My ICQ decided to corrupt its Database file so I lost a number of my contacts, seem to have most of them back if you chat to me on icq send me a hello message. So I can check if your missing from my contacts list.

I have the builder here at the moment putting some beams off the roof to make a courtyard type area off the side of the house. There is now a beam right in line with my dish (yes the brick mounted one) so my Optus B1 and B3 signals are well down. But not to worry once the builders finished these beams will have several Ku dishes mounted on top B1, B3, NSS5 ?, Asiasat 4?

Duna TV has been seen testing a few times on B3, Globecast mux I have not caught it yet. But it has been testing on the Adhoc channel.

From my Emails & ICQ

From Bill Richards

0230 UTC

Asiasat 2 3914V "Asian Table Tennis Feed" Sr 5700, FEC 3/4, Vpid 1160 Apid 1120 SID1

0530 UTC

AsiaSat 2 3945V Sr 6666, FEC 7/8, Vpid 308 Apid 256 SID1 "CCTV Test Card FTA Occ Feed"


From Iwan

Subject: [Apsattv] Palapa C2: MTV, Metro, and TV5 are still there

Hi dudes,

I wanna give ya some corrections here, MTV, Metro TV, and TV5 Asie
are still there and running FTA. As I'm enjoying it now. I don't know
who made that rumor (not just once but several times around these 3

Cheers, Iwan

From the Dish

Optus B3 156E 12336 V "Duna TV ocasional tests on adhoc channel"

Asiasat 3 105.5E 3760 H "Indus News" has left again, replaced by a test card.

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3424 H "Korean Central TV" has left
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3678 H New FEC for Korean Central TV : 2/3.


Drop pay-TV restrictions: Murdoch

From http://foxsports.news.com.au/story/0,8659,6053899-23210,00.html

THE deputy chief operating officer of The News Corporation Ltd, Lachlan Murdoch, has urged the Federal Government to abandon the television industry's anti-siphoning laws.

Mr Murdoch said the laws were restricting what could be shown on pay television.

He said in the United States and New Zealand, sports programs were not subject to any anti-siphoning rules.

"In Australia, I believe anti-siphoning is the next battlefield of reform for our industry," he told the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association conference in Sydney.

Mr Murdoch said that by abandoning the anti-siphoning laws, immediate benefits would flow to sports fans across Australia.

Mr Murdoch said the existing system for allowing for anti-siphoning rules had been in place since 1994 and was recently extended to 2005.

"It should now be brought to a close," he said.

Anti-siphoning rules are designed to prevent popular events migrating only to pay TV.

They give free-to-air channels the first chance to buy broadcast rights for a range of selected sports.

(Craigs comment, I did have a look at this yesterday and I have to agree, it's not surprising Australian pay tv isn't doing that well with so much sporting events still being on FTA, meanwhile Ireland is looking to protect certain sports content as well http://www.aba.gov.au/tv/content/sport/list.htm )

Ireland acts to put top sports on free TV

From http://media.guardian.co.uk/broadcast/story/0,7493,904351,00.html

The Irish government today introduced legislation to ensure that the country's main sports events are covered on free-to-air television.

It will mean the country's national broadcasters, Granada's TV3 and RTE, could force the Irish football authorities to hand over the rights to Ireland internationals even if Sky TV put in a bigger bid.

The proposal will permit broadcasters to go to court 28 days before a designated fixture to obtain permission to show the event if no agreement proves possible with the event's organisers.

Announcing the move in Dublin, the communications minister, Dermot Ahern, said he hoped the law would be in place in time for Ireland's European Championships qualifying tie against Albania in June.

However, the move is likely to anger the Football Association of Ireland, which was has long complained about lack of funds and which came under fire from Manchester United's Roy Keane for scrimping on travel and training arrangements.

Legislation to protect big events was set in train last year after the FAI controversially signed a deal with Sky for live coverage of home soccer internationals, prompting widespread protests from soccer fans and senior government figures.

In response, the Irish government drew up a list of major sporting events that would be protected from exile to pay TV including all Irish fixtures in the European and World Cups and rugby's Six Nations and World Cup competitions. The Irish government list was ratified by the European Union last month.

Mr Ahern said the Irish sporting public had long recognised certain major sporting events as "being of such particular importance that they should be carried on free television".

"Last July we saw how at least some of those events can be removed and placed on subscription or pay-per-view channels. At the time I disagreed with that move and asked for a change of heart from those responsible," he said.

The minister also said that the proposed law would, in the case of soccer internationals, have the effect of returning the games to free TV where they could be enjoyed by the young and elderly in particular.

"I am trying to strike a balance here between the competing interests of the event organiser, who wants a fair and market return for their sport, and the qualifying broadcaster, as laid down under the EU directive," Mr Ahern said.

The move will come as a blow to Sky, which could also face losing its exclusive rights to live Premier League football if a European investigation forces the league to split the games between pay TV and free-to-air broadcasters.

The UK already has a list of events that are protected for free-to-air television but it is less extensive than the Irish proposals and includes big one-off events such as the FA Cup Final and World Cup matches involving the home nations.

BBC World joins AUSTAR’s channel line-up

From Press Release

AUSTAR United Communications (AUSTAR), Australia’s leading satellite television provider, announced today that BBC World, the BBC’s international 24-hour news and information channel, will be added to AUSTAR’s service, from tomorrow 1 March 2003.

Deanne Weir, AUSTAR’s Group Director Corporate Development and Legal Affairs, said, “AUSTAR is delighted to add to our service BBC World, which is respected as one of the world’s greatest sources of international news.

“BBC World adds yet another layer of depth to our extensive, 24-hour news services, which also includes Sky News, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg as well as ABC and SBS. Such an abundance of choice and quality enables our viewers to select from a diversity of information sources, voices and opinions – a facility that has become particularly important given the state of current world events.

“We have received strong demand from our customers to include BBC World in our service. We have listened to our customers, and are pleased to deliver what they want,” Ms Weir said.

Stephanie Dobey, Channel Manager BBC World, Australasia said, “ We are delighted that Australia’s regional viewers will be able to access BBC World through AUSTAR. BBC World combines an in-depth, impartial view on the worlds’ news, business and weather with award-winning current affairs, documentary and lifestyle programming. Drawing on the world’s largest newsgathering operation, comprising 58 international news bureaux and 250 correspondents worldwide the channel is now available in over 250 million homes globally.”

Later in the year, AUSTAR also expects to deliver the BBC’s news and information 24-hour radio channel, BBC World Service, as part of AUSTAR’s digital radio service.

BBC World will be available on AUSTAR’s satellite service on Channel 35 as part of the ‘Basic Service’, at no extra cost to customers.

- - - Down Under Sat Use-Surveillance and Firefighting - - -

From skyreport

According to SkyREPORT's Down Under colleague Paul Budde, Australian company TC Communications has
developed and installed a highly advanced, satellite-based video monitoring system for the Department of Customs to use aboard Customs patrol aircraft.

Customs has equipped three aircraft with the unique surveillance application. It's equipping a total of five in coming weeks, Budde's research firm said. The cool part: The satellite system is equipped with HDTV and has the capability of delivering
in-close video images, which have greatly enhanced Custom's Coastwatch surveillance program.

Also, at the height of the recent wildfire season in Australia, the Dash 8 was re-assigned from coastal surveillance and tasked to fire spotting - beaming live, real time footage to officials. The work significantly aided the immediate analysis of fire behavior by firefighters, Paul Budde said. Budde operates Paul Budde Communications, a global telecommunications and information highways consultancy and research company based in Australia.

The company's Web site can be found at:
www.budde.com.au. The e-mail address is: pbc@budde.com.au.

ABS-CBN expands satellite programming

From http://www.advanced-television.com/pages/pagesb/newsdaily.html

ABS-CBN International, North America, a subsidiary of ABS-CBN Broadcasting (the largest media company in the Philippines and one of the largest in Asia), has inked a deal with Irdeto Access, which will allow the broadcaster to expanded the number of programming channels it airs in the United States and Canada.

ABS-CBNI relies on Irdeto M-Crypt conditional access (CA) system to protect its direct-to-home, satellite-based content, which includes three television channels and two radio channels. The company has purchased 75,000 smart cards that allow customers subscribing to The Filipino Channel, Cinema One, and ABS-CBN News Channel to access the purchased content seamlessly.

Panic stations for SA porn subscribers

From http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=79&art_id=vn20030227055355303C377064&set_id=1

South Africans subscribing to a new satellite porn channel available in southern Africa since December may have their viewing cut short.

The channel, Don't Panic TV, broadcasts sexually explicit films 24 hours a day to existing Multichoice satellite decoders and other decoders equipped with Don't Panic smartcards.

According to senior manager of licensing, monitoring and complaints at the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Stanley Mamaregane the channel's South African distribution rights holders did not apply for broadcasting rights.

An illegal broadcaster could be fined R1-m a day

Mamaregane said a broadcaster contravening the Broadcasting Authority Act can be fined up to R1- million a day for broadcasting an illegal signal to South African viewers.

Don't Panic Smart cards, valid for a year's subscription to the adult service, cost R2 000 and are available at 18 outlets around the country.

George Horn, Pretoria-based owner of the South African distribution rights of Don't Panic TV, said Don't Panic South Africa did not need to apply for broadcasting rights since the signal was sent from Italy via Britain and then relayed to Southern Africa viewers' home dishes by means of the Panamsat 7 satellite situated at 68.5°East.

Satellite television subscribers using the Multichoice decoders have to reset their decoders after installing the smartcard, but it is said not always to work very well.

Lebogang Hashatse of Multichoice corporate affairs said Multichoice cannot act against its subscribers who use their Multichoice decoders for the Don't Panic channel, but Multichoice cannot be held responsible if the decoders don't work properly when they are tuned back to the Multichoice signal.

Orbital Recovery Corporation Chooses Ariane as Primary Rocket For The SLES Telecommunications Satellite 'Rescue' Space Tug

From http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/030227/dcth027_1.html

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Orbital Recovery Corporation has selected Ariane as the primary launch vehicle for its Geosynchronous Spacecraft Life Extension System (SLES(TM)), signing an agreement with Arianespace to orbit at least four SLES space tugs beginning in 2005.

SLES will be carried as a secondary payload on Ariane launches, with a liftoff mass of 500-800 kg, depending on the space tug's specific mission.

The unique SLES is designed to extend the useful lifetime of multi-million dollar telecommunications satellites by 10 years or more, and also is capable of rescuing satellites stranded in incorrect orbits.

"With this agreement SLES is joining some of the world's top satellite payloads on the manifest for this heavy-lift vehicle," Orbital Recovery Corp. Chief Executive Officer Walt Anderson said. "Ariane flexibility was one of the deciding factors in our selection."

The agreement calls for an initial SLES launch on Ariane in the first quarter of 2005, followed by two more SLES flights in 2005 and contract provides for additional launches in 2005 and beyond.

"Arianespace has a tradition of working with promising new companies, and we are pleased to provide launch services for the innovative SLES," said Arianespace Chief Executive Officer Jean-Yves Le Gall. "Our experience in launching multi-satellite payloads -- combined with Ariane's lift capability - - allows the SLES will be launched when needed to serve Orbital Recovery Corporation's mission requirements."


Nothing to say up here today.

From my Emails & ICQ

From Siam Global

Subject: nbn on pas 2





From ME

2 feeds seen on B1 2.40 pm Syd time

12402 V Sr 6666 fec 3/4 Horse Racing feed
12430 V Sr 6620 fec 2/3 some sort of conference (Note the FEC)

From the Dish

PAS 8 166E 3860 H "SET International"is now encrypted.
PAS 8 166E 3860 H "Z Channel"has started Fta, PIDs 440/441.

Agila 2 146E 3840 H "Stellar promo" has started , Fta, SR 2500, FEC 3/4, PIDs 308/256.
Agila 2 146E 3843 H "Solar Entertainment Network" has left (Digicipher 2).
Agila 2 146E 3843 H The test card has left
Agila 2 146E 4070 H "Solar Sports Network, the test cards, 702 DZAS and 98.7 DZFE" have left

Palapa C2 113E 3880 H "MTV Indonesia, Metro TV and TV 5 Asie" have left again.

Koreasat 2 113E 12370 H "WCN" is now encrypted.
Koreasat 2 113E 12530 H "Hyundai-Kia Channel" is now Fta
Koreasat 2 113E 12617 H "FEBC TV" is now encrypted.

Telkom 1 108E 3810 H Trijaya FM has started, Fta, SR 2000, FEC 3/4, APID 256.

Asiasat 3 105.5E 3713 H "MSTV Five Star" has left .
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3760 H "Indus News" has started, Fta, PIDs 1040/1041.
Asiasat 3 105.5E 4020 V "Sahara Rajistan and Sahara Madhiya" have started testing , Fta,PIDs 518/710-519/720.

Yamal 102 90E 3725 L "TV Guberniya and Radio GTRK Dalnevostochnaya" are still on .

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3464 V "Occasional feeds" on , SR 3333, FEC 2/3, Asian beam.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3678 H "Korean Central TV" has started, Fta, SR 3367, FEC 3/4,PIDs 101/102.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3815 V "DD Punjab" has left .

PAS 10 68.5E 3897 V Occasional feeds on , SR 6900, FEC 1/2.
PAS 10 68.5E 3904 V "YTN" (Korean) has started, Fta, SR 2892, FEC 3/4, PIDs 33/36.


Pay TV declares war on pirates

From http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,6038652%255E12280,00.html

IMAGINE: you're lying in bed with the missus, watching one of the movie channels on pay TV, when the doors burst open and a couple of burly coppers pounce, flashing their badges and declaring you're under arrest.

Your crime? The theft of a movie.

This is a scenario the federal Government does not want to see. The idea smacks too much of the old ways of gathering divorce evidence. Yet it is what the pay-TV industry (now keen to be known by the more genteel moniker of subscription TV) wants the law to allow. It wants people who watch subscription TV via illicit smart cards to be guilty of a crime.

At present, it is illegal to sell, distribute or manufacture smart cards (which decode encrypted TV signals) or set-top boxes, which allow viewers to access pay-TV services. But it is not illegal to watch programs illegally accessed.

Piracy is a large issue for the pay-TV industry. It estimates as much as $50 million a year in revenues is being lost via the sale of unauthorised smart cards or other methods of piracy. That would go half way to stemming Foxtel's losses last year.

It is an impact widely felt. As a rule, subscription-TV distributors pay channel providers on the basis of subscription numbers. Therefore, if people can watch without subscribing, there is a direct loss of revenue flowing down the supply chain.

"Piracy is theft," says Deanne Weir, director of corporate development and legal affairs for regional provider Austar, who will participate in a forum on piracy and other policy issues at tomorrow's Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association conference at Star City, Sydney. She says ASTRA is "making a concerted effort to fight back against the pirates, and we are increasing our policing investigations to stamp it out".

And it's working. Last week two men were arrested in Bendigo, Victoria, and summonsed to answer charges of running an organised piracy ring. A joint investigation by Austar and Victorian police revealed that hundreds of residents had been conned into buying bogus smart cards which allowed them to fraudulently access pay TV programs.

Last year, six separate cases were prosecuted in Victoria and NSW, with more than 3000 smart cards seized, and a top fine of $2000 imposed. In many cases people who bought the cards may not have realised they were being party to a crime. Typically, the bogus cards are sold openly in shopping centres, with customers told they can be used to upgrade their subscription services. Therefore, a customer needs only to buy the basic service from a pay-TV provider, and the bogus card will allow them to get all other tiered services, such as the movie channels, for the one-off price of the card.

At present, the industry's investigators and police can rely on a combination of state and federal laws – mainly the Copyright Act – to prosecute. ASTRA director Debra Richards says the issues can be complex and "it would be tidier to have it all under Commonwealth legislation".

She says submissions have been made to the federal Attorney-General and the Department of Communications, but there is a reluctance on the part of the Government to extend the law to make it a crime to view pirated material.

"This is the law in the US, Britain and New Zealand," she says. "We are simply saying we would like the same thing here to act as a deterrent. We don't want to go bursting into homes or bashing down the doors of ordinary people, but it is a serious issue for us.

"Ultimately, the legitimate consumer pays for piracy, and we have to send out a strong message that it is not acceptable."

Piracy is not confined to individual home users. There have been a number of prosecutions over the unauthorised use of sporting events and Sky Channel racing services by pubs and clubs.

The trick here is to subscribe to a pay-TV service which carries Sky racing or Main Event pay-per-view services as a private (home) viewer, then split the feed to TV sets in bars and other public places. In this way a hotel owner could pay about $60 a month for a service that would otherwise cost, on average, more than $1000 a month.

"Sky's commercial fees are based on formulae related to bulk beer sales and wagering turnover if there's a PubTAB outlet," according to Sky Channel's general counsel, Ben Reichel. "It's a way of putting a value on a service which attracts people to the venue. The fees will generally be about $7000 a year for small or remote sites, up to $30,000 a year for places like the Crown Casino."

Sky recently recovered "many tens of thousands of dollars" from a hotel in Hamilton, Victoria, after it sued for revenue lost through piracy. It also won an apology.

Curtains for TV2's all-night music programme

From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/

TV2 has pulled the plug on its all-night music programme, M2.

The show is broadcast from midnight to 6am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and has 33 per cent Kiwi content, including short films.

M2 was subsidised by New Zealand On Air and considered part of its Kiwi music strategy.

Producer David Rose would not comment on TVNZ's decision not to renew the series after the final show next Saturday, but said 4718 New Zealand music clips had been screened during its 18 months on air.

His company, Satellite Media Group, also makes Space and Squeeze for TV2.

TVNZ spokesman Glen Sowry said there was "significant cost" associated with M2 and it was decided that the money would be better spent in other parts of the schedule this year.

"With a finite pool of funding to spend on programmes we are always looking at our schedule and where we should be investing," Mr Sowry said.

The money spent on M2 was not being redirected into one particular area, he said. Movies and shows will replace M2 in the overnight schedule.

NZ On Air chief executive Jo Tyndall said she was disappointed in the demise of M2, which was a first step towards trying to establish a 24-hour music channel.

The series had been allocated $250,000 from the agency's music budget to run until March, and more money would have been available after June.

"I think it would have been great to have found a way to keep it going until we were able to kick in with some more funding, but our support is very much a minority support."

(Craigs comment, who will help these guys to make an ImPACt? a FTA music channel broadcasting to NZ and Australia would be nice..)

New Skies and Intelsat Announce Arrangement to Expand Services in Atlantic Ocean Region

from Press Release

London, UK, 26 February 2003 - New Skies Satellites N.V. (AEX, NYSE: NSK), and Intelsat Global Sales & Marketing, Ltd., two leading providers of global satellite communications services, today announced an arrangement to use their existing orbital and satellite resources at a single orbital location to expand their respective commercial service offerings to the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Under the terms of the agreement, New Skies will allow use of its C-band frequency rights at 340º East, where the U.S.-licensed hybrid Intelsat 603 satellite is currently providing Ku-band services. In return, each company will separately market the satellite's C-band capacity for the delivery of video, Internet and data services throughout the Atlantic Ocean region, sharing revenues from C-band operations.

Each company may also offer "cross-strapped" services, where customer transmissions may be uplinked to the satellite in the C-band and downlinked in the Ku-band, and vice versa.

In addition, the two companies are exploring opportunities for a similar arrangement using New Skies' NSS-513 satellite, which was replaced in the Pacific Ocean region by NSS-5 in December 2002.

Dan Goldberg, New Skies' CEO, said, "This agreement is a positive development for both New Skies and Intelsat. Although we compete vigorously with Intelsat around the world, satellite operators are increasingly entering into such arrangements when it makes good business sense. This agreement is consistent with that broader trend in our industry and is a reflection of our ability to make productive use of our expansion orbital locations without making additional capital expenditures or incurring significant incremental expenses."

"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with New Skies," stated Conny Kullman, CEO, Intelsat, Ltd. "We believe that this will allow us to maximize revenues, minimize costs and optimize orbital resources."

The Intelsat 603 satellite began operations in July 1992 and employs 64 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders (36 MHz equivalent). The satellite's Global, Hemi and Zone C-band beams offer comprehensive coverage of the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In its current inclined orbit, Intelsat 603 is expected to provide services until July 2008.

Turbo Product Coding Offers Intelsat Customers Higher Throughput and Guaranteed Service Quality

From Press Release

Washington, D.C., 26 February 2003 - Intelsat can now deliver greater value to customers through the availability of Turbo Product Coding for use with selected pre-engineered bandwidth solutions targeted at Internet service providers, carriers and corporate network customers, the company announced today.

Turbo Product Coding, one of the most advanced forward error-correction (FEC) coding improvements available for satellite modems, such as the Comtech EF Data CDM-600, reduces the amount of power required for antennas to transmit signals to a satellite while maintaining high error correction performance. As a result, customers can use smaller, less expensive antennas, thereby enabling voice, data and Internet applications to be supported more cost-effectively.

"By combining our new high-power IX series satellites and Turbo Product Coding technology, we are significantly reducing costs for customers while maintaining the quality they have come to know from Intelsat's services," said John Stanton, President, Carrier, Data and Internet Business Unit. "These services are ideal for thin to medium routes (64 kbit/s to 8 Mbit/s) that are under-served terrestrially. It will not only benefit our largest customers, but also emerging carriers, ISPs and corporate service providers by providing high-quality services supported by low-cost customer premises equipment."

Intelsat and Comtech EF Data are working together to provide various Turbo Product Coding promotions to customers. As part of this introduction, the companies are, for a limited time and subject to terms and conditions, offering customers special incentive credits that can be applied to a new Comtech EF Data CDM-600 modem equipped with Turbo Product Coding.

"Comtech EF Data's Turbo Product Code is the latest in a long line of high quality, Intelsat-compliant satellite modem enhancements," said Bob Hansen, Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing, Comtech EF Data. "Through this improvement in forward error correction, Intelsat customers can expect significant power, bandwidth and cost savings."

Please contact Intelsat at turbocoding@intelsat.com or Comtech EF Data at sales@comtechefdata.com for additional details on these programs.


Thanks to all that showed up for the chat last night, the chat seems to get stranger and stranger each week! My isp was giving me a lot of trouble and causing the chatroom to kick me out every few mins. A bit hard to host the chat when that happens.

Can someone check Telstra Bigpond net service has it moved off Pas 2 KU 12280V? someone said users are being moved over to Asiasat 3.

There is a new website similar to Lyngsat, read about it in the Emails section, I gave it a try seems like they put a lot of work into it but here its to slow to be useable.

Foxtel new card mailout? one person in the chatroom reported receiving a new card in the mail. Looks like the big switch is starting moving everyone to Irdeto 2!


Imparja B1 feed , to disappear replaced by a fibre optic link!

From my Emails & ICQ

From Siam Global

Subject: news on pas 2 & thaicom






(Craigs comment, anyone else confirm that it has encrypted allready? some were having trouble with the audio)

From tech<sales@sekisat.com

[Info] New Satellite Search Site !!!

Dear Sirs,

Good day!

We'd like to inform you of "www.isat.info" which is the very first site searching for informations on channels, specifications, languages, countries and frequencies of world satellites as well as on program providers, manufacturers of equipment, and installers.

You, whether you are a equipment manufacturer or a im/exporter, are freely invited to "isat.info", where you can share various informations each other or can have a chance to find good business partners for your near future.

With our fast and reliable news and contents, we "isat info" will do our best to meet your needs.

Your constant participation and concern will be highly appreciated.

For further information on the site, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you.

The World Satellite Receiver Systems ----------
Tel : 82+2+2231+7989 / Fax : 82+2+2232+6373
Website : www.sekisat.com / Email : sekisat@sekisat.com

(Craigs comment, looks interesting wonder if they will be able to keep it updated)

From the Dish

No lyngsat in yet


Sex channel here to stay

From http://www.news24.com/News24/Backpage/BetweenTheSheets/0,5583,2-1343-1346_1325314,00.html

Cape Town - Don't Panic, the explicit sex channel which has had many South Africans glued to their TVs since the beginning of the year, is here to stay.

The Film and Publications Board (FPB) cannot pull the plug on the channel - which broadcasts all types of sex material except child pornography and bestiality - because of a loophole in the law.

The channel is broadcast by an agency in Barcelona that bought airtime a year ago. They broadcast from the PAS 7 and PAS 10 satellites over South Africa.

Viewers can buy a special smart card for R2 000 that gives them a year's access to the channel.

A Fish Hoek businessman who sells the cards says he has been inundated with requests for the smart cards, which are selling like hotcakes.

"The phone never stops ringing. I have had queries from all over the country," he says.

When people buy the card, he provides them with simple instructions on how to reset their decoder within 30 minutes to pick up the channel.

He maintains that he is not breaking any laws.


Ivor Chetty, a director of the FPB, admits that there is a loophole in the law.

"This situation was never anticipated. The problem is not with the legislation.

"Nobody can dictate to other countries what they may and may not broadcast. These days, viewers all across the globe can tune in to any movie or programme they want to without going through national classification boards. They simply download it from the internet or pick it up with a satellite dish.

"The smart card is not illegal. It does not carry any pornographic content. It only provides viewers access to a pornography channel," he says.

"The signal originates outside the country and in South Africa there is nobody who regulates what may be picked up here or not. It is the same as buying a radio and listening to radio stations broadcasting from North Korea on short wave bands."

Two similar French channels using English subtitles might also be available in South Africa by the end of the year.

Lebogang Hashatse of Multichoice Africa says their satellite service has nothing to do with Media Satellite's Don't Panic channel.

"Multichoice distances itself from this adult channel," he says.

Pioneer 10 Faint Beat Signals End Of Longest Mission Into Deep Space

From http://www.spacedaily.com/news/pioneer10-03b.html

After more than 30 years, it appears the venerable Pioneer 10 spacecraft has sent its last signal to Earth. Pioneer's last, very weak signal was received on Jan. 22, 2003.

NASA engineers report Pioneer 10's radioisotope power source has decayed, and it may not have enough power to send additional transmissions to Earth. NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) did not detect a signal during the last contact attempt Feb. 7, 2003.

The previous three contacts, including the Jan. 22 signal, were very faint with no telemetry received. The last time a Pioneer 10 contact returned telemetry data was April 27, 2002. NASA has no additional contact attempts planned for Pioneer 10.

"Pioneer 10 was a pioneer in the true sense of the word.

After it passed Mars on its long journey into deep space, it was venturing into places where nothing built by humanity had ever gone before," said Dr. Colleen Hartman, director of NASA's Solar System Exploration Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington.

"It ranks among the most historic as well as the most scientifically rich exploration missions ever undertaken," she said.

"Originally designed for a 21-month mission, Pioneer 10 lasted more than 30 years. It was a workhorse that far exceeded its warranty, and I guess you could say we got our money's worth," said Pioneer 10 Project Manager, Dr. Larry Lasher.

Pioneer 10 was built by TRW Inc., Redondo Beach, Calif., and was launched March 2, 1972, on a three-stage Atlas-Centaur rocket. Pioneer 10 reached a speed of 32,400 mph needed for the flight to Jupiter, making it the fastest human-made object to leave the Earth; fast enough to pass the moon in 11 hours and to cross Mars' orbit, about 50 million miles away, in just 12 weeks.

On July 15, 1972, Pioneer 10 entered the asteroid belt, a doughnut-shaped area that measures some 175 million miles wide and 50 million miles thick. The material in the belt travels at speeds up to 45,000 mph and ranges in size from dust particles to rock chunks as big as Alaska.

Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to pass through the asteroid belt, considered a spectacular achievement, and then headed toward Jupiter. Accelerating to a speed of 82,000 mph, Pioneer 10 passed by Jupiter on December 3, 1973.

The spacecraft was the first to make direct observations and obtain close-up images of Jupiter. Pioneer also charted the gas giant's intense radiation belts, located the planet's magnetic field, and established Jupiter is predominantly a liquid planet. In 1983, Pioneer 10 became the first human- made object to pass the orbit of Pluto, the most distant planet from the Sun.

Following its encounter with Jupiter, Pioneer 10 explored the outer regions of the solar system, studying energetic particles from the Sun (solar wind), and cosmic rays entering our portion of the Milky Way. The spacecraft continued to make valuable scientific investigations in the outer regions of the solar system until its science mission ended March 31, 1997.

Since that time, Pioneer 10's weak signal has been tracked by the DSN as part of a new advanced-concept study of communication technology in support of NASA's future Interstellar Probe mission. At last contact, Pioneer 10 was

7. 6 billion miles from Earth, or 82 times the nominal distance between the Sun and the Earth. At that distance, it takes more than 11 hours and 20 minutes for the radio signal, traveling at the speed of light, to reach the Earth.

"From Ames Research Center and the Pioneer Project, we send our thanks to the many people at the Deep Space Network (DSN) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), who made it possible to hear the spacecraft signal for this long," said Pioneer 10 Flight Director David Lozier.

Pioneer 10 explored Jupiter, traveled twice as far as the most distant planet in our solar system, and as Earth's first emissary into space, is carrying a gold plaque that describes what we look like, where we are, and the date when the mission began.

Pioneer 10 will continue to coast silently as a ghost ship into interstellar space, heading generally for the red star Aldebaran, which forms the eye of the constellation Taurus (The Bull). Aldebaran is about 68 light- years away.

It will take Pioneer 10 more than two million years to reach it. Its sister ship, Pioneer 11, ended its mission September 30, 1995, when the last transmission from the spacecraft was received. Information about Pioneer 10 is on the Internet at:

Nalini Singh's Nepalese-Hindi channel to launch in March

From http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k3/feb/feb163.htm

NEW DELHI: At a time when the focus of the industry is on news channels and their uplink from India, a Nepalese-Hindi entertainment channel has quietly prepared the ground for its launch next month. An endeavour of TV personality Nalini Singh, the channel has quietly gone about getting the necessary permissions.

"We have got the permission to uplink from India and are soon set to launch an entertainment channel Nepal One that, I am sure, would become the No. 1 channel for Nepal," Nalini Singh told indiantelevision.com. The venture will be done through her company, TV Live India..

The permission for uplinking from Indian government was sought sometime in November and the permission came through recently without the prying media able to sniff out the information.

Nepal One, primarily targeting the Nepal cable homes and people of Nepalese origin in India, would be beamed via Thaicom 3 satellite and uplinked from Delhi, Singh said.

Nepal One would have a mix of music, entertainment and news and current affairs programming, including Nepalese and Hindi films to attract viewers in Nepal and across the border in India in places like the North-East. As an added sop, the channel would also have some programming in Bhojpouri language that is predominantly spoken in the erstwhile Bihar state, which has now been broken up in three smaller states.

However, Singh was not willing to talk money and avoided questions on the investment being made, though indiantelevision.com learns from reliable industry sources that a Nepalese businessman is putting in money in the venture.

"There are talks in the industry that the Nepal One venture may cost Rs 150 crore (Rs 1.5 billion). There is also the mention of a Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion) figure, but I am not telling anything on the investment side," Singh said, adding, however, the "necessary investments" would be made with the effort being to avoid the "razzle dazzle" that is generally associated with satellite channels.

The cable TV market in Nepal is still not as mature as its Indian counterpart, though the Himalayan kingdom does receive 20-odd satellite channels, including Zee TV, Star, CNN, HBO, BBC and private Nepalese satellite channels, apart from the national broadcaster, Nepal TV.

Even as Nepal passes through economic difficulties, there has been a spurt of investment in the newest fad in town, private television channels. Pushed by tens of millions of rupees of investment, three metro channels and three satellite channels, of which one is already running, are preparing to beam their signals to households within the next six months or so. Though the market is small, the half a dozen new entrants and already established NTV will be vying to lure the attention of couch potatoes. Nepalese viewers, particularly the urban ones, whose current staple is the foreign channels, will now have the option of trying homegrown channels. Whether the arrival of domestic private TV channels would force them to stop surfing foreign channels, remains to be seen, wrote a Nepalese magazine recently (Private TV Channels: Watching The Small Screen Grow Up).

Meanwhile, Singh is busy tying up the TV software and private producers in India and Nepal have been sounded out on this. Though, one producer that indiantelevision.com spoke to was a bit sceptical as Singh is not regarded as a good paymaster in the industry and is very tough to please where quality and content is concerned.

But advice and guidance is available within home only for Singh. One of Singh's brothers, Deepak Shourie, has ample experience in media companies having worked with the likes of Living Media, Outlook, Hindustan Times and now as the managing director for Discovery India. Her other brother is Arun Shourie, a powerful minister in the Indian government and, at present, has under his charge the telecom and IT ministry, apart from the disinvestment ministry, and broadcasting infrastructure does fall under the telecom sector.

"I am taking it bite by bite," a cautiously optimistic Singh observes. But there is no denying the fact that India will soon witness another TV production house turn into a broadcaster, a la NDTV.

(Craigs comment, perhaps on the Asia beam?)

Rashtriya to launch spiritual-cum-news channel

From http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?artid=38546855

Advertising agency Rashtriya plans to launch a news-cum-spiritual channel, Sandesh, in April. Around 60 per cent of content of the new free-to-air channel will be spiritual in nature, while the remaining space will be taken up by news and current affairs programmes, according to a report in media and marketing website.

Programming will include live and recorded telecast of spiritual discourses with shows on meditation, yoga, reiki and devotionals music, apart from an hour of national and regional news with focus on North India, the report added.

The channel will be uplinked from Delhi through VSNL on Thaicom Satellite.

NDS To Double Its Staff Strength In India

From http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=28862

Mumbai: News Corporation-promoted NDS is planning to increase its staff in India from the current 70 to 150.

The company, which has encryption systems deployed in direct-to-home (DTH) and cable TV digital set-top boxes, has a software and research development unit in Bangalore.

Under the conditional access system (CAS) regime in India, NDS realises that clients can use their software for the set-top boxes. The company is in talks with multi-system operators (MSOs) and manufacturers for using NDS modules and chips in the set-top boxes. NDS is in discussions with Hathway Cable & Datacom, where Star has a 26 per cent stake, for being the software vendor for its set-top boxes.

“We do not have any orders from the set-top box manufacturers in India at this stage. But the market will open up with the government setting July 14 as the deadline for introducing CAS in four metropolitan cities. We are planning to increase our staff in India to 150,” said NDS Asia-Pacific business development manager Danny Gershon.

He was recently in Mumbai to attend SCaT 2003 workshop on conditional access systems.

NDS has over 500 employees dedicated to pioneering development work at centres in India, Israel, China and the UK. The company employs over 1,400 people, with a major commitment to research and development.

The company has a two-pronged strategy in India: tie-ups with manufacturers for introducing the NDS systems in the set-top boxes or partner with the MSOs for being their software vendor. Around the world, NDS conditional access systems are used by over 30 million subscribers.

NDS is not involved in analog systems anymore but is a leading supplier of open end-to-end digital systems and solutions. NDS technology is embedded in a wide range of manufacturers’ set-top boxes supporting satellite, cable and digital terrestrial transmission.


Live satellite related chat tonight 9pm NZ and 8.30pm Syd time onwards join in the fun.

Not much news to report.

Quite a big update on my Thaicom 3 page

From my Emails & ICQ


The WWE , No way out PPV that was shown in theatres around Australia was broadcast on BTV on Optus B3!

From the Dish

JCSAT 3 128E 3960 V "EETV Movie" is now encrypted.

Yamal 102 90E 3725 L "TV Guberniya and Radio GTRK Dalnevostochnaya" have left .

Thaicom 2 78.5E 3800 H Radio 9/RTEC Radio Thailand has started, Fta, APID 652.

PAS 10 68.5E 3914 V "Occasional feeds from South Africa" on , SR 6111.


Scopus Provides New Digital Platforms to TARBS Australian Ethnic Pay TV Operator

From Press Release

52 channels, transmitted Direct-to-Home from California (USA) throughout North and Central America, are managed remotely from Sydney (Australia)

Tel-Aviv, February 23, 2003 Scopus Network Technologies, the supplier of digital broadcast platforms for the worldwide transmission of the 2002 World Cup Games in Korea, announced today that Television and Radio Broadcasting Services Australia Pty. Ltd. (TARBS) has selected Scopus to supply a complete head-end digital broadcasting system. This new Direct-to-Home (DTH) system is targeting the ethnic television market in the North and Central America.

TARBS is using Scopus’ digital platform, deployed at PANAMSAT’s teleport in the Napa Valley, California (USA), to broadcast 52 channels over four satellite transponders to North and Central America and greatly expand its operations in the Americas. The coverage of PANAMSAT’s Galaxi beam for the ethnic channels, is estimated in the hundreds of millions of viewers.

TARBS’ head-end is based on Scopus’ CODICO® product line and includes professional encoders and multiplexers. Managed in Sydney by Scopus’ new Network Management System, the operation also includes a remote management module to supervise PANAMSAT’s North American teleport in California. Scopus’ capabilities to integrate and operate master, local and remote NMS functions were recently successfully tested by the 2002 FIFA World Cup competition’s unique technical and operational requirements.

Tamir Galili, Scopus VP sales remarked: “We were selected for this project not only because of the quality of the platform, but also because we were provable to provide the know-how to flawlessly manage our technical operations in the US. We provided amazingly fast delivery after order and deployed the system within two weeks.”

Scopus director of sales, Arie Vered said, “TARBS is a leading light in ethnic television broadcasting and Scopus is excited to have been chosen for this project. Together we are working to enable TARBS to expand their services and improve the PayTV marketplace.” Vered continued, “Australia is important to our growth in the Pacific Region and working with TARBS is a part of our market strategy to reach out to fellow innovators. As a leading provider of end-to-end system solutions for the delivery of digital TV and data over broadband networks Scopus mission is to deliver it’s customers, added value services enable them to establish new revenue generators and provide the best TV services. Utilizing our know-how and expertise we create efficient solutions for broadband delivery, with a simple migration path to the next generation TV platform of fully interactive TV (iTV).”

First Kiwi satellite project awaits lift off

From http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,2286917a11,00.html

An attempt to build New Zealand's first space satellite is being launched in Albany.

Fred Kennedy, a Whangaparaoa resident, wants to have New Zealand's first satellite in space and in use by the end of 2005.

The retired engineer is based at Massey University's Albany campus, and has spent the past three years designing and building KiwiSat.

The small, $20,000 box-shaped satellite will feature Earth and sun sensors, a small camera, magnets and solar panels.

But it's not a completely Kiwi effort.

Because of a lack of a launch site in New Zealand to take the satellite into the Earth's orbit, it will need to be launched from Russia through their space programme.

Mr Kennedy is still looking at ways to give the satellite a distinctly New Zealand flavour.

He is considering building some parts with number eight fencing wire, and may include the sound of a kiwi's screech coming from the satellite's radio equipment.

The satellite will be used for transmitting data, images, speech and communication by amateur satellite enthusiasts from around the world. Between 20 to 30 people could use it at one time.

It needs to be perfect by the time it is ready to be launched, as there are no second chances.

Mr Kennedy rigorously tests each component to make sure it will work in orbit and stand up to travelling at 7.5 kilometres a second.

The satellite is designed to last about four years, but it could last much longer, he says.

"That will chug along quite nicely for 20 or 30 years, but people will lose interest in it in four years time," he says.

There are about 45 other amateur satellites circling the Earth. Only 12 countries have built amateur satellites.

If this attempt is successful, Mr Kennedy is keen to develop a satellite with fold-out wings so it can be equipped with more solar panels and generate more power.

But first he needs to find computer programmers to design software for a three-way rotation system.

And, most importantly, he needs to raise the $200,000 to $300,000 it will cost to launch KiwiSat.

Bloomberg Television expands presence in Taiwan

From http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k3/feb/feb150.htm

TAIWAN: Bloomberg Television is set to boost distribution in Taiwan through a partnership with the ERA Group to provide regional and international finance news, information and analysis to the Group's 24-hour cable TV news channel, ERAnews.

The agreement gives Bloomberg Television access to Taiwan's 5.2 million cable households, in the key morning financial news slot of 6am to 8am (Taiwan time), seven days a week. During weekday mornings, ERAnews will broadcast Bloomberg Television's market-moving Bloomberg International and Moneycast Asia programmes. A strong line-up of international weekend money programmes will ensure weekend viewers get their finance fix.

Bloomberg Television will also be streamed over ERA Group's Taiwanese broadband service, IDTV, which is a joint venture with Pacific Century Cyberworks Limited (PCCW).

In addition to the programming partnership, ERAnews will be using Bloomberg's news and data within its own programmes to keep viewers on top of the latest global financial market developments.

Bloomberg Television's Asia-Pacific distribution manager, Bill McHugh said, "Our agreement with ERAnews and the rapid growth we have experienced throughout the Asia-Pacific region is testament to the importance audiences are placing on receiving up-to-date and in-depth global business news reports. The morning time-slot is a key tune-in time for Asia's finance professionals as it enables them to catch up with the close of the US markets and provides the information they need to prepare for the business day ahead."

The ERA agreement comes on the back of Bloomberg Television's announcement last month that it had been awarded one of only two licence applications this year to broadcast on the Chinese government-run direct-to-home satellite TV platform.

Aaj Tak English channel may launch in 10 days

From http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k3/feb/feb151.htm

NEW DELHI: TV Today Network, part of The India Today Group, is all set to launch its English channel over the next 10 days, even as last week it roped in Alok Verma, a senior television professional, as executive producer.

"We don't want to create a hype and hoopla about it, but it (the channel launch) can happen very soon, maybe over the next seven to ten days. It can also happen much before a 10-day period," a source in Aaj Tak informed indiantelevision.com.

The company has been testing the signals, off an INSAT satellite, for quite some time now.

However, the name of the channel is being kept a secret.

It seems that the endeavour is that with the Budget, slated to be presented in Parliament on February 28, a soft launch of the channel is done. But some technical aspects are still to be smoothened.

TV Today Network has been the target of maximum poaching with quite a few top notch anchors, reporters and news producers leaving for rival organisations like NDTV and Star.

In a bid to beef up its act, the company is getting on board new recruits at all levels, including Verma who joined them formally this week.

Verma as the executive producer, along with senior people like Uday Shankar (the No. 2 at TV Today after chief executive G Krishnan), will be responsible for editorial and production aspects of both the channels.

A former print medium journalist, Verma moved on to the electronic medium early and has worked with Zee News, during its better days in the late 1990s, and has also done a stint with Star India at the company's Bangalore-based interactive TV division, amongst other media assignments.

TV Today Network, not part of any bouquet, does not want to take a chance with the distribution angle of the proposed English channel and is leaving no stones unturned to see that the boxes meant for the digital free to air channel is fairly well seeded in the market.

Will the Hindi Aaj Tak go pay simultaneously with the launch of the English channel? A question difficult to answer at this point of time. Industry sources indicate with the government pushing aggressively ahead with conditional access implementation, Aaj Tak or its soon-to-be-on-air sibling doesn't want to get caught in the transition hiccups. That means, Aaj Tak may remain free to air for some more time.


New audio service on Globecast B3 12336V "DMX Music" Fta, Apid 1622 ,Sid 16

April looks very busy for our region , Optus C1 launch?, Insat 3A, Asiasat 4 all set to launch in April.

I must get around to updating all the pages especially some of the gallerys, Thaicom 3 seems active with a lot of changes recently

From my Emails & ICQ

From Bill Richards

Screenshot NBN World TV

From Dave Devon 22/02/03

B1 feed

Golf from Goldcoast
12410V SR6110 3/4

From Spencer 22/02/03


12420 V 6670 3/4 "Im a celeb" NTSC feed

From the Dish

PAS 2 169E 4087 V "NITV and TV Chile" have left , PIDs 518/646 and 519/647, replaced by test cards.
PAS 2 169E 4126 V "NBN" has started , Fta, SR 3615, FEC 3/4, PIDs 33/34, Pacific beam.

Optus B3 156E 12336V "DMX Music" started in the globercast mux, Apid 1622, Sid 16

JCSAT 3 128E 3960 V "ETTV Entertainment" has replaced BNE TV Network, Viaccess 2, PIDs 1232/1233.
JCSAT 3 128E 3960 V "Hollywood Movie Channel" is now encrypted.

Koreasat 2 113E 12290 H "B2C Shopping" has left , replaced by a test card.
Koreasat 2 113E 12330 H "ACN" has left ."C3TV" is now encrypted.
Koreasat 2 113E 12370 H"Withus Movie and both Withus Shopping" have left .Biz TV, MCN Movie, Quizup Interactive TV and Entertainment TV are now encrypted. KCN has replaced MCN Drama on PIDs 1860/1820, PowerVu.
Koreasat 2 113E 12530 H "Asian Movie Channel Korea" is now encrypted.
Koreasat 2 113E 12575 H "Yoon Sat 1" is now encrypted.
Koreasat 2 113E 12598 H "Cinexus" is now encrypted.
Koreasat 2 113E 12682 H The EDU TV mux has left .
Koreasat 2 113E 12697 H "Digital Chosun Open University" has started , Fta, SR 3000,FEC 3/4, PIDs 4194/4195.
Koreasat 2 113E 12731 H "KCTS, CNTV, OBC, Kids TV and Ghem TV" are now encrypted.

Asiasat 2 100.5E 3660 V "Alalam News Channel" has started, Fta, PIDs 513/651, 15-21 UTC.

Yamal 102 90E 3717 L "Rambler Teleset" has started on , clear, SR 7140, FEC 3/4,PIDs 308/256.

ST 1 88E 3632 V "CASA TV" has replaced Scholar Business Network, Fta, PIDs 5169/5133.

Thaicom 2 78.5E 3800 H "MCOT Thai TV 9" has started, Fta, SR 6111, FEC 3/4, PIDs 512/650.

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3530 V "TVK" has started, Fta, SR 3367, FEC 3/4, PIDs 308/256, Asian beam.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3530 V "Radio Cambodia" has started , Fta, APID 256.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3554 V "Occasional feeds" on , PIDs 514/642.The test card has left PIDs 512/640.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3551 H The test card has left .
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3585 V "SS Music" has started, Fta, PIDs 517/645.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3600 H A test card has started , Fta, PIDs 517/700.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3685 H "Indiavision" is back testing, Fta, SR 6830, FEC 3/4,PIDs 1160/1120.

Intelsat 906 64E 3742 RThe test card has left again.

Intelsat 702 55E Intelsat 702 has stopped at 55 East, not 33 East. Reception reports are very welcome.


GMA lauds NBN for launching worlwide services

From http://www.gov.ph/news/default.asp?newsid=2596

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last night lauded the National Broadcasting Network (NBN) for its unprecedented move in expanding their broadcast services worldwide and providing accessible lines where Filipinos can interact, by means of communication with their counterparts in other parts of the world to the million Filipinos living and working abroad.

In her one-minute message during the launching of NBN World at the Hotel Intercontinental Manila in Makati City, the President cited the government-controlled network for its important role in delivering the good message about the Filipino throughout the world.

"Ngayong gabi natupad ang isang pangarap. Ngayong gabi, isinilang ang ating sandaigdigang pamayanan. Nagkakaisa nang tunay ang sambayanang Pilipino (Tonight, a dreams becomes a reality. Tonight, a world community is born. The Filipino people are really united with each other)," the President said.

In her message, the President said NBN World is now opening new windows of opportunity for Filipinos.

The President congratulated the officials and employees of NBN for the timely launching of their broadcast services all over the world.

"Binabati ko ang NBN sa dakilang pangarap na isinakatuparan natin ngayon – isang lahi, isang bayan, isang pananaw, isang daigdig – isang Republika ng Pilipinas (I would like to congratulate the NBN for making the dream come true – one nation, one vision, one world – one Philippine Republic)," she said.

She also expressed her congratulations to all the members of Congress, who worked for the passage of the Absentee Voting Law.

The President stressed that the launching of NBN World was timely because a few weeks ago the absentee voting bill was finally passed into law by the two chambers of Congress.

Before delivering her message, the President led the formal launching by switching on the facilities for global telecast followed by a short dialogue with overseas Filipino workers in Sydney, Australia through satellite.

Among the overseas Filipino workers who interacted with the President were Philippine basketball legend Carlos "Caloy" Loyzaga, Kate Andres, Leo Seneza, and Kim Campos.

For his part, Loyzaga expressed his thanks to the President because after so many years of stay in Australia, he can now watch the live telecast of Philippine basketball game through NBN World entertainment and TARBS World TV.

The President answered the questions raised by Kate Andres about the security measures being undertaken by the government.

She also inform Leo Seneza that the Philippine government is ready to implement the contingency plans to ensure the safety of 1.5-million overseas Filipinos working in the Middle East in case of an outbreak of the war in Iraq.

She also answered the question by Kim Campos about the dual citizenship bill pending in the Senate.

NBN will start its global service on Monday, February 24, the government network has been on the air almost 30 years.

(Craigs comment does anyone know the situation with this channel? is it going to be a FTA via Pas 2 Cband? is it there under Tarbs control? anyone know? Also is it a customized feed or is it the same as NBN in the Philipines?)

Celestial to launch 24-hour Chinese movie channel in March

From http://www.screendaily.com/story.asp?storyid=11369

Hong Kong’s Celestial Pictures is set to roll out its 24-hour Chinese movie channel, Celestial Movies, in Malaysia and Brunei on March 3, with launches in other territories around the world to follow over the coming year.

The channel will be carried on Malaysian satellite platform Astro, which is majority owned by Celestial’s backer, Malaysian media empire Usaha Tegas. Following its launch in Malaysia, the channel will be rolled out in Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Taiwan over the next six months with the US, Europe and Australia to follow within a year.

About 30% of the channel’s content will be sourced from the 760-title Shaw Brothers library, which Celestial acquired three years ago, while acquisitions will account for the remaining 70%. Among the product Celestial has licensed is a portion of the Golden Harvest library, owned by Warner Bros, which includes around 170 titles produced in the 1990s – several of which star Jackie Chan.

"We want to make it clear that this isn’t a classic movies channel or a Shaw Brothers channel, but a Chinese movie channel," said Celestial CEO William Pfeiffer.

Celestial also has output deals with the mainland’s two largest studios, Beijing Film Studio and Shanghai Film Studio, and first-run deals with Hong Kong production houses Applause Pictures, EMG and Filmko; Taiwan’s Central Motion Picture Corp; Korea’s Cinema Service and CJ Entertainment and Japanese studios Shochiku and Toho. The company is also buying individual titles such as mainland feature Cala, My Dog! which screened in the Forum section at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

Celestial is in the process of digitally restoring the Shaw Brothers library and has so far released about 20 titles across Asia on DVD. Some of the titles have also been re-released in theatres in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Pfeiffer added that Celestial still intends to co-produce with Asian production houses. The company planned a large slate of productions last year but failed to greenlight any because of weak market conditions: "Last year was a bad year for Hong Kong, but the market is much more buoyant now."

INSAT-3A launch postponed to April

From http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_194547,0008.htm

The launch of India's INSAT-3A satellite has been postponed to April as the country's space agency and European space consortium Arianespace are taking extra care for its success, sources in Indian Space Research Organisation said on Sunday.

INSAT-3A, which would have applications in communication and meteorology, was originally scheduled to have been put into space by Arianespace's Ariane-5 rocket from Kourou in French Guyana anytime during the week beginning February 28.

"But this was postponed to March 21, and now Arianespace has now informed us that they would be needing 20 days more (for the launch)", the sources told PTI Bangalore.

The postponement has not come as a surprise.

The recent Columbia space shuttle disaster in the US has shaken the confidence of the space community in the world, the sources said.

In addition, ISRO sources said, Ariane-5 rocket was yet to "establish" itself having thrown up a "few problems" in its earlier flights. "Both ISRO and Arianespace want to be thorough. They don't want to leave anything to chance", a top ISRO official said.

T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 8/2003 23 February 2003 -

A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by TELE-satellite International
Editor: Branislav Pekic

Edited Apsattv.com Edition




Broadcast Australia has announced trials of a new digital TV technology that will allow digital TVs to be both stand-alone and interactive. Called DVB-RCT, the technology means the set-top boxes needed to receive the digital TV signals no longer need to plug into telephone lines to get a "return path" for interactive services such as banking or shopping. The TV aerial will instead provide the return path, and once set-top boxes are integrated into digital TVs they will become stand-alone interactive TVs. Broadcast Australia chairman Gerry Moriarty said the two to three-month trial would take place in April or May in Sydney or Canberra.


Under the approval from National General Bureau of Radio & Movies &Television, Shanghai Broadcasting Network (SBN) inked Agreement with Television Broadcast Ltd. Int'l (TVBI) on SBN Satellite Channel Landing/Settling in Australia on January 16. This is another overseas expansion of SBN after landing in Japan on January 1, 2002. SBN is now the only Chinese TV media settling in Australia besides CCTV-4. SBN has started digital satellite broadcasts via the TVBS-Asia interactive TV platform since January 1 and its signal covers the whole of Australia. The TVBS-Asia Interactive Platform is made up of the following services: CCTV-4, TVB Channel 8, TVB Galaxy, TVBS-N, TVBSASIA and CNBAUSTRALIA.


Digital TV growth is inevitable and will probably reach 35% of homes by 2008, said Senator Richard Alston, Communications Minister. He halved the around 70% digital STB penetration anticipated by equipment makers. Alston added that with the exception of maybe the UK, Australia has the world's most advanced digital TV system. The government has frozen new free-to-air commercial TV licences until 2006, while existing players are encouraged to switch to digital. It has also rejected proposals for a new law requiring a common set-top box for free-to-air and pay-TV services due to a lack of industry agreement on the specifications for a shared system. The decision is good news for pay TV operator Foxtel, which is on the verge of rolling out its own digital services, and not favourable news for competitors such as the Ten Network and the Seven Network, and regional television broadcasters. These broadcasters will now be forced to negotiate with Foxtel for their digital services to be retransmitted via its networks.



The Bangladesh government says it has set up a committee to find out why an act of parliament granting autonomy to Bangladesh Television and the national radio service, Bangladesh Betar, was not acted on by the former government. The national news agency, BSS, quoted Information Minister Tariqul Islam as saying the act had been passed under the old government, which had failed to implement it. Mr Islam also ruled out issuing a new licence to the now-defunct private channel, Ekushey TV. The channel was shut down last August after a court ruled that its licence agreement, signed by the previous government, was illegal. Mr Ismail said two other private channels were giving an alternative choice to viewers.


National Television (NTV), new satellite television channel, will start operating in Bangladesh in April 2003. Enayetur Rahman, NTV's chairman, said: "NTV plan to be on air sometime in April and it will be beamed to 78 countries including those in the Middle East, South Africa, Australasia and most of Europe.”It will be a news and current affairs dominated channel with entertainment getting a 30 per cent time slot." Mr Rahman said NTV was set to sign an agreement with Cable News Network (CNN) to receive international news and to provide footage on Bangladeshi stories. Bangladesh's first private channel, Ekushey Television (ETV), was shut down in August last year after a court ruled that its licence agreement, signed by the previous government, was illegal. Many of those who worked for ETV have joined NTV



China Central Television's announcement that it is to launch a 24-hour news channel is the latest move in a plan to gradually reform the state-owned station. Due to be launched on 1 May, the new channel - dubbed "the 13th" fits into a long-term plan to make CCTV more relevant in the highly competitive information age. While the news channel will be government-funded and its content tightly controlled, CCTV's other ten channels and two run by the Motion Picture Bureau will gradually become subject to market forces. The news channel will air news, investigative reports and round-table current affairs discussions, supplemented with a heavy dose of international news as well as clips of provincial and local news.


Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting said on February 20 it will launch broadcast services by the end of 2003 with the aim of reaching break-even in three years. Galaxy General Manager Danny Tang told a press conference the break-even goal was incumbent on the pay-TV broadcaster reaching 300,000 subscribers. As an enticement to attract market share from dominant pay-TV broadcaster i- Cable Communications Ltd, Galaxy will price its services below the prevailing market rate. I-Cable currently has about 600,000 subscribers. Tang's meeting with the press came a day after communications satellite operator Intelsat bought a 51% stake in Galaxy from Hong Kong's Television Broadcasts for US$69.5 million in cash and transponder capacity over three years. The purchase turned Galaxy into a joint venture valued at US$136.3 million, with TVB contributing US$66.8 million in cash and programming over three years. Galaxy plans initial capital expenditure of HK$300 million. Galaxy plans to expand its coverage to 1.5 million households of potential subscribers after three years. To reach break-even, Galaxy is factoring in only a minimal contribution from advertising. The Hong Kong broadcasting regulator requires Galaxy to launch a minimum of 24 channels by August, he said. TVB will provide content for five channels and Galaxy is in talks with other content providers to fill the remaining channels, Tang said. However, he added that it is possible Galaxy won't meet the 24-channel requirement on time. Intelsat will move an Intelsat VII series satellite to the 85-degree East orbital location to transmit Galaxy programs with service expected to begin within 12 months.


Sun Media Group expects its TV unit to post its first profit for the year ending March 2004, largely because of cost cuts. The firm would also relaunch its 24-hour infotainment channel in April, group chief executive officer Bruno Wu said. For the six months ended September 2002, Sun Media expanded its net loss by 16 per cent to HK$43.36 million, while its turnover plunged 34 per cent to HK$96.12 million from a year earlier. ``Because of the significant cost cuts, we expect Sun [satellite] TV, not the whole group, to break even and record earnings in the next fiscal year,' Wu told The Standard on February 18. The company said its broadcasting unit posted an operating loss of HK$36.25 million from March to September last year. For the March to December period last year, Sing Pao Media posted a net loss of HK$101.9 million, despite a 368 per cent rise in turnover to HK$138.2 million. Sun Media launched its Sun TV satellite operation, which is engaged in broadcasting repackaged documentaries to the mainland, two years ago. Wu said the firm would relaunch its 24-hour infotainment channel in April, featuring 14 hours of programmes provided by a couple of content providers, including some educational programmes for the remaining time slots.



Radio Fiji quotes Assistant Information Minister Saimone Kaitani as saying the government will accept Fiji TV's offer to provide a public service channel in return for a 10-year extension of its monopoly until 2012. Mr Kaitani says the government's move was prompted by public concern at the lack of local content on Fiji TV. The station is majority owned by Fiji's 14 indigenous provinces through a holding company.



The Government of India has fixed July 14 as the deadline for implementation of conditional access system (CAS) in Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi. The system will be extended to major towns and cities by December 2003. The new systems will introduce a subscriber-friendly option-driven regime under which the subscriber can chose the channels through set top boxes. Those who do not want to buy set top boxes (STBs) can opt for basic service of free channels, for which the Government of India will announce the price. The subscribers accessing pay channels will have to pay an additional cost as fixed by the broadcasters. STBs will cost Rs10,000 but the Government can bring down prices to Rs4,000 by offering subsidies.


Manoranjan Aur Kya (MAK) Television Network has closed down operations even before it could launch a bouquet of channels due to the fact that the Indian investors have backed out. MAK TV Network had started a test signal in August 2002, with uplink from Singapore. The plan was to launch the channels towards the end of 2002. The initial bouquet of free-to-air channels were supposed to include MAK Prime (Hindi entertainment), MAK Telugu, MAK Music and MAK Bangla Movies. Later on, MAK Sindhi and MAK Style (fashion) were to be launched. The plan was to have a bouquet of pay channels in a short time.



Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) will launch a global television network in Arabic and English in the near future, IRIB Vice President Ali Aghamohammadi said on February 19. The Al-Alam World Network will cover Arab and Islamic counties with programmes which will be 80 percent in Arabic and the rest in English, he said.

Internet - www.irib.com



A Public Management Ministry study group has compiled a report urging the government to allow media companies to own more than one TV station, government sources said on February 19. The proposal by the Study Group on Broadcasting Policy to review the current ban on the ownership of several TV stations by one company is intended to support financially troubled commercial broadcasters. The policy formulated by the advisory panel to the ministry's director general of the Information and Communications Policy Bureau, urges revising the Broadcast Law to allow a broadcaster to acquire a controlling interest in another broadcaster. The panel also urged the government to significantly ease restrictions on broadcasters holding stakes in broadcasters in neighboring prefectures, in an effort to promote realignment of the regional broadcasting industry. The final report is expected to be officially released within this month and the ministry is expected to respond by drafting bills to revise relevant laws. The current Broadcast Law prohibits TV broadcasters from operating more than one station in a single service area. The broadcasting license granted to each television station authorizes the network to cover a single prefectural area, except for those given to stations in the Tokyo metropolitan area. A law restricts broadcasters from holding more than a 10 per cent stake in another broadcasting company in the same service area. Stakes held in a broadcaster from another service area are limited to fewer than 20 per cent. Terrestrial broadcasters' ownership in broadcast satellite television companies is limited to less than one-third of the satellite firm's total capital. The panel called for raising the maximum stake of major stations in broadcast satellite digital stations from less than one-third to less than one-half.


Fuji Television Network said on February 18 that the proportion of shares held in the Japanese TV company by foreign investors came to 15.06 per cent on February 14. Under Japanese law, broadcasters lose their licenses if the foreign ownership share stands at 20 per cent or above. If the share reaches 15 per cent, broadcasters are obliged to release the news in a public statement.



Malaysia will be the launching pad for Celestial Pictures' new 24-hour Chinese movie channel, Celestial Movies, which bows March 3 with plans to enter numerous other markets. The channel will be packaged into Malaysia's pay-per-view satellite network service Astro, run by Measat Broadcast. Astro has 800,000-plus subscribers in Malaysia. Brunei, which receives the same feed, also will be able to access the channel beginning March 3. Celestial plans to roll out the channel in Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Taiwan over the next six months, with the United States, Europe and Australia to follow in the second half of the year.



The New Zealand government has set up a working group to assess the best and cheapest way for state broadcaster TVNZ to move into digital TV. Rival terrestrial networks TV1 and TV2 already have carriage deals with Sky Television, the country's only digital TV platform which reaches 30 per cent of households, but talks between it and TVNZ have yet to produce an agreement. The government is keen for TVNZ to remain free-to-air whatever strategy is eventually taken. Officials have been asked to report to Cabinet by mid-2003 on options for allocating spectrum for digital terrestrial and satellite television; issues relating to the digital television market; industry progress in adopting digital television technical standards; funding of analogue terrestrial television transmission in outlying areas; and implications of digital television for TVNZ and the Maori Television Service.


Pay-TV operator Sky Television posted a net loss for the six months ending December 31, 2000, even as it became cash-flow-positive for the first time since it went on the air 13 years ago. The net loss after tax was NZ$4.4 million, compared with NZ$13.2 million for the corresponding six months in 2001. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization jumped 41.6% to NZ$73.8 million for the half-year. Subscriptions reached a new high of 516,731, or 37% of households. Advertising revenue rose 18.1% to NZ$8.6 million while programming costs as a percentage of revenue fell from 48.6% to 42.4%. Sky expects to lose NZ$8 million-$11 million for the fiscal year and post a break-even profit by the end of the calendar year, according to CEO John Fellet. Subscribers reached a high of 520,541 - some 74.2% of subscribers take the digital service, while 25.8% are UHF customers. Sky TV is 66 per cent owned by publishing company INL.



NBN World was launched on February 19 with a live telecast nationwide while the global service will start on February 24. The wide reaching satellite link will be through Australia's leading multi-cultural broadcaster, the Television and Radio Broadcasting Services (TARBS), which has 65 24-hour television channels using a comprehensive global satellite platform that covers major population regions in the world. Teleports in Greece, Egypt and the U S downlink and uplink programming services of TARBS with signals beamed to the Thaicom 3, PAS 10, PAS 8, PAS 2, AsiaSat, General Electric and Mabuhay Satellites.



Bloomberg Television is set to boost distribution in Taiwan through a partnership with the ERA Group to provide regional and international finance news, information and analysis to the Group's 24-hour cable TV news channel, ERAnews. The agreement gives Bloomberg Television access to Taiwan's 5.2 million cable households, in the key morning financial news slot of 6am to 8am (Taiwan time), 7 days a week. During weekday mornings, ERAnews will broadcast Bloomberg Television's market-moving Bloomberg International and Moneycast Asia programmes. Bloomberg Television will also be streamed over ERA Group's Taiwanese broadband service, IDTV, which is a joint venture with Pacific Century Cyberworks Limited (PCCW). In addition to the programming partnership, ERAnews will be using Bloomberg's news and data within its own programmes to keep viewers on top of the latest global financial market developments.

Internet - http://www.bloomberg.com/asia




Pay-TV operator United Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) said it would give a Bt70 discount per additional point (secondary subscription) to its satellite pay-TV subscribers in April to compensate them for technical problems caused by Shin Satellite (SSA)'s Thaicom 3 satellite since February 7. Sompan Charumilinda, UBC's chief executive officer, said that the Bt70 discount was equal to a six-channel discount for one month. UBC estimates that around 25,000 secondary subscribers have been affected. UBC charges Bt419.15 per month for secondary subscribers. The Thaicom 3 glitch has caused interruptions in reception for secondary satellite TV subscribers. SSA said that full service would be restored by March 8.


UBC aims to boost its total revenue by 12 to 14 per cent this year to climb out of the red for the first time, despite staggering accumulated losses of Bt12.80 billion, said Vasili Sgourdos, deputy chief financial officer. UBC plans to increase revenue this year by expanding its subscriber base by another 30,000 to 50,000 customers and selling sub-licensing rights to its own nine channels to provincial cable operators. The plan is aimed at stemming the proliferation of pirated signals, which have limited legitimate customer subscriptions, according to Sgourdos. Sompan Charumilinda, CEO of UBC Group, said that although the company expects to post gains for the first time this year, wiping out all its accumulated losses, totalling Bt12.80 billion, would prove to be a daunting task. The company said in its statement that its 2002 revenues grew by 15.7 per cent to Bt6.78 billion, mainly due to a 9.2-per-cent rise in revenue per unit after the company raised its prices by 18 per cent in August 2001. It also reported that its net loss narrowed in 2002, due to subscriber growth fuelled by a consumer boom that is heating up the Thai economy. It reported a net loss of Bt248 million for 2002, or Bt0.33 per share, versus a Bt1.42-billion loss in 2001. Its subscriber base rose by about 8 per cent, or 31,256 customers, to 437,845 at the end of 2002, but fierce competition from local cable operators offering cheaper prices slowed that growth in the fourth quarter.



The new Middle East News television channel, Al-Arabiya, began broadcasting on February 20 from Dubai in direct competition with Qatar's Al-Jazeera channel. Middle East News (MEN) is also the owner of Middle East Broadcasting, the Arab satellite station, and the light entertainment channel MBC-2. The company has 32 news bureaux around the world, including Iraq, Israel, Palestine and the United States. The new channel will focus on news and talk shows and has Lebanese, Kuwait and Saudi financial backing. Al Arabiyah will run for 12 hours a day until March 3, when it will go head to head with Al Jazeera, as a 24-hour news network


No update Sundays why are you here?


No update this weekend as things are so quiet at the moment, Hopefully some NEW Impactv news on Monday or Tuesday next week!


Not as much to report today .

From my Emails & ICQ

From "anon"

Hi Craig,

Some Apsattvers may be interested in the feed for the celebrity survivor program presently being shot in NSW.
I'm unreliably informed:

Uplinking on PAS 8 4004 vert 3/4 sr 6670?
Return feed PAS 2 3937 3/4 sr 13200

I'm not in a position to have a look myself presently.
You may want to have a look. On air from middayish QLD time for the next couple of weeks.

From Mark Fahey

EVERETT, Wash., Feb. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA - News) will broadcast worldwide the Feb. 24, 2003 first flight of its newest jetliner, the 777-300ER (Extended Range).

The broadcast will be available for viewing on the Internet beginning at 3 p.m. Pacific Feb. 24 at http://www.boeing.com/commercial/777family/rollout/.

Inability to immediately view the event may occur due to heavy traffic on the site.

Video of the first flight will be available to the media on Feb. 24 from 4
to 4:30 p.m. Pacific on the following satellite frequencies.

North America AMC-2/C11 C-band Vertical Downlink Frequency 3920 MHz
Analog, Audio: 6.2/6.8 MHz, located at 85 degrees W.

Europe & Eutelsat W1 B5 Ch A KU Band Horizontal Downlink
Middle East Frequency 11134.75 MHz, FEC: 3/4, Symbol rate:
5.7 Msym/sec, Video format: PAL

Asia Pacific PAS-2/04C/Slot "E" C-band SCPC Horizontal Downlink
Frequency 3803.5 MHz, FEC: 2/3, Symbol rate:
6.62 Ms/s, Virtual Channel 101, Network ID: 1,
Video format: NTSC

Australia & AsiaSat 2/8A ASB1 C-band Y downlink frequency
Asia 3944.50 MHz, FEC: 3/4, Symbol rate: 5.7 Msym/sec,
format: PAL

So the sat feed is at 10am Sydney time on Feb 25th (2300 Hrs GMT)
The internet feed is one hour earlyer.


From the Dish

PAS 8 166E 3860 H "Scholar Business Network" has left , replaced by occasional feeds.

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3501 V "Tara Bangla" has started, SR 2401, PIDs 4194/4195, Asian beam.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3585 V "Tara Bangla" has left , replaced by a test card.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3685 H "Indiavision" has left again.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3600 H A Herbalife test card has started , Fta on , PIDs 519/720.

Intelsat 906 64E 3742 R A TBN test card has started Fta on , SR 6620, FEC 3/4,PIDs 1360/1320, West hemi beam.


ACCC may push for Telstra to quit Foxtel

From http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/02/21/1045638466699.html

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission may push for Telstra to quit its 50 per cent stake in Foxtel when it reports to the Government early next month.

The ACCC has delayed finalising its report on the structure on the media and telecommunications industries so it can examine the submissions to the Government's aborted inquiry into splitting up Telstra.

Although the ACCC approved the program-sharing agreement between Foxtel and its pay TV rival Optus last year, the regulator remains concerned Telstra will exploit its Foxtel stake to further entrench its dominance in telecommunications.

The Government asked the ACCC to prepare a report on how the Foxtel-Optus deal - which brings together the country's largest media and telecom players, News Corp, PBL, Telstra and Optus - would affect competition in pay TV and telecommunications.

The regulator originally planned to deliver the report in January but wading through all the issues involved has taken longer than expected.

The ACCC hopes to deliver the report in a fortnight. Mergers commissioner Ross Jones said the watchdog needed the extra time so it could consider the submissions to the aborted House of Representatives inquiry into the structural separation of Telstra.

Mr Jones said many of the issues raised in submissions to the inquiry overlapped with those being canvassed by the ACCC in its report.

However, he denied this meant the ACCC was likely to recommend Foxtel be restructured so Telstra was restricted to owning the pay TV network only and News and PBL jointly owned the Foxtel content.

"The commission is still quite open-minded on all these matters," Mr Jones said.

But he confirmed the report would address the ownership structure of Foxtel and its effect on competition. "We're not doing our job unless we investigate what the consequences for competition are in terms of different market structures," Mr Jones said.

The Government cancelled the structural separation inquiry earlier this month, after Labor abandoned its proposal to split Telstra into a network company and services business.

Totally opposed to the concept of privatising Telstra's growth businesses (such as pay TV and mobile) and maintaining majority public ownership of the core network, the Government staged the inquiry to expose the deficiencies of Labor's plan.

Having given up on structural separation, Labor is now focusing on Telstra's Foxtel shareholding. It claims Telstra's ownership of the Foxtel pay TV cable is stifling competition in broadband. Kerry Stokes' Seven Network is pushing for Telstra to be forced to sell out of Foxtel.

Meanwhile, a Telstra spokesman said it was "a bit rich" for Optus chief Chris Anderson to complain about subsidising Telstra's services in the bush. Optus has to pay a proportion of its revenue to Telstra to help meet the cost of the universal service obligation.

"It's necessary to ensure services are provided to remote parts of the country," the spokesman said.

TARBS World TV launches NBN World globally

From Press Release - February 19, 2003

TARBS World TV has launched the first 24-hour international channel of the Philippine Government, bringing 24-hours of news and entertainment, from the Philippine Government’s perspective, to Filipinos in Australia and the rest of the world.

Officially launched by Philippine President, Madame Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and TARBS World TV in Australia, through a special live, two-way satellite link between Manila and Sydney, the occasion marked an important milestone for Filipinos at home and overseas.

TARBS World TV Chief Executive Officer Regina Boulos said, "We are excited to be part of NBN World’s launch into the global community. At no other time is the coming of this channel more appropriate than now, when our kababayans abroad as well as the international community are very keen to know what the Philippine Government’s position is on important domestic and international issues, and how we are moving forward as a country. We know NBN World will be able to fill this gap because it will serve as the medium for meaningful dialogues and exchange of views between the Philippine Government, and the Filipino and world audiences via the magic of satellite television."

NBN World offers quality programming which specifically addresses the information needs and cultural interests of the global Filipino audiences as well as other viewers interested in the Philippines. Viewers can watch hourly news capsules as well as daily early evening and late evening newscasts in Filipino, current affairs and talk shows, and a sprinkling of lifestyle, cultural, children’s, public service and entertainment programs.

The channel also airs live coverage of the Philippine President’s major press conferences, national addresses and messages direct from Malacanang, the seat of the Presidency.

The much-awaited Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Games can also be enjoyed on the channel.

With the addition of NBN World, TARBS World TV’s Filipino Service now provides subscribers with three premium 24-hour TV channels direct from the Philippines: The Filipino Channel (TFC), the general entertainment channel of ABS-CBN; Cinema One, which airs Filipino blockbuster movies; and NBN World. DZMM, a top-rating news and current affairs radio station broadcasting live from Manila, is also included in the package.

Subscribers can also enjoy six popular English channels comprising ESPN (world sports), CNN (world news), TCM (classic Hollywood films), Cartoon Network (popular cartoons for children), MCM (pop music videos) and Sky Racing (Australian racing events), as well as a selection of over 50 premium TV channels from around the world.

To subscribe to TARBS World TV, contact 1300 78 27 27 from anywhere in Australia, or visit www.tarbs.com. Inquiries from Filipino customers can be made directly on 1300 78 27 27 extension 131.

(Craigs comment, I had a look on the Tarbs site but couldn't find the tv guide for it anywhere?, so not sure what they are screening on this new channel)

Irdeto enables tracing VOD content

From http://www.advanced-television.com/pages/pagesb/newsdaily.html

Irdeto Access, the end-to-end security solutions company, says it has patented a new technology that allows content owners to trace the source of pirated content.

The technology developed by Irdeto Access enables an operator to trace the initial smart card or the device that was originally used to decrypt the content. It also allows unique fingerprints to be inserted into encrypted content under the management of a secure device or smart card.

The advantages over conventional fingerprinting techniques include the ability of the smart card to control the insertion of the fingerprint. This means that the fingerprint insertion process is secured within the smart card and cannot easily be tampered with. In addition, it provides an upgrade of the watermarking or fingerprinting the algorithm without impacting the set top box or player device.


New Tarbs Filipino channel? NBN World TV. Should make things better value for those getting Tarbs for just the filipino channels.

A lot of news items today, quite a few Press Releases.

From my Emails & ICQ

From Dave knight

2.30pm Syd

NTSC Feed, Optus B1, 12420V 6670 3/4

"I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!"

From the Dish

PAS 2 169E 3744 V "BBC World" has started, Fta, PIDs 1360/1320.
PAS 2 169E 3836 V "RAI International 1 and RAI International"are now encrypted.
PAS 2 169E 4087 V "TV Globo Internacional" has left , PIDs 516/644, replaced by a test card.

Palapa C2 113E 3880 H "MTV Indonesia, Metro TV and TV 5 Asie" are back on , Fta, SR 28125, FEC 3/4, PIDs 1057/1058-3105/3106.

Palapa C2 113E 4080 H A test card has started , Fta on , PIDs 518/656.

Sinosat 1 110.5E 12320 V "TV 5 Asie" has started, Irdeto 2, PIDs 262/518.

Asiasat 3 105.5E 3760 H The test card has left .

Thaicom 2/3 78.5E 3480 H "ATV, Show TV and ATN Bangla" are now encrypted.
Thaicom 2/3 78.5E 3600 H "Tara Bangla" has started on 3, Fta, PIDs 514/670.
Thaicom 2/3 78.5E 3551 H "ATV" has left , replaced by a test card.
Thaicom 2/3 78.5E 3685 H "Indiavision" has started regular transmissions, fta, SR 6830, FEC 3/4, PIDs 1160/1120.


Sky signs one in three homes

From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/

More than one-in-three New Zealand homes have Sky Television, according to latest figures from the pay network.

Sky yesterday reported 520,541 subscribers, up from 503,000 in August, which a spokesman said gave the service a 37.2 per cent market penetration.

Nearly 75 per cent of people, or 354,471 subscribers, take Sky's digital service and 123,360 have analogue delivery via UHF.

Sky's subscription figures were released a day after the Government announced that it was investigating ways to deliver public television on a digital signal.

No date has been set for switching off the analogue signal, which would force people to take up a digital system, but Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey and Communications Minister Paul Swain said policy work was under way.

"The starting point is that broadcasters and viewers should be free to choose the platform by which digital television is provided, based on factors such as cost, content and reliability," they said in a statement.

Sky carries free-to-air channels TV3, TV4, Prime Television and Trackside but scrambles the signal so they can not be received without renting a decoder.

TV One and TV2 are not scrambled under a deal between Sky and TVNZ.

But TVNZ is anxious about the future of its channels on Sky when the deal expires in two to three years.

Free-to-air broadcasters have told the Government they favour digital terrestrial television that allows the current system to be converted to digital.

Sky and TelstraClear are opposed to Government intervention in digital television technology.

* TVNZ has knocked out Sky TV's pay-per-view boxing coverage featuring David Tua with a deal to broadcast his major bouts free-to-air.

The first fight, against Hasim Rahman, will air on March 30.

Tough talking helps Sky to minimise loss

From http://www.nzherald.co.nz

Savings on programming costs have allowed pay TV operator Sky Network Television to substantially reduce its first-half loss.

The pay TV company yesterday reported a net loss after tax of $4.4 million for the six months to December 31, compared with a $13.2 million deficit the year before. The company will not pay an interim dividend.

Chief executive John Fellet said Sky had continued to increase its subscriber base and reduce losses, primarily through tough negotiations with programme suppliers.

"A year ago in this period, 49 per cent of total revenue went to programming. Now it's down to 42 per cent goes to programming - and we're adding more and more programmes."

The result did not include anticipated benefits from the strengthening New Zealand dollar because of currency hedging. Sky buys its programmes in US dollars.

Fellet repeated the company's aim to make a profit in the first half of its next fiscal year.

Sky's revenue rose 11 per cent to $186.1 million during the last half year.

It now has more than 516,000 subscribers, 74 per cent of whom receive its more expensive digital service.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 33 per cent to $71.6 million, bettering analysts' estimates of about $68 million.

Much of Sky's losses have been attributed to the outlay in decoder technology to match the company's rapidly growing subscriber base.

Mr Fellet said those costs were still there.

"This is a business that costs us $850 to install and, right off the bat, we only probably receive $199 worth of revenue. You've got to be in it for the long haul."

Sky shares closed up 8c, or 2.2 per cent, at $3.68 yesterday.


From Press Release

Wednesday, 19 February 2003.

SKY Television has reduced last year's $13.2 million interim net loss by $8.8 million to $4.4 million in the six months to December 31, 2002. In the same period SKY became free cash flow positive for the first time in its history, a significant milestone.

EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), increased by 41.6% in the previous interim period from $52.1 million to $73.8 million.

Subscriber revenue grew by 14.7%, while total operating expenses fell by 2%. Programming costs as a percentage of revenue fell from 48.6% to 42.4%. The reduction in programming costs was achieved with little benefit from the appreciating NZ dollar as SKY maintained a high level of hedging during the period. The average US$/NZ$ exchange rate in the period for payments was 44.5 cents, well below current rates of around 55 cents. SKY will benefit from the stronger NZ dollar in the 2004 year.

SKY's subscriber base reached a new high of 516,731 at 31 December 2002, a gain of more than 13,400 subscribers. There are now 354,471digital subscribers (74.2% of total subscribers) and123,360 UHF subscribers (25.8%).

Churn, a measure of subscribers who disconnect their service, remained low. Gross churn fell from 21.8% in the previous period to 18.4%. Net churn, calculated by removing subscribers that reconnect, fell from 14.4% to 13.4%.

Total revenue increased by 11.6%. Advertising revenue continued to grow, up 18.1% to $8.6 million.

On the interactive front, SKY launched its new email service, SKYmail, on 25 November 2002. To date more than 1400 wireless keyboards have been purchased by subscribers. SKY's interactive games channel, LudiTV has enjoyed strong growth with a subscriber count of more than 15,200.

Since 31 December both churn and subscriber growth have continued to improve. As of yesterday the subscriber count reached yet another high of 520,541.

For further details please Contact:

Tony O'Brien,
Director of Communications
Tel: (09) 579 9999
Mob: 021-497-830
Email: tobrien@skytv.co.nz

Sky TV reduces previous interim net loss

From http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/default.asp?id=28976

Net loss after tax of $4.37m for year to Dec 31 reported by SKY TV - compares with loss of $13.19m for prev year

Sky TV has reported a net loss after tax of $4.37 million dollars for the half year to December 31.

The result compares with a loss of $13.19 million for the same period the previous year.

The company says it has become free cash flow positive for the first time in its history.

EBITDA increased by 41.6 percent in the previous interim period from $52.1 million to $73.8 million.

Sky TV says subscriber revenue grew by 14.7 percent while total operating expenses fell by two percent. Programming costs as a percentage of revenue fell from 48.6 percent to 42.4 percent. The reduction in programming costs was achieved with little benefit from the appreciating New Zealand dollar, as the company says it maintained a high level of hedging during the period.

Sky TV is expecting to benefit from the stronger New Zealand currency in the 2004 year.

The company has not declared a dividend. SKY TV last traded at $3.80.

Sky TV stems losses

From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/latestnewsstory.cfm?storyID=3147139&thesection=business&thesubsection=latest

Sky Network Television appears to have stemmed much of its bleeding, posting an interim loss of $4.37 million after tax.

That compared with a $13.2 million loss in the previous six months to December 31.

The company did not declare a dividend.

Shares in Sky TV, which is two-thirds owned by publisher INL, rose 3c to $3.63 in late morning trade.

INL incorporated its Sky shareholding into its own half year results today, announcing a net after tax profit of $38.8 million, a 43 per cent rise on the corresponding period in 2001.

INL chairman Ken Cowley said Sky had continued to grow its subscriber base and reduce losses. Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) rose 33 per cent to $71.6 million, outpacing INL Publishing's ebitda rise of 7.8 per cent.

Operating revenue for Sky rose 14.6 per cent to $162.3 million from $141.5 million the year before.

Sky's costs have previously been impacted by the cost of outlaying technology for new subscribers and of programming, which is primarily bought in US dollars.

But in January the company said its hedging policy mean it would not immediately benefit from the New Zealand dollar's recent huge rise against the greenback.

In June last year, Sky announced it had reached a subscriber base of more than 500,000 or 37 per cent of all New Zealand households.

TVNZ's digital future to be reviewed

From http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/default.asp?id=28942&cat=978

Government sets up work programme to investigate the key issues involved in moving TVNZ into the digital age

The Government is looking for a cheap way to transform TVNZ into a digital broadcaster.

A working group has been set up to investigate the key issues involved in moving TVNZ into the digital age.

Sky Television is currently the only digital broadcaster in New Zealand.

Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey says he is hoping the Government will be offered a cheap solution to make the move - for example, a partnership deal between Sky and TVNZ.

Officials will report back midway through this year.

TVNZ's digital history has made a number of false starts; an initial digital TV partnership with the European cable giant NTL was stopped early in 2000 by the then Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs, because of the $200 million price tag.

After that, a deal with Sky - which by that stage was already broadcasting digitally - failed, and TVNZ hooked up with TelstraSaturn.

The latter deal would have involved viewers paying up to $300 for the set-top box which decodes the digital signal into something which the TV receiver can show.

When that deal also fell through, TVNZ signed up with Sky, and its two channels are now broadcast, unencrypted, on Sky's digital service.

The digital versions of TV One and TV2 can now be viewed by any subscribers who pay the minimum $4 weekly for decoder hire without any of Sky's pay services, such as its movie, sport or entertainment channels.

GlobeCast's Asian expansion

From http://www.advanced-television.com/pages/pagesb/newsdaily.html

Satellite broadcast provider GlobeCast a subsidiary of France Telecom -is expanding its operations to Japan and Korea with the opening of a new liaison office in Tokyo.

Singapore-based GlobeCast Asia provides a gateway to the company's worldwide transmission resources from Asia.

"The Tokyo liaison office will serve as the local GlobeCast bureau to broadcasters and corporate network users in Japan and Korea, ensuring a local gateway to the company's worldwide transmission resources, in addition to regional access to Singapore-based master control and teleport facilities, satellite platforms and SNG capabilities", says Doug Triblehorn, Chief Executive Officer, GlobeCast Asia. In addition to Japan and Singapore, GlobeCast Asia operates an office in New Delhi, India.

Nicolas Deal has been appointed to head up the office in Tokyo as Director of Marketing for Japan and Korea.

AsiaSat 4 Arrives at Launch Site

From Press Release

Hong Kong - 18th February, 2003.... AsiaSat 4, the fourth satellite of Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat), has arrived in Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA aboard a chartered heavy lift cargo aircraft.

Preparation for launching AsiaSat 4 by the Atlas IIIB rocket has commenced. This new satellite is currently scheduled for an early April launch.

Mr. Peter Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of AsiaSat said, "AsiaSat 4 will be the largest member of AsiaSat's satellite fleet. Its unique and high performance C-band coverage will complement and provide redundancy for our two existing satellites, AsiaSat 2 and AsiaSat 3S. It will further expand our satellite capacity over the Asia Pacific region and enable our customers to enjoy unbeatable back up and greater flexibility for regional coverage."

"AsiaSat 4's high power Ku-band beams customised for Australia, East Asia and Hong Kong would be the ideal platform for delivering Direct-to-Home (DTH) and broadband solutions to these regions."

AsiaSat 4, a Boeing 601HP model, will be deployed at the orbital location of 122 degrees East longitude, to replace AsiaSat 1. The new satellite is designed to provide advanced satellite services such as DTH television broadcasting, VSAT networks for business, rural telephony, broadband and IP solutions.

Carrying 28 C-band and 20 Ku-band transponders with a 15-year design life, AsiaSat 4's pan Asian C-band footprint will cover more than 40 countries and regions from Auckland to Tehran. The Ku-band coverage will consist of two high-power focused beams for East Asia and Australia, as well as a new BSS (Broadcast Satellite Service) Hong Kong payload for DTH services in Hong Kong and the adjacent South China region.

Intelsat and TVB Announce Hong Kong Pay-TV Service

From Press Release

Hong Kong, 19 February 2003 - Intelsat and Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) today announced an agreement to provide a new pay-television service for Hong Kong. Through the agreement, Intelsat owns a 51 percent stake in Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting Limited (Galaxy), which is licensed to provide pay-TV services in Hong Kong as well as teleport services.

Intelsat and TVB are contributing cash, transponder capacity and programming valued at over US$136 million to launch the venture. The contribution commitments between the two companies are broken down as follows: Intelsat HK$ 413.3 million (US$53 million) in cash over three years (HK$173.9 million, HK$158.3 million, HK$81.1 million) and transponder capacity of HK$128.7 million (US$16.5 million); TVB HK$196.6 million (US$25.2 million) in cash over three years (HK$138.1 million, HK$45.2 million, HK$13.3 million) and programming valued at HK$324.15 million (US$41.6 million).

The all-digital, multi-channel service will feature a range of premium Cantonese and other Chinese language programming exclusively supplied by TVB, including a 24-hour news program. The high- quality Cantonese programming is targeted to the more than 90 percent of the Hong Kong population who speaks the language. Galaxy subscribers will also receive a full spectrum of international news, documentary, information, movie and other entertainment channels.

Intelsat will move an Intelsat VII series satellite to the 85º East orbital location to transmit the Galaxy service via a high-powered Ku-band beam. Service is expected to begin within 12 months. Additionally, Intelsat will work with TVB to support the global distribution of its programming.

"Our alliance with TVB, the premier content provider in Hong Kong, will allow us to provide Hong Kong residents with a new level of quality programming and bring an innovative pay-TV service to this market," stated Conny Kullman, Intelsat, Ltd. CEO.

Louis Page, Managing Director of TVB, commented, "Intelsat's global distribution network and premium satellite capacity make it the ideal partner for TVB. Together we can offer a very competitive pay-TV service with programming that appeals to all members of Hong Kong's diverse community."

The Galaxy service will be uplinked from Galaxy's teleport in Hong Kong over an Intelsat VII series satellite and downlinked at roof-top receiving dishes. Existing in-building wiring will deliver the service to individual subscriber apartments.


Ms Susan Gordon - Washington
E-mail: susan.gordon@intelsat.com
Tel: +1 202 944 6890

Mr Azwar Ghazali - Hong Kong
E-mail: azwar.ghazali@ogilvy.com
Tel: +852 2884 8563

Ms Winnie Ho - Hong Kong
E-mail: external.affairs@tvb.com.hk
Tel: +852 2335 2300

Mr Stanley Tang - Hong Kong
E-mail: joeliu@tvbihk.com
Tel: +852 2335 3461

(Craigs comment, looks like one less possible customer for Asiasat 4)

Intelsat Profit Fell 68% in Fourth Quarter

From http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A32484-2003Feb19.html

Firm Blames Decline in Telecom Business; Annual Earnings Also Down

Satellite firm Intelsat Ltd. gave the public its first look at the company's quarterly financial performance yesterday, announcing that net income fell 68 percent as revenue declined because of a continued erosion in its telecommunications business.

Intelsat, which was founded 39 years ago in Washington, said it earned $31.5 million (20 cents per share) in the fourth quarter on revenue of $240 million. That compared with earnings of $99.8 million (60 cents) on revenue of $259.2 million during the same period a year earlier.

For the year, Intelsat reported net income of $274 million ($1.66) on $992 million in revenue, compared with the previous year's net income of $499 million ($2.99) on $1.08 billion in revenue.

Intelsat now must file quarterly reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission, because its bonds started trading publicly last month, said Dianne VanBeber, vice president of investor relations. Until July 2001, Intelsat was an intergovernmental organization run by 148 countries.

For the first half of 2001, Intelsat did not pay any taxes because of its intergovernmental status. But in 2002, the firm paid $33 million in income taxes alone. The previous year, it paid $5.4 million. Intelsat also reported that it paid $5.6 million employee tax expenses and $13.8 million in satellite insurance, neither of which had been an expense in the past.

Intelsat operates 26 satellites to transmit phone calls, video broadcasts and Internet services to more than 200 countries. Revenue fell in 2002 in large part because Intelsat's telecommunications carriers cut spending or substituted fiber-optic cable to transmit data, the company said. Revenue also declined because two of its key customers -- Teleglobe Inc. and WorldCom Inc. -- filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and reduced orders.

A significant part of its loss was the result of a $34.4 million charge Intelsat took during the quarter to pay for a canceled order for a satellite, because the vendor was behind schedule on its construction.

"In 2002, Intelsat confronted significant marketplace obstacles," Intelsat chief executive Conny Kullman said in a statement. "This posed a challenge to meeting our financial goals, but the company still delivered its 29th consecutive year of profitability." Kullman noted that Intelsat's capital costs are expected to fall because it has almost completed a $2.3 billion project to launch a new generation of eight satellites.

Intelsat raised $600 million in April by issuing 10-year bonds. It also last year secured a $1 billion line of credit, which will be used for general business operations, and it plans to sell shares to the public by the end of this year, if market conditions improve. It reduced its workforce by 12 percent in the last year, to 900, 800 of whom work in the Washington area.

Separately, Intelsat announced that it agreed to form a joint venture with Television Broadcasts Ltd. to establish a paid television service in Hong Kong called Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting Ltd.

Intelsat, which will own 51 percent of Galaxy, will contribute $53 million in cash to the venture over three years and satellite capacity worth $16.5 million.

In December, Intelsat participated in a $160 million investment with Liberty Media Corp. and the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative to revive WildBlue Communications Inc., a Denver-based provider of high-speed Internet service via satellite. Intelsat owns about 30 percent of that venture.

The Maritime Telecommunications Network signs with New Skies for Pacific Ocean region coverage

From Press Release

NSS-5 satellite at 183 degrees east to deliver ship-to-shore communications services for ocean-going vessels

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, February 18, 2003 – New Skies Satellites N.V. (AEX, NYSE: NSK), the global satellite communications company, has signed an agreement with the Maritime Telecommunications Network (MTN), a leader in ship-to-shore communications, for capacity on the NSS-5 Pacific Ocean region satellite.

Through NSS-5, MTN will link dozens of cruise liners and offshore energy vessels located virtually anywhere throughout the Pacific Ocean with terrestrial communications networks in the United States. The communications links will enable fax, data, Internet and video transmissions for a variety of applications.

David Kagan, chief executive officer of MTN, said: “When faced with the challenge of providing reliable communications services over the vast and sparsely populated area of the Pacific Ocean, we selected New Skies’ NSS-5 satellite for its ideal location at 183 degrees east. From this position, NSS-5 offers optimal Pacific Ocean coverage with connectivity to major terrestrial network access points in the United States.”

“This agreement with MTN highlights the excellent coverage and connectivity offered from the 183 degrees east orbital slot,” said Stephen Wilson, New Skies’ vice president of sales for North America. “From mission-critical communications for energy exploration vessels in the South China Sea to Internet connectivity for cruise passengers off the coast of Hawaii, NSS-5 is capable of delivering virtually any type of communications to the remotest of locations, at a standard consistent with MTN’s reputation for excellence within the maritime industry.”

NSS-5 has 73 x 36 MHz equivalent transponders, offering both high-powered Ku and C-Band frequencies for video, telecom and Internet transmissions services throughout the Pacific Rim as well as trans-oceanic connectivity to the West Coast of the United States. NSS-5, which was built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems and deployed to 338.5 degrees east longitude in 1997, was transitioned to183 degrees east longitude above the Pacific Ocean in December 2002.

About MTN

Maritime Telecommunications Network, Inc. (MTN), the leader in maritime communications provides broadband solutions for voice, data, Internet and compressed video services to the cruise and offshore industries utilizing state-of-the-art VSAT technology. MTN is focused on cost effective, high-speed satellite solutions while maintaining the highest standards of quality and availability. MTN’s Digital Seas Internet product, the first Information Technology concession, provides turnkey Internet Cafes to the Cruise and Offshore Industries. More information is available at www.mtnsat.com.

About New Skies Satellites

New Skies Satellites (AEX, NYSE: NSK) is one of only four fixed satellite communications companies with truly global satellite coverage, offering video, voice, data and Internet communications services to a range of telecommunications carriers, broadcasters, large corporations and Internet service providers around the world. New Skies has six satellites in orbit and ground facilities around the world. The company has one additional spacecraft under construction. The company also has secured certain rights to make use of additional orbital positions for future growth. New Skies is headquartered in The Hague, The Netherlands, and has offices in Beijing, Johannesburg, New Delhi, São Paulo, Singapore, Sydney and Washington, D.C. Additional information is available at www.newskies.com.

UBC offers credit for loss of service

From http://www.bangkokpost.com/Business/19Feb2003_biz77.html

United Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) will give a credit of 70 baht for each additional reception point as compensation for the television service interruption caused by a recent power outage on the Thaicom-3 satellite.

The credit would be applied to bills in April, the pay-TV operator said.

UBC said that about 30,000 of its 400,000 subscribers had more than one reception point. Those with single reception points were affected for only a few hours on Feb 7, but multi-decoder customers lost free-to-air stations and many other channels for several days.

The company also said that Shin Satellite Plc would provide UBC with one additional transponder on Thaicom-3 starting on March 8, raising the total to four and enabling UBC to carry all of its existing services on a single satellite. A fifth transponder would be made available sometime between mid-May and mid-July.

As well, UBC said it would purchase signal compression equipment worth 40 million baht to guard against possible interruptions in the future.

UBC shares closed yesterday at 15.20 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 648 million baht.

(Craigs comment 70 baht is about $3)

Two New Indian satellites to be launched

From http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?artid=38006002

The government has decided to launch two new satellites to cater to the needs of the communication, broadcasting, telecasting and information technology (IT) sectors.

The total cost of the project is estimated at Rs 1,354 crore. The new spacecraft will be called as Insat 4A and Insat 4B, starting the fourth generation series in the Insat system which is among the largest in the south east Asian region.

The foreign exchange component of the project is estimated at Rs 1,011 crore. The project was cleared by the Union Cabinet at a meeting here this evening, parliamentary affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said. Addressing mediapersons after the meeting, she said the estimated revenue from the two satellites is estimated at Rs 276 crore per annum.

Over a period of 12 years, the two spacecraft would generate Rs 3,312 crore. The two satellites will be powered with 12 C-Band and 12 Ku-Band transponders. These transponders will provide facilities similar to those offered by foreign satellite systems operating over the Indian Ocean region, helping telecom and satellite television operators to use the Insat system increasingly.

Insat 4A is expected to be made operational within 20 months after the project is launched. Insat 4B will follow a year later, catering to increasing traffic besides serving as a back-up.

The Insat system is now used by Doordarshan, All India Radio, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, India Meteorological Department and public sector companies, besides private VSAT operators. In view of increasing demand, it is estimated that 24 Ku-band transponders will be required by such users in the next three years.

MAK TV Network Shut Before Launch

From http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=28384

Mumbai: Manoranjan Aur Kya (MAK) Television Network, which had roped in senior officials from Sony Entertainment Television (SET) India, has closed down operations even before it could launch a bouquet of channels.

The Indian investors have backed out. Mr Deepak Agarwal (who runs an import-export business), Mr Sunil Kishorepuria (Kolkata-based Jeevan Sagar Group) and Somnath Bhattacharya (who runs a pharmaceutical business) are believed to be the investors who have deserted the project.

MAK’s office in Andheri, a western suburb in Mumbai, is closed. MAK TV Network chairman and managing director Karan Saluja was not available for comments.

MAK TV Network had started a test signal in August 2002, with uplink from Singapore. The plan was to launch the channels towards the end of 2002.

The initial bouquet of free-to-air channels were supposed to include MAK Prime (Hindi entertainment), MAK Telugu, MAK Music and MAK Bangla Movies. Later on, MAK Sindhi and MAK Style (fashion) were to be launched. The plan was to have a bouquet of pay channels in a short time.

After the Indian investors backed out, Mr Saluja was in talks with investors in the UK to fund the project completely. He was in London but has not been able to raise funds, sources said.

Several production houses have not been paid their dues, a senior official of a leading content company alleged. MAK TV had sourced content from 20-to-25 TV production houses for the proposed Hindi entertainment channel. u

Senior officials who had joined MAK TV allege that they were not paid salaries. “We were paid for a few months. After that, we got nothing. We quit the organisation,” said a source.

Mr Hitesh Sabharwal (who earlier headed distribution in SET India), Prashant Sanwal (who handled marketing at SET) and Roopa Das (who was in programming at SET) joined MAK to head distribution, marketing and programming respectively. After the former SET officials left the organisation, Mr Saluja recruited Vishnu Patel (former Zee programming head) as chief of programming and Sanjeev Fernandes as head of distribution.

Zee looking at July launch for DTH services?

From http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k3/feb/feb120.htm

NEW DELHI: Subhash Chandra companies Zee Telefilms and ASC Enterprises (which is implementing the Agrani satellite project), are preparing to launch a KU-band direct-to-home television service in India. A tentative timeframe that is being talked about for this within the group is July.

According to broadcasting industry sources, the Zee-Agrani combo has started talking about a DTH service for India. At a seminar held last week in the Capital, a senior Zee executive is also reported to have referred to the DTH service and that the group is looking at putting together a platform by "July or thereabouts".

However, indiantelevision.com's attempt to elicit an official response from Zee-Agrani was met with silence.

But, we also learn from government sources that the files relating to the two applicant companies for a DTH licence were in the information and broadcasting minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's office yesterday and the minister is said to have studied them also.

That Zee-Agrani has started talking about a DTH service may also be because of the movements in the ministry and expect an initial go-ahead from the I&B ministry for this soon.

As the first step towards okaying a DTH venture the I&B ministry would need to issue a letter of intent (LoI) to the applicant, subsequent to which other parameters would have to be fulfilled.

But close on Chandra's heel for a DTH venture will also be Star, which has applied for a DTH licence through Space TV. It would also expect a LoI soon after ASC Enterprises that has applied for the licence, if not along with it.

There have been numerous clarifications sought by the ministry on various aspects of Space TV, including its shareholding pattern. At last count, a particular missive from the ministry had sought clarification on whether some directors of Space TV were employees of Star India.

Still, the big question to ask here could be: do the two prospective DTH players have the financial muscle to make investments in a DTH venture? A typical DTH venture would need investments worth between $ 400-500 million.

Unless Space TV is being backed up by the Rupert Murdoch-controlled Star, the little known company with an acknowledged paid up capital of Rs 100 million would find it difficult to cobble together the massive investment that a DTH venture would require.

Chandra's case may be a bit different as the DTH platform is being sought to be put together by ASC Enterprises, where one of the subsidiaries has managed to attract foreign investment from Alcatel and Arianespace.

(Craigs comment, this is ZEE in India not the B3 service.)


Sorry guys no update today


Live chat tonight in the chatroom, 9 Pm NZ and 8.30pm Syd onwards.

The NZ government has released its paper on submissions on the future of NZ digital TV. See the 2 links below. It appears we have to wait until June for furthur progress.


and for a discussion of some of the submissions look here


I have emailed them and they have sent me all the individual submissions from various people in PDF format.

I can email it or send it via icq to anyone wishing to view it, but be warned its over 5 megs zipped.

From my Emails & ICQ

From Schippy

Tarbs World TV is trying to sell themselves on


4090V 21000 3/4

Channel: TV4

From Dunk

CHANNEL V - live feed

The bus live from Lismore
B1 12429v sr-6110 fec 3/4

From Zapara

Insat 2e

Can anyone else receive Insat 2e 83deg E 3979 Vert DD Metro Service
5000 3/4 in Aust, Lyngsat shows it as Zone Beam, I am receiving it at 45%
on a Phionex 333 and getting the Zone beam services at 4070 Vert DD
National at 37%,, the Wide beam Asianet service on 3643 Vert is 83%.

From the Dish

Optus B1 160E 12608 V "Knowledge Wave" has started, Fta, SID 1069, PIDs 517/655.
Optus B1 160E 12644 V "Irish Pop" has started on , Videoguard, SID 1087, APID 664. "Irish Jigs" has replaced Christmas on APID 666.

Palapa C2 113E 3727 H New PIDs for TBN : 177/180.

Thaicom 2/3 78.5E MRTV has left 3433 V, moved to 3569 H.


Govt signals digital future for public television

From Press Release: New Zealand Government

The Government is signalling a digital future for public television and has established a work programme to resolve key issues by mid 2003, Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey and Communications Minister Paul Swain announced today.

Currently Sky television is the only digital broadcaster in New Zealand, reaching over 30% of households. However New Zealand is expected to follow other countries and migrate from the current analogue television to digital television in the future. Government policy on digital television is being developed to ensure that public and private broadcasters are best able to use the technology. Steve Maharey and Paul Swain today released a Cabinet paper agreed to by the Cabinet in December 2002 which sets out policy decisions made to date and a series of issues on which policy is now being developed.

Steve Maharey said the government has at least three distinct roles in respect to digital television which it is taking into account as it seeks to determine the way forward.

"The government has several interests in relation to digital television. These include allocation of radio spectrum and overseeing broadcasting markets, as well as the government's role in relation to Television New Zealand, the Mâori Television Service and the funding of local content through NZ on Air and Te Mangai Paho.

"Digital satellite television is already here. A key question for government is what steps it should take, if any, to encourage further uptake of digital television. The starting point is that broadcasters and viewers should be free to choose the platform by which digital television is provided, based on factors such as cost, content and reliability.

-igital television is seen by many in the broadcasting industry as the inevitable replacement of analogue, just as a digital mobile phones are replacing analogue mobile phones. However we also acknowledge that it is premature to set an analogue switch-off date, because the transition to digital will clearly take some time as experience in other countries has shown,” Steve Maharey said.

Officials have been asked to report to Cabinet by mid-2003 on: options for allocating spectrum for digital terrestrial and satellite television; issues relating to the digital television market, Standards NZ and industry progress in adopting digital television technical standards and whether government intervention is required; continued funding of analogue terrestrial television transmission in outlying areas; and implications of digital television for TVNZ and the Maori Television Service, and programming funded through NZ On Air and Te Mangai Paho.

Paul Swain said the advice Cabinet considered in December draws on a consultation process carried out by the Ministry of Economic Development with industry and the wider public during 2002.

The paper is available at http://www.med.govt.nz/pbt/broadcas/digitaltv/.

(Craigs comment, Many in NZ have fingers crossed that Tv1,2,3,4,Prime will go FTA on B1. Installers and dealers certainly hope for such a thing to happen)


NZ Regional channel from the bottom of the south "Mercury TV" plans a name change to Southland tv and to start broadcasting on Sky NZ service September 1st 2003. Does anyone have an email or contact address for them?

Very good win to NZ in the cricket last night, South Africa are just about out of the event!

Optus B3 page updated, Optus B1 Page Pids and other details for Imparja listed since Lyngsat no longer lists them.

From my Emails & ICQ

Nothing to report

From the Dish

Optus B1 160E 12430 V "Occasional feeds" , SR 6111, FEC 3/4
Optus B1 160E 12525 H "Occasional feeds" , SR 6111, FEC 3/4.
Optus B1 160E 12608 V "Knowledge Wave" is FTA V 517 A 655 sid 1069 (this is short term)

Optus B1 160E 12644 V SDM Christmas was replaced by "SDM Irish Jigs" encrypted SDM Irish Pop is new on Apid 664 Sid 1087 encrypted

JCSAT 3 128E 3960 V "ETTV Life, Unique Satellite TV, JET TV, SET International, TTV and BNE TV Network are now encrypted.

Palapa C2 113E 3880 H "MTV Indonesia, Metro TV and TV 5 Asie" have left again.

NSS 6 95E

* Reception reports for 11651 V, Middle East beam:
Max power.(M Toth Laszlo with 300 cm in SE Hungary)

30-40% power.(friend to M Toth Laszlo with 110 cm in SE Hungary)

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3585 V "Shop 24 Seven has replaced Remo TV", Fta, PIDs 513/641.


Thaicom-3 Satellite Fails; Still No Solution in Sight

From satnewsasia.com

Thai satellite operator Shin Satellite pcl (ShinSat) continues to investigate the cause of a major power failure on its Thaicom 3 satellite that disrupted pay TV service to Thai customers and led to calls for compensation. The outage affected only Ku-band transponders serving Thailand and was the first to occur on Thaicom 3. The satellite was launched in 1997 and is in orbit 37,000 kilometers above southern Thailand.

The problem arose when five Ku-band transponders were hit by power supply problems, knocking out television programs broadcast by pay TV operator United Broadcasting Corporation (UBC). The early morning disruption knocked out all six free-to-air local channels broadcast on UBC, plus UBC Channel 7 and Nation Channel 8, along with all movie and sports channels, CNN, UBC and MTV. The problem remains unsolved as of press time and one UBC official said that ShinSat has not been able to say how long it would take to repair Thaicom 3 and restore full services. ShinSat said it was unable to confirm that it will be able to restore the supply of five transponders on Thaicom 3.

It had, however, made available three other Ku band-transponders on Thaicom 3 and one on Thaicom 2 to temporarily broadcast UBC programs. As a result, most residential subscribers had all channels restored by the evening of February 8 but service to larger commercial and multi-dish customers was only partially available. To avoid a similar episode, UBC was considering acquiring additional broadcast compression equipment to enable all services to be carried on a single satellite such as the three Ku-band transponders on Thaicom 3 presently provided by SSA. ShinSat, however, has asked UBC to consider splitting its broadcasts over Thaicom 2 and Thaicom 3 as a long-term solution. UBC is studying how to compensate subscribers for the loss of pay-TV services.

Thaicom 3 carries 14 Ku-band transponders but only four have been functioning since this week’s outage. On the other hand, of the 20 Ku-band transponders on Thaicom 1 and Thaicom 2, only 10 are operational, said sources in the Thai satellite industry. ShinSat engineers are working with France-based Alcatel Space to investigate the failure and restore normal service.

Launch of India's Insat 3A on Ariane 5 Rocket Set for March

From satnewsasia.com

India’s Insat 3A satellite will be launched into orbit next month by an Ariane 5 launcher along with PanAmSat’s Galaxy 12 satellite.

The two satellites are being checked out at the new S5 payload preparation facility at the Guiana Space Center. Insat 3A was built by the Indian Space Research Organization as part of the country's telecommunications and satellite services program and was delivered to French Guiana in January. Galaxy 12 is the first of three telecommunications platforms being produced for PanAmSat by Orbital Sciences Corporation. Galaxy 12 is based on Orbital's Star family of smaller geostationary satellite platforms.

ISRO Chairman Dr. Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan said Insat 3A would carry 24 C-band transponders. Insat 3A will also carry a meteorology component and a very high-resolution radiometer. Another satellite, Insat-3E, is in advanced stage of assembly and is to be launched in the middle of 2003. India’s Department of Space is planning to augment the country’s Insat satellite fleet due to a rising demand for broadcasting and telecommunications transponders. The department said that the fourth generation Insat-4 satellites (Insat-4A and 4B) were planned to meet this need.

T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 7/2003 16 February 2003 -

A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by TELE-satellite International
Editor: Branislav Pekic

Edited Apsattv.com Edition



The History Channel is venturing further into Asia after AETN International, the channel's distribution arm, extended affiliate and programme block deals with China's Sun TV and other Asian networks. The Chinese network, which launched in August 2000, airs a History Channel branded programming block, allowing access to Sun's 30 million subscribers. Last month a weekly History Channel block launched on Indonesia's Metro TV, and two more will launch on Malaysian and Brunei networks Ria Channel and TVIQ in the second quarter of 2003, via the Astro platform. AETN International has also extended its History Channel affiliate deal with Australia's Foxtel. The Foxtel deal sees The History Channel now reaching a nationwide monthly audience of 1 million viewers via pay platforms Foxtel, Austar and Opus. The Asian deals give History Channel a global footprint of 150 million TV households.



The Nine Network has become the first free-to-air broadcaster in Australia to transmit high definition (HD) television programming. Nine has commenced HD broadcasts in Sydney and will extend the service to Melbourne in March. The broadcaster currently produces much of its local programming in HD and is expected to supplement this with HD content sourced from the United States. Nine's digital signal currently reaches 75 per cent of the Australian population through its capital-city based network and regional affiliates. The broadcaster's commencement of HD services pre-empts the introduction of a Federal Government mandate in July, which demands Australia's free-to-air broadcasters provide an average of 1040 hours of HD programming per year.



Hong Kong's TVB will not seek an extension to its February 28 Information Technology & Broadcasting Bureau-imposed deadline to find a third party investor in Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting, its pay-TV platform. TVB is required to lower its Galaxy stake to under 50% before it is allowed to rollout pay-TV services. Analysts subsequently revised down earnings estimates for TVB, which will need to spend HK$500 million on network build out.


Hong Kong cable operator Cable TV is to launch Asia's first 24 hour entertainment news channel at a cost of $9 million. The company is hoping to cash in on the popularity of existing entertainment news broadcasts and publications in the territory, although some analysts have questioned the possibility of success for Cable Entertainment News, primarily due to strict broadcasting laws covering obscenity and sleaze.


Chan Wing Kee, CEO of second ranked Hong Kong broadcaster Asia Television, is reportedly in talks to sell part of his stake in the company to outside investors, including Japan's Dentsu. Chan is in the process of purchasing ATV from indebted parent Lai Sun Development for US$46 million with business partner Liu Changle, CEO of Phoenix Satellite Television, but is looking for more investors to help finance the acquisition.


Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings, a Hong Kong DTH operator, narrowed losses in the first half of 2003 to HK$38.3 million, compared to HK$76.4 million during the same period in 2002. Revenues increased by 6.8% during the six months to end 2002 to reach HK$350.9 million. Phoenix attributed the results to increased advertising sales and efforts to reduce operating costs, which fell by 1.4% to HK$340.1 million.


Star TV is still waiting for formal permission from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) to begin beaming its Chinese-language service into the People's Republic of China. On January 15, Star TV announced that it had reached an agreement with China International Television Corp (CITVC) to broadcast its Xing Kong Wei Shi channel to "three-star and above hotels, and foreign and overseas Chinese compounds". According to a Star TV spokesperson "We have all the details but can't reveal them." However, a SARFT spokesman would not say when Star TV will receive its licence. "Even if they have an agreement, it is illegal for them to broadcast the channel without a licence," he said. A source at News Corporation, Star TV's parent company, says the agreement includes a reciprocal arrangement for China Central Television's English-language channel, CCTV-9, to be broadcast in the UK by BSkyB. Early last month, a SARFT official said CCTV had entered into discussions with BSkyB and Vivendi Universal to broadcast its English-language channel in Europe, but denied it was part of a reciprocal agreement.



NDTV has joined the Sony Entertainment Television (SET) and Discovery Networks joint distribution venture One Alliance. NDTV, which is expected to launch a news channel this year, will join seven channels already covered by the agreement. HBO defected from rival bouquet Zee last year to be part of One Alliance.



To avoid programming clashing once digital terrestrial television broadcasting begins in the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya metropolitan areas in December, the government has started shifting some analogue programming to different frequencies. In certain regions, the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications has begun relocating analogue terrestrial broadcasts that occupy the same frequency range as that to be used by the new digital programming. Although analogue broadcasting in most areas is done on frequencies much lower than those used by digital programs, there is overlap in some regions. The changes are required mainly in areas around the Inland Sea and Ariake Sea as well as the northern Kanto region. The ministry plans to spend about 180 billion yen over the next six years to shift some analogue programs at TV stations to other frequencies and to change channel reception settings at 4.26 million households nationwide. According to the ministry, about 2.11 million households in metropolitan Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya need their televisions adjusted. The new digital terrestrial broadcasts are scheduled to completely replace the current analogue terrestrial broadcasts in 2011.


As of the end of January, SkyPerfecTV had about 3.352 million subscribers, according to the Sat-Net-Cable Japan newsletter. The satellite TV service netted around 13,592 customers during the month, the publication said.


Japan's Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications has committed $1.5 billion towards the launch of digital terrestrial television in the country during the second quarter of 2003. Public broadcaster NHK, along with 16 commercial channels, are currently assessing infrastructure for a launch to 2.1 million households in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, with a rollout of services nationwide by 2005.



The Star quotes Information Minister Tan Sri Khalil Yaakob as saying that the transformation of state-run Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) into an independent corporation will be completed in June 2003. The new corporation, Radio Television Malaysia Bhd., will be governed by the Multimedia Act. The change in status is designed to make RTM more competitive with private networks.



Pacific Media has entered a partnership with Oak Lawn Marketing to launch TV shopping services in South Korea and Taiwan. Both joint venture operations will be owned 51% by Pacific Media subsidiary TV Media Holdings and 49% by Oak Lawn.



UBC has secured exclusive rights to the NASCAR motor racing series, comprising 39 live races this season. The Thai cable TV channel operator already has a strong motor sport line up with rights to live Formula One auto races, Moto GP Motorcycle Championship and World Superbikes.


No update Sunday


India vs Australia in the cricket tonight, I am picking Australia by 50 or 5 wickets.

Don't forget the design a testcard for Impactv's test broadcast is still running. Pictures should be 720x576 resolution or 800x600 in Jpg format. Email them to me

Not much news today.

From my Emails & ICQ

From Bill Richards


Thaicom 3 3600H

Vpid514 Apid670 SID2

TARA Bangla has started here and they suggest old frequency 3585 to cease as of 15 Feb.

Also Remo TV is testing on 3600 H


From Glenn

Subject: [Apsattv] Items for sale

After an upgrade to my equipment, I now have the following items for private sale.
Payment could be via COD or direct deposit. All postage costs to be paid by the buyer.(I'm located in Brisbane)
If you need more info on any of the items please ask.

1.#Dynalink Analogue receiver & infa-red remote
-older unit but in quite good condition (era around 1995-1997)
-good for mucking around or experimenting , very average/poor picture quality compared to new analogue receivers.
-packed in the original carton and includes the original manual & operating instructions
-does C & ku
-50 channels

Price $15 plus postage

2.#Pace Mss138 Analogue receiver & remote
-Very Good Condition
-Complete with remote and Manual / operating instructions
-I used it for all analogue channels viewable from Brisbane incl Starsports etc
plus channels on Asiasat 3, Palapa C2, Insat 2e
- C & Ku capable

- see here for good pics http://www.satpro.ru/p138.html

(russian text of specs translated below)
"250 programmed channels, 8 favourite lists of channels, Hf- modulators 21-69
channels PAL B/G, 2 entrances, menu, timers (8 events, 28 days), input
ranges 700-2150 MHz, 3 Scart- joints for the connection of television set,
decoder and video tape recorder, control signal 22 kHz, possibility of
bandwidth control of circuit 15/27 MHz, functions of noise reduction PANDA,
methods of programs in ku and S- range."

Price $30 plus postage

3.#Logix lg 3000 (Huth 2000) FTA Digital receiver & remote
(also same as Pacific Satellite dsr3000FTA)
picture available here http://www.satellite-heaven.de/Receiver/ImagesReceiver/huth/2000fta_small.jpg
- excellent condition Less than 2 years old
- C & ku
- very sensitive unit ( picks up some weaker channels on smaller C-band & ku dishes)
- Packed complete in original box and includes manual / operating instructions
"FTA digital receiver
DVB - Complaint , High speed RISC Chip set
3 - languages OSD (German, English, French)
MPEG II Decoding 1-15 Mbps ,QPSK demodulation 2-45,
SCPC & MCPC suited ,Tuner 920 - 2150 MHz ,
UHV/VHF modulator ,0/12 V circuit, 22 kHz signal,
DiSEqC version 1.0 , EPG, 2 Scart connections
Audio RCA , S-video connection, loop through
Stereo and joint stereo mode , CD quality audio, 18 bits DAC's
Ram, Flash Rom, updates via serial interface."

Price $220 + postage

4.#Echostar Ap-750 Positioner & remote
- It's packed in the original carton and comes complete with infared remote, power cord and instruction manual.
-Very good condition
(1 small battery contact in remote is worn but works perfectly with a small piece of foil pushed in place instead)
Photo available here http://www.stardubai.com/images/ap-750.jpg

- Specs:
*Stores and recalls up to 69 Satellite positions
*Software East-West overrun limiter
*Re-synchronise function
*Hall effect and reed relay type compatible
*Dimensions: 380 x 285 x 70 mm
*Output power:Ap-750 +/- 36v dc 5a with dynamic braking action (protected poly switch)
*Infared remote Control
*Rear Spring clip Connectors to actuator via 2 motor wires,1 ground and 1 motor pulse.
*A +5v connector is also available for a hall effect sensor.

Price $65 + postage

### Or take the lot for $300 plus postage
Contact me via Email at ggibson@powerup.com.au or glenn_del@barekoala.net

From Victor Holubecki 14/02/03

B1 12420 V 6670 3/4

An NTSC Feed that says: ABC TV NY

From the Dish

PAS 2 169E 3744 V New PIDs for BBC World, PIDs 1360/1320: 1160/1120. A test card has started on PIDs 1360/1320.

PAS 2 169E 4087 V "Pink Plus" has left , replaced by a test card.

Palapa C2 113E 4080 H Delta FM 99.5 is still on , Fta, APID 660.

Asiasat 2 100.5E 4148 V "MSTV Five Star" has started, Fta, PIDs 450/451.

NSS 6 95E 11580 V "Occasional SatLink feeds" on , SR 5632, Fec 3/4, NE Asian beam.
NSS 6 95E 11651 V "Occasional SatLink feeds" on , SR 3333, FEC 3/4, Middle East beam.

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3554 V "Herbalife Asia" has left again, replaced by a test card.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3600 H "ETV" has left , replaced by occasional feeds.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3600 H "Remo TV" has started, Fta, PIDs 515/680.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3685 H "Indiavision" has started testing, Fta, SR 6830, FEC 3/4,PIDs 1160/1120, global beam.

Thaicom 3 78.5E 12521 H "UBC DStv" has left .

Eutelsat W5 70.5E 11307 V "Occasional feeds" on , SR 20150, FEC 3/4.
Eutelsat W5 70.5E 11330 V "Occasional feeds" on , SR 6144, FEC 3/4.

PAS 10 68.5E 4034 H "Nickelodeon Japan" is now encrypted.


ISRO offers to launch satellite for Thailand

From http://www.hinduonnet.com/stories/2003021504911200.htm

NEW DELHI Feb. 14. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has offered to develop, design and launch a remote-sensing satellite for Thailand, the Foreign Office spokesman today said. Giving details about the talks between the visiting Thai Foreign Minister, Surakiat Sathirathai, and the External Affairs Minister, Yashwant Sinha, the spokesman said that the two countries would sign a framework agreement for a free trade arrangement by July. The deadline for this had been advanced from September.

Apart from a one-on-one meeting between the two Ministers, the India-Thailand Joint Commission had met after seven years. Mr. Sinha pointed to the need for regular meetings of the joint commission. The meeting discussed issues including biotechnology, space, culture, tourism and civil aviation.

Several joint committees and working groups have been set up to implement the agreements reached during the meeting.

China's state broadcaster plans 24-hour television news channel

From http://www.mlive.com/

BEIJING (AP) -- China has approved plans for state television to create a 24-hour news channel, a spokesman said Thursday, setting the stage for tension between the government's strict media controls and mounting competitive pressures in the delivery of broadcast news.

China Central Television is still planning the service and hasn't set a launch date, according to a spokesman in its foreign affairs office who gave only his surname, Cao.

It was not clear how such a service would work, given the communist government's longtime obsession with controlling the media. CCTV's main newscasts are heavily political, focusing on the daily activities of leaders and promoting ideological campaigns.

"We have had the proposal for a long time, but only recently got permission to go ahead," Cao said. He wouldn't say whether the service would be broadcast abroad or give other details.

However, a manager of CCTV's news department said plans call for the channel to be available worldwide. The manager would give only his surname, Liu, and said he didn't have other information.

CCTV operates 12 channels, including ones devoted to movies, sports and cultural events. It estimates its combined broadcasts reach 300 million homes, a vast majority of the country's 1.3 billion population.

CCTV branched out to the United States last year, signing deals with AOL Time Warner Inc. and News Corp. to have its English-language channel carried into American homes on cable systems and by digital satellite.

Stations that offer 24-hour news have multiplied rapidly in the last decade, changing how news is distributed throughout the world. But many have failed to make money, and some have folded after only a few years of operation.

That would be unlikely for any CCTV venture, given the government's willingness to subsidize arms of its propaganda apparatus.

Any such operation would start out in a competitive environment.

Phoenix TV, a Hong Kong-based Chinese-language satellite broadcaster, has been granted a license to transmit its 24-hour news channel to the mainland -- but only to luxury hotels and compounds and apartment complexes that house foreigners. Similar conditions apply to CNN and the British Broadcasting Corp.'s BBC World television service, which broadcast in English.


Sorry no update today just no time.


The Globecast service on Optus B3 will add a new channel at the end of the month, DUNA TV from Hungry, it will be a pay channel. The cost has not been finalized but they are open to suggestions. Send them an email if you are interested. They also have a 2nd channel unamed channel coming soon.

NZ vs W.I cricket should be good tonight, NZ should win based on recent form against them

From my Emails & ICQ

From Dave Nolan

On 3880H 28125 3/4 there are three programs as listed.

Global TV: VPID 1057 APID 1058 PCR 1057
Metro TV: VPID 2081 APID 2082 PCR 2081
TV5: VPID 3105 APID 3106 PCR 3105

All are of good signal strength in northern Australia and should be able to be viewed in most of Australia/NZ
My dish is a 2.3m solid now and so the enthusiasts with larger mesh ones should have no trouble.

Dave Nolan

From John McDermott

There is a feed on B1 12430 V 6670 Horse Racing,

There is also a signal on 12427 Horizontal that I can't pick up. Anyone able to get this?

From the Dish

Palapa C2 113E 3880 H "MTV Indonesia, Metro TV and TV 5 Asie" have started, Fta, SR 28125, FEC 3/4, PIDs 1057/1058-3105/3106.
Palapa C2 113E 10970 H "Anteve" has left .

Asiasat 2 100.5E 4148 V The test card has left .

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3600 H Three of the four test cards have left .

PAS 10 68.5E 4034 H "Nickelodeon Japan" has started, Fta, PIDs 353/354.
PAS 10 68.5E 3933 V "Occasional feeds" , SR 6111, FEC 3/4.


Foxtel strong subscriber growth

From http://finance.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,5978558%255E14309,00.html

PAY TV operator Foxtel has begun to enjoy strong growth in its subscriber numbers after clinching a program sharing deal with rival Optus.

News Corp, which owns a 25 per cent stake in Foxtel, today revealed the pay TV outfit had witnessed a slowdown in the number of subscribers signing up before the deal was finalised last November.

However since then, there had been "strong subscriber growth", News Corp deputy chief operating officer Lachlan Murdoch said.

"There was a lot of people in the marketplace who stopped or slowed down ordering pay TV until they could see what kind of package they could get," he said.

"Now that that has resolved itself we have seen a flood of subscribers coming back into pay TV, particularly into Foxtel."

Mr Murdoch added that Foxtel was on track to launch its digital service in October 2003.

The service will feature an initial 144 channels, with around 15 per cent of those earmarked for rivals.

Meanwhile, News Corp has managed to stabilise its losses from its share in Foxtel to $4 million for the six months to December 31, 2002.

The news came as the media giant reported a first half net profit of $725 million for the six months to December 31, 2002, a major turnaround from its $1.038 billion loss in the previous corresponding period thanks to several writedowns.

Mr Murdoch said a rise in the Australian dollar against the US dollar in recent months had had a positive impact on the Foxtel result.

The Foxtel-Optus program sharing deal was given the nod by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission after the players made several revisions to their plans after getting knocked back earlier last year.

Foxtel, which is also owned by Telstra Corp and Kerry Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd, gave the ACCC 12 key undertakings in a bid to allay competition concerns and win approval for the deal.

Still no solution for satellite failure

From http://www.nationmultimedia.com/page.news.php3?clid=2&theme=A&usrsess=1&id=9038

Shin Satellite Plc (SSA) and United Broadcasting Corp Plc (UBC) are still uncertain about how they will compensate pay-TV viewers affected by a glitch in the Thaicom 3 satellite.

Both filed statements to the stock exchange of Thailand yesterday but have yet to announce clearly how they will compensate viewers affected by the failure of the service.

UBC director of corporate communications Kantima Kunjara na Ayudhya told The Nation yesterday that UBC and SSA had yet to finish discussing how to completely solve the problem, "but UBC will do the best for its customers".

The problem arose last Friday when five Ku-band transponders on satellite operator SSA's Thaicom 3 satellite started experiencing power supply trouble, knocking out UBC's satellite television programmes. So far the problem has not been fixed.

"SSA is unable to confirm that it will be able to restore the supply of five transponders on the Thaicom 3 satellite," said SSA's filing to the stock market.

After the glitch, SSA made available three healthy Ku band-transponders on Thaicom 3 and one on its Thaicom 2 to temporarily broadcast UBC's programmes.

Despite this solution, some UBC subscribers who pay for more than one decoder in their houses are unable to receive free channels on their additional points.

With help from SSA, UBC is considering acquiring additional broadcast compression equipment that will enable all services to be carried on a single satellite, such as the three Ku-band transponders on Thaicom 3 presently provided by SSA.

"This matter is still under discussion with SSA," UBC said.

At this stage, UBC estimates the cost of acquiring additional equipment to be around Bt80 million and that it could take up to 30 days or more to deploy such an solution.

SSA has already asked UBC to consider splitting its broadcasts over two satellites, Thaicom 2 and Thaicom 3, as a long term solution.

Africa to get own satellite by 2006

From http://www.sabcnews.com/africa/southern_africa/0,1009,52855,00.html

The Regional African Satellite Communication Organisation (Rascom) says it will start construction on its first satellite late this month or in early March and will launch it in 2005 or 2006. A second satellite is to follow a year later.

The launch will be the culmination of a process that started in the early 1990s and a dream that has even earlier roots. Space has been a daunting frontier for the continent. While it celebrated Mark Shuttleworth as the first African in space only last year, it is entirely dependent on satellites owned by companies in more developed countries.

Speaking at the SatCom Africa conference yesterday, Rascom CEO Goundé Adadja said a loan agreement to be signed next week is the last part of the financing to be put in place before construction on the first satellite can begin.

A special purpose company which is to own the first satellite has been registered in Mauritius and a geo-stationary orbital slot secured at 2.9 degrees east.

Rascom-1 is to carry TV and radio signals as well as voice and data with additional transponders available for hire. Adadja says the first satellite will provide high-bandwidth Ku-band coverage of the entire continent through as many as seven spot-beams. It will also for the first time allow telecommunications operators anywhere on the continent to link directly to their counterparts in other countries.

But Rascom-1 will not put the other satellite providers on the continent out of business. “Rascom will not replace whatever satellite services already exist,” says Adadja.

Terrestrial infrastructure

While the first satellite is under construction and negotiations around the second start, much of Rascom's focus will be on getting the terrestrial infrastructure in place.

/or us it is important to make sure it is happening on the ground,” says Adadja. “We cannot afford to be just a satellite capacity provider. We cannot just launch the satellite and let African operators use it or not use it.”

The mainstay of the ground infrastructure is to be central terminals priced at about $1 500 and capable of operating entirely on solar power. The terminals, of about 0,6m to 0.9m, are to connect individual villages to their country's telecommunications systems and beyond.

Rascom also plans to help local operators to establish a VSAT (very small aperture terminal) network to total more than 500 000 terminals.

Need and delay

There is broad consensus on the need for communications satellites owned by African countries, and the Rascom satellites are not likely to be the last.

Some estimate that as much as 80% of the revenue generated from calls between African countries goes to operators outside the continent who route the international traffic. Theoretically, most of that money could be kept on the continent if local operators owned the necessary infrastructure.

Satellite is also still seen as the best opportunity for Africa to leapfrog the slow roll-out of terrestrial telecommunications networks. According to Adadja, the continent, which houses about 12% of the world population, still has only 2% of the telephone lines in existence, and the bulk of those lines are in only six countries.

These factors are seeing SA again evaluate the possibility of launching its own communications satellite to serve the southern African region.

However, despite the conviction of those involved, projects such as Rascom have been slow to get off the ground.

Rascom was formed in 1992, and although one of its objectives was to negotiate bulk discounts on satellite airtime, launching its own satellite was always high on the agenda. Delay piled on delay, with a satellite scheduled for launch in 2001 and then in 2003. The continuing problems in raising finance saw many lose faith in the project and an attitude of “we'll believe it when we see it” persists.

SA's own efforts have been equally long in the making, with feasibility studies conducted as early as 1991 and another completed in 2000. The Department of Communications is driving the current feasibility process, expected to be completed late this year.

Phoenix slashes loss as its China rights pay off

From http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/Weekly2003/02.11.2003/China11.htm

Chinese language broadcaster Phoenix Satellite Television slashed its interim net loss in half by cutting costs and boosting advertising sales.

The company said yesterday revenue for the six months ending December last year rose 6.8 per cent year on year to HK$350.93 million.

Its net loss for the period was HK$38.29 million, down from HK$76.39 million previously.

The company's InfoNews Channel lost HK$45.03 million in the half year.

Phoenix TV chairman and chief executive Liu Changle said advertising sales had gained momentum since InfoNews was granted landing rights by the Chinese government early last month.

"If the trend continues, I believe the chance of breaking-even or even making a profit for this fiscal year [ending June 30] is absolutely possible," Mr Liu said.

Since InfoNews could now be legally aired in China, Mr Liu was confident it could attract US$20 million advertising revenue this calendar year and that annual operating costs could be kept at less than US$20 million.

He expected the channel to achieve break-even by the end of the year.

Phoenix TV is aiming to increase the mainland audience of InfoNews from the existing five million to 20 million, also by the end of the year.

On a quarterly basis, Phoenix TV said revenue improved 11.8 per cent from the previous quarter to HK$185.28 million, while its net loss narrowed 12.7 per cent to HK$23.3 million.

The company said it narrowed its operating loss to HK$50 million in the six months to December.

It said it had introduced more stringent credit controls last July to improve its financial position.

"The sales contracts that you sign are not real, only the money that you can collect is real," Mr Liu said, adding the company's bad-debt ratio had fallen to less than 3 per cent after the implementation of the new controls.

Meanwhile, Mr Liu said Phoenix TV would relaunch InfoNews on March 3 with live roundtable discussion programmes on public affairs and other new programmes to better distinguish it from its Chinese Channel.

Shares in the Growth Enterprise Market-listed company were unchanged yesterday at 93 HK cents.

Sri Adhikari Brothers to launch three new channels

From http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?artid=36444237

Sri Adhikari Brothers, the promoters of SAB TV, have chalked out plans to launch three new channels, including a news channel.

According to a report in a business newspaper, to start with SAB Television Networks plans to go on air with a news and a regional language channel. This would be followed with another niche channel, the report said.

The company has no immediate plans to make SAB TV a pay channel. Even under a conditional access regime, the channel would remain a free-to-air and be part of the basic tier. The company has recently consolidated its channel and TV software businesses.


Chat was good last night though as expected a little quiet due to the cricket being on. There was some talk of 2 proposed channels on Impactv, "The Kiwi channel" and "Euro Pacific Sports" both of which would be fta!

Not much to report today.


ABC Northern mux on 12260V leaving B1 in a month or so?

From my Emails & ICQ

From Schippy

Sound Track Channel on Pas 8

Satellite: PAS 8
Frequency: 3860
Polarization: H
SR = 28000
FEC = 5/6
VPID - 420
APID - 421

Transmission standard: NTSC
No Encryption
Location: Brisbane

From Victor Holubecki

Pas2 4063 H Basketball feed on, Sr 6620 Fec 2/3

From the Dish

PAS 8 166E 3860 H "The Soundtrack Channel Pacific" has started, fta, PIDs 420/421.
PAS 8 166E 3860 H "CTI TV has replaced Power TV", Fta, PIDs 500/501PAS 8 166E 12686 H All channels in the Jadeworld mux are encrypted again.

Palapa C2 113E 4080 H A test card has started here and 10970 H, Fta, PIDs 517/655.Delta FM 99.5 has left both these muxes.

Asiasat 3 105.5E 3660 V "Sahara TV" Analog has left .

ST 1 88E 3632 V "Rainbow Channel 1, CTS, CTV and TTV"are encrypted again.

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3418 V "ATN Bangla" has started on , clear, SR 3333, PIDs 308/256, Asian beam.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3422 V "Occasional feeds" , SR 3333,Asian beam.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3554 V "A test card has started" , Fta, PIDs 512/640.

PAS 10 68.5E 3897 H "Occasional feeds" on , SR 6111.
PAS 10 68.5E 4034 V "Occasional feeds" on , PIDs 520/730.


UBC set to make up for disruption

From http://www.bangkokpost.com/Business/12Feb2003_biz59.html

Thaicom-3 satellite has yet to be fixed

United Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) is contemplating how to compensate subscribers for the loss of pay-television services, some of which have yet to be fully restored, since a power failure on the Thaicom-3 satellite last Friday.

Most residential subscribers had all channels restored by Friday night but service to larger commercial and multi-dish customers continues to be only partially available.

Shin Satellite Plc has not been able to say how long it would take to repair the Thaicom-3 satellite and restore full services, according to a UBC source who asked not to be named.

As a result, he said, UBC was considering how to compensate those who still could not yet receive services.

Shin Satellite has shifted UBC, which uses the Ku-band transponders on Thaicom-3, to its other two satellites on a temporary basis.

Thaicom-3 has 14 Ku-band transponders but only four have been functioning since Friday's outage. Of the 20 Ku-band transponders on Thaicom-1 and Thaicom-2, only 10 are working.

The problem, which affected only Ku-band transponders serving Thailand, was the first to occur on the satellite, which was launched in 1997.

Shin engineers are working with France-based Alcatel Space to investigate the failure and restore normal service.

Shin Satellite shares declined 30 satang (2.46%) yesterday to 11.90 baht, in trade worth 90.73 million baht. The company's shares have lost 20% since the anti-Thai riots two weeks ago in Phnom Penh, where Shin Corporation businesses suffered damage. UBC shares rose 30 satang yesterday to 16 baht in trade worth 6.78 million baht.

DirecTV, Echostar lost millions to hackers, U.S. says

From http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/technology/article/0,1299,DRMN_49_1738103,00.html

LOS ANGELES - U.S. prosecutors charged 17 software programmers and hardware manufacturers with stealing millions of dollars in satellite TV services from Hughes Electronics Corp.'s DirecTV and Littleton-based EchoStar Communications Corp.

Ten of the defendants, including one who admitted responsibility for more than $15 million in losses, have agreed to plead guilty, U.S. Attorney Debra Yang said. The defendants come from seven states.

Hughes Electronics' three previous generations of access cards have been compromised by hackers. The El Segundo, California- based company spent more than $25 million to develop the most recent card, the FBI said. The company in the third quarter of 2002 cut off access to 50,000 customers accused of using counterfeit cards to watch programming without paying.

"Our office hopes that these arrests will have a real impact on this type of crime," Yang said. She said the defendants include "the world's best and more sophisticated hackers."

DirecTV is the largest U.S. satellite television provider with more than 11.2 million subscribers, compared with rival EchoStar Communications Corp.'s Dish Network, which has about 8 million subscribers.

Mitigate piracy spread

DirecTV said in a statement that it believes the prosecutions will "help mitigate the spread of piracy now and weaken efforts to hack our conditional access system in the future." The company hasn't yet decided whether it will file civil charges, spokesman Robert Mercer said.

Six of those charged were accused of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which includes a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Other charges include conspiracy and manufacturing a device for the purpose of stealing satellite signals, which each carry a possible five-year term and a $250,000 fine.

Among those who agreed to plead guilty is Los Angeles resident Randyl Walter. Walter, 43, admitted in December that he manufactured satellite signal decryption devices and caused almost $15 million in losses to Hughes and EchoStar, prosecutors said.

The U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles last month charged a University of Chicago student with stealing information related to DirecTV's newest conditional access card, which allows customers to receive programming from the company.

Hughes shares fell 4 cents to close at $10.16 on the New York Stock Exchange. Hughes is a subsidiary of General Motors Corp.

EchoStar shares fell 47 cents to $25.14 in Nasdaq trading.


Livechat in the chatroom 9pm NZ and 8.30 Syd time onwards, yeah I know the big cricket match is on tonight but I am sure many have pc's near the tv set. NZ missed out last night in their first game thanks to a costly umpiring mistake.


Latest launch date for C1 a change from April 15th to the 17th

From my Emails & ICQ

From FTA Sat Services

Received official notification from World Media International Monday 10th Feb 2003, that RAI International on Pas2 3836 Vt 13.333 will be encrypted as from about midnight Wednesday 19th of Feb 2003, (3pm Italy time), not withstanding any last minute technical hic-ups.

At this stage they are considering running a subscription scheme, same as the ART, LBC, AlJazeer, depending on the viability.

From the Dish

Pas 2 169E 3769 V "feed" Sr 6620 Fec 3/4
Pas 2 169E 3958 V "South Africa feed" Sr 6110 Fec 3/4 (Encrypted)
Pas 2 169E 4063 H "feed" Sr 6620 Fec 2/3

Optus B3 156E 12376 H New PIDs for ABC Kids and ABC Fly TV on : 519/647.

JCSAT 2A 154E 3915 V "BYU TV" is now Fta.

Pas 10 68.5E 3913 V "South Africa feed" Sr 6110 Fec 3/4 (Encrypted), same as Pas 2 feed

(B Wall)
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3412 V New PIDs for TV Maldives : 307/435.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3600 H "Radio Cambodia" has started Fta, SID 5, APID 690.


Shin Satellite Thaicom-3 Problem Rectified


BANGKOK--Today at 1700 of February 7, 2003 Shin Satellite Plc (H.SST) notifies its rectification of Thaicom-3 satellite's anomaly in the power system of certain Ku-Band transponders which has caused a discontinuation of services in those affected transponders.

To rectify the problem, the company has rearranged customers on those affected Ku-band transponders to other transponders on Thaicom-1, 2 and 3 satellites where possible, in order to avail customers of continued services. It is noted that there is no impact on Thaicom-3's C-band transponders services.

For a latest update, the company has successfully recovered the services of most of Thaicom-3's Ku-Band transponders.

BBC World reaches 100 million homes

From http://indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k3/feb/feb41.htm

NEW DELHI: BBC World today announced its new distribution figures which show the channel is now available in more homes worldwide than ever before.

BBC World can now be received in 253.6 million homes in over 200 countries around the world. Of these, 100 million homes receive the channel on a 24-hour basis. In addition to the 830,000 hotel rooms, 15 airlines and 14 cruise ships already carrying the channel, this marks an all time high for BBC World's global reach.

Director of Sales and Distribution, BBC World, Jeff Hazell, said; " In just 15 months the total number of homes receiving BBC World has increased by 42 per cent (178m to 253.6m) and these increases have come from every region of the world. It is also very much in line with regional audience research received for the same period indicating that BBC World is the fastest growing international news channel around."

Among the regions which experienced significant increases in 24 hour distribution of BBC World was India where the cable distribution has risen steadily from 11 to 15 million 24-hour homes. Europe also showed considerable growth, Eastern Europe in particular where cable is developing rapidly and BBC World is proving to be increasingly popular. In Western Europe, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain were notable for increases in both cable and satellite distribution. Elsewhere, Latin America continued to show steady growth in full and part time distribution, most significantly in Mexico, Venezuela and Argentina. In Asia Pacific, BBC World has also recently gone full time on Malaysia's digital Astro satellite platform.

An official release informs that BBC World is also available on the two dominant satellites in the Middle East; Nilesat and Arabsat. In addition, part time distribution of BBC World has also experienced significant growth with an increase in the number of homes receiving the channel, specifically in Africa and the USA.

Last Ariane-4 launch highlights crisis in space exploration

From http://www.spacedaily.com/2003/030210035951.ckrose8s.html

A sad event that should have been a celebration will this week underscore the fears of many that 2003 is turning out to be an annus horribilis for space exploration.

The European Space Agency will stage the last launch of an Ariane-4, the reliable, versatile rocket that has made a great contribution to the satellite industry and provided the backbone of ESA's success.

After more 23 years of service and for the 116th time, this workhorse of space will lift off on Wednesday from the agency's launchpad in French Guiana, caarrying a 4.7-tonne Intelsat communications satellite.

But there will be no partying at ESA, which is mired in problems. The Ariane-4 is the symbol of a cosy past that the Paris-based agency now finds worryingly elusive.

The agency's launch capabilities will henceforth depend totally on the Ariane-5, which has dismally low credibility after a heavy version of the rocket failed last December on its maiden mission.

Chronic uncertainty over Ariane-5 caused scientists last month to mothball ESA's most ambitious project ever -- the launch of a billion-dollar comet-chasing probe, Rosetta, which had been a decade in preparation.

Added to that is a tightening belt of budget constraints, the shrinkage of the satellite launch market because of the telecoms crisis, and, according to insiders, friction among ESA's 15 nations over a proposal to bundle the agency with the European Union (EU).

But Europe is not alone. All three major space powers are facing, in varying combinations, a budget crunch, technical problems or an identity crisis.

The United States is wrestling with the loss of a second shuttle and the spiralling -- and apparently inescapable -- cost of building the International Space Station (ISS).

The Russian Space Agency (RSA), the inheritor of the great Soviet space legacy, is so poor that it has had to take up millionaire tourists to help pay its bills.

It cannot even afford to build an extra Soyuz to help take astronauts up to the ISS in the absence of the shuttle.

"These kind of things happen. There have been times before when you have a series of problems like this," said Doug Millard, a space history expert at Britain's Science Museum.

Mark Sims, mission manager for the Beagle-2 project, which will send a lander to Mars this year aboard an ESA probe, Mars Express, agreed that the failures are "coincidence."

"Travelling into space is not mundane, and it will not be mundane for the next 30 or 40 years. It has risks and things happen," he said.

If 2003 turns out to be a landmark bad year for space exploration, the lure of space will always remain. China, for instance, has vowed to push ahead to launch its own manned space mission this year despite the Columbia tragedy.

But, said Millard, the combination of negative factors is bound to prompt a rethink in many quarters, especially NASA, about where the money should be spent.

Should the agency abandon or truncate the ISS and shuttle programme? Can it leave behind the rut of low orbit and strike out in a visionary direction, say Mars?

"We have entered a period where NASA will be thinking very long and hard about what it is there to do and what its future role is," Millard said.

Experts agree that most of the technology for a manned trip to the Red Planet is already available.

The mission would be long, costly and not achieve much other than to plant a flag and do science that could in any cast be mostly duplicated by robots.

But it would still breathe life back into the space dream, the vision of man carving out his destiny in the cosmos.

"The future of man in space is a matter of political will as well as science," said Sims. "A mission to Mars needs the kind of will that (former US President John F.) Kennedy brought to the Apollo programme."

Old Satellites May Gain New Voice

From http://www.spacedaily.com/news/satellite-tech-03a.html

ESA engineers are proposing a technique to enable a digital satellite radio service for European drivers - without the need to launch a single new satellite into orbit.

Commercial digital satellite radio is already a reality in the United States, using a costly set of dedicated satellites.

The rival American services allow subscribing drivers to choose between numerous near-CD quality radio channels without tune-out or static.

Two parallel ESA studies have examined a lower-cost method of providing in-car Europe-wide satellite radio, along with supplemental text, pictures and video data. ND Satcom (prime contractor), DLR, IMST and SES Astra conducted one of the studies while Alcatel Space (prime contractor), Frauenhofer Gesellschaft, Skygate and SES Astra performed the other.

"This service would include music and voice data," said ESA engineer Rolv Midthassel from the Technology Projects Division of the Telecommunication Department. "Plus additional data could be displayed on-screen such as information on songs, traffic and weather forecasts, and other services dedicated to car drivers."

It promises to be much cheaper to set up than US satellite radio, because it requires no new expensive satellite launches. Instead the proposal is to reuse existing TV satellites nearing the end of their operating life.

Once in position, 35,000 km away in space, TV satellites will remain in orbit forever, but their useful life amounts to 15 years or less. Onboard thrusters must keep each satellite pointed precisely in geostationary orbit so they stay lined up with fixed-position Earth-based receivers.

However once the thrusters' propellant runs out the satellites drift out of correct orbit, and are left useless for TV broadcast applications. But further life can be squeezed from a low-propellant TV satellite switched over to mobile digital radio broadcasting where precision position control is less important.

Most thruster propellant is expended correcting satellite attitude in the north-south direction. But if station-keeping is limited to the east-west axis then satellite lifetime could be extended by some five years.

The satellite's position would oscillate across the sky by a few degrees. But vehicle-mounted digital radio antennas would keep track of the satellite as it moves, just as they would maintain contact with it as the car bearing the antenna moves across the landscape.

"Satellite reception is frequently shadowed by trees, rain, or cloud or blocked altogether by mountains, tunnels or tall buildings," explained Midthassel. "In urban areas the studies indicate that the signal is blocked an average 30 per cent of the time, maybe for several minutes at a time."

These reception gaps make real-time broadcasting impracticable. Instead the service would operate on a cache system – data files are stored by the receiver for later playback.

"Sophisticated interleaving, data coding and large signal margins should enable the useful data to be reconstructed even when some of the signal has disappeared," said Midthassel.

Interleaving is a method whereby the burst of erroneous data arising from blockages and shadowing will be spread out in time and mixed with correctly received data bits. And coding data will then enable the receiver to interpret it in the correct context.

Studies indicate a useful data rate of a million bits per second per satellite transponder. With each satellite having several transponders, this makes the system performance comparable or even superior to US services.

"The receiver cache will contain files like songs, news flashes, and discussion programmes," Midthassel added. "Based on a pre-set user profile an individually-tailored radio programme could be constructed out of available files."

"Alternatively the user could choose which service he wants from the cache – so you could play the latest news then and there instead in a half-hour's time. Exiting the car to fill up with petrol, you could halt the news then restart it once you're back."

Test reception measurements have been carried out by both teams monitoring signals from SES Astra satellites.

The next steps come this year, with plans to design a low-cost fully electronically steerable antenna as well as develop a suitable gateway transmitter and user receiver which will serve as a system demonstrator for extended field testing. An optimised demonstration system will be complete in about two-and-a-half years leading to a commercial prototype in about five years from now.


Loads of stuff today!, Cricket has been seen try Insat 2E Dordashan, Analog (Zone beam so tricky in Australia). Keep your eyes open elsewhere for feeds from South Africa.

From my Emails & ICQ

From Jsat Western Australia

FOR SALE :NOKIA DBOX 2..complete with linux operating software. full smart card emulation.. irdeto, seca, viacess, nagravision, conax, nds, and others. com port 2 board installed.. as advertised in satfacts for $1899...

a bargain at only $1000..
comes with all software on a CD...

Email: jsat1@westnet.com.au

From Bill Richards 9/02/03

Thaicom 3 RR Comms has left 3672H

3670 Horz S/R12700 FEC 7/8 Internet Data


From webmaster at Radio NZ

We have updated our Radio NZ and Concert Fm details to include the satellite info you supplied to us.

on the following pages


Cheers Ian

From Chris Pickstock 9/02/03

UK Soccer Feed seen, "Liverpool v Middlesborough".
B1, 12326 H, sr 6980. (ABC feed frequency)

From Felix 7/02/03

ThaiCom II / III all transponders on ThaiCom 2/3 (KU-band) have transmittion problems
(since this morning, HK-time) mostly no signal, or very low

dont be surprised if you have a black screen on UBC


From Iwan 7/02/03


Nickelodeon mux and Fashion TV (sexy, beautiful chicks) are running FTA on PAS 10 (68.5 deg East).


From JohnNZ

Hi Graig i just go this e mail from ART

Dear John,

Thank you for interest in Art.

As far as ART moving to KU BAND it is a possibility that it will happen in the near future, but it will always remain on PAS 2. Once this occurs we will surely let you know which will be hopefully soon.

Robert Khouaiss
DTH Sales Manager
World Media International

From MR Humax 8/02/03

B1, 12420 V Sr 6620 Fec 3/4 "golf feed"

From Colin T 8/02/03

PAS8 12686, H, 28124, 2/3
Jadeworld FTA on Pas8

From Colin T 7/02/03

B1 12429, V, 3/4, 6667 "boxing feed"

From the Dish

PAS 2 169E The occasional feeds have left Ku tp 9.
PAS 2 169E 3744 V "Both Discovery Channel Asia" has left , replaced by test cards.
PAS 2 169E 4087 V "TV Globo Internacional" has started, Fta, PIDs 514/642 and 516/644.

PAS 8 166E 12488 V The occasional FTV feeds have moved from here and 12492 V to 12630 V and 12634 V, SR 3125, FEC 5/6.

Optus B1 160E 12608 V "Channel Z" has replaced The Edge, Videoguard, APID 664.
Optus B1 160E The test cards have left 12391 V and 12418 V.
Optus B1 160E 12420 V "Occasional feeds" on , SR 6620. Fec 3/4
Optus B1 160E 12524 H "Feeds from South Africa" SR 6110 ,Vpid 308 Apid 256

Optus B3 156E 12376 H New PIDs for ABC Kids and ABC Fly TV : 1160/1120.
Optus B3 156E 12336 V "HRT 1" is now encrypted.
Optus B3 156E 12376 H "ABC TV Digital" has starte , Irdeto 1/2, PIDs 1160/1120.

Agila 2 146E 12301 H "IBC 13 and Fuse Music Channel" have started, enc., SR 10455, FEC 7/8, PIDs 1160/1120-1260/1220.

Palapa C2 113E 3604 H "Smart FM" has started, Fta, APID 1213.
Palapa C2 113E 4080 H "Anteve" has left , replaced by a test card.

Asiasat 2 100.5E 4148 V "Chinese TV Guide" has left , replaced by a test card.

Yamal 102 90E 3645 L "Darial TV" has changed name to DTV.

Thaicom 3 78.5E TVK has moved from 3448 H to 3600 H, Fta, SID 5, PIDs 516/690.Radio Cambodia has left 3448 H.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3600 H "Sanskar TV" has left , replaced by a test card.

PAS 10 68.5E 3744 V "SABC Africa has replaced Telly Track" on , Irdeto 2, PIDs 516/644, 07-19 CET.
PAS 10 68.5E 3808 V It's a Ten Sports Middle East promo here
PAS 10 68.5E 3897 H "Feeds from South Africa" Sr 6110 Fec 3/4
PAS 10 68.5E 3931 V "Feeds from South Africa" Sr 6110 Fec 3/4
PAS 10 68.5E 3940 V "Feeds from South Africa" Sr 6110 Fec 3/4
PAS 10 68.5E 4034 V "DD Metro and DD National" have left , are not encrypted.
PAS 10 68.5E 4034 H The MTV test card is back on, Fta, PIDs 433/434.
PAS 10 68.5E 4154 H "Fashion TV" is encrypted again.

Intelsat 704 66E 4055 R "MCM Asia" has left .(Anyone check, was very low power recently?)


New Skies to re-deploy NSS-8 satellite to satisfy growing demand in Indian Ocean region

From Press Release

The Hague, Netherlands, February 6, 2003 New Skies Satellites N.V. (AEX, NYSE: NSK), the global satellite communications company, today announced that it will re-deploy its NSS-8 satellite, originally scheduled to be launched to 105 degrees west longitude for Americas coverage, to the company’s 57 east slot to provide expansion capacity in response to demand in the Indian Ocean region. NSS-8 is expected to commence commercial service at 57 east, where New Skies’ NSS-703 satellite is currently operating, on or around January 1, 2005.

By deploying its newest, largest, and most powerful satellite to an established orbital location in the Indian Ocean region, New Skies will ensure it can continue to meet the current and future needs of its many customers throughout India, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa as well as capitalize on the region’s strong projected growth.

NSS-8 originally had been planned for launch in late 2003 to serve the Americas market from 105 degrees west longitude. NSS-703, launched in 1994, has long been one of New Skies’ most highly utilized satellites. Following its replacement by NSS-8, New Skies will re-deploy NSS-703, which is expected to continue commercial service until 2009, to another orbital location.

?This decision underscores New Skies’ operational agility and our commitment to make the most efficient and productive use of our satellite resources and committed capital expenditure programs in a dynamic market environment,” said Dan Goldberg, chief executive officer of New Skies Satellites.

?The geographic regions served from 57 east are among the world’s fastest growing markets. NSS-8 will bring our customers in the Indian Ocean region the most powerful follow-on capacity with the most comprehensive connectivities available. Further, by repositioning the NSS-8 delivery date and by obviating our need to procure a replacement for NSS-703 in the near term, this decision positions New Skies to achieve positive free cash flow in the current year and will result in approximately $250 million in additional free cash flow over the course of the next three years.”

New Skies and Boeing Satellite Systems, the spacecraft manufacturer, have worked closely together to reconfigure NSS-8 for service from 57 east longitude. NSS-8 will carry 56 C-band and 36 high-power Ku-band transponders, making it one of the largest and highest power satellites with coverage of Europe, the Middle East, India, Africa and Asia.

?We at New Skies have been impressed with the commercial responsiveness that Boeing has demonstrated in working with our NSS-8 team,” said Goldberg. “As is the hallmark of New Skies’ satellites, extensive beam inter-connectivity has been built into the satellite design, allowing New Skies to offer flexible solutions to customer requirements and to respond to evolving market conditions over the estimated 16-year life of the satellite.”

Although NSS-8 will not be deployed to the Americas, New Skies remains committed to developing its 105 west slot in a timely manner. This location is a valuable resource because of its unique ability to see all of North and South America.

Goldberg said: “Far from abandoning the Americas market, we believe that the 105 west location provides a compelling growth opportunity. We have every intention to make full and productive use of this valuable resource.”

About New Skies Satellites (AEX, NYSE: NSK)

New Skies Satellites (AEX, NYSE: NSK) is one of only four fixed satellite communications companies with truly global satellite coverage, offering video, voice, data and Internet communications services to a range of telecommunications carriers, broadcasters, large corporations and Internet service providers around the world. New Skies has six satellites in orbit and ground facilities around the world. The company has one additional spacecraft under construction. The company also has secured certain rights to make use of additional orbital positions for future growth. New Skies is headquartered in The Hague, The Netherlands, and has offices in Beijing, Johannesburg, New Delhi, São Paulo, Singapore, Sydney and Washington, D.C. Additional information is available at www.newskies.com.

For more information, please contact:
Elizabeth Hess, +31 70 306 4133
New Skies Satellites +31 6 2906 2492
The Hague, The Netherlands

Thaicom power glitch knocks most UBC channels off the air

From http://www.bangkokpost.com/080203_Business/08Feb2003_biz50.html

Pay-TV firm unsure about compensation

A power supply problem on the Thaicom-3 satellite yesterday knocked several channels on pay-television service United Broadcasting Corp off the air for several hours.

The problem, which affected only the Ku-band transponders serving Thailand-based customers, was the first to occur on the satellite since it was launched in 1997, a Shin Satellite spokeswoman said.

Shin Satellite engineers were working closely with France-based Alcatel Space to check on the failure and to restore normal service, she said.

The disruption that began early in the morning knocked out all six free-to-air local channels broadcast on UBC, as well as UBC Channel 7 and Nation Channel 8, along with all movie and sports channels, CNN, UBC and MTV.

By late afternoon some foreign news and sports channels and the Discovery Channel were restored, while the movie channels, free Thai channels and Nation TV remained unavailable.

Vasili Sgourdos, UBC's chief financial officer, said the pay-TV operator was not yet able to make a statement about whether or how it could compensate subscribers.

``The compensation plan can't be revealed until we fully understand the problem and know how long the problem occurred,'' he said.

CS Internet general manager Anan Kaewruamwong said that the power supply breakdown did not affect the Internet access service of his company, which, like Shin Satellite, is an affiliate of Shin Corporation.

He said that CS Internet leased transponders from the Communications Authority of Thailand's international Internet gateway after its lease contract with Shin Satellite expired last year and no extension had yet been signed.

``We're looking for the best package price [that will be available] at the time of the merger of CS Internet and Loxinfo,'' said Mr Anan.

The merged entity, CS Loxinfo, will be the country's largest Internet service provider in terms of revenue when full operations begin in June this year.

Thaicom-3 is 35,000 kilometres above southern Thailand.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, Shin Satellite president Dumrong Kasemset said the company had informed all affected customers of yesterday's outages.

Shin Satellite shares closed yesterday at 14.20 baht, down 10 satang, in trade worth 9.76 million baht.

South African Porno on Pas 10

From http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=139&art_id=ct20030207195845114P6531275&set_id=1

A couple of Cape Town "entrepreneurs" have hit on a scheme to make thousands of rands. They are selling smartcard access to a television channel broadcasting hardcore pornography.

The channel, called Don't Panic, gives viewers explicit sexual material - of the sort normally banned in South Africa - 24 hours a day.

For just R2 000 for a smartcard and by using a normal DStv decoder you can tune in.

Pornographic broadcasting has been hotly debated in recent months with the free-to-air television channel e.tv having strict restrictions placed on it regarding the times and nature of sexual material broadcast.

e.tv has been broadcasting late-night soft porn films such as the Emanuelle series, to the dismay of some members of society.

But these films will pale into insignificance compared with the hardcore material accessible via smartcard technology.

There are plans for two more such channels in the next year or two, which are expected to be in French with English subtitles.

DStv decoders and dishes are needed to access the channel - just remove the DStv card and slot in the porn card.

But Multichoice, the company that supplies the decoders to subscribers, is not impressed, saying it is "inappropriate and improper" that their decoders are being used in this way. The company has launched an investigation into the matter.

Local agent Richard Carne who, with his son Bill, sells the porn smartcards, said he had agreed to act as an agent for the British company because "business is business".

"If I had to rely on the business I got here, I'd go hungry. We hardly sell or install new decoders anymore. I just told my conscience to shut up and get on with it. What people get up to in their bedrooms is their business."

Carne said he hoped to sell about 1 000 smartcards by the end of the year.

Ivor Chetty of the Film and Publication Board said broadcasting pornography via satellite was a grey area that the Broadcasting Act did not anticipate.

"We have no jurisdiction over people who broadcast from outside the country. It is beyond our control," Chetty said.

Broadcasting Complaints Commission chairperson Kobus van Rooyen said it was difficult for the commission to take action: "We deal with local broadcasts and that is our only mandate."

(Craigs comment, its via Ku band Pas 10, not available to Australia)

TBN to push its faith message in west, north

From http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k3/feb/feb21.htm

CHENNAI: Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) is gearing up to promote its faith channel TBN India in the western and northern parts of the country. TBN channel will be separating from the existing MiracleNet channel, which is already available in some parts of the country.

Reverend Dr Sishwa Prasad, based in Chennai, is the India coordinator.

In an attempt to increase its visibility and presence amongst cable operators, MSOs and viewers in different parts of India, the channel's distribution team is organising a TBN-Cable operators meet - 2003 on 24 February at Leela Hotel, near Sahar Airport, Mumbai. TBN will also distribute a free receiver and dish to all the members of the trade who register before 20 February 2003.

Speaking to indiantelevision.com, TBN India sales manager Kumar Thomas confirmed that they are planning to promote the free-to-air faith channel in the western and northern parts of the country from 24 February 2003. TBN has already conducted a lot of promotional activities in South India.

"The channel has a variety of programmes; health and fitness; shows for children; humorous shows, news and commentary; speciality shows and serials. However, the 'religious' component will be around 80 per cent of the total content. The channel will also provide general news from CBN network," adds Thomas.

TBN began in 1973 with an intention to build a Christian television network across the globe. It claims to be the world's largest Christian television network. Across America and around the world, TBN is carried by TV stations and cable systems to millions of homes. As a matter of fact, TBN is seen on over 3,171 television stations, 21 satellites, the Internet and thousands of cable systems around the world, says an official statement.

In India, the Hindujas' IN Network started distributing MiracleNet in 1999. The channel, which receives funding from various churches, does not promote any particular Christian denomination. Currently, TBN India has taken charge of the distribution and will promote it with all the major MSOs and cable operators.

The following are the technical specifications of TBN: the satellite is Palapa C2; location is 113 degrees East; the polarization is horizontal and the frequency is 3727.

Raj Network Defers Launch Of Telugu Channel To May

From http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=27560

Mumbai: Chennai-based Raj Television Network has deferred the launch of its Telugu channel early this year. “We are looking at a May launch,” said the network’s head - national sales, B Shankar.

The Telugu channel will comprise films and serials. “We plan to have a focus on rural Andhra in addition to airing events,” he said. The network is currently in negotiations with television producers for content.

With the entry into Andhra Pradesh, Raj TV will be pitted against Sun Network’s Gemini TV as well as ETV promoted by Ramoji Rao’s Eenadu group.

Raj Network also plans to launch a news channel this year. The news bulletins will be in Tamil and English. “It will be a 24-hour news channel and will be uplinked from Chennai,” said Mr Shankar.

Raj Network’s Tamil channel plans to have a presence in the US and Canada markets by June this year. The Tamil channel was launched in Sri Lanka towards the end of last year.

The network currently airs two channels - Raj TV and Raj Digital Plus. It was earlier reported that Raj TV would be relaunched. Commenting on the relaunch, Mr Shankar said: “Our films aired during the festive Pongal season have pushed up the ratings. We have decided to telecast a blockbuster every week from April.” The relaunch included a new logo and a new signature tune in addition to new programmes. Raj TV, with a film library comprising 2000 films, has added another 50 films to its kitty which will be aired starting April.

T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 6/2003 9 February 2003 -

A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by TELE-satellite International

Editor: Branislav Pekic
Edited Apsattv.com Edition




Foxtel’s new digital pay-TV service of 100-plus channels could be launched
free of competition in October, after rival Optus said it had no plans to
immediately match the offer, according to a report in The Australian. But
the managing director of Optus' consumer and multimedia division, Martin
Dalgleish, said the company could launch a digital pay-TV service quickly
if needed. The news came as Optus confirmed it had sold its digital
broadcast pay-TV facilities to Foxtel, 25 per cent owned by The
Australian's owner News Limited, for an undisclosed price. While Optus has
an option to take Foxtel's digital TV service, Mr Dalgleish confirmed it
must first convert its entire set-top box population from analogue to
digital. Optus also announced it will outsource production of its three
unique pay-TV channels - MTV, Odyssey and Ovation - to post production
group Omnilab. But Mr Dalgleish said Optus retained creative control of the
channels to meet the competition obligations agreed under the Optus-Foxtel
content sharing deal. He also confirmed the end of Optus' interactive TV
(iTV) trial to 3,000 Sydney homes, but was confident that would not
increase disconnections. Mr Dalgleish said the trial had shown
near-video-on-demand, where customers order movies, to be the best revenue
driver among iTV applications. Money saved from the moves will be diverted
to Optus' telephony and internet businesses, he said. An Austar
spokesperson said it could also gain access to Foxtel's digital channels,
but would only decide which ones to broadcast once it knew the nature of
the content.


Regional pay-TV operator Austar could be forced to repay a A$400 million
(US$233.4 million) loan early after falling below minimum subscriber levels
built into its agreement with creditors. The company is attempting to
negotiate a waiver of the covenant breach, but accepted it might have to
pay up early if this cannot be achieved. A regulatory filing shows that at
the end of 2002 Austar has A$30 million cash and A$30 million held in a
contingent account by main backer UGC.



Business news channel CNBC India expects viewership to rise 50 per cent in
the next one year to 18 million, from the present 12 million. As a part of
its strategy to widen the reach of the channel and increase viewership,
CNBC India is planning to introduce new programmes.



French language international channel TV5 have signed a carriage deal with
the NBS DTH platform. The service will be launched at the beginning of
April, reaching 400,000 homes. Adda said that the channel intends to
increase its penetration worldwide. In the last year the number of homes
that could receive TV5 increased by 15 per cent. The biggest increases
coming from the UK where the channel has been available on the basic
package of Sky Digital since last October. Sky Digital is available to 6.5
million homes in the UK. In the US the channel has 160,000 subscribers to
its specific service at €10 a month. TV5 has also secured carriage recently
in Spain, Taiwan and Hong Kong. TV5 broadcasts in up to eight languages,
varying programming for the different geographic zones, and using 52
satellite signals from 36 different satellites. It now plans to add two
more languages including Chinese to its subtitling. The other change will
be in the way news are covered. Although it will still carry the news from
partner channels, TV5 will increase its own news production to appeal to an
international audience. However, it is eliminating the "news tunnels", the
periods when news bulletins from the different contributor channels follow
each other resulting in non-stop news from different sources for over an hour.



Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel is likely to launch a full-fledged English
language service before a war possibly breaks out in Iraq. Highly placed
sources told The Peninsula on February 5 that the plan to introduce an
English service is ready. “The service would be launched as soon as the
board of directors give the green signal,” an official said. He made it
clear that the channel has no intention of capitalizing on a war by timing
their new service with it. ”However, we are bound by our duty towards our
viewers to enhance our service as and when we can. Every news organization
is justified in placing its assets and resources at a place where news
would be made, even if in this case, regrettably, it would be a war,” he said.



Alliance TRACE Media, announced on February 3 that it has acquired selected
assets of TRACE Magazine in the US and UK and purchased from MCM Group
(Lagardere), 80 per cent of the largest urban television channel in France
-- MCM Africa -- to be renamed TRACE@MCM. TRACE also announced that it has
closed on a financial investment by a group of investors, led by Goldman
Sachs. TRACE Magazine, a bi-monthly music, fashion and lifestyle title, is
currently published in the US and the UK and distributed in some 28
countries worldwide on a limited basis. TRACE@MCM, a cable and satellite
digital station to be launched in April 2003, will be operated in
partnership with MCM Group and will feature music, news, fashion and
cultural programming targeting the new urban multicultural youth in France
and French-speaking territories in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. MCM
Group owns and operates the leading music television channel in France.


TVAfrica’s distribution agreement with BBC World has resulted in an
increase of 7 million households across Africa. The last eight months have
seen BBC World’s distribution among the continent’s households top the 10
million mark for the first time.TVAfrica, the largest free-to-air,
pan-African television network will continue to syndicate the overnight
re-broadcasts of BBC World to its terrestrial affiliates to a new total of
fourteen African countries; Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda,
Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and
Lesotho.Through TV Africa’s affiliates, BBC World is shown overnight and
early morning local time, viewers can watch BBC World’s news and
information programmes including international news bulletins on the hour
and information programmes.


No Update


No update


Sorry no site update until Monday, just been at the Doctors I have an infected elbow/arm I have to lay off the typing for a few days. Sorry about this but back Monday you won't miss anything!


Its a holiday here today but I actually forgot about it and did the site update anyway. A small milestone the other day we went over the 300000 hits mark on the hits counter!

It looks like the Aus pay tv scene is going through yet more changes. Perhaps time for a new pay provider to step in? Should make things interesting anyway.

Satfacts page updated

From my Emails & ICQ

From Mike

Subject: soundtrack channel

This has disappeared of ihug tv service from sky tower auckland and been replaced with panamsat napa test card

From Various

B1, 12420 V "Golf" Sr 6620,? 6618? fec 3/4
B1, 12524 H "feed?:" Sr 6110? fec 3/4

From the Dish

No sign of Lyngsat update


Foxtel to launch digital pay-TV in terra nullius

From http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,5943969%255E462,00.html

FOXTEL's new digital pay-TV service of 100-plus channels could be launched free of competition in October, after rival Optus said yesterday it had no plans to immediately match the offer.

But the managing director of Optus' consumer and multimedia division, Martin Dalgleish, said the company could launch a digital pay-TV service quickly if needed.

"We will look at that and the cost of delivering that, but only when and if it makes sense," he said.

The news came as Optus confirmed it had sold its digital broadcast pay-TV facilities to Foxtel, 25 per cent owned by The Australian's owner News Limited, for an undisclosed price.

Foxtel will eventually move to the North Sydney site from its current Pyrmont address.

While Optus has an option to take Foxtel's digital TV service, Mr Dalgleish confirmed it must first convert its entire set-top box population from analogue to digital.

Optus also announced it will outsource production of its three unique pay-TV channels - MTV, Odyssey and Ovation - to post production group Omnilab.

But Mr Dalgleish said Optus retained creative control of the channels to meet the competition obligations agreed under the Optus-Foxtel content sharing deal.

He also confirmed the end of Optus' interactive TV (iTV) trial to 3,000 Sydney homes, but was confident that would not increase disconnections.

Mr Dalgleish said the trial had shown near-video-on-demand, where customers order movies, to be the best revenue driver among iTV applications.

Money saved from the moves will be diverted to Optus' telephony and internet businesses, he said.

An Austar spokesperson said it could also gain access to Foxtel's digital channels, but would only decide which ones to broadcast once it knew the nature of the content.

Optus cuts pay TV role

From http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/02/05/1044318670013.html

Optus yesterday revealed it had withdrawn further from pay television, selling broadcasting assets to rival Foxtel and outsourcing the TV production division.

About 80 jobs will be axed under the restructure, which is designed to streamline the carrier's consumer and multimedia (CMM) arm.

CMM managing director Martin Dalgleish said the move would strengthen the company's focus on its core assets and help "make a sound contribution to Optus's bottom line".

"In the TV operation space, we felt it would be pertinent to use expertise outside our organisation," he said.

Foxtel has agreed to buy Optus's interactive digital assets. Optus pulled the pin on its interactive TV trials after 12 months. Mr Dalgleish said plans to offer ITV would be suspended, given the technology demanded "significant capital investment" and customer expenditure to generate a return.

Last November, the Australian competition watchdog approved a deal enabling Foxtel and Optus to share content and accelerate the pay TV industry's move into profitability.

Having shed its costly programming liabilities, Australia's second-ranked carrier can cauterise losses in the pay TV arm even further by streamlining operations.

Production company Omnilab will produce the three Optus pay channels - MTV, Odyssey and Ovation. However, the carrier will retain creative control in line with conditions set out in the content-sharing accord. Mr Dalgleish said the changes did not diminish Optus's commitment to pay TV.

FOXTEL to Create New Digital Television Centre -- FOXTEL

From Press Release 5 February, 2003

FOXTEL will create a new digital television campus in northern Sydney as part of the full digital conversion of FOXTEL.
The new television centre will be created following FOXTEL's purchase of Optus' digital interactive television facilities and
FOXTEL's lease of the associated premises which was announced today.

FOXTEL's CEO Kim Williams said: "These are leading edge facilities that will form an excellent foundation for our expansion into a fully digital service."Our vision and goal is to build this site into a creative television campus that will be a national hub for the development of the most advanced digital television services and skills anywhere".

FOXTEL last year committed to the full digitisation of its analogue cable service and the expansion of its existing digital satellite
service through an investment of more than $600m."With the large scale of the facilities needed to achieve FOXTEL's digital migration and the expiry in 2005 of FOXTEL's lease on the already crowded Pyrmont site currently occupied by FOXTEL, it was time to find a new location for FOXTEL's digital Broadcast Centre," Mr Williams said.

"After careful analysis of the market, the Optus digital television centre emerged as the best option and provides a tremendous
opportunity for us to move at an early stage into a world-class facility that will evolve into a vibrant centre for FOXTEL and, we hope, many others involved in subscription television."

The agreements in relation to the new complex comprise two fundamental parts: FOXTEL acquires the Optus-owned broadcast equipment, and FOXTEL leases the associated premises from its owners, Mirvac.

FOXTEL is separately looking at the options for relocating to the new site its office accommodation which is currently housed at Pyrmont.

FOXTEL will continue to supply its FOXTEL-branded service through Optus to its subscribers under the Content Supply Agreement that commenced last December.

FOXTEL has agreed to provide analogue broadcasting services to Optus on commercial terms and FOXTEL will provide digital broadcasting services to Optus in the future should Optus wish to take them. The move of the FOXTEL Broadcast Centre to the new complex will be phased and will commence this month as FOXTEL staff spend time at the new site learning about the facility.

Some job opportunities will be created at FOXTEL due to the expertise and resources required to operate the Optus facilities and existing Optus staff, if interested, will be invited to apply for relevant positions.

Further information:
FOXTEL Corporate Affairs
Mark Furness
02 9200 1733


Well the chat room was very busy lastnight. Seems the chat server software was also updated. Was that really Mrs Tarbs in there?? She sure seemed worried about something? Anyway all are welcome to use the chatroom, Tarbs , Foxtel, Optus , Globecast, Impactv, Etc. But they might expect to get a bit of stick from various people.

From my Emails & ICQ

From JJ

I was in your chatroom last night and I saw you write something about Impactv using a 30 meter dish in Pago Pago and a 30 meter dish in Asia to uplink to Optus B3. What was all that about??

(Craigs comment, just ignore yet another rumour!)

From Satcom

V8 supercars on Dubai Sport for all you V8 fans
Asiasat 2 4020 V 27500 3/4

From Siamglobal





From the Dish

Asiasat 2 100.5E 3905 H "Reuters World News Service" is encrypted again.
Asiasat 2 100.5E 4075 V Occasional feeds, SR 6111, FEC 3/4.

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3585 V "Remo TV" has started regular transmissions on , Fta, PIDs 513/641.
Thaicom 3 78.5E SID for Arirang TV World 1 on 3551 H and 3672 H: 7.

Apstar 2R 76.5E 4122 H The occasional feeds have left .

PAS 10 68.5E 4034 H The MTV test card has left, PIDs 433/434.


Fiji Telecom eyes satellite links

From http://www.fijilive.com/news/show/news/2003/02/05/05m.html

Telecom Fiji has announced it will invest in a new multi-million dollar satellite project later this year to provide communication services “to the most inaccessible areas”.

Amalgamated Telecom Holdings executive director Lionel Yee said Telecom Fiji had already identified 70 locations that would receive the service and promised “more would follow”.

?In time of crisis, this satellite project can be designed to provide an alternative route to areas that have been devastated by cyclones, for example,” he said.

?The satellite project could help in education as well as telemedicine.”

He said the project would be of major help in rural development “for communication services to rural areas would be modernised”.

?While the initial project would be focused in only certain areas of the country, its potential platform to link all of Fiji together, without the use of radio telephones or terrestrial-based system, is very real indeed,” Mr Yee said.

?Satellite is far more penetrating than present systems with their limited reach and inconsistent operations. It will bring a new dimension of communication to the country.”

He said while the project would chew up a lot of money, it was an indication that ATH, through Telecom Fiji, was committed to introducing technology that would go far in improving the telecommunication infrastructure that would ensure future growth.

+ut for ATH to continue to invest the substantial sums that are required to provide improved communication access and to introduce the innovations to ensure social as well as economic growth, an inequity must be corrected,” he pointed out. “I believe tariff rebalancing is important in the development of telecommunications access in Fiji.”

Mr Yee said what people in Fiji had was extremely low telephone access rental rates, far below the costs Telecom Fiji incurred in providing it and in servicing the telephone lines network and one of the lowest in the region, if not the lowest. “To keep the access rentals artificially low, they are being subsidised by international and national call charges,” he said.

News Ltd settles Australis case

From http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/Weekly2003/02.04.2003/Australia.htm

Media giant News Ltd has confirmed it has settled a case in which it was being sued by US bondholders in the defunct Australis satellite TV network for $6 billion.

The company says terms of the settlement are confidential. However, a source close to the US bondholders said News, which earlier had dismissed the case as "utterly wild" and "a try-on", had agreed to pay out $US30 million ($51 million).

Australis collapsed in 1998, less than three years after it launched Galaxy, Australia's first pay TV operation. Investors including Australian and US shareholders and bondholders and creditors lost more than $1 billion.

The case was settled in early January but News made no announcement to the markets or in the media until yesterday, after a Saturday report in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age carried an extensive report of allegations made by the bondholders in their claim filed in New York's Supreme Court.

In the wake of the outcome of the claim, the Australian superannuation industry - which lost tens of millions of dollars of its members' retirement savings in the collapse - says it will consider taking the unprecedented step of also taking legal action against one of Australia's largest public companies.

Mavis Robertson, spokeswoman for organisers of the industry's annual conference, to be held in Hobart next month, said a team of lawyers from the US firm that ran the case, Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, had agreed to travel to Australia to consult superannuation fund managers and address the conference.

"Until now the funds have been nervous about taking this sort of action," she said. "However, several of the larger fund managers are now taking a harder line on corporate governance, and if there is any prospect of recovering even part of the money by way of legal action either in Australia or the US it will be given consideration."

The claim filed in the US alleged that News Ltd precipitated the collapse of Australis by "tortious interference" with the networks contract with four of the seven major Hollywood movie studios that provided Galaxy with the stream of movies and drama it needed for its three channels.

News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch had teamed up with Telstra and later Kerry Packer came on board to form Foxtel, Galaxy's major rival. As part of that deal, Telstra provided the telephone lines down which the cable channel was piped into households, and Mr Murdoch was to provide the content.

However, because Australis and the third cable TV player, Optus, had tied up all the product available from Hollywood, Mr Murdoch was forced to buy programming from his rival, Galaxy. The contract tied Mr Murdoch into a 25-year contract worth an estimated $6 billion.

The writ claims that in Vancouver in December 1997, Lachlan Murdoch, then head of his father's operations in Australia, met executives of the four Hollywood studios, and that they signed an agreement under which they would do everything "practical and lawful" to sabotage Galaxy's contract.

Five months after the Vancouver meeting, Australis went into receivership, and Australia's first pay TV network went off the air.


Live Satellte related chat in the chatroom tonight 9pm NZ and 8.30pm Syd time onwards

Having read part 2 of Silicon Chip magazines article about setting up a cband dish, I am keen to get one up again, I think i can manage to hide up to a 2.4M solid without my neighbours noticing.

Sky NZ 12608 V "Channel Z" has replaced The Edge (Radio) (Encrypted)

From my Emails & ICQ

From Siamglobal







From the Dish

JCSAT 3 128E 3960 V "Buddhism TV" has started, Fta, PIDs 1104/1105.

Asiasat 2 100.5E 3905 H "Reuters World News Service" is fta again.

ST 1 88E 3582 H "TBL TV Asia and TBL TV Western" have replaced TTV and CTS, Nagravision, PIDs 40/41 and 42/43.

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3585 V "Remo TV" has started testing on , Fta, PIDs 513/641.
Thaicom 3 78.5E Arirang TV World 1 has started on 3551 H and 3672 H, Fta, PIDs 1793/1794.

Intelsat 906 64E 3668 R "TV Africa Francais" is encrypted again.


SAB plans three new channels

From http://www.hinduonnet.com/bline/stories/2003020401720600.htm

SRI Adhikari Brothers (SAB) is thinking big. The company is planning to launch at least three channels, including news and a regional language channel, in the next few years.

Speaking to Business Line, Mr Markand Adhikari, Vice-Chairman & Managing Director, SAB Television Networks Ltd (SABTNL), said: "We do not want to remain a stand-alone channel forever. We would also like to become a network." While news and a regional language channel are the options being considered, the genre of the third channel is undecided. "We could launch a niche one," he said.

Regarding the flagship SABe TV, Mr Adhikari said the channel has become popular due to its comedies and current affairs programmes. The channel has stayed away from the popular saas-bahu soaps. It currently has over 200 brands advertising on the channel.

In order to increase its advertising revenues, SABe TV has started uplinking from Noida. SABTNL has also received clearances from the Reserve Bank of India to take over Channel SABe TV's business from its wholly-owned subsidiary. "With this, we have managed to consolidate our business whereby both the channel and television software production come under one company," Mr Adhikari said.

However, the company has no immediate plans to make SABe TV a pay channel. With the Government clearing the Conditional Access Bill, Mr Adhikari said, the channel would remain a free-to-air one and be part of the basic tier. "Once we are able to improve our reach and the CAS scenario stabilises we will go pay," Mr Adhikari said. Currently, SABe TV is available in 30 million households.

As part of its strategy to enter the international market, SABTNL had entered into a 50:50 joint venture with the UK-based MATV Channel 6. After getting a foothold in the UK market, SABTNL plans to expand its operations and enter the US, South African and West Asian markets in the next financial year.


Plenty of stuff for today

From my Emails & ICQ

From Gerry W.A


I found a strong signal on NSS 6@95E
Freq: 12600H -Symb-R 30000 - 5/6.

Cheers Gerry-WA

From Chris Pickstock 01/02/03

7.15 pm SA time, NBL feed , Melbourne v Perth
B1, 12370 H, sr 6110

From Chris Pickstock 02//02/03

B1, 12430 V, sr 6660. Very strong signal."Soccer feed" Vpid 308, Apid 256.


From Bill Richards 01/02/03

0315 UTC

Pas 2 3744 V S/R 21800 FEC 3/4
Vpid 1160 Apid 1120 SID1 Discovery Channel Asia FTA
Vpid 1460 Apid 1420 SID4 Discovery Channel Asia FTA
Vpid 1560 Apid 1520 SID3 BBC World same as SID3 FTA


From Bill Richards 31/01/03

0630 UTC

Optus B1 12490 H S/R 6110 FEC 3/4 Vpid 308 Apid 256 SID1 "Astralinks Test Card / Feed SNG Tamworth"


From the Dish

PAS 8 166E 3860 H "Occasional feeds" on , PIDs 410/411 and 420/421.
PAS 8 166E 3980 H "Discovery Channel SE Asia" is still on , PowerVu, PIDs 2360/2320.

PAS 2 169E 3744 V "BBC World" has started on , Fta, PIDs 1560/1520-1522.Both Discovery Channel Asia are Fta.

Optus B1 160E 12490 H "Occasional feeds" on , SR 6111, FEC 3/4.

Palapa C2 113E 4050 H "Guangxi TV and EDTV Channel Europe" have left again.

Asiasat 2 100.5E 3905 H "Reuters World News Service" is now encrypted.

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3585 V The "Satsangh Channel" tests have left .
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3459 V "TMG Enter TV" has left .

PAS 10 68.5E 3863 V "Reality TV has replaced SABC Africa" on , Irdeto 2, PIDs 517/645.
PAS 10 68.5E 3863 V "A Big Brother Africa promo" has started on , Irdeto 2, PIDs 521/649,19-24 CET, time sharing with SuperSport 5.

NSS 703 57E Fashion & Style and the Action TV tests have moved from 3872 R to 3886 R, Fta, PIDs 2081/2082.


Catastrophe Is Transmitted on NASA TV

From http://www.nytimes.com/

Whether sitting in front of a television or at a computer screen, the public could hear the last words from the Columbia shuttle crew, followed by ominous static, live on the space agency's own media outlet, NASA TV.

As the shuttle began its descent, NASA TV — available through satellite services and some cable systems as the NASA channel and streamed over the Internet — showed the scene in the mission control room in Houston, not images of the shuttle in the sky.

Officials at NASA TV could not be reached for comment about Saturday morning's coverage. A spokesman for the agency said it could not provide a full transcript of the audio during the descent.

Throughout the Columbia's mission, NASA TV transmitted images from within the shuttle and images sent from the craft. But once a shuttle closes the doors on the antenna inside its cargo bay and begins a descent, only audio is available.

In the final exchange, the person on the ground said, "We see your tire pressure messages, and we did not copy your last . . .," referring to data that was not coming in. The reply was, "Roger, uh——."

Wade Sisler, executive TV producer of the Goddard Space Flight Center, where the operation is broadcast, said that NASA TV had its roots in decades of NASA television operations. More than 20 years ago, he said, NASA was sending information from experiments in space by satellite to laboratories. "A number of universities downlink it," he said, "and put it on their own cable channels.

The channel broadcasts 24 hours a day during missions. Programs include daily news conferences and interviews with astronauts in orbit. When there is not a shuttle mission the channel carries daily briefings on space-related scientific and engineering developments.

In addition to being available at www.nasa.gov, NASA TV is picked up by online news organizations.

Phoenix Satellite to offer Irdeto M-Crypt smarts cards in US

From http://www.indiantelevision.com/tec/y2k3/jan/jantec25.htm

Irdeto Access,content protection and management company, has announced that Phoenix Satellite Television has delivered 30,000 smart cards for its digital satellite broadcasts of CCTV (China's Central Television) throughout the United States.

Hong Kong-based Phoenix Satellite Television, one of the leading satellite television broadcaster in China, was first to deploy Irdeto Access encryption system Irdeto M-Crypt six months ago. Irdeto M-Crypt is specifically designed for small- to medium-size pay-TV operators.

CCTV implemented Irdeto Access encryption system Irdeto M-Crypt to ensure transmission of two channels, CCTV-4 (CCTV International) and CCTV-9 (English Language Channel), from its new six-channel platform after a broadcast shift from from analogue to digital broadcasts in June 2002.

According to the release, Irdeto M-Crypt encryption system uplinks CCTV's signal to the satellite and is distributed to subscribers through their set-top boxes. With Irdeto M-Crypt, Phoenix Satellite can ensure protection of CCTV satellite broadcasts and also track the number of US households tuning in to CCTV's Chinese television programming.

Irdeto M-Crypt is a modular compact conditional access system that allows operators to expand their businesses while protecting the content at the lowest possible cost. Irdeto M-Crypt is easier to use and maintain than any other CA system because it runs on a Windows 2000 platform and can be installed onto a standard PC.

TV5 signs up Japan, and to go for news

From http://www.advanced-television.com/

The French language international channel TV5 have signed a carriage deal with NBS, the Japanese DTH platform. Presenting its' new onscreen branding Serge Adda, TV5's President, gave a glitzy press conference at the Eiffel Tower. The service will be launched at the beginning of April, reaching 400,000 homes. Adda said that the channel intends to increase its penetration worldwide. In the last year the number of homes that could receive TV5 increased by 15 per cent. The biggest increases coming from the UK where the channel has been available on the basic package of Sky Digital since last October. Sky Digital is available to 6.5 million homes in the UK. In the US the channel has 160,000 subscribers to its specific service at E10 a month. TV5 has also secured carriage recently in Spain, Taiwan and Hong Kong. "We are the channel with the third largest reach in the world," said Adda, "behind CNN and MTV but ahead of the BBC and Deutche Welle". He pointed out that this is done on limited resources "Our costs per potential viewer are much lower than the others."

TV5 broadcasts in up to eight languages, varying programming for the different geographic zones, and using 52 satellite signals from 36 different satellites. It now plans to add two more languages including Chinese to its subtitling.

The other change will be in the way news are covered. Although it will still carry the news from partner channels, TV5 will increase its own news production to appeal to an international audience. However, it is eliminating the "news tunnels", the periods when news bulletins from the different contributor channels follow each other resulting in non-stop news from different sources for over an hour.

INSAT-3A launch after Feb.28

From http://www.hinduonnet.com/stories/2003020304700100.htm

The Indian Space Research Organisation-built INSAT-3A is planned to be launched anytime after February 28, giving a boost to the communication and meteorological services, a top ISRO official said today.

``The launch window will be open for a week from February 28'', the Director of the ISRO Satellite Centre and Space Commission member, Dr. P. S. Goel, told PTI here.

The satellite has transponders in C, extended C and KU bands and would have applications in the communication and meteorology. It also has a transponder for search and rescue.

Sahara news channel launching 25 February

From http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k3/feb/feb2.htm

LUCKNOW: Emotions before economics. Sounds good in advertisements, but don't be mistaken that the Subrata Roy-promoted Sahara India group (current assets: over Rs. 320 billion) has given the bottomlines a complete go by.

"We certainly have made some revenue assumptions, and if our assumptions are correct, then we may break even with our media expansion - including satellite news channels - in the first year," Sahara India group's managing worker (as he likes to call himself) and chairman (in that order) Subrata Roy, told indiantelevision.com yesterday on the eve of the group's 25th anniversary. Company sources revealed that the launch of Roy's first (and main) news channel - Sahara national channel - has been set for 25 February.

The anniversary celebrations were held in Sahara City, a city within a city in Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh state, with a start-studded entertainment show that saw the likes of Kareena Kapoor, Urmila, Mahima and Sonu Nigam perform before a packed house.


Besides the homeground, the group is also planning to cover the foreign markets as well. The Sahara group is close to finalising a deal with the US-based TV Asia, whose former shareholders included Amitabh Bachchan and Ketan Somaiya, for a business relationship. The project will start off with content sharing and later may be expanded to Sahara picking up equity stake in TV Asia, thus get a foothold in the US market.

"Some negotiations are on, but at present I cannot divulge the details. Still, the content sharing may start within a few months," Roy said, as politician-friend Amar Singh smiled.

After the US, the next destination for Sahara channels would be the UK and Canada.

The Sahara group has also opened up talks with the likes of Reliance and Bharti to ride their fibre optic network around the country.

"We are in talks with the likes of Reliance and Bharti. We are essentially to looking at finding a synergy to reach people's home with our various products. But such deals would not be finalised unless we find a solution to the problem of last mile all by ourselves," Roy said.

One can debate on Roy's style of functioning, but one cannot ignore the passion with which he takes up new ventures and puts them together.

"In the last 25 years there have been talks of competition, but I think others (NDTV, Aaj tak and Star) should feel that we are competition," Roy asserts to a query from indiantelevision.com on the impending competition, adding, "We will do what we feel we can do and achieve and let others do what they think they should be doing."

As regards the news channels, Sumit Roy, head of the group's media and entertainment business, had earlier told indiantelevision.com that seven region specific channels and 30-odd city-specific channels would be streamed riding the respective parent news channels, and the news weeklies to be launched in 31-odd cities would "complement each other."

"What we are looking at, is to have the weeklies compliment the news, reports and coverage of our news channels. The local news will attract viewers that in turn will get us local ads too. If we can combine the print and the electronic medium ideally, I don't feel there would be a dearth of business. And that is our aim," Roy said. "But we don't always start a venture with immediate financial benefit in mind. The channels are guided by the principle that they would be people's channels and provide them with a platform to voice their concern and issues related to them."

Can Sahara pull it off? Especially at a time when heavyweights like NDTV, Aaj Tak and Star have already decided to flex their financial and professional muscles having had past experience in the business of news channels.

The answer to this question lies in the five-page ads that has been brought out by Sahara group on the occasion of the silver jubilee today that proudly says that starting from a capital base of Rs 2,000 25 years ago, the group is fast growing towards an asset base of Rs 1,000 billion.

Tall claims? The history of the group says otherwise.

T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 5/2003 3 February 2003 -

A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by TELE-satellite International

Editor: Branislav Pekic

Edited Apsattv.com Edition



The National Geographic Channel Asia is localizing its Middle East service.
All programming on the 24-hour channel will now have Arabic subtitles. Nat
Geo is available in eleven countries throughout the Middle East.



The Australian government has decided not to mandate a common standard
among pay-TV and free-to-air digital set-top box specifications, primarily
due to disagreements over what the standard should be. A common platform
had been seen as a way of reversing the disastrous take-up of digital TV in
the country, but now terrestrial networks will have to negotiate carriage
deals with the likes of Foxtel in order to avoid the estimated A$1 billion
(US$580 million) cost of designing their own digital boxes. Communications
minister Richard Alston has also urged the industry to assess the costs and
benefits of requiring digital tuners to be installed in TV receivers. The
Australian Financial Review said the decision was a major victory for
pay-TV operator Foxtel and its shareholders - Telstra, News Corp and PBL -
which is scheduled to roll out its digital service in October.


A Melbourne man was on January 29 convicted and fined A$20,000 for
distributing pirated pay-TV decoders, marking the first investigation of
its kind in Victoria. At the Sunshine Magistrates Court Roger Rivo admitted
to making pirated Foxtel smart cards which enabled users to tune in to the
pay-TV network. He pleaded guilty to charges of possessing a machine to
make false documents, making a broadcast decoding device, and distributing
a broadcast decoding device. In a police summary, the court heard Rivo told
police he generally sold the smart cards for A$250 individually or as part
of a satellite package he installed for A$1,200. The court heard Rivo later
told police he purchased the blank smart cards for A$20 each over the
Internet, then used the codes from two genuine Foxtel cards to clone
templates onto the blank smart cards. It is believed the cards later became
inoperable as a result of anti-piracy measures adopted by Foxtel.
Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association executive director
Debra Richards hailed the A$20,000 penalty, noting pirate pay TV
subscriptions were costing the industry an estimated A$50 million annually.



Hong Kong-based Phoenix Satellite TV has signed an agreement with a Chinese
provincial government that will allow it collect advertising revenues in
China for the first time since it went on air in the country six years ago.
The revenue sharing agreement was concluded with the Guangdong Television
Broadcasting Development Centre, part of the official regulator, the
Guangdong Administration of Radio, Film and TV in the prosperous southern
province that borders Hong Kong. The agreement sets up a joint venture
known as Guangdong International Media between the two sides that will be
the sole advertising agent for the two Phoenix channels, Phoenix Chinese
and InfoNews, and it will sell Phoenix programming to other Guangdong-based



With cable industry poised to switch over to the conditional access system
(CAS) from 14 July 2003, a key question has arisen over the pricing of the
free-to-air cable TV subscription. The channels that will be free-to-air
are Doordarshan, Aaj Tak, MTV, BBC, Sabe TV and Sahara. While broadcasters
have suggested a basic price of Rs30, the cable industry wants the service
to be priced at Rs180. However, the Government of India will fix the final
price. Cable operators contend that they will be out of business if prices
are fixed under Rs40. Cable Network Association, National Cable Television
Association and Cable Operators Federation of India have made a plea to the
Government. They contend that the cost of an average of 500 subscribers
works out to Rs180 per month and cable homes must pay Rs250 per month to
watch free channels.


In a major boost to distance education in the country, students will now
have access to high quality tutorials in engineering and technical courses
in the comfort of their homes through a dedicated technical education TV
channel and four FM radio channels. Gyan Darshan III, a free-to-air
technology education channel, and four Gyan Vani FM radio channels were
launched by Indian Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi
on January 26.

The TV channel, to be known as "Eklavya" and coordinated by Indian
Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, would relay eight courses in a series
to be telecast on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


U.K.-based Reality TV launched in India on February 1 and is being
distributed by the Zee-Turner joint venture. The free-to-air channel will
showcase real-life drama, look at emergency services and chronicle natural
and manmade disasters. Since launching three years ago, Reality TV has
amassed an audience of 27 million homes across Europe, the Middle East and


Star TV is considering launching a separate Indian beam for its
entertainment channel Star World. The company told press that it would make
a decision within two months.



CCTV, China's state-owned broadcaster, launched international channel
CCTV-4 in Malaysia on January 31. The service will be made available via
Malaysia's Universe TV Network to coincide with the Chinese New Year and
spring festival. CCTV-4 is the fourth channel the Chinese broadcaster has
launched in Malaysia.



The Maori Television Service [MTS] will receive increased funding and will
use a platform combining UHF and satellite transmission under decisions
announced by Finance Minister Michael Cullen and Maori Affairs Minister
Parekura Horomia on January 29. Cullen said the funding increase of 7.075
million dollars a year would give MTS an annual operating budget of 12.98
million dollars. Parekura Horomia said MTS would provide an indigenous
broadcasting service that was unique and would significantly enrich the
cultural fabric of New Zealand. The advantages of the UHF (Broadcast
Communications Ltd, BCL) platform are that MTS will own and control its
transmission facilities and will be able to move to a digital platform in
the future. It will also mean that MTS is using the frequencies reserved
for Maori language broadcasting since 1989. "Initially the transmission
will provide coverage for 75 per cent of the general population and 70 per
cent of Maori. The second stage will expand coverage to 86 per cent of the
Maori population. "It is important to note that this is a greater level of
coverage than any other New Zealand television channel has achieved on its
launch..." [Horomia said]



Thai TV Global Network, an international satellite TV channel owned and
operated by the Royal Thai Army, is set to post a profit in 2003 after five
years of broadcasting. Sales at the service, which is aimed at Thais living
abroad, are expected to double to Bt100 million ($2.3 million). While
subscription rates have increased there has been a 50% cut in decoder
prices. Thai TV Global Network is available in 155 countries worldwide.


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