for next-generation digital TV set-top boxes. The companies are set to develop a broad range of services including home shopping, music, and video games on demand. By working together, the three can share development costs and present consumers with a single standard for interactive TV technology.

Backers of the venture are already designing receivers for digital TV. Using a recently launched broadcast satellite, the nation's big five commercial TV networks will begin offering regular digital programming at the end of this year. The venture would also open the door for the start of interactive TV services via the Internet and terrestrial digital television broadcasting by 2003, according to a government-set schedule, or even earlier.

Japan's test of digital satellite broadcast started in March 15 this year. The Council of the Digital Satellite Receiver Test Centers, which consists of representatives of 35 companies, launched test broadcasting of the digital satellite system in preparation for the full use of the system on December 1. Using Channels 3 and 15 of the back-up satellite, BS-3N, signals are sent to the council and manufacturers' factories to test the reception conditions of exclusive receiving equipment for digital broadcasting. With the marketing of receivers for general use, which started in June, the test broadcasting will also be provided to ordinary households. The country expects that by September, as part of this series of experiments, the Sydney 2000 Olympics will already be covered in Hi-Vision.



Public broadcaster NHK currently airs some programs through a broadcast satellite (BS), attracting 13 million subscribers or one in three Japanese households. SkyPerfecTV became the nation's only commercial satellite (CS) TV broadcaster, with more than two million subscribers, after absorbing DirecTV Japan from a group led by U.S.-based Hughes Electronics Corp.



South Korea by 2001

South Korea is set to launch full-scale digital broadcasting from September 2001. Last January 24 this year, the Ministry of Information and Communication of South Korea announced test broadcasting of digital satellite TV will be conducted from March to August 2001, followed by full scale digital broadcasting during the period from September 2001 to February 2002.



Digitization is to be carried out in the rest of the country from 2003 to 2005. The existing analog broadcasting is to be continued in parallel for five years even after the nationwide introduction of full digital broadcasting.

The providers of satellite broadcasting are still to be determined by the Korean Broadcasting Commission by the third quarter of this year. But a digital satellite, Koreasat No.3, was launched in September 1999, equipped with six BS transponders and 12 CS transponders, making it possible to operate a total of 160 channels. A European technological system, the Korean government announced, will be used.

In November last year, the Korean Broadcasting Service (KBS) and Korea Telecom jointly launched an online service called Crezio on the Internet. KBS provides the content while Korea Telecom is in charge of transmission. The online service operates on six channels specializing in news bulletins, music, dramas and films, cultural and educational programs, events and games, and requests, respectively. News regarding the stock exchange and weather forecasts is updated every ten minutes and distributed free of charge. Crezio's service, however, is still at an experimental stage, without any definite schedule for a full-fledged service.

CCTV gears up for digital age
Beijing's China Central TV (CCTV) is also undergoing a three-year organizational change, starting last year, to enhance production efficiency and prepare for the digital age. Initially, CCTV had been separating the program production department and the transmission department. CCTV itself will withdraw from program production because the center of the new production system will be shifted to an affiliate, China International TV.

The number of cable TV-subscribing households topped the 80 million mark as early as last November 1999. People's Daily said one of the factors for the rapid increase is the promotion of a system to deliver satellite broadcasting via cable TV in the 31 provinces, local autonomies, and cities across the country under the direct control of the central government. Another factor is the appearance of ISPs through business tie-ups with cable TV companies. With around 90 million subscribers as of middle of this year, China has emerged as one of the largest number of cable TV subscribers in the world.

Hong Kong trial begins
In Hong Kong, trial broadcast of a digital terrestrial TV to compare the three systems respectively used in Japan, Europe and the United States started last June. Participants were shown the impressive clarity of pictures and abundance of channels in broadcasts actually transmitted from a station in Hong Kong.

The trial broadcasts will continue till the end of this year. Hong Kong officials are expected to decide on the format of their choice by early next year, with the goal of introducing it two years later.

On March 23, 1998, Hong Kong Telecom's subsidiary, IMS, began an interactive TV service, ranging from video-on-demand (VOD) to home-banking and home shopping. By simply attaching a special digital decoder to a TV receiver and operating the remote control, users can enjoy shopping or their favorite film at any time. The system is available for a fee of HK$200 for the first month and is free for the next two months.

IMS says that just 33% of households in Hong Kong are currently able to use this service but the percentage will rise to 85% by the end of this year. This commercial VOD service is said to be the first of its kind in the world.

Calls for reviews of HDTV laws in Australia
In Australia, The Productivity Commission, which has been recommending a review of media-related legislations, said late last year legal enforcement of the simultaneous introduction of high-definition television (HDTV) with the launch of digital terrestrial broadcasting would be premature and called on the government for a review of digital broadcast laws.

The report says that 95% of consumers prefer the multi-channel standard TV to HDTV and that having to purchase expensive receiving equipment will cause a delay in the permeation of digital broadcasting. In view of the financial burden for broadcasters to install the necessary equipment, the report also calls for a review of digital broadcast laws, which make HDTV not a legal obligation but an option.

Digital terrestrial broadcasting in Australia is due to start in January 2001. The introduction of HDTV is likely to become a controversial issue in the face of opposition from some commercial broadcasters.

Late last year, the Australian government decided that digital programs would have to be shown in standard definition (SDTV) and HDTV. With that start of digital broadcasting in SDTV on January 1, 2001, the government wants to force television stations to broadcast at least 20 hours a week of high-definition programming from 2003 onward. The transition is to be completed by 2009.

By then SDTV will come to a complete end and all the broadcasting stations will uniformly present digital programs in high-definition. The government makes it an obligation for broadcasters to maintain the current analog signal until the complete shift to the HDTV format has been made.

Singapore launches digital TV in buses
Singapore launched this year its digital TV using the European system known as Digital Video Broadcasting System (DVB) as standard. This came after Singapore Broadcasting Authority launched trials for digital TV service in 1998.

Singapore is said to be the first country in Southeast Asia to have tested and selected a digital television standard.

Singapore made the choice after observing that DVB provided good mobile TV reception, which in future would enable Singaporeans to watch TV while commuting to and from work. Authorities also believed DVB technology was "more flexible" than American Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) and the Japanese Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) standards.

DVB is widely used by developed nations, including European countries, Australia and New Zealand.

Singapore, with about three million people, introduced digital audio broadcasting or digital radio in 1998.

A few months ago, Singapore launched the world's first-ever mobile digital TV system for use on buses. Singapore's Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS), working with NTL, rolled out public mobile digital TV trials involving the commuters of one of Singapore's major bus companies.

Philippines TVs firm forge tie-up

In the Philippines, Sky Vision Corp., the operator of SkyCable approved a $100-million joint venture with Britain's Yes Television to create Asia's first VOD service on cable network. Called Yes-Sky Interactive Corp., the firm will offer VOD and interactive TV (iTV) nationwide to give customers control over their TV viewing. A trial is scheduled to begin in certain parts of Metro Manila in the fourth quarter of this year, followed by a commercial launch in 2001.

True VOD, as offered by Yes Television, enables viewers to select and watch a movie whenever and as many times as they want to within a 24-hour period and even pause, rewind or fast forward it unlike other VOD services where the same movie or program merely starts at regular intervals across a number of broadcast channels.

Since Yes Television's VOD is based on Internet technology, the new company will be able to integrate VOD with any other services that SkyCable may offer in the future such as e-mail access and web browsing.

Aside from the latest movies, Yes-Sky is expected to offer access to hundreds of top music videos, a wide range of children's programs, travel services, sports features and television comedies and dramas while iTV will deliver text information, such as weather updates and sports scores, on demand.

SkyCable currently provides cable television services to some 350,000 subscribers in Metro Manila and in other parts of the country. Its closest competitor, Home Cable, has about 200,000 subscribers.

In Vietnam, Hanoi's digital TV program production center started operation in Hanoi in February this year. The center was constructed under French ODA with the goal of promoting the production of digital programs, their transmission and the installation of antennae.



Broadcasting battle


Li's immodestly named Internet Portal called Network of the World.
In the midst of all these TV digitalization developments is the impending turf war between Rupert Murdoch's $13-billion-a-year News Corp. spanning the globe versus Hong Kong's Li clan, an empire started by Li Ka-shing, which under his son Richard, has suddenly become Asia's Internet power, next only to Japan.



News Corp., through its regional satellite broadcaster Star TV, seems to have a good foothold with its claim of 300 million subscribers throughout Asia. Problem is in big markets like China, Star TV gives away millions of dollars of free programming each year. It had been relying solely on advertising but it's not enough. So far, News Corp. has an estimated $1 billion in losses behind and is counting on digital TV to catapult it to profitability. But with the opening of China to more competition under WTO rules, this goal is growing even more farfetched.



Murdoch's foray in Asia started in 1993 with his purchase of Star TV for $825 million from the Li clan, with an eye to the potential of making huge profits in China. But so far, Murdoch had been very unsuccessful. Phoenix Satellite Television, set up by Star TV to focus on China in 1996, has since lost $53 million and forecasts more losses in coming years. News Corp.'s $100 million splurge on Internet portals in China, through netease.com and renren.com, is fraught with risks due to Beijing's ambivalent attitude toward Internet and questions about foreign ownership. There is also the PDN Xinren, a venture set up to archive the flagship of the Chinese Communist Party, the People's Daily. News Corp. invested another $7 million cash for the venture to earn good graces from Beiing but this has become the dumping ground for retired cadres.



After one decade, News Corp. is beginning to realize there is a need to offer more local content, throwing away the original model for Asia that single programming fits all. So, it keeps spending and losing more money to attract more viewers. Nobody knows when the losing streak will ever end.



Richard Li's earnings of almost $1 billion from the sale of Star TV to Murdoch became his seed capital to launch Pacific Century CyberWorks Ltd. (PCCW) whose inflated stock value he used to acquire Hong Kong Telecom in a deal valued at $38 billion. Recently, Li launched is Asia-wide interactive television network called Network of the World (NOW).



Li family's power in Hong Kong extend far and wide. Li family businesses control 97 percent of the territory's landlines and represent a staggering one-fourth of the value of Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng stock market index, according to financial analysts estimate. The family's empire reaches deep into global real estate, retailing, port operations, telecommunications and more.



Li's PCCW is currently valued at $20 billion, even after taking a substantial hit. This is still enough to allow him to form alliances with the world's biggest names, such as Intel, CMGI, Japan's Softbank, Australia's Telstra, Taiwan's GigaMedia and China's Legend Computers. Recently, PCCW partnered with Germany's Daimler-Chrysler Aerospace AG in a $1.5 billion project to build the satellite and ground transmission network that will provide the backbone for Li's broadband Internet venture.



His grandest project, NOW, is being rolled out across Asia over the next 18 months via now.com and cable and satellite television. He is betting that Asia's youth will flock to an interactive broadband network that will eventually allow the audience to access television shows and surf the web simultaneously, creating a multimedia viewing experience. It is futuristic but it may well be the future.


Macao's Satellite Asia TV to launch Asia-Pacific Service

/Satnews Asia/ -- The Macao Satellite Asia TV (MATV) will be launched officially at the end of the year to provide quality and diverse TV programs in the Asia-Pacific region.. An international satellite broadcast organization approved by the Macao government, MATV will broadcast dramas, variety, news, sports, travel, movies, financial information, education and children's programs via the Apstar-1A satellite. MATV's programs are sourced from various parts of China, Macao, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

MATV is an international satellite broadcast institution approved by the government of Macao. Its administrative headquarters and broadcast control center are located in Macao, while production studios and a network center are in Beijing.

7/8/00

Live Chat in the chatroom tonight 8.30pm Sydney time and 9.30pm NZ onwards

Whats happening with Thaicom 3? Power levels are up and down according to reports. 3554V has had The 4 Tara Channels added to it makeing 9 channels on this freq but these 4 Tara channels are also on 3585V! Lyngsat report that Alpha has gone is incorrect its still on 3430H. Look for the 4 Tara Channels on 3585V to disapear next. It might just be things are being shuffled around to free up some of the other channels for Olympics feeds.

From my Email

If anyone in Australi is receiving Sky NZ could they email me please.

From the Dish

Mediasat seen testing on Pas 8 on the weekend 3584H Sr 6110

Four Tara channels have started on Thaicom 3 3585 V, MPEG-2/clear, Asian beam these wont be visible in Australia unless you have a large dish and live in the NT:
517/645: Tara Bangla
518/646: Tara Punjabi
519/647: Tara Marathi
520/648: Tara Gujarati

Ekushey TV remains FTA on Asiasat 3, in a quest to gain more viewers.

NEWS

Progress and Future of Digital TV in Asia

by Peter I. Galace
from www.satnewsasia.com

Digital Television test broadcast in many Asian countries is in progress.
Digital Television is in Asia. And because of Japan?s highly advanced technology, the presence of highly developed markets such as Hong Kong and Taiwan, and the spectacular rise in cable TV connections in China now reaching about 90 million, Asia's digital TV industry is receiving much attention.



Like in the U.S., some Asian countries are converting to both digital signals and high-definition pictures at the same time. Some countries are already broadcasting high-definition pictures, but they're using an analog signal. But signals are also shifting to digital even in countries like Vietnam. Interactive TV is also actively being developed and should be in many Asian countries, including the Philippines, before the end of the year.


Japan leads in technology



Among Asian countries, Japan has, undoubtedly, the most developed digital TV technology. In fact, its Digital Satellite Broadcasting System has been adopted by the Radiocommunication Sector of the International Telecommunication Union, or ITU-R as an international standard, following those of Europe and the United States.

Early last July, top electronics makers Toshiba Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and Sony Corp. announced they would work together on a standard format for next-generation digital TV set-top boxes. The companies are set to develop a broad range of services including home shopping, music, and video games on demand. By working together, the three can share development costs and present consumers with a single standard for interactive TV technology.

Backers of the venture are already designing receivers for digital TV. Using a recently launched broadcast satellite, the nation's big five commercial TV networks will begin offering regular digital programming at the end of this year. The venture would also open the door for the start of interactive TV services via the Internet and terrestrial digital television broadcasting by 2003, according to a government-set schedule, or even earlier.

Japan's test of digital satellite broadcast started in March 15 this year. The Council of the Digital Satellite Receiver Test Centers, which consists of representatives of 35 companies, launched test broadcasting of the digital satellite system in preparation for the full use of the system on December 1. Using Channels 3 and 15 of the back-up satellite, BS-3N, signals are sent to the council and manufacturers' factories to test the reception conditions of exclusive receiving equipment for digital broadcasting. With the marketing of receivers for general use, which started in June, the test broadcasting will also be provided to ordinary households. The country expects that by September, as part of this series of experiments, the Sydney 2000 Olympics will already be covered in Hi-Vision.



Public broadcaster NHK currently airs some programs through a broadcast satellite (BS), attracting 13 million subscribers or one in three Japanese households. SkyPerfecTV became the nation's only commercial satellite (CS) TV broadcaster, with more than two million subscribers, after absorbing DirecTV Japan from a group led by U.S.-based Hughes Electronics Corp.



South Korea by 2001

South Korea is set to launch full-scale digital broadcasting from September 2001. Last January 24 this year, the Ministry of Information and Communication of South Korea announced test broadcasting of digital satellite TV will be conducted from March to August 2001, followed by full scale digital broadcasting during the period from September 2001 to February 2002.



Digitization is to be carried out in the rest of the country from 2003 to 2005. The existing analog broadcasting is to be continued in parallel for five years even after the nationwide introduction of full digital broadcasting.

The providers of satellite broadcasting are still to be determined by the Korean Broadcasting Commission by the third quarter of this year. But a digital satellite, Koreasat No.3, was launched in September 1999, equipped with six BS transponders and 12 CS transponders, making it possible to operate a total of 160 channels. A European technological system, the Korean government announced, will be used.

In November last year, the Korean Broadcasting Service (KBS) and Korea Telecom jointly launched an online service called Crezio on the Internet. KBS provides the content while Korea Telecom is in charge of transmission. The online service operates on six channels specializing in news bulletins, music, dramas and films, cultural and educational programs, events and games, and requests, respectively. News regarding the stock exchange and weather forecasts is updated every ten minutes and distributed free of charge. Crezio's service, however, is still at an experimental stage, without any definite schedule for a full-fledged service.

CCTV gears up for digital age
Beijing's China Central TV (CCTV) is also undergoing a three-year organizational change, starting last year, to enhance production efficiency and prepare for the digital age. Initially, CCTV had been separating the program production department and the transmission department. CCTV itself will withdraw from program production because the center of the new production system will be shifted to an affiliate, China International TV.

The number of cable TV-subscribing households topped the 80 million mark as early as last November 1999. People's Daily said one of the factors for the rapid increase is the promotion of a system to deliver satellite broadcasting via cable TV in the 31 provinces, local autonomies, and cities across the country under the direct control of the central government. Another factor is the appearance of ISPs through business tie-ups with cable TV companies. With around 90 million subscribers as of middle of this year, China has emerged as one of the largest number of cable TV subscribers in the world.

Hong Kong trial begins
In Hong Kong, trial broadcast of a digital terrestrial TV to compare the three systems respectively used in Japan, Europe and the United States started last June. Participants were shown the impressive clarity of pictures and abundance of channels in broadcasts actually transmitted from a station in Hong Kong.

The trial broadcasts will continue till the end of this year. Hong Kong officials are expected to decide on the format of their choice by early next year, with the goal of introducing it two years later.

On March 23, 1998, Hong Kong Telecom's subsidiary, IMS, began an interactive TV service, ranging from video-on-demand (VOD) to home-banking and home shopping. By simply attaching a special digital decoder to a TV receiver and operating the remote control, users can enjoy shopping or their favorite film at any time. The system is available for a fee of HK$200 for the first month and is free for the next two months.

IMS says that just 33% of households in Hong Kong are currently able to use this service but the percentage will rise to 85% by the end of this year. This commercial VOD service is said to be the first of its kind in the world.

Calls for reviews of HDTV laws in Australia
In Australia, The Productivity Commission, which has been recommending a review of media-related legislations, said late last year legal enforcement of the simultaneous introduction of high-definition television (HDTV) with the launch of digital terrestrial broadcasting would be premature and called on the government for a review of digital broadcast laws.

The report says that 95% of consumers prefer the multi-channel standard TV to HDTV and that having to purchase expensive receiving equipment will cause a delay in the permeation of digital broadcasting. In view of the financial burden for broadcasters to install the necessary equipment, the report also calls for a review of digital broadcast laws, which make HDTV not a legal obligation but an option.

Digital terrestrial broadcasting in Australia is due to start in January 2001. The introduction of HDTV is likely to become a controversial issue in the face of opposition from some commercial broadcasters.

Late last year, the Australian government decided that digital programs would have to be shown in standard definition (SDTV) and HDTV. With that start of digital broadcasting in SDTV on January 1, 2001, the government wants to force television stations to broadcast at least 20 hours a week of high-definition programming from 2003 onward. The transition is to be completed by 2009.

By then SDTV will come to a complete end and all the broadcasting stations will uniformly present digital programs in high-definition. The government makes it an obligation for broadcasters to maintain the current analog signal until the complete shift to the HDTV format has been made.

Singapore launches digital TV in buses
Singapore launched this year its digital TV using the European system known as Digital Video Broadcasting System (DVB) as standard. This came after Singapore Broadcasting Authority launched trials for digital TV service in 1998.

Singapore is said to be the first country in Southeast Asia to have tested and selected a digital television standard.

Singapore made the choice after observing that DVB provided good mobile TV reception, which in future would enable Singaporeans to watch TV while commuting to and from work. Authorities also believed DVB technology was "more flexible" than American Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) and the Japanese Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) standards.

DVB is widely used by developed nations, including European countries, Australia and New Zealand.

Singapore, with about three million people, introduced digital audio broadcasting or digital radio in 1998.

A few months ago, Singapore launched the world's first-ever mobile digital TV system for use on buses. Singapore's Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS), working with NTL, rolled out public mobile digital TV trials involving the commuters of one of Singapore's major bus companies.

Philippines TVs firm forge tie-up

In the Philippines, Sky Vision Corp., the operator of SkyCable approved a $100-million joint venture with Britain's Yes Television to create Asia's first VOD service on cable network. Called Yes-Sky Interactive Corp., the firm will offer VOD and interactive TV (iTV) nationwide to give customers control over their TV viewing. A trial is scheduled to begin in certain parts of Metro Manila in the fourth quarter of this year, followed by a commercial launch in 2001.

True VOD, as offered by Yes Television, enables viewers to select and watch a movie whenever and as many times as they want to within a 24-hour period and even pause, rewind or fast forward it unlike other VOD services where the same movie or program merely starts at regular intervals across a number of broadcast channels.

Since Yes Television's VOD is based on Internet technology, the new company will be able to integrate VOD with any other services that SkyCable may offer in the future such as e-mail access and web browsing.

Aside from the latest movies, Yes-Sky is expected to offer access to hundreds of top music videos, a wide range of children's programs, travel services, sports features and television comedies and dramas while iTV will deliver text information, such as weather updates and sports scores, on demand.

SkyCable currently provides cable television services to some 350,000 subscribers in Metro Manila and in other parts of the country. Its closest competitor, Home Cable, has about 200,000 subscribers.

In Vietnam, Hanoi's digital TV program production center started operation in Hanoi in February this year. The center was constructed under French ODA with the goal of promoting the production of digital programs, their transmission and the installation of antennae.



Broadcasting battle


Li's immodestly named Internet Portal called Network of the World.
In the midst of all these TV digitalization developments is the impending turf war between Rupert Murdoch's $13-billion-a-year News Corp. spanning the globe versus Hong Kong's Li clan, an empire started by Li Ka-shing, which under his son Richard, has suddenly become Asia's Internet power, next only to Japan.



News Corp., through its regional satellite broadcaster Star TV, seems to have a good foothold with its claim of 300 million subscribers throughout Asia. Problem is in big markets like China, Star TV gives away millions of dollars of free programming each year. It had been relying solely on advertising but it's not enough. So far, News Corp. has an estimated $1 billion in losses behind and is counting on digital TV to catapult it to profitability. But with the opening of China to more competition under WTO rules, this goal is growing even more farfetched.



Murdoch's foray in Asia started in 1993 with his purchase of Star TV for $825 million from the Li clan, with an eye to the potential of making huge profits in China. But so far, Murdoch had been very unsuccessful. Phoenix Satellite Television, set up by Star TV to focus on China in 1996, has since lost $53 million and forecasts more losses in coming years. News Corp.'s $100 million splurge on Internet portals in China, through netease.com and renren.com, is fraught with risks due to Beijing's ambivalent attitude toward Internet and questions about foreign ownership. There is also the PDN Xinren, a venture set up to archive the flagship of the Chinese Communist Party, the People's Daily. News Corp. invested another $7 million cash for the venture to earn good graces from Beiing but this has become the dumping ground for retired cadres.



After one decade, News Corp. is beginning to realize there is a need to offer more local content, throwing away the original model for Asia that single programming fits all. So, it keeps spending and losing more money to attract more viewers. Nobody knows when the losing streak will ever end.



Richard Li's earnings of almost $1 billion from the sale of Star TV to Murdoch became his seed capital to launch Pacific Century CyberWorks Ltd. (PCCW) whose inflated stock value he used to acquire Hong Kong Telecom in a deal valued at $38 billion. Recently, Li launched is Asia-wide interactive television network called Network of the World (NOW).



Li family's power in Hong Kong extend far and wide. Li family businesses control 97 percent of the territory's landlines and represent a staggering one-fourth of the value of Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng stock market index, according to financial analysts estimate. The family's empire reaches deep into global real estate, retailing, port operations, telecommunications and more.



Li's PCCW is currently valued at $20 billion, even after taking a substantial hit. This is still enough to allow him to form alliances with the world's biggest names, such as Intel, CMGI, Japan's Softbank, Australia's Telstra, Taiwan's GigaMedia and China's Legend Computers. Recently, PCCW partnered with Germany?s Daimler-Chrysler Aerospace AG in a $1.5 billion project to build the satellite and ground transmission network that will provide the backbone for Li's broadband Internet venture.



His grandest project, NOW, is being rolled out across Asia over the next 18 months via now.com and cable and satellite television. He is betting that Asia's youth will flock to an interactive broadband network that will eventually allow the audience to access television shows and surf the web simultaneously, creating a multimedia viewing experience. It is futuristic but it may well be the future.


Macao's Satellite Asia TV to launch Asia-Pacific Service

/Satnews Asia/ -- The Macao Satellite Asia TV (MATV) will be launched officially at the end of the year to provide quality and diverse TV programs in the Asia-Pacific region.. An international satellite broadcast organization approved by the Macao government, MATV will broadcast dramas, variety, news, sports, travel, movies, financial information, education and children's programs via the Apstar-1A satellite. MATV's programs are sourced from various parts of China, Macao, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

MATV is an international satellite broadcast institution approved by the government of Macao. Its administrative headquarters and broadcast control center are located in Macao, while production studios and a network center are in Beijing.

6/8/00

Aus 24 NZ 23 :-( good match except for the ref and his dodgy watch :-( anyway well done Australia

Superbikes are on tonight also check I701 or Pas 2, look at the feeds pages to see where they turn up usually

From my Emails

C. Ferris writes 12pm Syd time NFL from Japan USA Exhibition match is on Pas 2 3803V Sr 6620 (lots of ESPN turns up on this freq)

NEWS

Measat 2 KU tests for Mediasat to increase power in the next few days.Perhaps Mediasat will use this more in the future?? Time for you to buy a Universal KU LNBF (See above)

Made some progress on my dish. The hole is empty now and drying out perhaps if the weather stays fine it will be ready for some concrete next weekend!

5/8/00

Sorry no update for today not much happening anyway. I have to have a break from updateing the site ocasionally

4/8/00

I have started on the site redesign it will take at least a week or 2. If you have any ideas nows you chance to send them to me!

From the Dish

Palapa C2 113E signal reported yesterday on 4071H sr 14030 fec 3/4 is "Channel news Asia" Click here for Channel News Asia Live Video V (300k stream click here)

Palapa C2 113E "CASA" on 4,000 H (MPEG-2) is now in clear.

Palapa C2 113E "CASA" on 11,130 V (MPEG-2) is now in clear.

Possible Feeds this weekend

Saturday 5th August

8.00 am Golf USGA from North Plains Oregon (Maybe Pas 2, Fox channels)

11.30 am Rugby NZ vs Australia from Wellington (Perhaps via mediasat)

2.pm Syd AFL

2.30pm Syd NRL Playoffs (Live Sky NZ , mediasat probably if not try B1 12450 H Analogue)

7.30pm Syd NRL Playoffs (See above)

Sunday 6th August

12.00pm Syd Gridiron NFL Cowboys vs Falcons (Live from Japan on ESPN) maybe on Pas8 or Pas 2

2.00pm Syd AFL (Live Sky NZ, try mediasat any reports?)

9.55pm Syd World Superbike Champs (usually on the channel 10 feed on I701 check feeds page for other possibles)

NEWS

PI CHECKS OUT SATELLITE DISHES FOR SECRET CLIENT
By: NZPA

A private investigator is roaming the streets of Auckland checking on people's satellite dishes for a secret client.
Steven Norman, a private investigator for City of Sails Investigations (NZ) Ltd, has been asking Sky TV subscribers if they have council permission for their dishes.

But the questions have puzzled Manukau and Auckland council officials, who say ordinary satellite dishes do not need resource consent and they have not ordered any investigation.

Today Mr Norman and the manager of City of Sails Investigations, Nicholas Coc-Kroft, said they had been instructed by their client to make no comment.

Satellite dishes could require resource and building consents costing between $500 and $1000 under the district plans for Manukau and Auckland. The size of a dish and how it is mounted affect the consent costs.

So far Mr Norman has lodged 15 queries with the Auckland and Manukau city councils over ``super-satellite dishes'', which stand 2m high and need consents.

However, he has also questioned the owners of small Sky TV dishes, which do not need consents.

Among those to be investigated was Manukau City councillor Sharon Stewart, who owns a Sky TV satellite dish.

Mrs Stewart said Mr Norman knocked on her door and left his card before taking a picture of the dish.

``I thought `Boy, this sounds really weird'.''

Her concern was shared by city manager Colin Dale, who had also come to Mr Norman's attention.

He confirmed today that Sky TV dishes did not require council consents.

Glenn Teal, Manukau's manager of citizen and customer services, said Mr Norman's concerns were being followed up, but admitted the investigation was pretty strange.

``If you put one of those things up in your backyard and your neighbour complained, I can understand that. But on such a broad scale, and to hire a private investigator, is pretty strange. We'll be intrigued to see what the answer is.''

He said the council did not actively search for illegal dishes, garden sheds or fences.

Grant Eveleigh, manager of satellite dish installers Aimco Aerials, said they asked customers to get the correct consents before installing the large dishes.

He said the policy avoided potential disputes with neighbouring homeowners.

TEN NETWORK CONSIDERS MEDIA INVESTMENTS IN NEW ZEALAND
By: NZPA

Auckland, Aug 3 - One of New Zealand's largest media players could end up being run from Australia under a plan being actively promoted across the Tasman.
Australia's Ten Network has hinted it would like to swallow TV3, TV4 and the country's second largest radio network, in a deal which could be worth at least $250 million.

Ten, which is Australia's third biggest television network, is 57 percent owned by Canadian media giant CanWest Global Communications.

CanWest also owns TV3, TV4 and the More FM radio group in New Zealand, as well as a 72 percent stake of RadioWorks, formerly known as Radio Pacific.

The hints follow CanWest's purchase this week of Conrad Black's newspaper assets in Canada.

The $C3.5 billion ($NZ5.2 billion) deal is the largest in Canadian media history and will saddle CanWest with significant debt. The sale of its New Zealand assets would help offset the debt.

Ten's chief executive, John McAlpine, said the network was considering several investments, and hoped to land ``a couple'' before Christmas.

He noted Ten had little debt so it was well-placed to expand in the area of ``advertiser driven media''.

He also noted Ten would be a ``natural buyer'' for CanWest's New Zealand assets.

The network has strong links with News Corporation's Fox studio.

However, it has recently indicated a change in focus, aiming at the 16 to 39-year-old audience, which closely matches TV3 and TV4.

It has also indicated it is considering more local content, instead of deals with Hollywood studios.

TV3's managing director, Graeme Hunter, today confirmed the move had been discussed, but stressed it was not yet being seriously considered.

However, he agreed there was ``certain merit'' in the idea. As well as being easier to report to Australia than Canada it would make sense for the two networks to co-operate on programming, joint productions and sales operations.

Mr Hunter said advertisers already queried why Ten Network and the New Zealand channels could not work more closely together.

Meanwhile, RadioWorks also revealed today that it was ending its contract with news provider Independent Radio News (IRN) in November.

IRN is owned by CanWest's main radio competitor in New Zealand, The Radio Network (TRN).

TRN is in turn partly owned by publisher Wilson & Horton.

RadioWorks intends setting up its own service which it will use for its own stations, as well as an internet site it is considering developing.

It is believed to have discussed its plans with other news organisations, including TV3.

Mr Hunter confirmed preliminary talks had taken place. However, he stressed that TV3 was keen to see RadioWorks get the service up and running first.

``It's the logical first step before we muddy the waters with any synergies with television.''

IRN also has a contract to supply a news feed to TV3, but TRN chief executive Kevin Malone said there was no indication TV3 was also considering ending its contract.

Mr Malone said he believed RadioWorks was planning its own bureau before CanWest made its raid on the company in May.

``Radio has been the core business for IRN for many years but fortunately we have grown on the content side. I think that's where Steven Joyce wants to take RadioWorks to compete with us and I wish him well. We have a 16-year head start.''

TELSTRA SATURN IN RESALE DEAL WITH SKY TV
By: NZPA

Wellington, Aug 3 - Telstra Saturn has signed a deal to sell the digital services of Sky Television.
The arrangement, details of which have yet to be worked out, follows a similar non-exclusive deal between Sky TV and Telecom in April, and one with Meridian Energy.

``Sky's programming will complement Telstra Saturn's existing television offering as well as our telephone and internet services,'' said Sean Wynne, managing director of Saturn's residential division, in the announcement.

Telecom spokesman Martin Freeth told NZPA his company would not comment on someone else's deal. He noted Telecom and Sky were already running a trial mixing phone and television services and the arrangement was non-exclusive, he said.

The Business Herald reported today that Sky was also believed to have held talks with Vodafone and Clear. But all Sky's chief operating officer, John Fellet, would say was that it was willing to talk with anyone

Telecom built a 10 percent holding in Independent Newspapers Ltd, 49 percent owners of Sky TV, earlier this year. The move was viewed as being aimed at allowing Telecom to get closer to Sky.


TRANS-PACIFIC CABLE LAYING TROUBLE FREE, INCLUDING SUVA
By: NZPA

Wellington, Aug 3 - The construction of the Southern Cross trans-Pacific telecommunications cable has gone smoothly and no problems are anticipated despite it passing through the current trouble spot of Suva in Fiji.
``We have got a functional ring that goes round the other side (of the Pacific) because of the link that goes from Auckland to Hawaii as well as the one that goes from Sydney via Fiji,'' Southern Cross Cable Network spokesman Geoff Bilbrough told NZPA today.

``So there is a full ring structure in the event of anything happening which is unlikely -- we have gone through the whole current situation without any problems at all -- we would route up the other side of the ring,'' he said.

The company today announced that with completion of the land link between Hillsboro, Oregon, and San Luis Obispo, California, the construction phase of the overall project was complete and the network would enter service by November 15.

By then it would comprise a fully protected fibre cable ring linking Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii. The other part of the cable system linking Hawaii, Oregon and California would initially be served by a spur cable which will be partitioned to take two way traffic -- ``so it acts like a ring but is only one piece of cable''.

The final part of the loop between North America and Hawaii was expected be completed by late January or early February, Mr Bilbrough said.

Work on laying the trans-oceanic network began at Clovelly, Sydney in early July last year. Using six cable ships to cross the Pacific Ocean twice laying over 28,500km of submarine cable and over 500 optical repeaters to depths of up to 7000m.

Online piracy of films grows rampant
By Reuters
Special to CNET News.com
August 3, 2000, 9:00 a.m. PT
LOS ANGELES--It's the ultimate horror story for Hollywood executives: millions of people watching the latest movies for free.

An underground market of pirated films is growing fast on the Internet, with some experts saying illegal downloading could top 1 million movies a day by the end of next year.

"Film piracy has been around for two-plus years," said Bruce Forest, a director of media and entertainment for Boston-based Viant, a developer of digital businesses. He spoke in Los Angeles this week at the "Herring on Hollywood" conference hosted by Red Herring magazine.

Film and music piracy was a major topic of the conference. Millions of computer users are using the Internet to share everything from music, movies, software and even needlepoint patterns, often without paying for the privilege, via MP3, Napster and other technologies, experts say.

"The Internet and entertainment are on a collision course," said Red Herring Events editor John Mecklenburg. "The copyright case against Napster and recent mergers like the AOL deal with Time Warner are showing how the Internet is changing the entire entertainment landscape."

Viant, which develops digital businesses for many blue chip companies ranging from Sony to Hewlett-Packard, estimates that 150,000 films per day were illegally downloaded last year, rising to about 350,000 per day this year, he said.

"This kind of piracy can't be controlled using traditional enforcement or litigation. You have to combat it and co-opt it," he said.

The proliferation of such piracy is forcing new business models to be forged, Forest said. Viant has been working with some of the world's largest record companies and movie studios to solve the problem, he said, declining to elaborate.

Much of the illegal transfer of films takes place using File Transfer Protocol (FTP), which has created a network of private servers often accessible only by invitation, and Internet Relay Chat (IRC), a protocol based around real-time conversations via computer keyboards, which is popular among serious programmers and computer hackers, Forest said.

"The FTP and the IRC are where the black market begins. This is where most of the films appear first," he said, noting that the IRC and FTP are also used for many legitimate purposes.

Forest said that film piracy primarily occurs through a "theatrical" window as well as a "home video" window.

Through what Viant refers to as the "theatrical window," an individual may, for instance, get an early post-production version of a film such as the hit slasher spoof "Scary Movie" from a studio.

That person then puts the video into a videocassette player and using a device known as a capture card, transmits the film to a hard drive, where it is compressed by DivX, a format that allows films to be reduced in size while retaining original quality. After that, it can be easily downloaded.

Another method is to simply set a camera next to a projector in a movie theater and record the film and upload to the computer. Pirates also simply copy and transmit home digital video disks (DVDs), using decryption methods that are getting exposure through the Internet.

The motion picture industry is embroiled in a suit to stem this kind of digital video piracy.

The case pits Hollywood's biggest studios against computer journalist, Eric Corley, the publisher of 2600, a top magazine and Web site of the computer hacker underground. The studios say Corley has spread a utility that allows DVDs to be copied and transmitted over the Web.

Corley allegedly publicized the existence of a software utility known as Decode Content Scrambling System (DeCSS) and then posted the underlying source code of the program on his Web site, allowing other programmers to copy and use DeCSS.

The studios, including Seagram's Universal Studios, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Time Warner, are seeking to stop Corley from republishing the software code that unlocks the media scrambling within DVDs.

"Film piracy is where MP3 piracy was in 1997, but now that so many people have adopted digital downloading, the adoption curve is exponentially faster," Forest said.

Indeed, last week's injunction against song-swapping service Napster, which was later reversed by a court stay, only proved that fans who wanted access to free music by trading MP3 files needed only to turn to other file-sharing services, such as Gnutella.

Forest said the Corley lawsuit also will do little to stop pirates who want to dabble in the black market for films.

"Even if the studios are wildly successful against Corley and shut down 2600, the publicity has already increased awareness and there are thousands of sites that have posted links to the DeCSS program," Forest said.

Both Forest and Viant executive Lance Trebesch noted that one way to combat piracy is for the traditional media companies to step up efforts to provide easier and better quality digital content. Trebesch likened Hollywood's current battle against piracy to the cable industry's years ago.

"Everyone used to pirate cable, but then people stopped because prices for cable service came down and the quality of offerings improved," Trebesch said.

3/8/00

Thanks to those that turned up in the chatroom plenty of discussion for a change. Hits on the site are way up which is good..Its just about at the redesign stage. I will start on that tonight hopefully. I want to add a few more satellites first.

From the Dish

Olympic channels are not FTA on Optus

Something happening on 177E "INTELSAT-702" 12728, sr28000 2/3 and also 12635 sr8880 fec 3/4 any reports?

Jcsat 3at 128E many are enjoying the free movies on 3960V "Hollywood Movies" Sr 30000 fec 7/8

Users of the chatroom report Thaicom 3 power levels down anyone else noticed?

113E Palapa C2 4071H sr 14030 "ABN" CNA?? see below

NEWS

Loral to build iPSTAR 1


Shin Satellite Public company Limited, Thailand, has reached an agreement
with Space Systems Loral (SSL) of the United States to construct iPSTAR-1. The
new satellite will be the fourth for Shin Satellite, but the first specifically
designed by the company to deliver broadband communications and interactive
broadcasting services.


iPSTAR is the first of a new generation of broadband satellites that will act
both as an Internet backbone connection to fibre optic cables for ISPs and as a
last-mile broadband Internet service to consumers. iPSTAR-1 will have a total
of 100 beams: 87 Ku-band spot beams, three Ku-band shaped beams and 10 Ka-band
spot beams. It is scheduled to begin service in early 2003 and will remain in
geostationary orbit at 120 degrees East for 12 years, serving the entire Asia
Pacific region.
Executive Chairman Dr. Dumrong Kasemset stated, "Satellite construction
should be completed within 2002 and delivered for launch by the end of the year.
" said Dr. Kasemset. "The estimated cost of the project is US$350 million, which
includes the cost of the satellite, launch cost, insurance and gateways. The
project will be financed 50 percent with export financing with the balance of
system cost met by selling advanced capacity to national service operators
(NSOs) who will in turn sell it to their customers."
"While iPSTAR-1 will be based on a Loral 1300S bus [a variation of SSL's 1300
satellite product line], it will be many times more efficient than conventional
broadcast satellites. By using intensive frequency reuse as well as other
proprietary technology, iPSTAR will have a total throughput capacity of 50
gigabits per second, almost 25 times the capacity of a conventional satellite,"
said Mr. Paiboon Panuwattanawong, Vice president for Advanced Satellite Systems
at Shin Satellite, head of the iPSTAR project team.
Loral said in a statement, "The 1300S features larger and more efficient
power-generating solar arrays with improved subsystems for managing and storing
power; a more efficient means of heat dissipation; proven, fuel-efficient ion
propulsion thrusters for station-keeping; and advanced command and control
systems, all combining to provide a long useful life on orbit, as well as the
exceptional reliability for which SSL satellites are known. In addition, the
bus has an expanded component mounting area."

Getting a reaction from your television

from theage.com.au

By JANE SCHULZE
Thursday 3 August 2000

Sam Chisholm: Brings his UK experience with interactive television back to Australia.




A company chaired by former Nine Network chief Sam Chisholm will offer Australia's first interactive games channel on the Austar's pay television network from October this year.

The company, Two Way TV Australia, has licensed technology from its parent company Two Way TV (UK), which provides interactive games to 95 per cent of UK cable subscribers.

Two Way TV Australia's managing director, Jim McKay, said Austar's subscribers would initially get access to games customised for Australia.

But he said Two Way TV Australia was "in discussions with a range of parties" to provide other forms of interactive TV in addition to games.

The channel will launch with five games, including a trivia-based game similar to the Nine Network's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, a word game and two Nintendo/arcade-style games, but the company plans to eventually increase the number of games being offered to at least 10.

The games channel will be available to Austar's subscribers with set-top boxes equipped to handle the Open TV interactive system. The Two Way TV system does not require an Internet connection.

Viewers will use standard remote control handsets to interact and at some point the company plans to offer prizes.

Mr McKay said remuneration details were still being negotiated between the company and Austar, and the channel could become pay-per-view or a share of revenue arrangement devised.

He said the channel might bolster revenue through advertising and sponsorship, while interactivity would provide another revenue stream.

"It's meant to become an income-generating opportunity so together we might decide that there is a period where it's free to get people used to playing it," he said. "Or you might have a sample product on that (the free service) and have a higher level which is paid for."

Mr McKay said Two Way TV Australia could eventually list on the stock exchange, but "I tend to think we will want to get some water under the bridge with it first and keep it private".

"Once it's established we will consider an initial public offer," he said.

Mr McKay said the UK company eventually hoped to produce its own interactive TV game shows which it would license to the Australian business.

But in the early stages all the shows will come from the UK and local researchers will write questions for the Australian audience.

"At the end of the day it's envisaged the channel will be wholly operated by Australian personnel trained in state-of-the-art digital interactivity," he said.

The companies have signed a non-exclusive agreement and Two Way TV hopes to provide similar services to other pay TV companies and the free-to-air networks once the digital services are launched in January.

"We are going to be available to anyone who knocks on our door," Mr McKay said.

Mr Chisholm - who owns 20 per cent of Two Way TV Australia - was involved in interactive television in the UK through the launch of British Interactive Broadcasting and as the chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's UK pay TV company BSkyB.

Other shareholders include the UK parent with 37.5 per cent, Mr McKay with 20 per cent and Reg Grundy's RG Capital with just 2.5 per cent.

Two Way TV (UK) chief executive Simon Cornwell said the company was bringing its technology to a market with huge potential.

2/8/00 2nd update more news added

2/8/00

Live chat tonight in the chatroom 8.30pm and onwards Sydney time.Lets have some more chat this time!

Still not much news about! looking for something to read try here http://www.mlesat.com/tutorial.html

The French RFO Bouquet on I701 4005LHC will drop in strength around August 1st, you will need a 7M dish to get it after that!

Intelsat I.P Seminar will be held in Auckland on August the 9th this is a free day long seminar sponserd by TVNZ and others, (Details email dstevens@attglobal.net)

Comet buys share in Strongline Antennas (NZ) see Satfacts website for details http://satfacts.kwikkopy.co.nz/

From the Dish

Optus B3, Several Zee channels on 12,532 V, MPEG-2/clear:
2561/2561: Zee TV
2576/2577: Zee Cinema
2608/2609: Zee News
2624/2625: Alpha TV Punjabi
2640/2641: Alpha TV Gujarati & Bangla
Gurjari Channel is still on PIDs 2064/2065, encrypted.

C7 Sport Olympic promos have started on 12,376 H, MPEG-2/clear, PIDs 517/645 and 518/646.

Measat 2 occasional feeds on 11,478 H and 11,664 H, MPEG-2, SR 30000, FEC 7/8.

Ekushey TV on Asiasat 3 is transmitting FTA on 3749V

NEWS

From Zeetelevision.com

Zee Malamaal contest commemorate Zee's 8th birthday

To commemorate its eighth birthday on October 8, the popular private television channel Zee on Monday announced the launch of prize money contest programme Zee Malamaal.


Sainath, president, Zee Telefilms, said, Zee Malaamal was not not aimed at eclipsing Star Plus channel`s popular Hindi quiz programme Kaun Banega Crorepathi being compared by former superstar Amitabh Bachchan. Mr Sainath also announced that Zee would be penetrating the non- Hindi speaking regions by launching channels in Punjabi, Gujarati and Marathi. In the southern region after its tie up with the Malayalam channel "Asianet", Zee would be launching separate channels in Tamil and Kannada.


He said that Zee had been evolving keeping in mind the importance of being contemporary in its programme content. "We have been interacting with our viewers through our programs since inception in 1992. Viewers can participate in Zee programs live and on line.


"And to get closer to viewers on the occasion of its birthday, Zee will go interactive live and find out the opinions within a day", he said.


Net or TV? Telstra opens can of worms
By FINOLA BURKE

MORE than a few eyebrows were raised on Friday at the news that Telstra had agreed to carry Access1 on its broadband cable.

The deal apparently came as a surprise to Telstra's pay TV executives. It seems the arrangement with Access1 was struck by the online executive team.
Access1 sells access to the internet over a satellite distribution system using subscription television channels to drive sales.

Now Telstra and Access1 have signed an umbrella agreement for Access1 to deliver its subscription television content on Telstra's high-speed internet operation, Big Pond Advance, for the next 18 months with an 18-month extension.

The curious thing about this new partnership is that Telstra could deliver the Seven Network's C7 sports channels on its cable to its broadband cable users.

This has opened up a can of worms for Telstra.

Not only could this create friction within the Foxtel partnership, but it also raises questions about online sporting rights.

At present, Access1 carries the Bloomberg business news channel and C7's two AFL-dominated sports channels and its two Olympics channels.

But it is only two weeks past launch and plans to add several more channels to its line-up.

It is believed to be negotiating to carry Sky News, the local news channel produced by Seven, Nine Network and British Sky Broadcasting.

In essence, Access1 is a pay TV service. The only difference is that Access1's channels come through the PC rather than the television.

The deal with Telstra will bring a second pay TV service to the broadband cable.

Telstra will deliver 40,000 potential customers to Access1 through Big Pond Advance. Telstra and Access1 will share any revenue derived from subscriber payments and advertising.

Access1 also delivers to the alliance its system of individually focused advertising.

Managing director Tony Brennan says Access1 is able to pinpoint individual subscribers and air ads specific to their tastes. In essence, different subscribers will receive different ads even though they may be watching the same channel.

There is nothing stopping Telstra from doing this deal and it makes sense for the cable operator to get as many content providers on the network as it can.

Foxtel only has exclusive access to the cable through the set-top boxes attached to television sets and even that is under siege, awaiting a decision from the full bench of the Federal Court.

It might, however, create some discomfort for Telstra around the Foxtel board table with its heavyweight partners, Kerry Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting and News Limited, publisher of The Australian.

Telstra says it would not do anything to break its agreement with Foxtel.

That may be so, but it invites the question: why strike an agreement with a content provider whose main offering is two sports channels competing directly with News and PBL's pay sports channel, Fox Sports?

A bigger issue, however, is what the sporting bodies make of this deal.

Neither the AFL nor the National Rugby League has awarded their online rights. When Seven Network won the free to air and pay TV rights for the AFL five years ago, the internet was still a fledgling service. The NRL also held back the rights to its online properties in the shake-out of the Super League and the Australian Rugby League.

Now both organisations are contemplating the sale of those rights as they renegotiate their free to air and pay TV rights.

The question they will no doubt ask is whether airing pay TV channels over Telstra's broadband cable would need online licences.

Is it television or is it the net? Welcome to the age of convergence.

Let the Games Be Streamed
by Steve Kettmann
From http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,37849,00.html

3:00 a.m. Aug. 1, 2000 PDT


If anyone has grand visions of hitting the Web to bypass NBC's time-delayed offerings from the Summer Olympics in Sydney, they'll probably be disappointed.

An International Olympic Committee spokesman confirmed this week that webcasting sports action from Sydney will be prohibited because the normal national boundaries that cover broadcast rights do not apply in cyberspace.

"Since the Internet has no borders, there's no way we could, for example, give Internet rights in the United States that wouldn't impinge on the rights we've already given to networks," the spokesman said.

But a number of ideas have been kicked around for offering geographically limited access to websites that could then offer streaming video of Marion Jones winning yet another gold medal or, perhaps, some Australian in a high-tech sharkskin suit setting a world record. For example, a site based in Germany could block a user in the United States from accessing proprietary video prior to its television broadcast back home.

The IOC is glad to hear any and all ideas -- and, in fact, has called a two-day summit December 4-5 in Lausanne, Switzerland, to plan for future Olympics and explore "the challenge of the emerging media and sports," as the spokesman put it.

Among those who will be there is Quokka.com, which is teaming up this year with NBC to offer extensive coverage of the Olympics.

"We will definitely be participating in that conference," said Tom Newell, general manager for NBC/Quokka Ventures.

"The next games is in February 2002, here in the United States (in Salt Lake City), and I expect the IOC will review their entire position before then," Newell said. "You may have new technologies that are available. Certainly you will have more people in closed systems, with cable modems or DSL connections."

But Newell said that, given current technological limitations, Quokka and NBC are not overly worried about not being able to use video from Sydney.

"We went into this venture with NBC knowing there would probably be some kind of limitations," he said. "Frankly, the video experience isn't very good. We probably wouldn't have changed a lot if we hadn't had this as a variable. One of the problems with streaming video is bandwidth problems that most people have. If you're sitting on a 28.8 modem, it doesn't work very well. It breaks up. It's not very good.

"What we try to do is to provide an entertainment experience that won't rely on video. We'll use some video as a source material," he said. "NBC is going to have their own unilateral cameras. We'll be able to access the marvelous images that come from the broadcasts and display still pictures."

If that sounds a little boosterish, that's how it goes with Olympics sports. But no one can accuse the NBC/Quokka Ventures site of not being thorough. In addition to commentaries from NBC sportscasters like Ted Robinson (baseball) or bearded Alexi Lalas (soccer) and features on the individual athletes, the site also has as much information as anyone could want on Sydney and all the sports to be represented there.
If you're a big fan of, say, beach volleyball (there are pictures), the site offers features, Olympic news, results, schedules, athlete bios and an explanation of the sport. A "joust," for example, is "a battle above the height of the net between two players contacting the ball at the same time."

Just in case you were wondering.

Some analysts think depending on how the joint venture between NBC and Quokka works out, it could dictate what the IOC decides on allowing more access to webcast images next time around.

"It's hard to tell what the IOC is going to go to," said Christopher Todd, an analyst for Jupiter Communications. "I think this Olympics will be a pretty good test of what transpires down the road.

"The relationship between NBC and Quokka.com shows that the Internet audience has really reached a critical mass. The IOC is going to want to have a webcast wherever the most people are," Todd said. "If NBC and Quokka.com can pull more people in than the IOC site, then it just makes sense to put the content where the eyeballs are for the good of the Olympic movement."

Todd, formerly senior manager for interactive marketing at CBS Sportsline, thinks the technological obstacles to syndicating Web rights geographically will not be difficult to overcome.

"As bandwidth continues to evolve, and access is more dedicated, webcasting will continue to evolve and grow in popularity and functionality," he said. "It's going to be somewhat parallel to what the NBA is looking to do, for example, looking to syndicate its content in Singapore or other places. Users can select a country or language. Or they might devise some kind of model where they can segment that out to particular countries, like the United States."

As for this year's Olympics, the boundary between what is allowed and what is not allowed is not altogether clear. CNN reportedly plans to offer some webcasting from Olympic venues. Six calls to CNN spokespeople went unanswered, so it's hard to say for sure what CNN has in mind.

1/8/00

Thanks to those that turned up in the chatroom lastnight...wasn't it dead though :-( there wasn't much chat going on. Perhaps I should organise a guest sometime. Anyway Zee is up and running with programming now on Aurora if you lucky it will last a week before going CA. Theres not a lot of news around lately, if you know of some news or some good links or pictures then please email them to me.

Does anyone have an email address for Sony TV?

From my Email

No reply from Measat as yet

From the Dish

just the Zee Channels started programming FTA 5 channels and 1 testcard Optus B3 156E Aurora 12532 V Sr 30.000, FEC 2/3

NEWS

ASTRO to screen Olympics
RTM-Malaysia has signed an agreement with MEASAT Broadcast Network Systems Sdn Bhd, operator of pay TV ASTRO, for the sub-licensing of Malaysian broadcasting rights to the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

RTM had earlier acquired the exclusive Malaysian broadcast rights for the Games from the ABU. RTM will be the only terrestrial broadcaster in Malaysia to carry live and delayed telecasts of the games, to be held from September 15 to October 1.

Its TV1 and TV2 channels will broadcast about 13.5 hours of the Games daily. A 35-member RTM crew will travel to Sydney.

ASTRO director Dato Haji Badri Haji Masri said, "We are delighted that RTM has graciously agreed to sub-license to us the rights to carry the broadcasts of the Sydney Games. With these rights, ASTRO will endeavour to avail multiple-channel coverage of the Games to all our subscribers, which currently number over 380 thousand."

The Pakistan Television Corporation Limited (PTV) is to rejoin Asiavision after an absence of more than eight years.



Members of the ABU (Asian Pacific Broadcasting Union) news exchange approved PTV's application for membership of Asiavision at their annual meeting in Tokyo last week.

PTV Managing Director Yousaf Baig Mirza told TVnewsweb that Asiavision approached PTV earlier this year and invited its application for membership. The move came at a time when PTV, looking to expand its news broadcasting, was ready to rejoin:

"For multiple reasons Asiavision membership was not taken for eight years," said Yousaf. "Perhaps because of cost we decided not to go for it. But now Asiavision has approached us and we have some more dollars here now! We decided it is better to share information and get the benefits back, so we are joining."

Yousaf explained PTV produces hard news and feature news covering arts, tourism and human interest stories.

"We regularly produce these features and they are all available in our library. We will be offering them to Asiavision and we will be looking for similar - particularly human interest stories - from our Asiavision colleagues".

"We will be covering different, more modern stories. We want to add a fresh input."
At the moment news runs every hour on PTV up to 2300 local time, with domestic news predominant at 70 percent and international news occupying roughly 30 percent of an average bulletin. But Yousaf said the coverage policy at PTV would be changing, in part because it is joining Asiavision:

"We will be covering different, slightly more modern stories. We want to add a fresh input, covering features and a range of other stories."

The change is also due to PTV's own plans to expand its news broadcasting to a 24-hour operation. Yousaf is fully behind these plans:


"I am personally interested in a more dedicated news channel. Our ultimate objective is a wide range of broadcast activities including nationwide as well as international news. The PTV audience is interested in getting more news from Europe, America and the Middle East."


Membership of Asiavision will give PTV a wide choice of international stories from the region. And, with access to EBU (European Broadcasting Union) stories on an ad hoc basis, there'll be more news from Europe and the United States.


PTV expects to join Asiavision in August, one of two new members this year, which will bring its membership to 12 broadcasters. NTV-Nepal rejoined Asiavision in April, also after a break of several years.