Thanks to those that showwed up for the chat it wasn't all that busy but we can't expect much at this time of the year. Next Wednesday might be the last scheduled chat for the year. We will see how it goes, maybe make it the Monday after. There is Cricket Tonight 7.30pm Sydney Time NZ vs South Africa the feed of this dureing the last test was on Panamsat 4 68.5E 3635 H Sr 6110 Fec 3/4. It may also show up FTA on I701?

A tv schedule has been added for Sun Tv on the Asiasat 3 page http://www.chinasuntv.com/schedule.asp

From my emails & ICQ

This from Siam Global,



The TARBS Bouquet on AsiaSat 2 (3640 H - MPEG -2) is encrypted again.

Mahmoud Hashish

From the Dish

Intelsat 704 at 66E "E-TV Telugu" has started regular transmissions on 4095 L Analog Pal

LMI 75 E 3743 V "Feeds" Sr 8825

Thaicom 3 78.5E "Mega Cosmos" on 3640 H has changed Fec to 3/4.
Thaicom 3 78.5E "MRTV" is still on 3666 H SR 6000 Vpid 308 Apid 256 it has a new FEC: 2/3.

Asiasat 2 100.5E All TV channels on 3640 H "Tarbs Egyptian Boquet" are encrypted again.


Foxtel expects subscriber numbers to hit 800,000

From http://www.it.fairfax.com.au/breaking/20001129/A45445-2000Nov29.html

Australian pay television company Foxtel Australia today forecast subscriber numbers to reach 800,000 within a year.

Foxtel chief executive Jim Blomfield said he expected subscriber numbers would continue growing at the current rate of 100,000 a year.

Foxtel today said subscriber numbers had reached 700,000, compared to 673,000 at the end of the three months to September 30, 2000. It said also that it had an estimated 2.25 million viewers on cable and satellite.

?We hope we would exceed that (100,000 per year growth) over the coming year,” Blomfield said.

Foxtel today officially launched new channels for its regular cable and satellite service.

Asked about Foxtel's involvement in talks with the Australian Football League on rights for the 2002 season, Blomfield declined to give details. But he said Foxtel had prepared its bid. “There is continous talks on a range of issues with the ACCC,” he said.

Channel Seven is currently fighting a bid led by News Corp, Foxtel's 25 per cent owner, to retain rights to televise AFL matches from the end of the 2001 season.

Blomfield also would not comment on a possible timetable for the launch of Foxtel's digital platform.

?We are in a position to lodge a digital platform, most of that technology is ready. We will do that when it is appropriately economical to do it,” he said.

Foxtel remaining equity is held by Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd, with 25 per cent, and Telstra, with 50 per cent.

Earlier this month Foxtel reported a loss before tax of $20 million for the three month ended September 30, 2000, compared to a loss of $23 million in the previous corresponding period.

Foxtel shuffles pack to boost subscribers

From http://finance.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,1468903%255E462,00.html

FOXTEL has reshuffled its programming in a costly push to lift its pay TV subscriber numbers.

The broadcaster yesterday said it would shift some of its higher priced "tier" channels to its basic service but not lift its prices.

Foxtel announced a host of additional new channels at a special launch yesterday.

It has joined forces with the Nine Network for the first time to produce an Australian series, McLeod's Daughters, and launched Australia's first television channel for women with the aid of publishing and entertainment icon Maggie Tabberer. From December 2, it will introduce a new classic movie channel, fashion channel and contemporary music channel at no extra cost.

Chief executive Jim Blomfield declined to reveal how much the new package, hailed as "the biggest improvement to the Foxtel service since the launch of satellite in March, 1999", was costing Foxtel.

"We have invested considerably -- it's part of a long-term strategy we have been working towards."

Mr Blomfield said he expected subscriber numbers to exceed the 100,000 increase in the past 12 months. Foxtel said subscriber numbers had reached 700,000, compared with 673,000 at the end of the September 30, 2000 quarter.

But he declined to comment on Foxtel's sports programming yesterday. Foxtel is in a consortium with the Nine and Ten networks bidding for AFL rights now held by the Seven Network.

Mr Blomfield said Foxtel had prepared its bid for Australian Football League broadcast rights, but refused to say if it had been lodged. When asked if Foxtel was talking to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission about AFL rights, he said there were continuous talks on a range of issues with the ACCC.

Mr Blomfield also refused to say whether differences between Foxtel's partners Telstra Corp Ltd, News Corp and Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd, was delaying the launch of its digital platform. "We are in a position to lodge a digital platform, most of that technology is ready. We will do that when it is appropriately economical to do it," he said.

Earlier this month Foxtel reported a loss before tax of $20 million for the September 30 quarter compared with a $23 million loss in the previous corresponding period.

With Paul gone, Sam looms as Foxtel's man

From http://finance.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,1468745%255E521,00.html

PAUL Rizzo's resignation from Telstra on Tuesday evening shocked his boss, Ziggy Switkowski, but didn't surprise him. Rizzo wanted the chief executive's position won by Switkowski from a four-way contest in March last year, and wanted to quit then.

Ziggy persuaded his chief financial officer to stay at least another 12 months. Twenty months later, Rizzo has decided to take up an academic position.

Telstra can replace him, but in the short term, his sudden departure will be bad for the share price. US investors got used to Rizzo's urbane manner and easy grasp of technical issues on the numerous roadshows to the US conducted by Ziggy and him. They won't take the unexpected resignation well. They'll dump the stock.

In any case, Rizzo's announced departure comes amid the rising nervousness in the US about telcos and high-tech companies, so the timing has not been good for Telstra and its minority shareholders.

His decision to leave may cause some consternation among senior management and shareholders, but it creates an opportunity for Telstra on the board of the pay TV joint venture Foxtel, where Rizzo is chairman.

Telstra chairman Bob Mansfield has already recruited Rizzo's obvious replacement for this post when he brought on to the Telstra board at the annual meeting this month Sam Chisholm, the former chief executive of the world's leading subscription television service, BSkyB, and also of the Nine Network in Australia.

Whether Chisholm is willing to take the post is another matter, but Mansfield should be twisting his arm hard to ensure he takes the Foxtel chairmanship.

Telstra owns 50 per cent of Foxtel which, as Australia's dominant pay TV provider with nearly 700,000 subscribers, represents one of the few double-digit growth businesses for the group.

Yet Telstra is often out-manoeuvred by its minority shareholders The News Corporation Ltd and Publishing & Broadcasting (both 25 per cent) because they know so much more about content and broadcasting.

News has the right to appoint the chief executive and so has effective control over management.

But this is a crucial investment for Telstra, which has not been able to tap the revenue potential.

News and PBL have been preoccupied since 1997 with trying to persuade Telstra to sell down so that the three partners can equalise their shareholdings on 33.3 per cent each, but Telstra has held out, insisting that it keep its half share of this business.

It has not been able to leverage its potentially controlling position to its advantage. All three shareholders hold the right of veto on decisions and for the past three years, Foxtel has been held back by tit-for-tat blocking votes by one or other of the shareholders.

Foxtel has been helped enormously by the paralysis which has gripped its main competitor, Optus Vision. Now that Optus's 53 per cent owner, Cable & Wireless Plc, is forcing its Australian subsidiary to liquidate its operating assets, including its broadband cable which delivers the Optus Vision service, Foxtel's potential competition in the metropolitan centres where it operates has collapsed even further.

Chisholm is well known to News and PBL directors and has the capacity to bring the previously diverging objectives of the three partners together. When he ran BSkyB, Chisholm was instrumental in hiring Foxtel's chief executive Jim Blomfield as well as his predecessor, Mark Booth.

Most importantly for Foxtel, it needs to roll out digital set-top boxes and develop the digital, interactive services such as banking and shopping which will add high-margin revenues to Telstra and its partners.

One factor holding back Foxtel's digitalisation is the fear shared by all three partners that, once Foxtel has spent the $200 million to $300 million digitialising the cable and expanding the number of channels from 64 to more than 200, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will "declare" the service and thus open it to all comers who might want access to the cable and the set-top boxes without spending any money.

Until the ACCC and its chairman, the self-styled "professor", Allan Fels, agrees to a moratorium on a declaration, the digitalisation simply won't happen and consumers will be worse off.

Primelife targets seniors with broadcasting deal

From http://www.afr.com.au/premium/property/2000/11/30/FFXMSE0V3GC.html

Primelife is moving into the television business.

Listed retirement home developer and operator Primelife Corporation has branched out into the broadcasting business with a joint venture, 40-hour-a-week grey power television venture.

Primelife, along with RMIT University and Melbourne Community Television, is to broadcast Monday to Friday with programs targeted at Australia's growing ageing population.

Primelife chief executive Mr Ted Sent said the retirement age audience had been neglected by commercial networks.

Initially to start screening in Victoria from February - on the Channel 31 signal - the company plans to broadcast throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Programming will include classic films, documentaries and information and entertainment targeted at the older audience.

Primelife has set up a subsidiary called Lifestyle Media International which will manage the network, to be known as Renaissance Television.

Primelife is one of Australia's largest retirement village managers and developers.

Mr Sent said the venture would directly benefit the company by increasing its presence and profile within the aged community, which in turn would help support sales of retirement village developments.

The company expects to offset costs from advertisers and sponsorship of airtime by companies and marketers aiming at the senior citizen and retirement consumer demographic.

Primelife reported a 37 per cent increase in net profit for the year to June 2000 of $20.8 million. Shareholders received an unfranked 26¢ a share dividend.

The company recently bought Co-Operative Retirement Services from the Adelaide Bank to give it a national focus and to take its market share to 18 per cent of the Australian market.

FTA TV channel aims for the over-55s

MELBOURNE's older TV viewers are to have a station with shows devoted to them.

Next year, from 8am to 4pm daily, Renaissance Television will be seen on community station Channel 31.

Wayne Rogers, chief executive of Prime Life, which is behind Renais- sance Television, yester- day said programs would include films, lifestyle, travel, finance, health, and the arts.

Nick Grigoriadis, executive officer at Chan- nel 31, said "nothing else would cater like this to the over-55 market"

A transmitter upgrade will improve reception of Channel 31.


Todays update is very small not much around at all. Livechat tonight 8.30pm Sydney time onwards, Lets have a good turnout tonight! Tele-Liban is new on Asiasat 2 its fta at the moment heres their website with programming schedule

I don't have any screenshots of it yet, perhaps someone can also screenshot the others that are FTA at the moment there. The womans Cricket World Cup is on from today its being played in New Zealand. Has anyone seen feeds of the matches yet probably on I701.

The other Cricket India vs Zimbabwe is live on Apstar 2R 76.5E "Channel I"

From my emails & ICQ


TARBS have included another channel in their line up that is TELE-
LIBAN a government owned service in Lebanon.


Tele-Liban has become the ninth channel within the Egyptian mux on
3640Mhz H on Asiasat-2 - that's the feed for PAS-8

Andrew Axiom CompuSat Services

This From SIAM GLOBAL Re:Asiasat 2 Egyptian Boquet




From the Dish

Asiasat 2 100.5E "Tele Liban" has started on 3640 H Dig Vpid 520 Apid 648.

Thaicom 3 78.5E "MRTV" has left 3666 H (Digital Tests).


Where was everyone on Monday night for the chat? It was very quiet I guess at this time of the year everyones busy with Christmas partys and doing things outdoors in the evenings, from next week I may put the start time back half and hour. Any one have some thoughts on this? I hope we have a better turnout on Wednesday! Theres not much else new today.

Is there anyone out there useing a 2.4GHZ video sender that also beams the signal from the remote as well? This is something I am after to have the satellite receiver upstairs and be able to control it downstairs.

From the Dish

LMI 1 75E 3435 H "MSC Sri Lanka" has been replaced by a test card.

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3565 H "Sky Racing Channel 1-2" have left

Asiasat 2 100.5E 3640 H The entire package here remains FTA still


Squabble may delay digital TV

From http://www.theage.com.au/bus/20001128/A41241-2000Nov27.html

Australia's peak advertising groups have warned that dissension among free-to-air TV broadcasters over which set-top box to adopt will delay the introduction of digital TV.

The Australian Association of National Advertisers and the Advertising Federation of Australia, which together represent companies responsible for 90 per cent of all media placements, said the disagreement could lead to viewers requiring two set-top boxes to gain access to all digital services.

The Nine and Ten Networks are believed to have underwritten the cost of introducing a low-end, non-proprietary box (which does not enable Internet access) produced by the French company Thomson.

But Seven has disagreed on the choice and could support a rival proprietary box. Seven declined to comment on the issue yesterday.

However, others in the industry remain confident Seven would eventually support non-proprietary boxes.

The executive director of the Advertising Federation of Australia, Lesley Brydon, said if a dual system eventuated, it would increase advertising costs as advertisers would have to create ads in two formats.

"It means there is no agreement between the three channels as to a common platform, which we believe is essential for advertising to be cost-effective," said Ms Brydon.

She said no one was keeping advertisers or the advertising agencies informed of developments.

Digital television will be launched on January 1 and the order of 10,000 Thomson boxes is expected to land before then. The TV networks arealso hopeful other manufacturerswill soon announce plans to launch set-top boxes into the market.

The general manager of the Australian Association of National Advertisers, Sara Morton-Stone, said the groups would be seeking meetings with the TV networks next week to gain a better understanding of their positions.

"We want to ensure the system in Australia is as simple and cost-efficient as it can be," she said.

"Anything that gets in the way of broad take-up of digital TV, such as a number of standards or proprietary standards, runs the risk of retarding the take-up of digital TV."

Ms Morton-Stone said the advertising industry supported digital TV as it gave advertisers the ability to better target marketing campaigns.

The AANA and AFA have also held discussions on the formation of a digital advertising coalition to ensure their members have a voice on digital TV issues.

The associations said they planned to seek meetings with the networks and would not hesitate to call on the Federal Government to intervene if the networks could not resolve their differences.

Meanwhile, a Broadband Media and Advertising Alliance has been formed by companies involved in the broadband arena to iron out issues associated with the new media.

Broadband, or high-speed Internet access, has sparked issues such as how to define advertising as opposed to content.

Its initial members include BMCMedia.com, Telstra, the Fantastic Corporation and Beyond Online.

The group also hopes to develop voluntary industry standards, and to educate developers of broadband advertising and marketing content in areas such as privacy.

Net cable back to capacity

From http://www.australianit.com.au/common/storyPage/0,3811,1459876%255E442,00.html

DAMAGE to Telstra's main internet gateway was more extensive than originally thought, but it is due to return to full capacity today.

A ship's anchor is believed to have sliced the cable in two and damaged a repeater, which made the repair more complex, Telstra spokesman Stuart Gray said.

"The damage was more extensive than normally occurs in these circumstances. We don't know why," Mr Gray said.

"They've replaced the repeater and my understanding is they're getting ready to splice the cable back together."

The SEA-ME-WE 3 cable snapped on the afternoon of November 20, about 63km south of Singapore.

The breakage severely affected internet access for millions of consumers and businesses in Australia from 3pm AEST till midnight.

The cable carried about half of Australia's international internet traffic, and Telstra resold capacity to other local ISPs, Mr Gray said.

Telstra expected it to be repaired today but had restored services earlier using other cables and satellite connections, Mr Gray said.

The internet disruptions, which were believed to have cost Australian businesses millions of dollars, could have been avoided if Telstra had diversified its overseas access arrangements, a telecommunications expert said.

Alan Horsley, head of the Australian Telecommunications User Group, said Telstra relied too heavily on the SEA-ME-WE cable.

Mr Horsley said Telstra was a member of the 90-company consortium that owned the SEA-ME-WE (South-East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe) cable, and this reduced its access costs.

"But there are other cables – Pacrim East, Pacrim West, Jasuraus, and the newly commissioned Southern Cross cable – and Telstra should have had its traffic spread over those," Mr Horsley said.

"They probably get cheaper rates on the SEA-ME-WE 3 cable because they're part owners.

"As it happened, Telstra managed to get back to near 100 per cent service within 24 hours – which is pretty good – but they should have diversified their access arrangements earlier."

He said undersea internet cables were vulnerable to damage from ships' anchors and trawlers in shallower coastal regions, as well as from undersea earthquakes, so similar disruptions were likely to occur again.

Mr Gray said the ends of the cable would be lifted to the surface for repairs before being spliced together.

The 46mm-diameter fibre-optic cables are surrounded by two layers of steel mesh.

Mr Gray said the repairs would probably cost about $200,000.

He said Telstra had not been asked for compensation from any of its customers.

The accident is believed to have cost Australian businesses millions of dollars through disrupted communications, lost productivity and failed e-commerce transactions.


Livechat tonight in the chatroom at 8.30pm Sydney time, or 9.30pm NZ onwards. I sent a message to KUBAND from the MOSC chatroom hopefully if they agree they will shift their chat to Tuesdays to avoid the clash of interests. It should benefit both chatrooms.

From my emails & ICQ

Hi Craig,

A guy called Michael called this morning after seeing the advert you put on the site and will be taking it away tomorrow..its for a friend of his. Yes it was a 3m, solid petal dish.

Bob Roberts

(Craigs, Note glad to help out its not the first bit of gear to have been seen on my site and sold!, the Sattrader section will dissapear soon to be replaced by a more friendly message based one)

NileTv, the Egyptian channels on Asiasat2 digital are all now FTA.

Eddie Mobasheri


The Egyptian Bouquet on AsiaSat 2 is now in Clear. Do not know why this is happening.


(Craigs, Note this was reported on the mailing list when it happend. Its not very likely that it will remain FTA so enjoy it while you can.)

From the Dish

Apstar 2R 76.5E A "Channel NewsAsia" mux has started on 3705 V SR 6111 Fec 3/4, identical to the mux on 3687 V.

Thaicom 3 78.5E The Sr for MRTV on 3666 H has changed to 6064


Australian Digital TV gears up for new year

From http://news.com.au/newspulse/pulseframe/0,4711,1452380^2,00.html

DIGITAL television equipment will be in shops in January, networks have promised the federal Government in a face-saving deal to ensure viewers can watch the system soon after it begins on January 1.

But the boxes that convert the digital signal for existing analog sets will only be available in small numbers and are likely to cost $500 to $600.

The networks, under government pressure, have agreed to underwrite the set-top boxes at a cost of up to $6 million. This is because manufacturers, despite months of negotiation, do not want to take the risk of supplying new digital TV equipment.

The networks are believed to have secured a manufacturer who can deliver the boxes by mid-January.

The Nine, Ten and Seven networks led a campaign to secure protection from competition under the digital regime imposed in legislation earlier this year.

The rules were sharply criticised by other media groups that wanted to use the new digital TV spectrum, including News Limited – publisher of The Australian – and Fairfax.

Since the rules were set in June, government sources have privately conceded they are worried digital TV could fail to attract new viewers next year, which would be a blow to the campaign to portray Australia as a "new economy".

Communications Minister Richard Alston confirmed that the Government had urged the networks to resolve the issue of supplying the new equipment.

"It may well not have been a significant difference (without government involvement) but we didn't want to sit back and hope, we wanted and still want to do our best to ensure that everything remains on track," Senator Alston said.

After meetings with government and department officials – including a meeting between Senator Alston and television chiefs – networks advertised last month for manufacturers to supply the set-top boxes.

French deliver cheap digital TV to Australian retailers

From http://news.com.au/newspulse/pulseframe/0,4711,1456921^462,00.html

FRENCH electronics giant Thomson will deliver Australia's first digital set-top boxes to retailers ahead of the launch of digital television on January 1, 2001.

Broadcasters Nine and Ten networks will underwrite Thomson's efforts by up to $6 million as part of their commitment to persuade consumers to buy the equipment they need to view digital television.

The three commercial networks called for expressions of interest from manufacturers in October to build set-top boxes with a non-proprietary applications platform, after months of discussions with manufacturers failed to produce an agreed standard for the new medium.

It is understood that Seven network has broken ranks with its rivals after a disagreement on the applications platform. Nine and Ten have chosen a European, non-proprietary platform which is still in development.

The Australian has learned that Thomson will be announced as the winning tenderer this week and that the electronics group will deliver 10,000 set-top boxes by the third week in December.

Distribution details for the shipment are still sketchy but it is understood that the boxes will retail for less than $600 each and that some will be made available to the rental market.

They will be capable of receiving both standard-definition and high-definition television signals which will be converted to better quality pictures on analog televisions along with any multiple camera angles or other enhancements the broadcasters might make to their digital signals.

It is understood that Thomson hopes to have at least 30,000 of these boxes in Australia and at least one digital television set retailing for less than $2000 by March 2001.

Other television manufacturers Teac and Thorn are also believed to be planning to launch low-cost set-top boxes and televisions early in the new year.

Thomson, which distributes its product through Myer-Grace Bros and other selected outlets, already has two digital television sets available in Australia. Its 110cm widescreen, rear projection television retails for $5500 and its 130cm set retails for $7500.

It is understood that Thomson will deliver a $1999, 60cm widescreen standard-definition digital television -- which is superior to existing analog sets -- with an in-built digital video disc, to the Australian market as early as February.

Without the DVD player, the set would retail for around $1100 and Thomson is believed to be considering a plan to manufacture the set without the player.

The manufacturer is also hopeful of producing a high-definition television to Australian specifications by September.

Industry sources said on Friday that other manufacturers were also working on plans to deliver high-definition sets, including those who had been vehemently opposed to making sets in the high-definition format chosen by the networks.


Not much today, concretes drying nicely :-) I have put up the TSI Channel news, but have cut out all the non-related stuff for our part of the world. The 2nd Cricket Test between India and Zimbabwe is live 2pm Sydney time onwards each day on Channel I on Apstar 2R. A url for TVK Cambodia on Thaicom 3 has been added (non official website).According to Satfacts website Zee news analog on Asiasat 3 is the next channel to disapear scheduled to go on Dec 1st.

Page to be trimmed tommorow

From my emails & ICQ

This from D. Holbrook

Some confusion - I was misquoted on Lyngsat - the freqs aren't correct on
the Nokia & the Satcruiser doesn't give FEC.

Correct Lineup is

12407 2/3
12532 2/3
12594 3/4
12657 2/3
12720 3/4


From the Dish

LMI 1 75E "MSC" on 3435 H NID/TID and SID is 102/12 and 1365.

Thaicom 3 78.5E New TID for the RR Satellite Communications mux on 3551 H: 11.
Thaicom 3 78.5E "MRTV" has started on 3666 H Dig Sr 6786 Fec 3/4 Vpid 308 Apid 256 global beam.

Optus B3 156E It's still FEC 3/4 for the Optus Aurora muxes on 12595 V and 12720 V.


T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 48/2000 - November 26 2000 -

A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by Tele Satellite International
Editor: Branislav Pekic


The Walt Disney Co. is hoping to establish an Asian Disney TV channel in Japan
or China within the next five years, though its main development plans in the
region will be focused primarily on building brand equity, according to Disney
president and chief operating officer Robert Iger.


French group Lagardere’s 24-hour classic and jazz channel, Muzzik, will be
launched in Asia in April 2001. The new service will carry 60 per cent
classical music, 30 per cent jazz and 10 per cent world traditional. The
service will be carried on Taiwanese DTH platform, Pacific Digital Media, in
which French company Lagardere is involved. Other regional carriage agreements
are under negotiation. The feed will be customised for Asia because of music
rights issues. Lagardere is also planning a new 24-hour interactive computer
and video game channel, Game One, uplinked from Paris and transmitted across
Asia from Intelsat 704. The channel, which will allow users to download or play
games on air, launches in Asia on December 15.



Star TV’s CEO James Murdoch has lobbied Indian government ministers to increase
the foreign equity participation in the direct-to-home (DTH) television
service, according to The Times of India. Murdoch recently met with Information
and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj, Information Technology Minister Pramod
Mahajan and Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha. The government has capped foreign
direct investment in DTH at 20 per cent and no individual company is to own
more than 20 per cent of the paid up capital of a DTH company.


India’s Living Media Group, which was at one time negotiating the Turner’s CNN
International for content co-operation, launches its 24-hour news channel, Aaj
Tak TV, this month. The Aaj Tak slot Living Media has vacated on DD is now the
subject of a tussle between rival news providers such as Kerry Packer’s Channel
9, which already has a 3-hour prime time band, Nine Gold on DD Metro.


Sony Entertainment Television (SET) is believed to be planning a US$87-million
investment in digital direct-to-home TV and acquiring rights to major local
events and concerts. Parent company, Sony is said to be contributing with $33


Private broadcasters, including STAR TV, Zee Telefilms and Sony Entertainment
Television, are said to be resisting efforts to lure them onto the digital
direct-to-home satellite platform being planned by state broadcaster,
Doordarshan (DD). Private broadcasters are seeking ways around the 20 per cent
foreign equity cap set for new DTH platforms.



A new private television station, Metro TV, will become the first in Indonesia
to use Mandarin Chinesein its daily news broadcasts. The TV station, launched
November 18 by President Abdurrahman Wahid, has scheduled a 60-minute Mandarin
news broadcast twice a day on weekdays and two half-hour wrap-ups on weekends,
besides Indonesian and English news. The use of Mandarin was banned nationwide
following the 1965 military coup. Up until now, there has been no news in
Mandarin on Indonesian television because several bans on the language have not
been lifted by the House of Representatives. There are lots of ethnic Chinese
in Indonesia who rely on the Chinese language to get news. Metro is one of five
privately-owned TV stations to go on air in the near future and it is expected
to air its first broadcast on November 25.


Australian media company, the Singleton Group (SGN) is part of an international
consortium which on November 24 bought Indonesia’s ailing TV network Surya
Citra Televisi (SCTV). SGN will invest US$23.73 million in the consortium which
also includes telco Emtek and investors Mark Carnegie and John Wylie. SCTV is
Indonesia’s third largest and one of the biggest debtors to the Indonesian
Banking Restructuring Agency.



Regional television broadcasters from around New Zealand met for the first time
this week to discuss the impact of digital transmission technology on regional
stations. About 14 stations have joined forces to address issues such as
inequality in NZ On Air funding, and plan to lobby government to ensure that
regional stations have an equal opportunity to access digital broadcast



Pakistan’s private-sector news and business programmer, Television Business
Productions Limited (Telebiz), is planning to move into the pay-TV sector
against rival new licensee STAR TV after winning its own license from the
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. Telebiz, which is seeking international
alliances for its expansion initiative, produces daily and weekly programming
for CNBC Asia, PTV and Asia TV in the US and Africa. Telebiz says the new
pay-TV licenses will boost the provision of national cable services in
Pakistan. Pakistan has about 8,000 pay-TV operators in 49 cities serving about
1.5 million households.


Concretes in !!!!

4 bags and 3/4 of a meter of gravel. The landing pad is ready! it started raining as soon as it was finished so its got covers over it at the moment. Its going to take 2-4 weeks for such a big block of concrete to cure and set hopefully we will get some good weather. I note Aurora transponders have changed Fec to 2/3 this should make for a better signal to anyone in NZ who watchs this service. (reports needed, anonymous if necessary)

From my emails & ICQ





(Craig, glad you have another channel looking at the footprint chart you should also be able to get KU band off this satellite? have you tryed it yet)

From Bill Richards

Palapa C2 113E 2350 UTC 4089H Sr 14060 Fec 3/4 Vpid 512 Apid 650 "Australia TV" no sound
Palapa C2 113E 2350 UTC 4089H Sr 14060 Fec 3/4 Vpid 513 Apid 651 "Metro TV JKT" test card and test tone

Palapa C2 113E 2350 UTC 4089H Sr 14060 Fec 3/4 Vpid 514 Apid 652 "TVRI Indonesia" no sound


From the Dish

Thaicom 3 76.5E "New PIDs for everbodys favourite "Maharishi Open University Asia" on 3600 H Vpid 2944 Apid 2945
Thaicom 3 76.5E "Sky Racing Channel 2 has started on 3565 H Dig Vpid 513 Apid 660
Thaicom 3 76.5E "Sky Racing Channel 1 is now in the clear.

ST 1 88E "Deutsche Welle TV" and "Music Country" on 3509 H are now encrypted.

Asiasat 3 105.5E "NOW TV" is still on 3900 V Sr 26000 Fec 7/8, Vpid 1010 Apid 1011

Palapa C2 113E "Metro TV" has started regular transmissions on 4089 H Vpid 513 Apid 651, TVRI is testing on PIDs 514/652.

Optus B3 156E Optus Aurora has started to use 12658 V DIG /Irdeto Sr 30000 Fec 2/3
Australian/New Zealand beam, line-up: six Optus test cards.

Optus B3 156E The Optus Aurora muxes on 12595 V and 12720 V are useing a Fec of 2/3.


Concretes going in this weekend, then wait wait wait for the concrete to "cure" photos of it next week if I can borrow the digital camera.

From my emails & ICQ

Bob Roberts in Sydney has a 3M solid dish free to give away to anyone who comes and collects it!

The dish is on the ground, but the new owner would have to dismantle for transportation.

Location is Sefton, Sydney
He can be contacted on 0411 025 456.

From the Dish

LMI 1 75E "MSC (Sri Lanka") has started on 3435 H, Dig FTA, Sr 3500, Fec 7/8 Vpid 1160 Apid 1130
This one on the B Beam can any one in Australia get this beam?

ST 1 88E "FTV" and "Sun Satellite TV" on 3509 H are now encrypted.
ST 1 88E "Cha Cha Channel" and "CASA" on 3632 V are now in the clear.
ST 1 88E "Savoir Knowledge Channel" and "RAI International 2" on 3509 H are now encrypted.
ST 1 88E "FTV" on 3509 H is FTA.

Thaicom 3 76.5E "Sky Racing Channel" on 3565 H Has encrypted (IRDETO).

Asiasat 3S 105.5E "NOW TV" has left 3900 V They are still running on 3760 H

Palapa C2 113E "Cha Cha Channel" and "CASA" on 4000 H and 11130 V FTA Currently.

Optus B3 156E Several updates in the Austar/Foxtel and Optus Aurora packages.
Austar/Foxtel has started to use 12501 H DIG /Irdeto Sr 29473 Fec 3/4.


Telstra not 'routed' by lack of satellites

From http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/dailynews/story/0,2000011358,20107180,00.htm

Australia’s biggest ISP has defended criticism that it did not have an adequate satellite network to cope with the week’s underwater shenanigans.

Telstra spokesman Stuart Gray admitted the 650,000-customer ISP would not attempt to re-rout Web traffic via satellite, a situation Monash University IT lecturer Stephen Giles said highlighted the nation’s “particularly poor” degree of satellite coverage.

Giles said Australia was an “unattractive” coverage area for companies that run satellite operations. “That leaves (Telstra) with the small number of entry and exit points that are in place at the moment.”

however, Gray said no amount of satellite coverage would encourage the ISP to consider that as an alternative mode of international Internet connection.

Satellite just doesn’t have the capacity of cable,” he said. “All our future developments are with cable.”

Telstra would redirect all international Web traffic via its undamaged “Eastern cable” until the damaged “Western cable” was repaired, he said.

The 37,000-kilometre SEA-ME-WE 3 Internet cable, that connects Australia to Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, was slashed at the bottom of the ocean near Singapore on Monday afternoon. The damage left Telstra’s Bigpond network running at 30 percent its normal capacity, until traffic was switched over to the other cable. Gray said the ISP was currently running at around 75 percent its normal capacity.

Gray said the repair ship was expected to “set sail” on Thursday afternoon, and that repairs were expected to be completed early next week.

The cost of the job would be covered by the consortium of 90 international players that own the cable, Gray said. He would not estimate the cost of the repair, but said a similar repair in Australian waters had cost the consortium AU$200,000. Telstra’s fiscal stake in the consortium was less than five percent, he said.

The spokesman said the single cable was coping “quite well” with traffic during off peak hours. However, “there has been some slowness during peak periods.”

The ISP had not received any official complaints from customers who were denied access to the Web, Gray said.

John Singleton finds Indonesian TV a risky turn-on

From http://www.theage.com.au/bus/20001124/A33563-2000Nov23.html

Millionaire adman John Singleton agrees that his latest investment could be one of his riskiest yet.

Mr Singleton revealed yesterday he was part of a consortium that had taken a $72 million indirect stake in Indonesia's third-largest television network SCTV.

"We have bought things and gone against the trend of play before and had people look back and say `that was obvious'. Well, this is an even more obvious investment," Mr Singleton said yesterday.

"There is only one question mark and that is Indonesia. Australia is still very ignorant about Indonesia. It's got a population bigger than America and it's closer than New Zealand. There's no chance Indonesia won't be in Australia's economic future."

Mr Singleton is doubling up on the bet by investing $45 million on behalf of the publicly listed Singleton Group, which he controls, plus an undisclosed amount of his personal fortune. Also in on the deal are Singleton Group's chairman Mark Carnegie, his partner John Wylie, their investment fund and Emtec, a medium-sized Indonesian telco and IT company.

Mr Carnegie described the deal brokered by Emtec chairman Eddy Sariaatmadja as "convoluted" because of restrictions preventing direct foreign investment in Indonesian television stations that are not publicly listed.

The Australian-based consortium will invest in PT Abhimata Mediatama, whose sole asset will be a 33 per cent stake in PT Cipta Aneka Selaras. Cipta has a joint interest in the 73 per cent shareholding in SCTV of another company, PT Mitrasari Persada.

Mitrasari in turn owns a stake in Cipta along with Indonesian investment bank PT Bhakti Investama Tbk.

Indonesian media analyst Keith Loveard was sceptical about the merits of the deal.

"Singleton has to fight against a market which is expanding rapidly in terms of the number of the stations that are preparing to launch," Mr Loveard said yesterday. "He gets well-trained staff, a good news operation and equipment but there are already four or five commercial television stations in a market which has never produced any profits apart from the original station RCTI."


From indiantelevision.com

Doordarshan the national television service of India has revamped its entire site (www.ddindia.com) making it more userfriendly for a consumer target. Its sections include latest News, Bollywood beat, Explore India - Travel and Tourism, Program Bazaar and a discussion forum.

While latest news is a first hand service of India related content, Bollywood beat is a database of songs sung by Bollywood stars available in Realmedia. Other sections include Matters of India and Matters of Faith which are under construction. DD world live telecasts are also available in clippings. Program Bazaar provides information of programs whose rights DD posseses. A discussion forum has been set up that caters to three categories sports, politics and law and order. However interaction requires you to register first. Salient features include a polling session and a daily programming schedule (also under construction).

The site is powered by DSF Internet Services Pvt. Ltd. whose client roster includes All India Radio, Doordarshan, BMW, Motorola, GE-India, ICMR, Usha International, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India Info, Mantra Online, and many more.

Doordarshan currently has 49 studio centers, operates 21 channels with a network of 1150 transmitters, and reaches 87 percent of the country's one billion people.

WSG-Nimbus pockets Sri Lanks cricket rights

From indiantelevision.com

The Emerald island is going to see a lot of Harish Thawani, the promoter of media firm Nimbus Communications. The reason: Thawani has in partnership with the World Sports Group bagged the rights for Sri Lankan cricket for the next three years. The deal covers 14 tours and would involve 180 days of international cricket, reveals Thawani, who has emerged as one of the most important players of the sports rights business over the past two years.

While he is unwilling to give any fix on the price that WSG-Nimbus put in to be the successful bidder for the rights, industry estimates are that they cost him close to $30 million. The other bidder TWI apparently was not willing to match the bid.

The bid covers global telecast (both radio and TV) , sponsorship and stadium signage rights. Sources indicate that the final tab that WSG-Nimbus may have to cough up could be in the range of $45 million. WSG-Nimbus is a 50:50 joint venture between the UK based WSG plc and India's Nimbus.

According to industry sources, WSG-Nimbus is likely to cut a deal with Zee Sports as the latter is quite hungry to grab quality cricket content, whatever is left of it. News Corps has got the telecast rights to almost all the international cricket matches in Australia, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, England, West Indies, Pakistan. Additionally, it has the rights to ICC backed cricket. The only other player with cricket rights is Mark Mascarenhas of World-Tel who apparently has not found too many takers for the Bangladesh cricket property he has acquired for some $12 million for four years.


Thanks to those that came into the chatroom, Not much to report for today. The new C-Sat online satellite news is on it also incorporates Dishnews magazine from Pakistan.Its not much good though as the news on its very old. Its no where near up to the standard of the Scatindia one.

From my emails & ICQ


Have you any idea who stocks Comstar dish's? I believe some one in
Auckland must be importing them. Can you post the question on your site

Many thanks

(Craigs , note I only know of Pacific Satellite in Australia,) pacsat@powerup.com.au

Try also Pacific Antennas (NZ) pacant@nznet.gen.nz


Foxtel pulls plug on network's cable access hopes

From http://finance.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,1443571%255E462,00.html

SEVEN Network is facing a fresh obstacle in its fight to secure access to the Foxtel cable and set-top box, with the pay television group primed to launch several new channels in a rejigged programming line-up.

Foxtel's move is seen by those close to Seven as a blocking manoeuvre, which will use most of the available channel space. The new line-up, revealed in Foxtel's subscriber magazine, will take up 46 of the 50 channel slots Foxtel holds under its agreement with Telstra.

Seven's right to access to the Telstra cable and Foxtel's set-top box has been upheld by three court decisions, including the Full Bench of the Federal Court.

"The judgments declared we have access from the cable into the set-top box into the television set," a Seven spokesman said, adding that this encompassed the channel capacity at the time of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's open access declaration in 1999.

But Foxtel contends that these decisions fall short of requiring it to carry Seven's pay television channels as part of its channel line-up. Instead, Foxtel claims that Seven will need to establish a separate pay service on the cable with its own subscriber management systems and marketing arrangements.

Seven said it would push ahead with its plans to get access to the Foxtel cable and set-top boxes, particularly its fight to get its AFL-centric pay TV sports channel C7 on to the platform.

Seven has pay TV licences for up to 10 channels, for which it is seeking access. "Our claim on space dates back to when we originally claimed access," a spokesman said.

Foxtel now offers 42 channels on its cable, including the five free to air channels. It will increase its basic package by two additional channels, Fashion Television and MusicMax, and will replace Turner Classic Movies with Fox Kids during the day and Fox Classic Movies in the evenings.

Foxtel will also expand its movie tier, which costs an extra $10 a month, to three channels, Showtime, Encore and Showtime2, a new channel which screens the Showtime schedule two hours later.

Turner Classic Movies moves to a more expensive Entertainment Plus tier, including a new 24-hour History Channel, the comedychannel, a new women-focused fx channel, and Hallmark Movies.

Foxtel is believed to have earmarked its four remaining analog channels for pay-per-view movies, and possibly one or two other channels. The pay television group has been in discussions with Disney, currently available on Optus Television and Austar.

Foxtel said yesterday the changes were purely to benefit subscribers.

"The changes are not for the purpose of defeating access, they are being made as part of Foxtel's long-term plans to expand the services it provides to its subscribers," a Foxtel spokesman said.

Telstra has another 14 channels outside Foxtel's 50-channel agreement available for other pay television operators.

Battered Austar

From http://www.afr.com.au/premium/marketwrap/equities/2000/11/22/FFXQ7T55TFC.html

If no news is good news, embattled pay television group Austar United Communications must be wondering when the news will stop.

Austar shares yesterday dropped almost 10 per cent to $2.65, battered by a mixture of fact and fiction involving its parent, United States group UnitedGlobalCom, and other parts of the UGC empire. UGC stock plummeted $US3.875, some 19.6 per cent, to $US15.875 in Monday night's US trading as investors reacted to the announcement late last week of a $US366.9 million net loss and speculation the company's European arm, United Pan-Europe, was unable to draw on its 4 billion credit line.

Well, the loss was real (Austar itself lost $201.76 million in the nine months to September 30 while UPC went through $US542.4 million), but apparently the financing problem was not, leaving UGC president Mike Fries lamenting the "fundamental errors and factually incorrect statements from a few analysts in Europe".

The situation was not helped by local rumours that Austar could write off about $140 million on a mysterious satellite joint venture with Cable & Wireless Optus.

An Austar spokesman noted the company's satellite joint venture with Optus, which controls its pay-TV conditional access platform, had "no assets", making a writedown somewhat problematic.

Market mail was that CSFB was telling clients to bail ship. The broker sold 705,000 of the stock yesterday and bought 40,000. It would be a strange turnaround as CSFB floated the business.

NZ Maori broadcasting plans 'inadequate'

From http://onenews.nzoom.com/politics/2000/11/22/00040907.htm

The Government's plans for a Maori television channel are inadequate, according to the Government's own advisors.

A report leaked to One News recommends the Government increase funding three-fold to $50 million a year and calls for more mainstream Maori programmes.

Maori have been promised another channel since the collapse of Aotearoa Television four years ago.

The Government appointed broadcaster Derek Fox and others to examine its plans. They want a stand-alone channel set up as soon as possible but say the Government's promised funds are inadequate.

The Government was promising $17 million a year, the group says $50 million is needed.

In terms of mainstream programming, the group wants programmes focussed on Maori issues to be increased five-fold from the current three percent to 15%.

The report also recommends Maori get a 20% stake if TVNZ or its transmission subsidiary BCL were ever sold.

Maori MPs Willie Jackson and John Tamihere say they support the report. Tamihere says the impact of digital television must be taken into account "rather than just picking up the old technologies".

The report will eventually go to the appropriate ministers for consideration.


LIVECHAT tonight 8.30pm Sydney time onwards I hope you can get in as the chat server has to contact the U.S and if your haveing trouble due to the cable break you may have trouble getting on. To those that asked yes the picture above looks funny as it was taken with a cheap low res digital camera and is in fact 4 photos stitched together, the car shed is west, I will try and scan off some other photos I have of it.

Satfacts is doing a review of the Humax IRCI 5400 Satellite receiver in the December issue, if you have any comments about this unit send them to Bob Skyking@clear.net.nz

Dordashan India, and Now TV have teamed up to produce a Portal for live cricket coverage , this is a EXCELLENT site you get the scorecard on the left and live video (up to 300k!) on the right its almost like an interactive tv service.

www.dd.now.com is the link to it. They are useing Akamai servers also which means the video will stream off a local server if your ISP has an Akamai Server (Ihug and Telecom in NZ do)

Sorry no NEWS section today I have just been far to busy!

From my emails & ICQ

Hi Craig

I re-loaded Fashion TV using the auto sr function (Satcruiser 201P) and it came up good as gold.
Details according to my receiver are; 3795H sr2533 Vpid308 Apid256 PCRpid8190 These details match up with Lyngsat chart.
Tits and bums for everyone!


(Craigs, Note I think it was only the older models of the Phoenix receivers that were haveing problems with it)

Robert Anthony in the NT reports, all of Aurora services on B3 were FTA for a few hours this morning (They have since encrypted again)

Bill Richards reports

Thaicom 3 76.5E 1855 UTC 3565 H Sr 5000 Fec 3/4 Vpid 512 Apid 650 "Sky Racing Channel Australia"
Thaicom 3 76.5E 1855 UTC 3565 H Sr 5000 Fec 3/4 Vpid 513 Apid 660 TELSTRA SYDNEY TOC test card

(TOC = Technical Operations Centre)

Optus B3 156E 0230UTC 12369 V Sr 6110 Fec 3/4 Vpid 4096 Apid 4097 "MEDIASAT DSNG1 Horse Racing Feed."

DISH wanted

Im looking to buy a 3.4 to 3.8mtr mesh dish .
Im located in Salisbury south Australia
regards martin mills
email kryyten@ihug.com.au

From the Dish

Panamsat 4 68.5E 3635 H "Cricket Feed" Sr 6110 Fec 3/4

Thaicom 3 76.5E "Sky Racing Channel" has started on 3565 H Sr 5000 Fec 3/4 Vpid 512 Apid 650, global beam. Occasional Telstra feeds on Vpid 513 Apid 660.

ST 1 88E TTV, FTV and Sun Satellite TV have replaced PTS, Guangdong TV and BBC World on 3509 H

Palapa C2 113E "Australia TV" is still in PAL on 3880 H.
Palapa C2 113E "Metro TV" has left 4089 H, MPEG-2/clear, PIDs 513/651.
Palapa C2 113E "Australia TV" is still testing on 4089 H.


Thanks to those that turned up for the chat. If anyone had trouble getting into the chat , it wasn't the server at fault. Its mostly due to the main cable being cut see the news item below for details.

From my emails & ICQ

Hi Craig

Where I last saw Metro TV is now re-broadcasting Channel News Asia (with sound)

Sorry about the wrong info re Fashion TV, it's just my receiver thought it was encrypted. If I remember rightly, they recently changed the sr or pids. Maybe they have done something like this again.


(Craigs, Note don't worry at least it cleared up why it wasn't working for some!)

From the DISH

Thaicom 3 76.5E Pink Plus has left 3551 H.

ST 1 88E PowerCom Tech has merged with Space TV on 3509 H some channels FTA here

Asiasat 3S 105.5E "Zee Music" on 3700 V has encrypted again.

Telkom 1 108E CNBC Asia on 3620 H Has new pids Vpid 33 Apid 32.

Optus B3 156E 12503 H Sr 29473 is active with 12 Channels of Fox LOGO
Optus B3 156E 12438 H "Bloomberg and Cartoon Network" have started here

Optus B1 160E "Occasional feeds" on 12428 H Sr 12630 Fec 1/2.

Palapa C2 113E "Metro TV" has started on 4089 H Vpid 513 Apid 651.Occasional feeds on PIDs 514/652.
Palapa C2 113E "Australia TV" on 3880 H has switched from PAL to Digital Sr 14060 Fec 3/4 Vpid 512 Apid 650, Metro TV has started on PIDs 513/651.

Foxtel's new programming Line-up (I know its Pay, but some will be interested)


Cut cable causes Net chaos


From http://www.theage.com.au/frontpage/20001120/A64936-2000Nov20.html

One of Australia's biggest Internet connections was cut yesterday, hitting over half a million home and business Internet users.

The SEA-ME-WE 3 communications cable which links Europe, Asia and Australia - entering the country at Floreat beach - was damaged on the ocean floor near Singapore around 12.20pm.

The cut virtually closed down Telstra's Internet network, which used the cable for 60 per cent of its international Internet access.

Telstra's other Internet connections were unable to cope with the redirected demand. At 4pm Telstra's Internet network was working at just over 30 per cent capacity, meaning at any one time around two thirds of its users experienced slow or non-existent Internet access, a Telstra spokesman said.

Telstra is Australia's biggest Internet service provider with over 500,000 subscribers and 800 wholesalers.

Other ISPs and networks such as Optus were uncongested.

Telstra spokesman Stuart Gray said the company's Internet network was in gridlock and he did not know when it would come back to normal operation, though the company was looking at getting alternative capacity from satellite and other networks.

During the afternoon an increasing backlog of requests for international Web pages caused the already congested system to slow down further.

The cable cut had also affected Internet access in Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, UK and the USA, though its biggest impact was in South East Asia. The cause of the damage, which occurred approximately 100km from Singapore on the ocean floor, could not be confirmed. Possible causes include a ship's anchor or minor earthquake.
Long distance telephony was not affected.

Until last week SEA-ME-WE-3 was Australia's biggest connection to the Internet, now superceded by the 40 per cent Cable & Wireless Optus owned Southern Cross Cable Network, running from the east coast to the US.

The new Southern Cross cable, which Telstra is not yet connected to, carries 100 Gigabits a second - five times SEA-ME-WE 3.

The SEA-ME-WE-3 cable is one of the longest and fastest intercontinental cables in the world. It was set up two years ago specifically to speed up Internet access in the countries it connected.

Its handful of optical fibres thinner than a human hair can transfer 20 Gigabits of information ever y second - equal to about 5000 medium-length novels, 500,000 simultaneous phone chats or a million pages of e-mail.

Australia's link to SEA-ME-WE 3 runs out from a small manhole in the dunes behind Floreat Beach.

From there it joins a networ k that runs almost 40,000km from Germany, round Spain, through Egypt and the Middle East to South-East Asia, Australia and Japan.

Ihug launches TV internet box

From http://www.idg.net.nz/webhome.nsf/UNID/9D49934040712FACCC25699D00183C75!opendocument

Ihug will today launch a new device that lets the internet be used via a home television – the Ihug Surfboard.
The $699 (including GST) Surfboard is not Ihug's first dalliance with internet-via-TV as a consumer service.

The Ihug Super System, which came with an infra-red keyboard was pitched and styled as a luxury consumer electronics appliance and displayed at the Big Boys Toys show two years ago, but proved too expensive to manufacture.

The company has since worked with a range of set-top boxes, including those from the suppliers of the decoders used with its IDTV pay-TV service but has struggled to find one that performs adequately. The Surfboard is similar to the devices used to provide in-room internet service in hotels such as Auckland's Metropolis.

Director Nick Wood indicated earlier this year that the company might wait for a new generation of boxes next year, but the pressure may have gone on Ihug with TVNZ and Telstra's announcement of a digital TV partnership which would involve interactive services and internet access. Although Ihug's Ultra internet service has taken off in recent months, the accompanying Ihug Digital TV has languished.

An Ihug statement released yesterday afternoon says the Surfboard plugs into television sets and "requires no detailed skill to operate". A publicity photo shows a custom Ihug user interface. The device has a picture-in-picture feature, allowing simultaneous internet use and TV viewing, and an infrared keyboard.

Ihug Director Tim Wood says the product has already been trialled in New Zealand and the results were "overwhelmingly positive". He describes it as "perfect for newcomers. It will have special appeal for the many seniors who are increasingly interested in email as a way of contacting young relatives."

The Surfboard will initially be available for sale only, but it is understood it will eventually be available for hire from the Video Ezy chain, of which Ihug is a majority owner.

Surfers slow to catch drift of TV Net access


From http://www.theage.com.au/bus/20001121/A64494-2000Nov20.html

Ezenet directors are confident the idea of Internet access through the family television set will catch on, although they admitted yesterday that sales were still just "steady".

Perth-based Ezenet makes and sells TV set-top boxes that enable users to surf the Internet through their telephone line and television.

As one of the first companies to offer such a product, managing director Linton Chapman said that Ezenet had to create its market.

"Sales are going steady," he told the annual meeting yesterday.

"We would have liked them to escalate but, being the first in the market, you are really the educator of the people. A lot of people don't know you can access the Internet through your existing television.

"It's a slower uptake here than it is in the United States, where the uptake there is running at 50,000 units (set-top boxes) a month, so we should be doing a lot more."

Ezenet's set-top boxes have a wireless keyboard, microphone and video camera and a modem, delivering consumers all the regular Internet services delivered through typical personal computers.

The Ezenet system also offers telephony services through the set-top box, with users able to talk to each other anywhere in the world for the cost of an untimed local call.

The company had sold nearly 1500 boxes to retail chain Harvey Norman, and expected orders from other key retailers as the concept became more popular and new models came out, Mr Chapman said. Ezenet's set-top box retails for about $570.

Shareholders at the annual meeting questioned the board about the writedown of its existing stock of set-top boxes, asking Mr Chapman if the remaining units would eventually be sold.

Mr Chapman said the company was continually seeking new technologies and supply agreements, and was confident about the system's future success.

Ezenet was caught up in April's sharemarket "tech wreck". Its shares have plunged 90 per cent this year, from a peak of $1.46 to eight cents yesterday.

Documents recently lodged with the Australian Stock Exchange revealed Ezenet burnt $231,000 for the three months to September, while customer receipts were $48,000.

Ezenet now has cash reserves of $1.4million. On present burn rates, it has 21 months before funds run dry.


Livechat tonight 8.30pm Sydney time onwards I am in there from 9.30PM NZ time for those in NZ who want to get on earlier.

Theres not much at all happening today!

Apstar 2R finally added to the satellites pages! A bonus! while checking out Details i found Channel I on Apstar 2R has a live video stream on another site. Right at this moment India vs Zimbawe cricket test match is on it! So check Channel I on Apstar 2R 76.5E for the Cricket!

VIDEO link for it is here

From my emails & ICQ

Hi Craig....

Your email from Hans on the website is inaccurate.

Fashion TV has NOT encrypted.

They HAVE done something to their sugnal however which makes SOME receivers
split the screen... that happened about a week ago.

Not all receivers are effected. For example, the original model Phoenix 333
has the problem, while the new model Phoenix 333 shows Fashion TV clear as
a bell. (I'm watching it now as I type this). I repeat... it is NOT
encrypted - although SOMETHING strange has happened to the signal.

Andrew (Axiom Compusat Services)


From www.satnewsasia.com

TechTV To Enter Asian Marketplace with its First-ever Satellite-Delivered International Channel Dedicated Solely to Global Technology

Due to the overwhelming reception and demand for its programming, TechTV (formerly ZDTV), is preparing to launch its first-ever 24-hour international satellite-delivered channel in Asia during Q1, 2001, it was announced recently by Tom Grams, General Manager, TechTV International. Originating from uplink facilities in a major Asian city, the TechTV footprint will reach all of Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East.

TechTV already produces and distributes more than 1,300 hours of original programming per year, making it the world's leading source for technology-related programming. The new channel will broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at launch.

"We've learned that as a program genre, technology travels extremely well," said Grams. "We have also learned that our success depends on our ability to have this channel localized to the greatest extent possible. The new TechTV channel will be programmed to serve as either a 'pass-through' channel or as the foundation for a localized channel in each country."

"We are looking for established media partners in each territory who have production, localization and cable and/or satellite distribution experience, who can contribute relevant local content, as necessary, in order to make the channel more appealing to their own local audience," added Karen Kaufman Perlman, Head of Worldwide Sales.

The recent announcement follows the August launch of the TechTV and 68 ENTERPRISE network, "The Internet and Hi-Tech Channel" on YES, Israel's new DBS platform.

The new channel will provide technology-related news, information, entertainment, and advice aimed at a broad audience, enabling everyone to participate more fully in the Digital Age.

The launch of the channel in Asia earmarks the company's first major global network expansion for TechTV since Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures purchased it from Ziff Davis last January in a deal valued at more than US $320 million.

Barely two years old, TechTV as a US cable and satellite channel currently reaches over 20 million homes and its programming is already seen in over 70 countries worldwide.

TechTV, formerly known as ZDTV, is the on-air and online network dedicated to the digital lifestyle. Offering everything from industry news to product reviews, tech stocks to tech support, TechTV's original programming keeps the wired world informed and entertained. TechTV is one of the fastest growing cable networks, currently available in more than 20 million households in the U.S. and distributing content to 70 countries around the world. With over 750,000 unique visitors per month, TechTV is a community destination that encourages viewer interaction through e-mail, live chat and video mail. TechTV is owned by Vulcan Ventures, Inc., which purchased it from ZD Inc., on January 21, 2000.

Shiron Satellite Communications Brings Multimedia Superhighway to Asia

From www.satnewsasia.com

Shiron Satellite Communications, along with Pan Asia Sat Media, recently announced the successful launch of a multimedia superhighway for Asia. The launch of a new InterSKY™ Hub was celebrated October 16 in Jakarta, Indonesia at a party for 600 people hosted by Mr. Patrick Cheung, Chairman of Pan Asia Sat Media.

InterSKY™ is a Two-way broadband satellite solution developed and manufactured by Shiron. Exclusive features such as Demand Assigned Multiple Access and Bandwidth On Demand will provide Pan Asia Sat Media, a Hong Kong-based Internet service provider, with an efficient and cost-effective solution. Two-way satellite communication will ensure Internet users throughout Asia fast and reliable service, free of the wait caused by terrestrial transmission.

Shiron Satellite Communications (1996) Ltd. provides a total solution for Internet Service Providers, Corporations and SOHOs, with the InterSKY™ System. InterSKY™ is a high-speed Two-Way via satellite communications system that uses satellite resources at maximum efficiency, making it a cost-effective solution.

Shiron is based in Petach Tikva, Israel and operates an additional office in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. InterSKY™ is marketed and sold worldwide, with systems installed in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Far East.


Just a very small update for today ( You don't expect me to spend all day updateing the site on a Sunday do you)

WWF Wrestling Survivor Series Pay Per View is on NOV 20th (Monday) 12 noon EDT, Look for an unencrypted feed of it on Intelsat 701 somewhere! Please send a message on the mailing list if you see it there.

Anyway heres a bargain for those in Sydney! Ideal for a Dish Phaseing project, e.g 4x 3M dishs phased together will perform as a 6M solid would. Buy 10? theres 15M solid dish performance :-) who wants 20?? for 30M solid performance, Hmm Ku Irdeto from South Africa or Thailand anyone? Make sure you let them know where you saw the advert! suggest they should post me one of those 3M Andrews dishs for helping them cleanout there warehouse.


These dishes are ex Sky Channel and complete with mounts.
Solid one piece 2.5m and Andrews segmented 3m ground mount.
Prices are $100 each or $50 each for larger quantities.

Contact Luke Conaglan at Sky Channel on 1800 251 710

From my emails and ICQ

Hi Craig

Here are some screen shots of the new Indonesian Metro TV.(Note the details posted yesterday)
It's currently 1:30 am Sunday and it looks like regular programming, probably testing.

The fta sat enthusiasts have suffered another blow!! Fashion TV encrypted (a few days ago).

Metro hasn't been on since I got up this morning. I'll keep an eye on it.

In the past I havn't had any luck getting RCTI (digital) but the other day it loaded beatifully and hasn't missed a beat since. Strange!


(Craigs, Note I have hunted the web and found the following on Metro TV, see news below it seems they will only be doing four hours a day transmission to start with)

From the Dish

Spacenet 4 172 E signal carriers are supposedly on 3840 3880 3920 3960 all V (Reports needed please)


5 new TV stations to operate in Indonesia

Following the lifting of media restrictions in 1998, the first of the five stations is due to begin broadcasting next month
JAKARTA -- Couch potatoes in Indonesia will have more television channels to choose from when five new stations go on air next year.

Media restrictions were lifted two years ago, resulting in five new stations entering the market to compete with the existing five private TV stations and the state-owned TVRI. One of them, Metro TV, will start broadcasting next month.

It is owned by PT Media Televisi Indonesia, part of businessman Suryo Paloh's group. It also owns the Media Indonesia daily and a number of hotels.

Although it will broadcast only 12 hours of programming in the greater Jakarta area to start with, Metro TV aims to be a round-the-clock news television station reaching at least seven provinces in the country by next year.

Besides updating news every hour and relaying material from the CNN network, it will also air quiz and talk shows and documentaries. News programmes in both English and Mandarin will also be available.

As it will be the first news-only television channel in Indonesia, Metro News Director Andi Noya is optimistic it will be a success.

""In this transitional period, instantly-updated information is very important,'' he told The Straits Times.

""When there is unrest, everyone turns to his television or radio for continuous updates.''

Besides, the operational cost of airing news programmes is generally lower than on entertainment shows, despite higher initial investment costs, he added.

The cost of running a news programme is between 15 million and 20 million rupiah (S$2,850 and S$3,800) a month. In comparison, entertainment shows such as local soap operas can cost a TV station about 150 million rupiah.

The second station that will follow Metro TV is Televisi Tranformasi Indonesia or Trans TV.

Owned by Bank Mega's owner Chaerul Tanjung, Trans TV will consist of 25 per cent news with the usual mix of entertainment, and sports and religious shows making up the rest. It will start operations next June.

According to its news director, Mr Riza Permadi, Trans will broadcast in 30 cities across the country within two years' time.

Trans TV may boast of having the industry's finest talent in Indonesia.

Mr Riza, 38, was the news director of SCTV and his president director, Mr Ishadi, is the former director of TVRI and was previously the director general of radio, television and film in the information ministry.

In comparison, Metro TV's Andi Noya, a reputable print media journalist and formerly an editor for Media Indonesia, has only done a brief stint in RCTI, the country's first private TV station.

Other stations gearing up to begin operating next year are: DVN TV owned by businessman Sukoyo, Global TV owned by Nasir Tamara and PR TV, or Pasaraya Mediakarya, which is owned by former Cabinet minister Abdul Latief.

All the companies obtained their permit to broadcast after President B.J. Habibie relaxed regulations on media in mid-1998.

Privately-owned TV stations are still relatively new in Indonesia, with RCTI starting operations in 1990.

Under former president Suharto, the restricted issuance of a broadcasting permit made the industry a reserve of people linked to power.

Indonesia's News Station to Launch on A.N.N Systems

JAKARTA, Indonesia October 24, 2000—A.N.N Systems, a global supplier of integrated technology for creating, managing and distributing media, announced the implementation of StarDRIVE Automation and the OpenMedia Newsroom System at Metro TV in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Metro TV news team of more than 60 reporters, editors and producers will create 13 hours of fresh programming daily from its new headquarters, beginning with its launch on November 24, 2000. The A.N.N Systems solutions will be the front-line production tool in the Metro TV operation.

StarDRIVE is an integrated technology solution designed to enable the implementation of end-to-end media management and automation efficiently, effectively and affordably. The OpenMedia news production solution offers flexibility in news production without sacrificing control of newsroom automation.

Metro TV will rely on OpenMedia for production of all program content, including creation of customized rundowns, ingest of wire services, teleprompting and the timing of programs throughout its broadcast day. The StarDRIVE system will manage all video and audio media, from ingest, through editing and production to playout. StarDRIVE also will provide Metro TV's producers with low-resolution video browsing and editing on their desktop PCs. Using StarDRIVE, Metro TV's news people will synchronize the low-resolution media assets in their newsroom computer domain with the high-resolution media assets in the broadcast domain.



The National Geographic Channel has received approval from the Chinese
government to beam its programmes via satellite directly to local TV stations.
With this, the channel; currently also available in China on a part-day basis
on cable TV, would be able to reach tens of millions of Chinese TV viewers.
National Geograhic reaches 20 million homes throughout Asia and Middle East via
cable and DTH networks.



India’s Hinduja group and state broadcaster Doordarshan have unveiled separate
plans to follow rival Zee Telefilms into India’s fledgling direct-to-home (DTH)
broadcasting sector. The Hinduja group is planning to launch a 100-channel
bouquet of DTH services by December 2001. This will include at least 25
specialist channels, along with a host of international and regional fare. The
public service broadcaster is expected to launch a platform in partnership with
other local players. The Indian government gave the green light to DTH services
at the beginning of this month, but placed a foreign equity cap of up to 49 per
cent. Private broadcaster Zee has already announced its intention to launch DTH
services, in partnership with US-based Indian businessman Siva Sankaran’s
Sterling Group. The joint venture platform will involve several
regional-language channels in Southern India. However Zee’s stake in the
venture has not yet been decided as Indian Information and Broadcasting
Minister Sushma Swaraj also capped local private broadcaster’s investment in
DTH platforms at 20 per cent. The DTH licences cost $2.5 million and licensees
will have to share 10 per cent of revenue with the government and carry all of
Doordarshan’s channels.


Production company UTV says it wants to increase its output and launch
dedicated channels to capitalise on India’s newly liberated DTH sector.
Chairman Ronnie Screwvala said in a Reuters report that the company wants to
launch channels for children, education, and home shopping. He added UTV plans
to invest about Rs200 million in producing content dedicated to DTH.


Satellite channel Sahara TV wants to go global over the next 18 months, and its
first expansion is into North America with a Canadian service. The channel,
which launched only a few months ago, will spend Rs5.9 billion on its
expansion. After North America, it has plans for a UK channel for Europe and
services in South Africa and Australia. It also announced plans for a 24-hour
news channel; it currently airs general entertainment programming.



Competition in Indonesia’s pay TV market is set to become more intense with the
introduction of PT Omnilink Multimedia Nusantara’s digital MMDS service. The
service will cover some 3.5 million homes in Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bali. The
company also revealed plans to expand into other major Indonesia services, a
launch of a two-way, high-speed MMDS Internet service by year’s end, as well as
a pay-TV offering by the second quarter of 2001.


The page has had a good trim all that news last week was makeing the page to large don't worry its been put into the history area see above to access it. A bit of a colourfull page today with a few screenshots.

Bathurst Analog feed has been seen on B1 12736V Analog

From my emails & ICQ

This From Bill Richards,

0213UTC Optus B1 12428 Horz Sr 12630 Fec 1/2 Vpid512 Apid690

SID 1 PMT 32 MPEG 4:2:2

Nokia reports as "Encoder E5610"

Bathust 1000 Car Racing Feed

Hi Craig

Jonie Walker Golf from Thailand I701 4186R 5632 3/4 A256 V308 PCR8190

Idents as "CAT.SNG_."

At present (04:30 UTC) test card with "TGC" audio ident
(The Golf Channel)
Also a probable Bathurst feed Encrypted on TVNZ transponder 4044R on I701 only seen in the last few days Idents as "TVNZ SYD1 E1896 M108

Peter Eade

This from Sungadi,

This weeks Soccer on Indonesian Stations:

All Jakarta-Time

English Premiere League


- New Castle vs. Sunderland - Saturday - 22:00
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool - Sunday - 23:00

RCTI Seri-A Itali

- Lazio vs. AC Milan - Sunday - 02:20 am
- Verona vs. AS Roma - Sunday - 20:55
- Bologna vs. Parma - Monday - 02:20 am

Champion League

- AC Milan vs. Galatasaray - Wednesday - 02:30 am
- Leeds United vs. Real Madrid - Thursday - 02:30 am

Bill Richards notes a feed Saturday afternoon

0230UTC Pas2 3804 V Sr 4686 Fec 3/4 Vpid 33 Apid 34 "Asian Conference Feed, Apec?"

From the Dish

ST1 88E 3509H Sr 26667 3/4 "SAVOIR"
ST1 88E 3509H Sr 26667 3/4 "MC"

Palapa C2 113E A number of Space tv channels are FTA includeing 3760 H "Mega Movies"

(Click for fullsize)

Palapa C2 113E 4089 H 2 other interesting signals seen in with Australia tv's Digital signal on 4089 H, The Metro Colour Bars is interesting, Metro's a new Terrestrial FTA channel in Indonesia could it be FTA here soon?

Optus B1 160 E 12736V "Channel 10 Bathurst Feed" Analog!


Good news I am now in touch with a local satellite person here in Nelson. It will be good to at last have some locals to chat satellite with! Other things of interest this weekend the Bathurst race, Channel 10's coverage will be widescreen 16:9 and multi camera, this is sure to be a digital signal on Optus B1, Intelsat I701 and maybe Pas 2 as well. If you see the feed on Saturday please email it to me don't assume others may have already.

"TEN’s Bathurst telecast will begin on Saturday, November 18, with action of the top ten shoot out for pole and GTP racing from 12-5pm. This will be followed by a full day of racing on Sunday, November 19 with Ten’s telecast running from 7am-5pm."

Cricket NZ vs South Africa 1st Test is on tonight from 7.25pm Sydney time, Check I701 TVNZ feeds for it

There is now a Humax users mailing list at egroups, the 5400 is becoming a very popular machine in Australia

I think to subscribe send an email to humax-users-subscribe@egroups.com
to post to it use email humax-users@egroups.com

Why can't we have interesting satellite channels like this interesting link.. http://www.tvnewsweb.com/newstalk/2000/11/15nakednews.shtml

From my emails & ICQ

Bill Richards notes

B1 12625 H 39995 3/4 Internet data maybe Austar test ?

This via the mailing list

"BILL" writes, hello, Palapa C2 Megamovies is fta on 3760 H Sr 26666 there is a message on the top saying there is a change to new freq 3509 v 26666 I don't get it can you see it???? help

(Craigs, Note TRY 3509 H Sr 26999, this freqs reported for the St1 88E bird) its possibly only on Space TV's channel package there.)

This email I just got I presume is from Selwyn at TELSAT

Hi Craig,

Just a quickie from Singapore - I am attending the CASABA Sat & Cable show - was told by the local rep that ART is encrypting first quarter of 2001 - using UEC IRd's and IRDETO encryption system.

Must go - email charges here are very high.

See ya

( Craigs Note, the Panamsat 2 Middle East BQ consisting of Antenna Pacific, LBC Australia, Art Australia and Rai International 1 has been threatning to go encrypted for a long time now. I did get some info earlier this week that I cannot divulge yet about the situation, hopefully I will have some more info on it next Tuesday. I don't think they can encrypt the ART channel into Irdeto without the whole BQ going to Irdeto)

Friday Feeds Bit

Things to look for possible feeds of this weekend (let me know if you see any of them)

Friday 17th

5.00pm Syd Golf Johnie Walker Classic from Bangkok (Live on Star sports I think)
7.25pm Syd 1st Test NZ vs South Africa Cricket 1st day

Saturday 18th

7.00 am Syd Nascar qualifying round from Atlanta
7.00 am Syd Golf LPGA from Florida (check Pas 2 Fox feeds for this one or I701)
9.30 am Syd NBA Sacremento Kings v La Lakers (anyone seen the NBA anywhere)
4.30 pm Syd Golf Johnie Walker Classic from Bangkok (Live on Star sports I think)

7.25 pm Syd 1st Test NZ vs South Africa Cricket 2nd day

Sunday 19th

1.00 am Syd Tennis Masters Series live Mens semifinal from Paris
1.50 am Syd Rugby League World Cup 1st semi final (Check I701 tvnz)
6.00 am Syd Rugby NZ vs France 2nd test (not likely but check I701 anyway)
Channel 10 Bathhurst feeds should appear on B1 at least from about 9.am Syd
4.30 pm Syd Golf Johnie Walker Classic from Bangkok (Live on Star sports I think)
7.25 pm Syd 1st Test NZ vs South Africa Cricket 3rd day


NETWORK TEN unveils Multichannel television
for Mt Panorama Showdown FAI 1000

on November 18-19

From http://www.v8supercar.com.au/2000news/nov/multitv.htm

Fans looking for a new angle on Bathurst’s FAI 1000 this November, need not leave their living room, thanks to new digital television technology being introduced by Network Ten for the November 18 & 19 motorsport event.

On Saturday, November 18 (12noon-5pm) and Sunday, November 19 (8am-5pm) Network Ten’s telecast will offer fans four times the viewing action of previous years with an extra channel of alternate Bathurst action, alongside TEN’s golden logie winning coverage of the 1000km Mt Panorama race.

Ten’s new multi-channel coverage will only be available to those with digital televisions – but it will give viewers the opportunity to receive race coverage on one band; view what is happening in the pits and in car action on a second channel; gain an overall picture of the cars from aerial cameras; and obtain a full list of timing and race statistics on a fourth channel.

The multi channel facility offers TEN the opportunity to give viewers four separate channels of Bathurst motorsport viewing.

"Digital television and the mult-channel facility means viewers get a bigger, clearer picture and more options when it comes to viewing," said TEN’s Murray Lomax.

"By multi-channelling the FAI 1000 coverage fans will get more options and the chance to dwell on things in the telecast. For example viewers can sit watching the incar camera channel and get action for five minutes on the one driver, rather than quick glimpses.

It allows fans to watch and analyse the techniques of the different driver around the whole circuit.

"We also have the opportunity to put the timing on a dedicated channel, along with shots from the blimp. In all we have the possibility of 10 extra channels – which gives you enormous scope within a telecast."

NETWORK TEN has been experimenting with the digital technology in motorsport all season, filming the V8 Shell Series championship rounds in the new wide-screen 16x 9 digital format.

"The implementation of the new digital format, involves more than just changing cameras," said Lomax.

"You need to consider the 25 per cent extra space you get on screen, which is why we have been using the technology all season even though on the regular television, viewers have been none the wiser.

In Bathurst Network TEN will also be using the split screen format – to be introduced at September’s Queensland 500. The split screen gives fans three different pictures on screen at one time – and will be used to keep viewers in touch with action when the leading drivers pit.

TEN’s Bathurst telecast will begin on Saturday, November 18, with action of the top ten shoot out for pole and GTP racing from 12-5pm. This will be followed by a full day of racing on Sunday, November 19 with Ten’s telecast running from 7am-5pm.

Austar CEO in damage control


From http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,1422241%255E462,00.html

AUSTAR United Communications Ltd chief executive John Porter went into damage control today as his company's shares had their sixth consecutive decline and remained near record lows.

Mr Porter assured the investment community the company had done "a lot of navel gazing" and was now focused on its core businesses and producing profit growth for its shareholders.

"I told my business development team: 'Hey guys, guess what? We have a whole new world of business development. Developing businesses that we already have'," Mr Porter told a Securities Institute of Australia luncheon in Sydney.

He signalled the company had put further acquisitions on the backburner, including Cable & Wireless Optus' consumer and multi-media operations which Austar was thought to be interested in.

Austar – which has pay TV, Internet and mobile phone businesses that target regional and rural Australia – has watched its shares steadily fall since reaching record highs in March when the stock was approaching $10.00 a share.

Yesterday, Austar's shares lost 10 cents, or 3.5 per cent, to close at $2.75 after hitting an intraday low of $2.68.

Wednesday the stock crashed to an all-time low of $2.63.

This week Austar's stock has dropped 71 cents.

But Mr Porter told the luncheon he believed the sell-off had been overdone.

"We feel pretty good about where we are as a company and we do ordinarily believe we are in an oversold position right now," Mr Porter said.

Austar's share price was not helped by the release on Tuesday of its first quarter results, which included an operating loss of $81.1 million. This was a 73.5 per cent deterioration of its 1999/00 first quarter result.

Analysts have since cut back their earnings forecasts for Austar and downgraded their recommendations for the stock.

The analysts pointed to concerns about when Austar would reach profitability and how it would fund further expansion.

Mr Porter yesterday acknowledged the share market environment had changed since Austar's record highs in March.

He said the company's expansion strategy was at a point where Austar "did not have to spend another penny" on its interactive television, narrowband Internet, broadband Internet and mobile phone businesses "until we think there is a real opportunity to pull profits forward".

"I can assure you that we understand that and we have heard that message and we are seriously considering how and when we deploy capital against these opportunities," Mr Porter said.

"We feel that all of our assets are in place, we have the assets' platforms, we have the products, we have the right markets and we have the content whether we own it or aggregate it to meet our objectives across the board, to deliver growth in voice, video and data and ultimately review the capital spending and deliver tremendous profit growth for our shareholders in what we think is a very reasonable time frame."

Mr Porter also said Austar was working on new marketing methods to attract subscribers in regional and rural Australia that have previously decided against taking up the company's products.

Sam's the man to clean up Foxtel


From http://www.smh.com.au/news/0011/17/business/business3.html

Sam Chisholm's arrival at Telstra today will be like a gun going off in a crowded room. It will certainly galvanise the Packer and Murdoch clans.

The legendary Chisholm is only one of three new directors due to be voted on to the Telstra board at today's annual general meeting as part of an attempt to refocus the troubled company.

But the most pressing question is whether Chisholm will be able to finally end the brawl between Telstra and the media moguls over what to do about Foxtel.

Chisholm's presence is only likely to increase the tensions already convulsing Telstra and Foxtel - at least in the short term.

The Telstra board is already bitterly divided, with its management activist chairman Bob Mansfield and beleaguered chief executive Ziggy Switkowski both in the firing line.

Into this volatile mix will come the tough, determined and often abrasive figure of Chisholm. Chisholm also knows both the Packers and Murdochs intimately because of earlier corporate incarnations as a key executive for both. He's not the type to be easily spooked by their aggressive styles.

Foxtel is half owned by Telstra and News Corp and PBL have 25 per cent each. Redefining its future is the latest round of Australia's most enduring game of corporate media bluff.

At the moment, the Foxtel partnership is limited to TV with Telstra retaining the rights to the Internet and interactive services that could come down the cable to the TV screen.

Clearly, the best option for attracting customers and lifting margins is to combine the TV and Internet businesses but, given the players, it's easier said than done.

Murdoch and Packer are particularly frustrated with their Foxtel business partner and have been conducting a vehement public campaign against Telstra for thwarting Foxtel's expansion into the new digital era. The criticism from both has been virtually identical in tone. Negotiations with Telstra, Rupert Murdoch said, were "frustratingly slow" and "becoming an art form". An exasperated James Packer told the PBL annual general meeting that the negotiations with Telstra were "exhausting".

Chisholm can be expected to even up the argument from Telstra's side considerably, if only in private. Because of his personality and his experience, everyone expects him to have an influence on this that extends well beyond that of a typical Telstra board member when Foxtel needs a circuit breaker.

Despite coming close to agreement several months ago, a nervous Telstra has been reluctant to hurry any decisions when the game keeps changing so quickly. It is also terrified of getting another market mauling for getting the worst in any deal with Packer and/or Murdoch. Chisholm has the nous and credibility to avoid that.

"He won't be Packer's man or Murdoch's man," says an insider. "Apart from anything else, he's got a huge ego that means he wouldn't be part of a deal that could be criticised as looking after Packer or Murdoch at the expense of Telstra.

"But, most importantly, he brings a hard nose and a brain which understands the business and he's not afraid to speak out. That's good for Telstra."

The personal relationships are as tortured as usual. Packer and Murdoch interests are already promoting the expansion of Britain's pay TV service, British Sky Broadcasting, as a model for Foxtel. It is certainly not lost on anyone that Chisholm is credited with transforming BSkyB into a success story when he was working for Murdoch in Britain in the 1990s.

But Chisholm left BSkyB after Murdoch first moved his daughter into the business and subsequently made it clear that he no longer had the same enthusiasm for Chisholm's way of doing things.

Chisholm's relationship with the Packers is also mixed: he left to work for Murdoch after years running Channel Nine.

He gets on better with James Packer than he does with Kerry but there is still some resentment on both sides.

Power arrangements at Foxtel have been extremely difficult for a long time. Each partner has the right of veto, increasing the potential for deadlock, although News Ltd gets to appoint the chief executive of Foxtel.

After a hard push to increase their share of the ownership to one third each and vague threats from Packer about jumping to Optus, News and PBL have temporarily given up on this.

But despite so many months of protracted negotiations over "scope", what the reluctant partners clearly still can't agree on is how to expand Foxtel into new interactive services and just who should pay whom for what.

This prolonged stalemate ensures that the supposed Foxtel deadline of July 1 next year for going digital now seems more like a remote-control fantasy.

That means Australian viewers will be blocked indefinitely from interactive TV - whether it's pay per view movies or using their TV sets for emailing or shopping or banking. Yet with Optus in total disarray and the free-to-air networks doing virtually nothing to advance their digital plans, that leaves a vacuum in which Foxtel could dramatically expand its business.

It now has 680,000 subscribers, which is relatively successful - though not yet profitable - but well short of what it could achieve. At least some of those new subscribers would also pay more money for more services.

"It's better for Telstra to have 50 per cent of something than 100 per cent of nothing," said one analyst.

Chisholm is known to be a big backer of interactivity, declaring several months ago that it was the "hot new item" and that everyone would have to offer it simply to remain competitive.

Telstra still doesn't want to give up its rights to interactive services and potential e-commerce revenues without ensuring it is getting an excellent return. But what is that exactly? Foxtel has the developed customer TV base and direct access to the home. How much should Telstra have to pay Foxtel for access to the set-top boxes, for example, which will permit all these new possibilities and perhaps sell its telephone services as well? How much more should Foxtel have to pay Telstra for use of its cable so it can offer customers extra? Should PBL and News be able to include their own interactive offerings?

"It's like the Irish question," says one observer. "Everyone wants peace but no-one can agree on how to get it."

Foxtel has been fortunate that there is no hungry competitor at the moment to take advantage of the delay. But Chisholm is not a patient man. Someone's blood will end up on the floor.

Television Asia ranks HBO as Tops amongst channels

From Indiantelevision.com

Asian cable TV magazine Television Asia conducted a survey in October 2000 amongst 400 cable operators Asiawide (majority of the respondents were from India). The survey has come out with some flattering results for HBO, which has been rated as numero uno in five (see tables below) out of the seven categories that the channels were rated on by cable ops. Discovery was the other good performer as far as cable operators were concerned. Star Plus was another dark horse winner when it ranked highly on best programming and most popular channel.

Fashion TV with all its breast and bottom display was surprisingly ranked as the channel offering the worst programming and sales.

The survey also probed cable ops' minds on other issues like when and why they would dump or carry a channel from their networks. 62% said that they would opt for channels that provided the maximum amount of programming value to their subscribers. Other reasons why they would retain/drop a channel included included digital poor transmission quality (five per cent), too many advertisement breaks (three per cent), language/dubbing issues (five per cent) and poor affiliate relations (three per cent). Another five per cent said they would prefer to add channels rather than drop them. Eight per cent named a few channels that they would choose to block but did not assign reasons for their decision.

Please note this Table from www.indiantelevision.com please take a look at there site

Best Programming
Worst Programming

1. HBO - 55%
2. Discovery - 10%
3. CNN - 7%
4. Star Plus, Star Sports MTV - 15 %

Cinemax, ESPN, Star world, AXN, Zee TV, B4U - accounted for the remaining 13 per cent.

1. Fashion TV - 19%
2. CNNI - 16%
3. CNBC - 12.6%

The remaining votes for worst programming went to CETV, ESPN, Star Movies, Star Sports, Kermit, Jain TV, AXN, HBO, Plus 21, Zhongtian, Sony Entertainment, Zee TV and Hallmark.
Best sales and Marketing
Worst Sales and Marketing
1. HBO - 32 %
2. Discovery - 15%
3. MTV - 10%
4. ESPN - 7%
5. Star Channels - 17%

The Philippines Movie Channel Pinoy Blockbuster, Turner's Cartoon Network, Cinemax, Sun TV and CNBC account for the remaining votes.
1. CNNI - 17%
2. Fashion TV - 14%
3. CNBC - 10%

The remaining 51% included French service TVS, B4U, Sun TV, National Geographic, ESPN, Taiwanese channel Zhongtain.
Best on-air look
Worst on-air look
1. HBO - 20%
2. Discovery - 17%
3. AXN - 14%
4. MTV - 8.5%
5. CNNI - less than 8%

Nickelodeon, Disney, ESPN and National Geographic gathered enough space for a mention.
1. CNBC - 21%
2. Hallmark - 16%
3. Cinemax - 10.5%
4. Turner/Time Warner - 5%

The rest of the list was made up of known and unknown country specific services.
Best Viewer Feedback
1. HBO - 31%
2. Discovery - 18%
3. CNNI - 8%
4. Star Plus - 7%
5. MTV - 5%

Remaining 30% votes were regional or area specific channels including ESPN, National Geographic, Zee TV, Sun TV and Sony Entertainment Television.
Most popular channels
Best value for money
1. HBO -47.5 %
2. Star Plus -15%
3. ESPN - 12.5 %
4. Discovery - 12 %

The remaining 13 per cent of the votes were divided between Disney, MTV, AXN and Sun TV.

1. HBO - 29 %
2. Discovery - 18 %
3. ESPN - 10.5%
4. CNNI - 8 %

The remaining 35 per cent is divided between Star Movies, Pinoy Blockbuster, MTV, National Geographic, Disney, Zee TV and CNBC.


Just a small edition today. Sorry about the chatroom last night, NETGATE was down the main link out of NZ seems to happen quite a bit one of the routers goes down and cuts off some isp's even my backup ISP was out. I could load the chat but it would not connect to it. My ICQ was out as well which usually indicates International access is very bad.

Heres my own thoughts on the TVNZ digital package, (Supposedly useing Pace DGT400 as the low end settop box)

Heres my thoughts on a possible channel line-up assumeing a max of 16 channels.

2-TVNZ Channel 2 FTA
3-Blank-untill TV3 FTA appears here
4-Blank-untill TV4 FTA appears here
5-Prime TV FTA likely to jump onboard as they have a very small coverage area
6-Government run Maori Channel FTA

Start of Telstra Pay package (10 channels)

CNN, BBCWorld, Discovery, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Channel V

Cartoon Network / TCM (To share 1 channel)

Saturn Movies

Some kind of sports channel ..perhaps a mix of Espn plus local sports programming?

Pay Per view channel

(outside chance Disney in place of National Geo)

From the Dish

These loggings unconfirmed from various sites..( I don't speak or understand Taiwanese or Chinese)
If you can confirm any of these changes please send me an email.

Apstar 2R 76.5E 4073 H Sr 15800 Fec 7/8 ???

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3524 H Sr 20480 Fec 3/4 "Internet Data" this of interest to Nokia users.

Asiasat 3 105.5E 12700 H Sr 30000, A KU Star TV package has started here, testing for DTH to Indian homes?

Panamsat 8 166E 3800 V Sr 26920 "ABC-CBN" NEW??

Panamsat 8 166E 3940 H "MSNBC" Back for the Duration of APEC perhaps?


Austar on track for subscription target

From http://www.australianit.com.au/common/storyPage/0,3811,1416180%5E442,00.html

REGIONAL communications company Austar United Communications is on target to deliver between 60,000 and 70,000 new pay TV subscribers for the year despite the effect of the GST and Olympics on consumer spending.

Austar yesterday announced it ended the first nine months of the year with almost 46,000 new subscribers, having added 20,686 customers in the September quarter.

The company also reported it had gained more than 25,000 internet subscribers in the quarter, more than half of them organically.

Austar delivered a 41 per cent increase in third-quarter revenue to $98.1 million.

Losses for the quarter increased to $22.8 million from $13.14 million in the June quarter.

The company's operating loss for the year so far is $38.3 million and bottom line losses are $201.8 million.

Analysts said the result put Austar on track to finish the year with up to 70,000 new pay TV subscribers and 100,000 internet subscribers as the company finalised its $13 million acquisition of the internet service provider Eisa.

Austar's shares, however, continue to languish amid the broader market concerns about tech stocks.

They hit a record low of $3.10 yesterday before ending down 7.6c at $3.134.

Austar chief executive John Porter predicted "when the pendulum swings back the other way, we'll be the beneficiary".

Mr Porter acknowledged concern in the market that Austar would have to address its cash situation in a year or more. At the end of September, Austar had $422 million in cash.

"I don't know how many ways to say we're not raising money in the equity market," Mr Porter said. "We have a parent that has tremendous access to capital and a real and sustainable access to the debt market."

Mr Porter said Austar had no need to consider going to the debt markets for some time and could opt to slow down its growth rather than resort to borrowings.


Livechat tonight! see you in the chatroom at 8.30pm Sydney time onwards. Not much other than news for today with the Southern Cross cable comming online I know Ihug at least seems faster today I was watching the 50k stream of Fox News from the U.S at 2.30pm this afternoon and I was getting 10 fps on my 56 k dialup connection. I also managed to download the remaining files of a cd image over night 185megs worth which was great as these files were from a non-reumse site and the ftp previously kept timeing out after about %90. When I headed to bed there was 5 files going at a steady 6K. The new C-Sat Satellite online magazines now available click the C-sat image above to open it.

From my emails & ICQ

Sungadi supplys the following via the apsattv@egroups.com mailing list.

Soccer Jakarta-Time

Thursday 1:00 am RCTI Palapa - Germany vs Denmark

Also on RAI (American and Australia beam) - Italy vs England - (for time:
check on RAI International web site)

From the Dish

With Lyngsat site down for a break, we need reliable accurate reports that means nothing from Satco-dx site unless its been confirmed yourself as they are weeks out of date and the info's often wrong anyway.


Sky TV boss resigns to return to US

From http://www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,490414a13,FF.html


Sky Television boss Nate Smith has quit his job after running the company for nine years since its inception.

Acting chairman Mike Robson dropped the bombshell resignation at Sky TV's annual meeting in Auckland on Tuesday.

Mr Smith, an American, said family reasons had determined his decision. A daughter was returning to the United States to attend university next year and another daughter would follow the year after. Chief operating officer John Fellet will replace Mr Smith as chief executive.

Mr Fellet's first job will be to review subscription rates, under pressure from the falling New Zealand dollar against the greenback that buys Sky's programmes.

Mr Smith said after the meeting that before he returned home later next year he would research the New Zealand interactive television arena, which was ahead of the United States in many areas. He was also interested in the Rupert Murdoch group move to put all of its satellite business under one hat.

He finishes with Sky TV on December 31 but will not leave empty handed.

When Sky TV floated in late 1997 he was issued 2.8 million share options at $2.10. Mr Smith said yesterday that he had not exercised those options, though he has been able to do so since November 18 last year. If he were to cash them at yesterday's share price of $2.91 (up 10 cents on the previous day's trade) he would take a $2.26 million profit. Sky TV's share price reached a high of about $5.25 in March. which would have yielded an $8.82 million profit.

"Hindsight is a fine thing," Mr Smith said after the meeting.

He declined to comment on analyst speculation that he would rather have seen Tuesday's meeting approve a $256,000 increase in director's fees to a maximum $320,000 paid in options rather than cash as it was a time of cash flow pressure from the weak Kiwi dollar and hefty write-offs for set-top boxes. The company reported a $27 million loss in the year to June, compared with a $4.4 million profit last year.

A shareholder majority approved the directors fee increase for non-independent directors linked to major shareholders INL and Mr Murdoch without any discussion.

Mr Fellet said Sky had signed up 55,000 new subscribers in the year to October, bringing the total to 392,000, of which 200,000 took digital satellite reception.

He said that if the New Zealand exchange rate with the greenback did not drop below 40c and the company could drive better programme deals, cash flow could grow by 21 percent in the year. Every 1 cent fall in the dollar cost $2 million in operating cash flow.

New Sky boss denies resignation linked to digital TV deal

From http://www.idg.co.nz/webhome.nsf/UNID/B937B03BC028B973CC25699800018B3E!opendocument

Fiona Mayo, Auckland

TVNZ/Saturn digital TV joint venture not seen as a threat, says new Sky CEO.
John Fellet, who will be taking over as CEO of Sky in January, says there is no connection between the TVNZ/Saturn digital TV joint venture and the surprise resignation of his successor Nate Smith.

Fellet, listed as chief operating officer, also denies reports that the Sky board and management have drifted apart over the company's direction after a deal to buy 30% of internet provider ihug fell through following opposition from Sky executives.The TVNZ/Saturn deal is seen as direct competition to Sky's digital service and earlier this year a similar deal between the SOE and Sky fell through. Sky has just over 200,000 subscribers to its digital service.

"There have been no difficulties between the board and management. The same board of directors has been on for two years and paid flowing tribute to Nate after his announcement. Share prices went up a little and I'm taking that as a good sign."

Shares in Sky rebounded yesterday, with a closing price of $2.91 after falling on Monday following the release of TVNZ' and Saturn's deal. Current Sky CEO Nate Smith announced his resignation at the company's AGM after nine years at its helm.

Fellet says he is working with Smith to ensure a smooth transition and has been running the day-to-day operations of the company while Smith has dealt with interactive television issues.

Fellet doesn't look at the TVNZ/Saturn venture as a threat.

"There are over 200,000 people with decoders which is great news for Sky, if, as TVNZ says, channels one and two remain open." However he acknowledges a legitimate business threat when TVNZ introduces new subscriber products.

The TVNZ/Saturn venture will see them acquire and commission content – including "enhanced interactive content" and manage the digital head end. The venture will also contract to TVNZ for selling television programmes, adverts and and sponsorship. While the existing channels will continue to be free to air, TVNZ isn't ruling out products designed for the subscriber market.

Rupert Murdoch's NDS to set up R&D facility in Bangalore

From www.indiantelevision.com

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp group is making a further thrust into India. The group's digital pay TV solutions and conditional access systems company NDS (www.nds.com) is setting up research and development centre in India's software capital Bangalore.

The NDS Bangalore based R&D center will focus on developing interactive TV applications and broadband technologies, and will be an additional resource for the NDS R&D centers worldwide. The group will initially consist of around 30 highly qualified engineers, who will report to Dr Jasjit Saini, vice president consumer devices, NDS Group.

Says Saini: "These new research facilities will expand our intellectual capital with the aim of increasing innovations in digital broadcasting and growing our portfolio of offerings for the large Indian marketplace."

NDS is currently recruiting on a local and national basis. Although it will be operational by the end of the year, the official inauguration of the center is expected to take place during the first quarter of 2001 when it will be co-located with News Corporation's New Media Group offices. A press release from NDS points out that all NDS research centers work together on projects and share competencies. Thus the Bangalore R&D center has the potential to reach the 20 million pay TV subscribers worldwide, dependent on NDS technology for their TV viewing.

NDS recently pocketed a contract to become the exclusive supplier of digital conditional access to Doordarshan, the Indian national television network. This will create a platform for DD's next generation of digital entertainment and interactive TV services.

Encrypted at DD's broadcast center in New Delhi, the signal is sent to set top boxes in over 6,000 cable headends. The first digital encryption of a DD broadcast signal was its sports channel which went live on 14 September 2000.

Asia Broadband Future to Bypass Telcos - James Murdoch

/Satnews Asia/ -- Star TV Chairman and Chief Executive James Murdoch predicted today traditional telecommunications firms will be bypassed when it comes to wiring Asia into the broadband future.

"We believe that cable and satellite platforms will be totally dominant in Asian homes, as far as connectivity is concerned," Murdoch, said in a speech on Asian telecoms. "ADSL won't cut it," he said, dismissing Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, a high-speed connection technology promoted by telecoms firms as inadequate.

Murdoch, 27, is the second son of News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch. He assumed chairmanship of StarTV earlier this year.

StarTV, a wholly owned subsidiary of News Corporation, is Asia's leading multi-platform content and service provider. StarTV's 30 distributed services, in seven languages, reach more than 300 million viewers across 53 Asian countries. StarTV will become a subsidiary of Sky Global Networks, the world's leading distributor of pay television via satellite, through its owned and affiliated platforms, before Sky Global Networks' anticipated initial public offering.

StarTV channels include STAR Chinese Channel, Phoenix Chinese Channel, STAR Plus, STAR World, Channel [V], ESPN, STAR Sports, STAR Movies, STAR GOLD, Phoenix Movies, VIVA Cinema, STAR News, in addition to distributed channels Fox News, Sky News and National Geographic Channel. STAR has also invested in cable systems such as Hathway in India, and Internet portals and services companies, including netease.com, renren.com, Indya.com.

Star TV boasts 30 channels in seven languages across Asia -- and operating losses of US$478 million in the four years ended June 30, 1999, according to a U.S. regulatory filing.

Currently, Murdoch also oversees the company's international music businesses. News Corporation's music operations include: Rawkus Entertainment, founded by Murdoch in August 1995, and the Festival and Mushroom records groups based in Australia and the UK. He serves on the board of News Corporation subsidiary News Digital Systems (NDS), as well as the boards of the YankeeNets, Inner City Scholarship Fund, Jump Start, and the Board of Trustees of the Harvard Lampoon.

James Murdoch is considered the new media brains of the family. Despite his youth and Harvard-dropout status, he projects both poise and an earnestness that make him seem older. Prior to his appointment, he was Executive Vice President of News Corporation, responsible for the company's interests in global Internet and digital media ventures.

In his presentation, Murdoch described television set-top boxes as the "Trojan horse" that will bring broadband content into homes in India and greater China, Star TV's two core markets.

He, however, acknowledged that it is difficult to determine the number of homes in the world's two most populous countries that could afford set-top boxes, Murdoch said that over the longer term such devices, which he figures would cost about US$200 apiece, will be subsidized or rented.

Murdoch also said that "televisual" content will drive consumer broadband usage in Asia, and did not expect the personal computer to be a significant driver of media usage in the region.

"That's why you have to go in with boxes, which are cheaper," he said.


MEGANEWS edition, Sorry for those getting sick of all the news about TVNZ digital but its the biggest thing to happen to Television in NZ since the change over from Black and white to colour. I taped the news item last night about TVNZ digital and freeze frameing the shots when they talked of "settop boxes" they showwed Pacific Satellite 530 receiver and a Mediamaster 9820 I doubt we can read much into that. The chatrooms been rather quiet ever since the MOSC groups started holiding there chats on the same night :-( causeing a clash of interest for some satellite tv fans. It would be great if they moved to Tuesdays that way. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays there would be chats scheduled, hmm maybe Mosc could be Thursdays as well. The Southern Cross cable goes live on Wednesday, fingers crossed there are no major complications it should solve a lot of congestion problems in peak times.

With Lyngsat being on a break we need lots of emails on whats happening, if you see a new signal or a change please email it to me.

Read the first NEWS article especially take notice of the bottom line.

A cleanup of the site will take place shortly

From my emails and ICQ

The middle Eastern BQ on Pas 2 3778 V has moved to 3836 V.
All other settings remain the same.

Kind regards, Tony Drexel. Free To Air Satellite Services, S.Aust.

From the Dish

ST 1 88E 3645 H "Hot Channel" Sr 23535 Fec 3/4 is fta here

Telkom 1 108E 3620 H "Turbo TV" is back here Sr 20000 Fec 3/4 Vpid 32 Apid 33

Apstar 1A 134E 3900V "CETV" analog has left (this one NT only)

Panamsat 2 169E 3836 V "Middle eastern Boquet has moved here" Sr 13330 Fec 3/4 Encrypting shortly????


Interactive TV gains new player

From http://www.theage.com.au/bus/20001114/A47527-2000Nov13.html

Thomas Kressner says many of Australia's free-to-air and pay TV companies are keen to develop partnerships with Total.

Another company has launched into the interactive TV arena hoping to entice Australians with a bundled offering of TV, high-speed Internet access and Internet-based telephony.

Total Television Australia, a joint venture between United Kingdom group Yes Television and former local mining company Cable and Telecoms (CaT) will roll out free set-top boxes for its trial in Melbourne from February.

Its main feature will be video-on-demand services, enabling consumers to pause, rewind or fast forward programs. The chairman and chief executive of Yes, Thomas Kressner, said the private company had video-on-demand rights to companies such as Sony Pictures, Warner Bros and Buena Vista International Television.

He said it was negotiating the Australian video-on-demand rights but could not reveal how those discussions were proceeding.

However, in the UK (where Yes has had an interactive TV trial with British Telecom) the video-on-demand rights had the same "window" as rights for pay-per-view TV. In Australia, Yes has teamed with CaT, which in July changed its name from Cambridge Consolidated after buying the UDC Group, owner of cable-installation company Commcord and a carrier's licence.

The listed company CaT has been suspended from trading since December, at which time it had a market capitalisation of $9.5 million at its last trading price of 9.5 cents.

Twenty per cent of Total Television will be owned by Yes, with 80 per cent held by CaT.

Mr Kressner said Total was also talking to Australia's free-to-air and pay TV companies and "most of those broadcasters are keen to develop partnerships with us".

"If you are a content owner you want to sit on every platform that exists," he said.

Although local broadcasters have traditionally shied away from such deals, Mr Kressner expected them to now be more flexible.

"Broadcasters now know speed to market is of the essence, and if that is the case you have to look for partnerships," he said.

Mr Kressner said Yes had spent $US100 million ($A193 million) in the past five years developing the software and back-end systems required to power interactive TV but would not say how much it expected to spend in Australia rolling out the service.

He would only say Total's capital requirement in the next three to five years would be "fairly big as we want to capture good margins and revenue streams".

Total intends to deliver Internet-protocol-based entertainment services through the set-top boxes, which, apart from video-on-demand, could include high-speed Internet access through the TV and Internet telephony.

CaT chief executive Geoff Babidge said it intended selling down its equity in Total to attract alliance partners, but Yes' equity would remain at 20 per cent.

"CaT has to introduce partners as we move forward, and they could be content providers, appropriate network providers or it could be utility companies, so we have a number of discussions progressing," he said.

Although Yes' services have been trialled in the UK, Norway and Ireland, the Australian roll-out is its first commercial launch. "We have done enough on a global basis and we know consumers like it and the technology can deliver the service," Mr Kressner said.

Yes also wanted to partner with a local Internet service provider to give Internet access. He said Total hoped to offer services throughout Australia and New Zealand using cable and DSL technologies and had begun discussions with infrastructure providers.

Scant detail provided on TVNZ's digital costing

From http://www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,488433a13,FF.html


Television New Zealand and Telstra Saturn have signed a memorandum of understanding for a digital future.

TVNZ will provide free-to-air television on a digital platform that gives a clear picture and access to more channels, after the Government scuttled its earlier $217 million plans to introduce its own pay television content in the digital arena.

Under Monday's agreement Telstra Saturn will provide the pay content of both television programming and interactive media.

It will also negotiate a contract to bring in the set-top boxes for viewing these services.

It is slowly rolling out cable in the main centres for digital viewing but the deal with TVNZ will give it a quicker national presence and cover for areas where cable cannot be installed.

But there was nothing exclusive in the deal and there was scant costing detail.

Sky Television boss Nate Smith was elated that free-to-air would mean the TV1 and TV2 services would be free also for Sky too, to put on its digital platform as they would not be scrambled like pay TV.

He could not see the Government objecting to this when its mission was to make free television available to as many people as possible.

But TVNZ spokesman Liam Jeory said this would be theft of licence, though he conceded everything was open to negotiation.

Both TVNZ and Sky have been negotiating over TVNZ going on the Sky digital platform. The sticking point for TVNZ was the control of set-top boxes.

Whether there will be just one set-top box in the home for digital reception, then reconverting for viewing on analogue sets that most New Zealanders have, was not clear at yesterday's memorandum signing.

But TVNZ boss Rick Ellis and Telstra Saturn boss Jack Matthews indicated that they expected there would be just one box in an open access system that allowed any broadcaster to use it.

As it stands now, residents will pay between $200 for a basic budget box model that shows only free-to-air television to $700 for one that allows all interactive media and pay TV channel options. No set-top box manufacturing deals appear to have been signed yet.

Sky subsidises its set-top boxes for customers. But it will provide TV3, TV4 and Prime for free if customers pay the installation bill.

(Craigs, note this is B.S, Sky charge $17 a month as "decoder rental" for anyone wanting just the Tv3,4,Prime package)

TVNZ and Telstra Saturn are understood to have accelerated their joint venture agreement after an Australian player notified Australia's Cable and Wireless Optus that it wanted to use a transponder on the Optus B1 satellite that TVNZ had first right of refusal for. TVNZ had no choice but to secure its $6 million slot.

TVNZ will pay somewhere between $3 million and $10 million to roll out the free-to-air satellite digital service by April next year.

Saturn v Sky: Battle begins

From http://www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,489539a10,FF.html

Sky Television and Television New Zealand are set for a massive battle to provide digital TV in New Zealand households.

Competition between the networks hotted up yesterday with the announcement that TVNZ and TelstraSaturn would introduce hi-tech digital TV by the middle of next year.

Media commentator Nigel Keats said yesterday that TVNZ had to move to digital because the rest of the world was doing it.

Mr Keats, media director for advertising agency Clemenger BBDO, said the deal had saved TVNZ "hundreds of millions of dollars" and soon set-top box decoders would be as common in homes as video players.

Because TVNZ and Sky's digital services won't work together, households would be torn between getting one or the other.

"It will be the race to be the first in the home," Mr Keats said.

Sky is seen to have the market advantage because it is already available and has the lure of rugby on its channels. However, TVNZ is confident its 1.2 million viewers will migrate to its new system.

Digital TV allows multiple channels, and offers cinema-quality pictures and CD-quality sound. Viewers would be able to use it for banking, shopping, surfing the Internet, and for e-mailing. It would replace much of the work of the household computer.

To view the new service, due to start in April-May, people will have to buy a set-top box decoder, like Sky's, at a cost of about $300.

And like Sky's service, watching TelstraSaturn's multiple channels wouldn't be free - there would be a separate subscription fee. TV One, TV2 and a third channel would be free.

The market is still about a year away from supplying digital TV sets with built-in decoders but the consensus is such sets would soon be the only kind for sale.

TVNZ claims household TVs will be obsolete within a decade.

The new digital TVs are expected to cost consumers thousands of dollars and would replace the need for a separate decoder. Digital TVs with a built-in decoder system are expected to handle both services.

TVNZ spokesman Liam Jeory said that he expected the price of digital TVs to fall once its service was running. He said analogue TVs would be out of date in 10 years and compared the change to the shift from black and white TVs to colour TVs.

While TVNZ is going digital, it doesn't mean it would cease broadcasting its analogue format. That was an issue for the Government to decide.

Sky plans to introduce interactive "open-tv" next year which would allow people to do their banking or send e-mails.

Sky chief executive Nate Smith has already said it won't be long before programmes can be recorded on to hard drives in the decoder like a computer. Viewers would then be able to dial up any shows they had missed.

When digital TV arrived in Britain two years ago, BBC chairman Sir Christopher Bland said broadcasters had to protect householders from a tidal wave of cheap programmes. He said digital television ensured quantity of future TV, not necessarily quality.

Mr Jeory said quality wouldn't suffer and TVNZ would fulfil the expectations of a charter expected to become law by mid-2001.

Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs said the deal wouldn't detract from the charter's programming objectives.

Sky welcomes TVNZ digital

From http://onebusiness.nzoom.com/news/2000/11/14/00040148.htm

Sky Television is playing down the impact that the proposed TVNZ Telstra Saturn digital television service will have on its business.

TVNZ says it hopes to launch its free to air service by the middle of next year, with Telstra Saturn adding pay TV, Internet, interactive, and telephone services.

Sky's chief executive, Nate Smith welcomes the introduction of TVNZ to the digital television scene, and is hoping to be able to air those services on his own network.

He says if anything the addition of the free to air services should enhance Sky's attraction, although he says it is unlikely the 2 networks will have the same decoder box needed to receive digital TV.

Sky's share price fell 11 cents Monday.

Sky TV boss quits

By Felicity Anderson

FROM http://onebusiness.nzoom.com/news/2000/11/14/00040155.htm

Nate Smith, the chief executive of Sky Television since 1991, has resigned the company's chairman Mike Robson revealed at the pay television operator's annual meeting in Auckland.

Robson said the board of directors had accepted Smith's resignation with "great regret".

The company's chief operating officer John Fellet will take over the helm. He comes from a background in the United States cable television business.

No privacy fears on digital TV

From http://onenews.nzoom.com/national/2000/11/14/00040150.htm

The Privacy Commissioner says New Zealand's privacy laws are flexible enough to deal with the challenges of new technology.

TVNZ and Telstra Saturn have joined forces to provide digital television via satellite by early next year.

Digital television has the potential to become interactive, allowing broadcasters to track the viewing habits of their customers, build up profiles, and even sell that information to advertisers and marketers.

This is concerning privacy experts around the world, but the Privacy Commissioner, Bruce Slane, says consumers here will be protected.

Digital TV deemed innovative

From http://onenews.nzoom.com/national/2000/11/13/00040095.htm

(Craigs, Note you can view a 3 minute video of this news item at that page)

A new way of watching free television in the twenty-first century has come in a joint venture announced on Monday by TVNZ and telecommunications giant Telstra Saturn.

The two companies plan to bring digital television into our homes, including free-to-air channels.

The only expense will be a set-top box which will be a one-off cost of several hundred dollars.

The new service will also include interactive shopping.

The innovation is being compared with the introduction of colour television almost 30 years ago.

TVNZ plans to go digital next year

From www.stuff.co.nz

Free-to-air digital television – offering better picture quality and more channels – would be available to all New Zealanders next year, Television New Zealand said yesterday.

The state-owned broadcaster's long-awaited push into the digital era was likely to include the establishment of a Maori channel, TVNZ chief executive Rick Ellis told The Dominion.

Interactive features allowing viewers to shop and use the Internet through their television sets were also on the cards.

Viewers would, however, have to buy a set-top box to gain access to the digital transmissions.

TVNZ told a parliamentary select committee yesterday it was negotiating with potential partners for its digital service and was confident of signing a deal before Christmas.

TVNZ had acquired the rights to lease a satellite transponder from early next year and planned to offer "a digital free-to-air service to the nation" in the first half of 2001.

The surprise announcement comes 10 months after the Government canned TVNZ's previous digital proposal, saying it was too expensive and risky. The proposal involved investment of $217 million, with projections of losses for the first eight years.

Neither Mr Ellis nor TVNZ chairman Ross Armstrong would give details of the new deal yesterday, citing commercial confidentiality, but they said the Government had not baulked at digital broadcasting as an idea. Mr Ellis said it was critical for the value of TVNZ that it secured a meaningful position in the digital world.

He later told The Dominion the service would initially offer "passive television", with digital transmissions of TV1 and TV2 and other free-to-air broadcasters, such as TV3/TV4 and Prime, which would be invited to come on board.

"You've got capacity there for about 16 channels. We don't expect that we'll participate in using all that capacity ourselves," he said.

"We also believe that we have a responsibility to provide capacity for a Maori channel. Clearly we see a focus on education."

Mr Ellis said TVNZ already had advanced plans to add interactive extensions to TV1, TV2 and advertising content. This would allow viewers to vote in television polls, choose multiple camera angles, go shopping or read their e-mail.

TVNZ would support the national availability and distribution of the set-top boxes required to receive the satellite signals.

Mr Ellis said he did not yet know how much the boxes would cost but people would not have to subscribe to the service to get one, as they did with pay-TV operator Sky.

He said digital TV was noticeably better than analog TV.

"You get a far greater crispness and clarity of image than what you get with an analog service."

Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs said through a spokesman yesterday she had never doubted that TVNZ would go digital, but did not want to comment further till negotiations over the service were complete.

National MP Murray McCully cautiously welcomed the move into digital television, but said it was difficult to judge if the deal was a good one without knowing who TVNZ's partner was.

Telstra-Saturn confirmed yesterday that it was in talks with TVNZ, but declined to comment further.

Earlier, TVNZ told the committee it was considering everything from a third channel to running a South African television station to offset the costs of implementing the Government's proposed charter, under which TVNZ would be required to broadcast more local and Maori content.

TV One's general manager, Shaun Brown, said of the charter: "Obviously anything that increases costs and doesn't increase revenue has an impact on the bottom line".

TVNZ says Telstra deal will save money

From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/irnstorydisplay.cfm?storyID=30819&newsection=

TVNZ says its deal with TelstraSaturn to introduce digital television will cost much less than its original plans.

The two companies signed a memorandum of agreement in Auckland today.

The move will see TVNZ broadcasting free-to-air digital TV including a Maori channel, with TelstraSaturn offering Pay TV channels.

TVNZ CEO Rick Ellis says the SOE's previous plan to get into digital television would have involved a $217 million investment.

However, he says the deal will see TVNZ investing only $3 to $10 million.

Meanwhile viewers will need to buy box-top sets for around $200 if they want to receive the technology, which should be in place by April or May of next year.

Prasar Bharati proposes DTH TV venture

From indiantelevision.com

The DTH saga continues. After breaking the hearts of many a private Indian broadcaster by mandating that 20 per cent is the total broadcasting investment limit, the government is now steering its state-owned broadcaster to set up a DTH platform. At a meeting yesterday, the Prasar Bharati board gave Doordarshan the go-ahead to get into DTH.

DD chief R.R. Shah in turn has said that it is open to take a minority 20 per cent stake and has issued a welcome call to non-broadcasters to come and partner it in the venture.

The state-owned broadcaster also intends to begin conversations with other private broadcasters to guage their reaction towards a DD operated platform and whether they would be interested in joining it.

DD's position is that if it runs the DTH platform it will perceived as an independent one as against a Star TV or Zee TV run service.

Industry grouping nixes Prasar Bharati DTH TV proposal

From indaiantelevision.com

The Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF) has said nyet to state-owned broadcaster DD's DTH proposal. DD had proposed that it would own 20 per cent in a DTH venture with the remainder being given to non-broadcasters. Broadcasters would be called to partner it as content providers.

DD chief R. R. Shah met up with private broacasters who are members of the IBF on 13 November. The members apparently did not evince much interest in the proposal and instead asked that the government issue a clarification on the issue of the cap on equity for broadcasters and cable TV operators in a DTH operation.

Private broadcasters have not been happy with information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj's statement that the limit on total broadcasting investment in a DTH project's equity is 20 per cent. They have been pushing for this to be an individual broadcaster's investment so that two or three of them can get together to form a DTH coalition.

TV production companies, DD get investigative agency's stick

From indianteelevision.com

The cricket match fixing saga has spilled over into the television industry. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the issue of corruption in India's national sport, yesterday sent its investigative officers into the premises of DD officials, TV production houses Stracon, World-Tel and UTV. The CBI believes that DD officials had connived with representatives of these companies, awarded them telecast and air time marketing rights unfairly at throwaway prices, and robbed the government of millions of dollars.

The CBI is investigating deals dating back to 1997 and 1998 related to the ICC Knockout tournament 1998, Wimbeldon 1997, the French Open 1997, The Independence Cup 1997 and other sports tournaments. Stracon, UTV, and World-Tel were involved in these transactions.

The CBI raided the premises of the then DD director general K.S. Sarma, deputy director general (sports) K. Kunnhi Krishnan, deputy director generals Rakesh Bahadur, Sanjeev Dutta, and P.K. Seth. The agency also struck at the premises of Stracon boss Siddartha Ray and Anurag Misra, World-Tel boss Mark Mascarenhas, and UTV's Ronnie Screwvala, according to a report in newspaper daily The Asian Age.

Will the CBI come up with a lot of dirt? An industry observer says that it is quite likely that UTV will squeak through clean, but Stracon and World-Tel may find themselves in the box. His view is that the CBI should take a dekko at how some of the officials had their children's education paid for in the US, and how one of the officials took a long sabbatical from his DD posting.


Live chat tonight 8.30pm Sydney time onwards. There a bit more news today on the TVNZ-Telstra deal, still no metion of the set-top box brand etc. But its been mentioned in the reports that its price is between $200 and up to the price of an average VCR. They are going to have to sell them at cost price or a loss even since they only appear to be starting off haveing the FTA channels. Who would pay $400 for a box to get FTA other than people with poor/no reception (most of who have subscribed to Sky anyway) mind you they could offer other tempting things like a years free internet or a movies channel.

The video announcement of the TVNZ Telstra deal can be watched at www.nzoom.com (15minutes long)

From my emails & ICQ

A.NON supplies this photo of his setup

"The 3 white dishes are 2.7m solid grp, the green one is a 2.5m solid aluminium and one not in the picture
is a 90cm offset. I still have another 2 to erect"

90cm is for Optus B3 (Aurora)
2.5m is on Asiasat 2
2.7m is on Asiasat 3
2.7m is on Pas 8
2.7m is on Pas 2

These dishs are mostly e.x Sky Channel



Free-to-air satellite TV on air by April

From www.nzoom.com

TVNZ has announced more details of its free to air multi channel digital satellite TV service, saying it is partnering with Telstra Saturn and that it hopes to have the service operating by April.

TVNZ and TelstraSaturn signed a memorandum of understanding Monday morning.

TVNZ will use its satellite transponder capacity to provide the first genuine national digital free to air television service and enable TelstraSaturn to provide a national subscription service as part of a bundle of convergence services.

TelstraSaturn will provide an initial quantity of low cost digital satellite set-top boxes. This is intended to encourage early take up of digital satellite free to air services with capacity also available for a Maori channel.

The two companies will create a Joint Venture company that will manage the satellite platform and allow TVNZ and TelstraSaturn to share the costs of developing digital television for all New Zealanders. The Joint Venture will leverage TVNZ's core strengths through the provision of a range of broadcast infrastructure services to TelstraSaturn.

The Joint Venture will offer other national free to air broadcasters carriage for their services on the satellite transmission system.

The combined cable and satellite network will enable TelstraSaturn to offer a compelling variety of packages, including telephony, multi-channel digital television, interactive and high-speed Internet services, to the whole of New Zealand within the next six months.

In addition, the Joint Venture will contract with TVNZ for the acquisition of programming. This will allow both companies to maximise their purchasing power in international markets.

The Joint Venture will develop new enhanced and interactive content for both the TelstraSaturn subscription business and the free to air television channels.

Also under consideration is TelstraSaturn contracting its advertising sales functions for its existing and future subscription television channels to TVNZ. TVNZ has the largest sales force in the New Zealand media industry.

The strategic relationship between the two companies will also secure open access for TVNZ to TelstraSaturn's set top boxes. Open access to set top boxes, rapidly becoming the digital gateway to New Zealand homes, is the cornerstone of TVNZ's submissions to the recent Ministerial Inquiry into Telecommunications. The Inquiry agreed with TVNZ's submissions and this memorandum of understanding has been signed with both companies operating on the basis of future open access on reasonable commercial terms.

TVNZ CEO, Rick Ellis, says TelstraSaturn and TVNZ both agree that no one platform or set top box supplier should control the digital gateway to the New Zealand home.

"These discussions are an important and significant step in securing the digital future for all New Zealanders and narrowing the digital divide."

TelstraSaturn CEO, Jack Matthews, says "This is an extremely exciting development for TelstraSaturn as it allows us to provide consumer services ahead of our cable rollout. There are some geographic areas of the country which we could never afford to reach with cable. Our partnership with TVNZ means that we can now offer services to those consumers. This does not in any way replace our cable rollout, but it does allow us to develop a relationship with customers and provide them with a choice much earlier than we could otherwise have done so."

Matthews also pointed out that TelstraSaturn was looking forward to working with TVNZ to add strong local content to its platform.

TVNZ & Telstra-Saturn to Offer Free to Air Digital TV

From http://technology.nzoom.com/story.html?story_13110001.inc

By Matt Moran

TVNZ and Telstra-Saturn will join forces to provide free-to-air digital television from April next year, it was announced on Monday.

The deal will see TVNZ broadcasting free-to-air digital content using its satellite capabilities to set-top boxes supplied by Telstra-Saturn. The boxes will be made available at a 'low-cost' in order to encourage the uptake of the service, although there is no word yet as to exactly how much the boxes will cost viewers.

Other free-to-air broadcasters will be offered access to the system, which will see Sky Television's grip on digital broadcasting in New Zealand weakened. The set-top boxes used to receive digital broadcasts are a potential choke-point for broadcasters, as whoever controls the box controls television. A major concern for TVNZ has been the possibility that Sky's set-top boxes would give the pay-TV broadcaster that kind of control.

"These discussions are an important and significant step in securing the digital future for all New Zealanders and narrowing the digital divide," said TVNZ Chief Executive Rick Ellis.

Telstra-Saturn will have access to TVNZ's satellite capacity in order to extend its cable network, which is currently offered only in certain Wellington Suburbs. Telstra-Saturn had announced earlier this year plans for extending its network throughout New Zealand's major centres. This expansion is expected to continue, with the company using satellite-based services to extend coverage beyond the cable network.

"There are some geographic areas of the country which we could never afford to reach with cable," said Telstra-Saturn Chief Executive Jack Matthews.

"This does not in any way replace our cable rollout, but it does allow us to develop a relationship with customers and provide them with a choice much earlier than we could otherwise have done so."

The two companies will form a joint venture to administer the new digital broadcasting system.


Monday 13 November 2000

TVNZ and TelstraSaturn Enter Digital Television Partnership

TVNZ and TelstraSaturn have today signed a memorandum of understanding that will speed the delivery of digital television services to New Zealanders.

TVNZ will use its satellite transponder capacity to provide the first genuine national digital free to air television service and enable TelstraSaturn to provide a national subscription service as part of a bundle of convergence services.

TelstraSaturn will provide an initial quantity of low cost digital satellite set-top boxes. This is intended to encourage early take up of digital satellite free to air services with capacity also available for a Maori channel. This service should be available around April/May 2001. TelstraSaturn will also provide, on request, access to set-top-boxes for government departments and agencies who may wish to utilise digital services to reach parts of the nation.

The two companies will create a Joint Venture company that will manage the satellite platform and allow TVNZ and TelstraSaturn to share the costs of developing digital television for all New Zealanders. The Joint Venture will leverage TVNZ’s core strengths through the provision of a range of broadcast infrastructure services to TelstraSaturn.

The Joint Venture will offer other national free to air broadcasters carriage for their services on the satellite transmission system.

The combined cable and satellite network will enable TelstraSaturn to offer a compelling variety of packages, including telephony, multi-channel digital television, interactive and high-speed Internet services, to the whole of New Zealand within the next six months.

In addition, the Joint Venture will contract with TVNZ for the acquisition of programming. This will allow both companies to maximise their purchasing power in international markets.

The Joint Venture will develop new enhanced and interactive content for both the TelstraSaturn subscription business and the free to air television channels.

Also under consideration is TelstraSaturn contracting its advertising sales functions for its existing and future subscription television channels to TVNZ. TVNZ has the largest sales force in the New Zealand media industry.

The strategic relationship between the two companies will also secure open access for TVNZ to TelstraSaturn’s set top boxes. Open access to set top boxes, rapidly becoming the digital gateway to New Zealand homes, is the cornerstone of TVNZ’s submissions to the recent Ministerial Inquiry into Telecommunications. The Inquiry agreed with TVNZ’s submissions and this memorandum of understanding has been signed with both companies operating on the basis of future open access on reasonable commercial terms.

TVNZ CEO, Rick Ellis, says TelstraSaturn and TVNZ both agree that no one platform or set top box supplier should control the digital gateway to the New Zealand home.

"These discussions are an important and significant step in securing the digital future for all New Zealanders and narrowing the digital divide."

TelstraSaturn CEO, Jack Matthews, says "This is an extremely exciting development for TelstraSaturn as it allows us to provide consumer services ahead of our cable rollout. There are some geographic areas of the country which we could never afford to reach with cable. Our partnership with TVNZ means that we can now offer services to those consumers. This does not in any way replace our cable rollout, but it does allow us to develop a relationship with customers and provide them with a choice much earlier than we could otherwise have done so."

Mr Matthews also pointed out that TelstraSaturn was looking forward to working with TVNZ to add strong local content to its platform.

The media conference and staff announcement will be streamed live on nzoom.com

Contact for TelstraSaturn:
Deanne Weir
Director Corporate Development
Ph: 029 650 166

Contact for TVNZ:
Liam Jeory
Public Affairs Manager
Ph: 09 916 7565


13 November 2000

TVNZ and TelstraSaturn Enter Digital Television Partnership

questions & answers

What is Digital TV and convergence all about?

Clearer pictures and sound for viewers.

In comparison to analogue, massive capability for multiple channels catering to all tastes and demands.
In the not-to-distant future, enhanced and interactive programming that enriches the individual viewing experience.
e-mail and Internet access through your television set.
Bundled services of telecommunications and entertainment products across common technology platforms.

What are the key elements of the deal?

TVNZ and TelstraSaturn intend to form a joint venture services company which will provide a range of services to TelstraSaturn, and potentially other industry players as well. Those services would include the following:
acquisition and commissioning of content;

operation and management of a digital head-end for the aggregation and play-out of content for TelstraSaturn’s pay-tv service;
development of enhanced and interactive content;

technical development of set-top-boxes to meet the requirements of both the free to air industry and the TelstraSaturn subscription business’

contracting to TVNZ for the sale of television and related advertising and sponsorship for the TelstraSaturn subscription service.

Further, TVNZ will provide its satellite transponder capacity to the joint venture company, allowing TelstraSaturn to access that capacity to provide a national pay-tv service, while TVNZ can provide a national digital free to air service.

To enable the delivery of both pay-tv and free to air services, TelstraSaturn will provide an initial quantity of low cost digital satellite set-top boxes. This is intended to encourage early take up of digital satellite free to air services with capacity also available for the proposed Maori free to air channel.

This service should be available around April/May 2001 and will provide for the first time, all national free-to-air signals to the whole country on a digital platform. TelstraSaturn will also agree to provide, on request, access to set-top-boxes for government departments and agencies.

The definitive commercial terms around the deal are still being negotiated, but both parties expect these discussions to be concluded at the end of the year.

Why a TelstraSaturn – TVNZ partnership?

Upgrading to digital infrastructure is a significant exercise. TelstraSaturn already has plans to expand its entertainment services to digital as part of its national expansion plans. TVNZ has been examining ways of doing this over the last couple of years. It makes perfect sense for TVNZ and TelstraSaturn to work together, and the extremely positive discussions which have been held between the parties shows that the commercial will is there to develop a broad mutually beneficial partnership which shares costs and leverages the talents of both parties and allows them to also share the benefits of the digital interactive future. Importantly for TVNZ, this means that it is able to act in a manner consistent with its obligations as a national broadcaster, preserving its future value, and being able to offer national digital television for much less cost than previous approaches.

What’s in it for TelstraSaturn?

TelstraSaturn’s investment plans focus on its cable network capabilities, it plans to spend some $1.2bn over the next four years rolling out cable infrastructure in major population areas of the country. While cable is the superior access technology, it is relatively slow to rollout. This new relationship with TVNZ allows the following:

access to the satellite platform, which means an immediate national presence, with revenue generation ahead of its cable rollout, as well as in areas where there are no cable rollout plans;

TelstraSaturn will be able to deliver a bundle of subscription television channels, plus free to air channels, e-mail, Internet and mobility services in areas all over New Zealand; once cable reaches these areas, customers will be able to upgrade to even more channels and services over TelstraSaturn’s broadband network;

access to current local content via TVNZ, with the possibility of involvement with other New Zealand broadcasters;

What’s in it for TVNZ?

Low cost and effective establishment of the first genuine digital free to air platform for the nation.

Opportunities to expand and enhance New Zealand content.

Commercial leverage of TVNZ’s skills and resources in the infrastructure of broadcasting to provide new revenue streams to the Group.

Opportunity to develop a strategic relationship in the area of convergence with a world class partner.

What about the other free to air Broadcasters?

It is hoped that the Joint Venture company will contract with the other national free to air broadcasters to provide carriage to them on the satellite transmission system.

What about SKY?

The deal is non-exclusive. Both TVNZ and TelstraSaturn hope that this agreement may act as a catalyst to promote open access on commercial terms to all set top boxes.

Is there a real deal here? If no binding agreements have been reached why this launch today?

The two organisations have conducted a large amount of in depth negotiations and financial modeling. While the deal is not as yet finalised in all its details, both parties feel a high degree of commitment to each other and confidence that the deal will be concluded successfully.

With the recent press speculation, both TelstraSaturn and TVNZ felt it was appropriate to tell everyone what is happening.

Star TV gets Pak licence

From indiantelevision.com

It's Pakistan ahoy for Star TV. The network was granted the first pay TV licence by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) earlier this week. Following this, Star TV can now distribute its full bouquet of pay TV services to viewers in Pakistan. Hitherto, the channels were being viewed by Pakistani audiences but through illegal decoders which were placed in the country. Star TV will now be able to collect subscription revenues from cable TV operators in Pakistan.

Pakistan has close to 8,000 cable operators across 49 cities, servicing over 1.5 million cable TV households in the country.

Even Zee Telefilms is expected to get a pay TV licence in the not too distant future, especially after it has encrypted its channels and has been distributing them as part of a digital bouquet.


Lets get ready to ruuuuuuuuuuuuuumble off to watch the fight see you in the chatroom tommorow night!

From My emails & ICQ

From Bill Richards

Saturday 11/11/00 Optus B1 12707 V Sr 6670 Fec 3/4 "Testcard" Vpid 308 Apid 256

Sunday 12/11/00 Optus B1 12707 V Sr 6670 Fec 3/4 "Telstra Perth Rally" Vpid 308 Apid 256

Sunday 12/11/00 Pas2 0050UTC


All S/R 5560
All FEC 3/4

"APEC 2000 BRUNEI to NHK TOKYO feeds"

From the Dish

Panamsat 2 Occasional feeds on 3785 H and 4026 H, MPEG-2, SR 5600, FEC 3/4.

(Also see above for latest)

ST 1 88E The PowerCom mux is back on unencrypted 3506 H SR 23437, FEC 3/4,
line-up: Bloomberg TV Asia, Global TV, Mega Movie, BBC World, CTS, FTV,
CTV, TTV, Hot Channel, Rainbow Channel and MMBN Info.

The Space TV muxes are back on 3550 V and 3632 V, SR 26660, FEC 3/4,
with the same line-up as on Palapa C2: 10970 V and 11130 V.


The big sports event this weekend is the Tua vs Lewis Fight on Sunday 1pm Sydney time, David Tua has arranged for a live feed to go to Samoa so look around I701 or Pas 2 for it FTA hopefully. Probably on Mediasat as well. Its on SCTV which rules out most watching it on Palapa C2 Sorry not much else to report today.

From my emails & ICQ

Saturday Afternoon Bill Richards reports,

Pas 2 0452 UTC 3776 Sr 5600 Fec 3/4 Vpid308 Apid256 "Test Card occ feed"
Pas 2 0445 UTC 3785 H Sr 5600 Fec 3/4 Vpid 308 Apid 256 "Test Card occ feed"
Pas 2 0448 UTC 4026 H Sr 5600 fec 3.4 Vpid 308 Apid 256 "Test Card occ feed same as above"

Nokia reports Channel ID as "APEC BRUNEI CH" for all the above.


Sabastion in Perth, has done some screenshots from Apstar 2R 76.5E FTA channels

I will add this satellite later tonight.

AXN Promo Channel

Channel I

Channel News Asia

This from Sungadi via Apsattv mailing list

Big match this week is from SCTV - Palapa C2
on Sunday Nov 12, begin at 9:00 am - BOXING - Lenox Lewis vs. David Tua,

As ussual - on SCTV - SOCCER - English Premiere League
Saturday Nov 11, time: 10:00 pm - Arsenal vs. Derby
Sunday Nov 12, time: 11:00 pm - Chelsea vs. Leed United

On RCTI - Italian Seri - A

Sunday Nov 12, 2:20 am - Juventus vs. Lazio
Sunday Nov 12, 8:55 pm - AS Roma vs. Reggina
Monday Nov 13, 1:30 am - Parma vs. Udinese

All Jakarta Time


From the Dish

Asiasat 2 100.5E Occasional feeds on 3684 H, MPEG-2, SR 5700, FEC 3/4.

Telekom 1 108E "CNBC Asia" has started on 3620 H Sr 20000 Fec 3/4 Vpid 32 Apid 33

Panamsat 2 169E "MBC" on 3981 H is now encrypted.


Not the usual large Friday update it seems a lot of dish installers maybe needed in NZ next year. I know Ihugs having trouble finding good installers for their satellite Ultra service. Perhaps some Australia satellite installers will think about working in NZ for 6 months or so of the year if there is a high demand for the new TVNZ service.

I am after a 90cm dish with lnbf if there's any dealers in NZ reading this contact me on my email or ICQ number above

Todays edition of National Business Review Newspaper mentions the TVNZ-Telstra deal and says the Transponder under discussion is Optus B1 ( same bird as Sky NZ) Transponder 8 which is 12720V more info is being released on Monday. Hopefully info on the encryption system and setop box they will use.

Friday Feeds Bit

Saturday 11th

Not much to look for today sportswise, NBA feeds should be about somewhere Pas 2 I expect

Sunday 12th

6.30 am Syd France VS NZ you can count on this being on I701! doubt that it will be FTA though, there will probably be a replay of it on Star sports later on.

1pm Syd time Boxing World Heavyweight Fight David Tua vs Lennox Lewis (TVNZ and Sky in NZ do not have the rights to this) its on fta channel 3 here so look for the live feed on I701 Channel 10 feeds channel. Also possibly on RCTI on Palapa C2

10.30 pm Syd Golf Amex championship from Spain LIVE (possibly at 57E and I701) maybe also on Pas 2?

From the Dish

Asiasat 2 100.5E "Sky Racing" Channel has left 4020 V it is moveing to Thaicom 3

Telkom 1 108E "CNBC Asia" has left 3580 H

Palapa C2 113E "Australia TV" has started regular transmissions on 4089 H Digital Sr 14060 Fec 3/4 Vpid 512 Apid 650

Panamsat 2 169E 4027H Sr 21095 Fec 2/3 "BTV Testing" seen on the 8th, seen also on the 6th same settings but on 4053H

Thaicom 3 78.5E "Pink Plus" has started on 3551 H Vpid 769 Apid 770.


TVNZ poised for digital deal

By VERNON SMALL deputy political editor

From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=159405&thesection=technology&thesubsection=general

Television New Zealand has struck a deal with telephone and television provider Telstra Saturn to offer a digital television service by cable.

It would mean more channels and better picture quality and sound, delivered through the Telstra Saturn cable network.

TVNZ also plans to offer a satellite-based digital service as an alternative, potentially giving Telstra Saturn access to the whole country, beyond their current cable service.
Telstra Saturn chief executive Jack Matthews said yesterday that no deal had been finalised, but he confirmed that he had been in talks with TVNZ.

The deal is due to be announced before Christmas and cuts out Sky, which has also been negotiating with TVNZ.
It sets up the potential for the emergence of two big media groups to dominate the New Zealand scene.
One could be a possible grouping of newspaper group INL, which owns part of Sky, Telecom, a big INL shareholder, Sky and TV3 (whose service is carried on Sky).
The other one would be TVNZ and Telstra Saturn, with possibly another player.
TVNZ had been eager to introduce a digital service for two years, but the new Coalition Government put the brakes on, leaving it to write off almost all the $14 million it had invested in the technology.

TVNZ management yesterday told a parliamentary select committee that they were confident of signing a deal before Christmas and hoped to have it on air next year.
Chief executive Rick Ellis said that talks with Sky and other potential partners were reaching their final stages.
"All New Zealanders should have unfettered access to digital free-to-air services," he said.
The state broadcaster has invested $7 million in technology to allow news services to be used across "a number of mediums in the new digital world."
Neither Mr Ellis nor TVNZ chairman Ross Armstrong would discuss details of the deal.
But they confirmed that almost all the $14 million invested in digital before the election had been written off.

Meanwhile, TVNZ is considering a third channel to run minority programmes in prime time, as a way of meeting its obligations under its charter and maintaining the value of existing assets.
But Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs and a TVNZ spokesman later said it was not a live option.
TV One general manager Shaun Brown told the committee that TVNZ was considering the impact of the charter, designed to move the company towards being a public broadcaster.
It could add costs, through requiring more local and expensive programming.
It was a reasonable assumption that revenue could fall from lower audience ratings for minority programmes.
Ms Hobbs said she had made it clear to the TVNZ board and management that the charter did not mean that there should be fewer people watching.

A gradual introduction of the charter requirements would allow an easier adjustment.
TVNZ said the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue from implementing the charter, suggested by Opposition MPs, was unlikely.
Mr Armstrong said the company had options of overseas expansion, such as managing a South African TV network, to offset any loss of revenue from implementing the charter.

TVNZ outlines digital plan


Television New Zealand has outlined plans for a free to air digital service at a parliamentary select committee.

TVNZ, which has been pushing to go digital for more than two years, expects to give more detail before Christmas.

The Government turned down TVNZ's digital plans earlier this year, but now the company's chief executive says all New Zealanders should have access to free to air digital service.
Going digital would give all New Zealanders access to better signals and many more free to air channels.
TVNZ has secured space on a satellite.
"The availability of that satellite capacity positions us to partner with others to introduce a digital free to air service next year," chief executive officer Rick Ellis says.
TVNZ has been in negotiations with Sky and other digital operators for two years.
It is understood Sky is not part of the deal, although Sky's chief executive Nate Smith says they are still talking to TVNZ.
TVNZ bosses also faced questions about the new draft charter.
"We have assessed a cost and revenue impact," Ellis said.
TVNZ has provided a number of scenarios for the Government in response to the draft charter.
All are understood to show the company operating with lower ratings - meaning lower revenues.
And Ellis confirmed that two of the company's presenters have received pay cuts.


The chatroom was a disaster last night due to NBCI being down, a few major services on the net were down due to overloading in the U.S because of the election. Some interesting news for people in NZ seems we are getting closer to haveing TVNZ via satellite, see the news section for more on it.

A quick update on my dish situation, I went out to the local firm that does installs, the guy didn't seem to be very up to date on the situation with satellite tv, The system at the shop was a Benjamin 6000 digital (OLD) and a ??? analog with positioner. Anyway the guy said it takes a lot of time to set up the system etc and they were to busy to turn up and it would cost very big $$$ if I wanted them to install my dish (that wasnt what i was asking for I only wanted them to check where i was putting it) . The dish they had was a 3M mesh and was set on Asiasat2 I flicked through the euro boquet and a few chinese channels, they hardly had anything tuned in! The guy said "it takes lots of time and effort to tune in everything etc" anyway the good thing that came of going to the shop. I found my idea of where the sats where were out by a long way where the dish points straight vertical looking at the car shed wont be a problem at all. I should get As 2-3 and others easily!! I got the contact number of another local which I have to followup on. I am much more happy about the situation after visiting them now!! The guy did not know if reception of the Aussie pay tv would be receivable on my 3.7M. Mind you he was interested in the decodeing bit ;-)

From my emails & ICQ

Bill Richards supplies these Pas 2 Election Feeds seen on 3901 Adhoc 1,2

From the Dish

Palapa C2 113E 4087 H "AiT Australia TV" Sr 14060 Fec 3/4 Vpid 512 Apid 640
Palapa C2 113E Various channels in the space tv are encrypted/unecrypted as they like to do

Asiasat 2 100.5E 3746 V Sr 5632 Feeds reported


TVNZ Plans Digital service


Television New Zealand is confident it will sign a deal for digital broadcasting before Christmas and hopes to go on air in the first half of next year.

TVNZ chief executive Rick Ellis told a parliamentary select committee today that talks with Sky Broadcasting and other "potential partners" were reaching their final stages. He told MP's the state broadcaster had had first right of refuseal to use and optus satellite transponder which it effectively takes possession of in the early part of 2001. He said the company wished to exploit this opportunity when it became available.

The company had also invested $7 million in technology to allow news services to be used across "a number of mediums in the new digital world". Mr. Ellis said TVNZ remained concerned about a number of aspects in dealing with Sky and was reassured by the Governments apparent willingness to use regulation of the airwaves.

He said management had told the board it was important that a monopoly over peoples gateway to digital services - the set top box which allows people to use digital TV- did not eventuate.

Mr. Ellis said other issues of concern were access to customer data and the position of TVNZ's channels in any guide.

Neither Mr. Ellis nor TVNZ chairman Ross Armstrong would discuss details of the deal for reasons of commercial confidentiality. The pair said the current Government had not baulked at digital broadcasting as an idea, just the size of the investment.

TVNZ gets digital footprint

By Felicity Anderson

From http://onebusiness.nzoom.com/news/2000/11/09/00039834.htm

Television New Zealand may have a digital television service on air by April next year.

Chief executive Rick Ellis told a Parliamentary Select Committee today TVNZ has bought its own satellite transponder capability which gives it a digital footprint over the country.

A TVNZ spokesman says the government owned television service is in talks with potential partners other than Sky Television.
Depending on how well those talks go TVNZ hopes to make further announcements before Christmas.

Last year TVNZ said it was planning to set up a digital pay-TV platform in partnership with British communications firm NTL, in opposition to Sky TV. The government rejected that proposal earlier this year.

Southern Cross cable begins final test phase


From http://www.it.fairfax.com.au/breaking/20001108/A35238-2000Nov8.html

The Southern Cross Cable Network has begun its final tests for the trans-Pacific cable system it plans to launch on November 15.

The consortium said today the trial follows the “successful completion of intensive confidence trials to ensure reliable performance from the start of life on 15 November to the end of the system's design life in 2025”.

It said loading of customer-specific data was under way. On November 15, customers will be given access to their individual circuits and the 30,500km network would be live.

The cable first landed in Sydney on July 8, 1999. It has used seven cables ships to lay 28,500km of undersea cable and more than 500 optical repeaters that link four countries and three US states.

The network has also commissioned more than 1500km of land route, upgraded six cable station buildings and built three more from scratch.

Let there be light - Final testing of the Southern Cross network is underway

By Russell Brown, Auckland

From http://www.idg.net.nz/webhome.nsf/UNID/3EEDE78BD8DE4103CC2569910064FB28!opendocument

Southern Cross Cable Network says "all systems are go" for the scheduled launch of its 30,500km trans-Pacific cable network next Wednesday.

Final testing of the network is underway, and customer data is being loaded so that customers can be given access to their individual circuits. The network will go live on Wednesday, marking the end of two years' manufacturing, installation, commissioning and testing.

Theresa Gattung, CEO of the cable network's 50% owner, Telecom New Zealand, will be on hand for a dawn ceremony at the cable's landing point near Auckland tomorrow, with media briefings later in the day.

The cable will eventually offer bandwidth of 120Gbit/s, or 120 times the capacity of the fibreoptic cable currently connecting New Zealand and the US.

Bandwidth will also be cheaper. Although early pricing offered to ISPs by carriers has reportedly not been as low as some had hoped, the cable network has taken the edge off the loss of value of the Kiwi dollar against the US dollar, in which such wholesale bandwidth is always billed.

Anticipation of cheaper and more plentiful international access has already had its effect on the local market, with Xtra dragging down the benchmark for flat-rate monthly access to $24.95 and Clear Net following. Ihug elected to wait until this month to bring down its Diamond Account to match its major competitors, and is now touting a joining offer under which new Diamond Account customers pay nothing in January 1.

Baldo Sutich, CEO and president of Southern Cross Cable Network, heralded a "bandwidth explosion" for the Australasian internet community.

"Until now our internet experience has been constrained by the lack of reliable and cost-effective international bandwidth to connect Australasia to the heart of the internet - the US west coast. By removing the international bandwidth bottleneck, Southern Cross allows full participation in the online worlds of entertainment, commerce and information for the first time."


Livechat tonight 8.30pm Sydney time onwards, not a lot of info today plus my nets slowwed to a crawl. More news tommorow hopefully

From my emails & ICQ

Bill Richards supplies,

MBC Korea, Panamsat 2 Testcard screenshot for the Gallery

Pas2 7/11/00 0905 UTC 4044 H Sr 5600 Fec 3/4 Vpid 308 Apid 256 "Apec 2000 Brunei" test card

From the Dish

Telkom 1 108E 3580 H "CNBC Asia is back on" Sr 20000 Fec 3/4 Vpid 32 Apid 33

Palapa C2 113E Open TV, Tzu Chi TV, BBC World and STV-MTV on 3760 H , and TTV, CTV, CTS and FTV are now in clear.
Palapa C2 113E "Cha Cha Channel, SET International and Movie TV" on 4000 H have encrypted
Palapa C2 113E "FTV News Channel" has replaced Sun Rise Sports on 4000 H Vpid 48 Apid 49

Jcsat 3 128E The usual Taiwanese channels are FTA again on 3960 V CTV, TTV, CTS, FTV and ETTV

Panamsat 2 169E 4044H Sr 5600 fec 3/4 "Occasional feeds"


I don't know if the site will be up before the Melbourne Cup Horse race has run I expect the feed will be on Optus B1,and I701. The U.S Presidential Election is tommorow, the best coverage will probably be on CNN, but feeds etc will be on APTN (Asiasat 2) and also there should be coverage on I701. HBO Asia didn't last long its gone from Telkom 1 at 108E. Not much satellite stuff today lots of news items though.

Page to be trimmed tommorow

MBC Korea Screenshot, Panamsat 2 169E 4080 H Sr 2900 Fec 3/4

From my emails & ICQ

Telsat sent me some info on the new range of IRD'S they are stocking
Click this link for details, http://www.telsat.com/tel.htm

A bit of checking on the web comes up with the manufacturers page


From the Dish

Telekom 1 108E 3580 H "HBO Asia" has gone

Panamsat 2 169E 4053H Sr 21095 Fec 2/4 "BTV"


Regional Satellite Operators

From satnewsasia.com By Peter I. Galace*

ACeS satellite-based mobile communications system has the potential to provide communication services to Asia’s three billion people.

Regional satellite operators in Asia are once again hopeful. The Asian economy is improving from the debilitating regional currency crisis and telecommunications services are on the rise. Cellular growth in China, Philippines, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries are experiencing rapid growth, and these all require additional transponder space. Internet, multimedia services, and broadcasting services are all taking off all pointing to a higher demand in regional satellite services.

In September this year, ASIA Cellular Satellite (ACeS) and P.T. Pasifik Satelit Nusantara launched a low-cost, high-quality satellite telephony in the Asian region. With ACeS, this satellite-based mobile communications system has the potential to provide communication services to Asia’s three billion people, many of whom are currently underserved by telecommunication services, to and from anywhere in Asian footprint area and around the world.

In addition to ACeS mobile terminal to ACeS mobile terminal communications, ACeS can also interface with public switched telephone networks and public land mobile networks, thereby allowing users to call anyone anywhere in the world. Focusing on the demands of the Asian market, the ACeS system provides affordable and convenient telecommunication services.

ACeS principal shareholders are Indonesia’s Pasifik Satelit Nusantara, USA’s Lockheed-Martin Global Telecommunications, the Philippines Long Distance Telephone Company, and Jasmine International of Thailand. ACeS is billed as the first integrated satellite and GSM system in the world.

The ACeS network is a dual-mode satellite and GSM network that uses a designated geosynchronous satellite, the Garuda-1, to provide uninterupted service from anywhere in Asia. ACeS service will be introduced in eight Asian countries with negotiations underway in additional countries. In addition, ACeS has signed 47 international roaming agreements with GSM operators in 27 countries worldwide. ACeS will offer digital voice, facsimile, and data transmission services using the light-weight, dual mode mobile Ericsson R-190 satellite phone.

Closely following ACeS footsteps is Abu Dhabi-based Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Co., which would launch a satellite mobile service in the Arab region beginning next March. So confident are the operators of Thuraya, which was just launched last month, that are already expecting to have signed up 400,000 users by the end of 2001.

"We expect to conduct test calls in mid-November, but the commercial services will be launched towards the end of March, perhaps earlier in the month," Thuraya Chairman Mohammad Omran told a news conference, shortly after the successful launch of Thuraya 1 last October 21.

"So far, we're happy with the orders for 140,000 (satellite mobile phones) and 26 agreements signed. But we expect to reach 400,000 and up to 35 agreements by the end of next year," he said.

Thuraya will be the first mobile satellite telecommunications system from the Middle East. Thuraya, will offer regional mobile satellite telecommunications coverage to nearly 100 countries in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Indian sub-continent. Thuraya is envisioned to be the mobile satellite system of choice for 1.8 billion people representing its vast and diverse coverage area.

Thuraya is owned by several Arab enterprises, including the United Arab Emirates telecoms firm Etisalat, Abu Dhabi Investment Co, Qtar Telecom (Q-Tel) and Arab Satellite Communications Organisation (Arabsat) -- itself owned by 21 Arab countries.

Hong Kong regional operators

In Hong Kong, there is APT Satellite Holdings Limited, which currently operate three in-orbit satellite, APSTAR-I, APSTAR-IA and APSTAR-IIR, through its own satellite control center located in Tai Po, Hong Kong. The Group expanded into VSAT business in 1999 and successfully obtained the Satellite Television Uplink and Downlink Licence from the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on 6 July 1999 for the provision of Satellite television uplink and downlink services.

Today, APT is better known as the leading Asian satellite transponder service provider. It plans to expand into other high growth services, including DBS. It is currently eyeing broadcasting services of up to 100 programs to mainland China. It is set to launch APSTAR-V by the end of year 2002 to meet market demand and the replacement of APSTAR-I, which will expire in mid 2004.

Earning a name as Asia’s leading provider of high-quality satellite services to both the broadcast and telecommunications industries is AsiaSat (Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited) which serves over two-thirds of the world’s population with. AsiaSat is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holdings Limited, another company based in Hong Kong.

AsiaSat delivers over 100 analog and digital television channels and 90 radio channels reaching some 70 million households, with more than 250 million viewers across the Asia Pacific region. Many telecommunications customers use AsiaSat for services such as public telephone networks, private VSAT networks and high speed Internet and multimedia services.

AsiaSat was formed in 1988 as Asia's first privately owned regional satellite operator. Since the launch of its first satellite, AsiaSat 1, in April 1990, the company has been dedicated to providing high quality satellite transponder capacity in Asia. AsiaSat's second satellite, AsiaSat 2, was launched in November 1995 and started commercial operation in January 1996. AsiaSat 2, located at 100.5 degrees East, is one of the most powerful satellites ever launched for Asia, covering 53 countries and regions, and 66% of the world's population.

AsiaSat 3S, the latest satellite of the company, was launched on 21st March, 1999 and started commercial service on 8th May, 1999. It replaced AsiaSat 1 at the orbital location of 105.5 degrees East. AsiaSat 3S has a C-band footprint similar to that of AsiaSat 2, as well as two Ku-band fixed beams covering East and South Asia, and an in-orbit steerable Ku beam.

These satellites are presently used for a range of telecommunications and broadcasting services throughout the region. Over 50 public and private television and radio broadcasters from around the world are now served by the AsiaSat satellite system, offering some 100 analogue and digital television channels and 90 radio channels. A variety of telecommunications services including public telephone networks, private VSAT networks, high speed Internet and multi-media services are also available on the system.

AsiaSat 3S is broadcasting some of Asia’s most popular television services such as Arirang TV, CCTV, CETV, Cartoon Network, CNN International, Ekushey TV, Network of the World (NOW), Pakistan TV, SABe TV, Sahara TV, STAR TV, Sun TV, TNT, Zee Network and UTN.

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

The rapid growth of the Internet in Asia coupled with enriched multimedia content have generated enormous demand for better infrastructure. Fortunately, regional satellite operators have lately been up to the challenge by launching new services and by preparing to launch new satellites that cater to specific requirements of customers in the region.

India Opens Up Satellite Broadcasting

From Satnewsasia.com

/Satnews Asia/ -- The Group of Ministers (GoM) recommended last October 30 the private sector to offer direct-to-home (DTH) television broadcast services but barred cross-media holdings to safeguard "national interest".

Approving the GoM recommendations, the Indian Cabinet today, limited the total foreign equity that can be held in DTH services to 49%. Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj said out of this, foreign companies can directly invest a maximum of 20%, while the remaining 29% can be held by overseas Indians and foreign institutional fund investors.

To control cross media holdings, companies already engaged in broadcasting and cable network services can't hold more than 20% in satellite services, Swaraj said.

The Hindu reported the GoM, headed by Home Minister L. K. Advani, will also require DTH operators to set up the satellite earth station only on Indian soil in order to provide a safeguard against "cultural invasion." The earth station will serve as the nerve center for receiving and distributing signals from satellites but this will also enable government agencies to monitor the contents of channels and to ensure they conform to the country's parameters of decency.

The government has made this condition to guard against DTH operator patronizing channels that might go against the country's security concerns and advertising norms, sources said. This condition is not totally new as a similar provision had been specified when India permitted satellite-based phone companies like the now defunct Iridium to operate in the country.

With the Cabinet decision, companies could now beam television programs and Internet services to homes bypassing cable television operators. Indian DTH viewers will also be able to receive high quality satellite transmission while dispensing with cable wires. DTH operators are expected to offer a range of channels that can be received after the subscriber purchases a SIM card. The India DTH service is expected to also offer satellite-based digital radio services.

The Cabinet, however, required an entry fee of US$46.74 million (100 million rupees) for DTH operators.

"The opening of direct-to-home satellite services is a major step forward towards convergence," Swaraj said. But she explained a more comprehensive law called the "Convergence Act" to cover the telecommunications and information technology sectors will be proposed by the cabinet in the forthcoming Parliament session starting Nov 20.

Responding to worries the government won't be able to monitor the DTH earth stations, a government source said monitoring of two or three earth stations will not be a difficult task. "After all we are already keeping tabs on 70,000 cable operators in the country," the source added. The Indian government already has a mechanism in place to monitor normal cable television services.

Permission to set up a DTH platform had so far been restricted to Doordarshan. But the state-run corporation has not taken any substantial initiative despite a high-level review committee suggesting a tie-up with Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited for setting up an independent cable TV division, The Hindu said.

Analysts feel DTH companies will have a tough task on their hands as well-entrenched cable TV operators, including corporate giants and regional companies, are expected to give them stiff competition. A one-time payment for the set top box and dish antenna of US$214 (about Rs. 10,000) along with a monthly fee could also deter subscribers from switching allegiance.

Arthur Andersen reported recently that India's television homes were expected to reach 86 million by the end of 2000 from 68 million around the beginning of the year.

Siticable to be partner for Sterling DTH TV joint venture

Zee Telefilms Ltd (ZTL) announced yesterday that it was setting up a DTH television joint venture with Sterling group's C.Sivasankaran. According to sources, the actual vehicle is likely to be ZTL's cable networking company Siticable.

The thinking within the ZTL is that since is Siticable already has its distribution infrastructure (team of people) in place, it would be better if it participates in the project.

The extent of equity is not known because the DTH notification passed last week does not permit existing broadcasters and cable TV companies from investing more than 20 per cent in DTH service provider. ZTL chairman Subhash Chandra has protested against this clause and is lobbying hard to have it changed.

I&B minister Sushma Swaraj has said that the restriction is essential to prevent the emergence of vertical monopolies in broadcasting.

One tends to believe that one has not heard the last of the joint venture; other equity partners may also be lured in. Both Chandra and Siva will have their work cut out for them giving shape to the jv as both are involved in the broadcasting business, should the government not revoke the equity restriction clause.

Yesterday, Sivasankaran, told local financial daily Business Standard: "We are happy to join forces with country’s leading content provider Zee Network. We have already signed agreements for channels such as the Sun Network, Udaya and Asianet. We also have an in principle undertstanding with established foreign and Indian channels to be on the DTH platform...served with a DTV card which will have a one-time cost as low as Rs 995."

The simple version of the DTH set-top box will be available to the household at less than Rs 5,000 per box, Sivasankaran told Business Standard.

Insat-2B loses earthlock; Isro recovers it; but for how long?

From Indiantelevision.com

India's space segment will be a satellite poorer with the instability of Insat 2B, a seven year old satellite which has possibly is going through the last throes of death.

The satellite lost its earth lock late Friday evening, which meant that the bird's direction -- which is fixed to constantly face a specific side of the earth -- had changed. The change in direction resulted in the satellite's solar panels losing their orientation towards the sun, thus preventing them from adequately charging Insat 2B's solar batteries. When Isro engineers discovered this, they shut down the satellite on Friday.

The engineers disclosed that "the recovery attempts have become difficult due to depleted condition of the oxidizer on board the satellite, which is required for orbit and attitude control."

However, they got it back under control and it started humming once more on Saturday, restoring services to some telecommunications and broadcast users. Insat 2B has 10-12 transponders that were being used to support telecommunications, VSats (Very Small Aperture Terminals) and radio networking functions. But then they lost control again, and this has been recurring repeatedly when they manage to rescue to it.

Isro is supposed to reach a decision on 6 November on whether it will continue with its recovery efforts or let the satellite die.

Broadcasters such as Star News - through New Delhi Television - use the V-Sats for electronic news gathering from its correspondents nationwide.

Isro has moved the users of the satellite to transponders on Insat 3C.

Much Anticipated Digital Satellite Receiver/Recorder that Delivers
DIRECTV® Programming with TiVo Service is Available at Select Retail
Stores Nationwide

El Segundo and San Jose, Nov 02, 2000 -- DIRECTV, Inc. and TiVo, Inc.

(NASDAQ:TIVO) announced today the much anticipated launch of the
innovative new product that integrates the digital-quality programming of
DIRECTV with the convenience and control of the TiVo Personal TV service.
The DIRECTV Receiver with TiVo Service is currently being manufactured by
both Philips Electronics and Sony Electronics and is available nationwide
at most major consumer electronic retailers.
Delivering the next generation in television viewing, the DIRECTV
Receiver with TiVo allows consumers to personalize their viewing
experience among the more than 225 digital-quality channels available
from DIRECTV. Additionally, the TiVo Service allows viewers to easily
find and schedule their favorite television shows automatically and
digitally record or store up to 35 hours of video content without the use
of videotape. A new Advanced Program GuideTM (APG) from DIRECTV allows
consumers to view program listings up to 14 days in advance.

Both the Philips DSR6000 and Sony SAT-T60 -- DIRECTV Receiver with TiVo
seamlessly integrate DIRECTV® programming and TiVo Personal TV in one
convenient set-top box. A single remote makes it easy to control what you
watch and record, including Pay Per View. This fully integrated digital
satellite receiver offers a new level of control over television viewing.
"Providing our customers with the ability to manage and control their TV
viewing preferences, as well as delivering the best in digital
entertainment, lays at the heart of our partnership with TiVo. Together
we have developed a product which accomplishes that goal," said Larry
Chapman, president, DIRECTV Global Digital Media, Inc. "DIRECTV customers
have come to expect more from their television programming. With the TiVo
service now integrated into DIRECTV programming, we believe satellite
customers won't be able to do without this powerful programming

"TiVo continues to fulfill its promise to deliver better TV to consumers
and our partnership with DIRECTV is further proof of our drive to bring
the best entertainment experience to viewers," said Mike Ramsay, TiVo's
president and CEO. "No other combination of services delivers such an
integrated, easy to use viewing experience. We think the combination of
DIRECTV's programming with TiVo's service will be the must have
entertainment product this holiday season."

These new innovative receivers from Philips and Sony incorporate a host
of traditional and powerful new features from DIRECTV and TiVo including
the ability to pause, rewind and slow motion live TV, Wish Lists,
Parental Controls and TiVo TakesTM. DIRECTV customers must have a
subscription to both DIRECTV programming and TiVo services in order to
utilize these new features. Sports fans and movie buffs will have full
control of live television programs and sporting events available on
DIRECTV programming in full digital-quality. Viewers have the ability to
pause, instant replay, rewind, fast forward as well as playback in normal
speed, slow motion or frame by frame.

Utilizing the extensive program data from the APG, viewers can create up
to two weeks of customized programming with TiVo's new Wish List feature
by searching for, and recording, programs that match their preferences by
actor, director, keyword or any combination of content searches. Combined
with the wide variety of program selections, viewers can now find exactly
what they are looking for and even create their own TV listings based on
their favorite programming.

For viewers wanting additional convenience and personalized service, TiVo
also offers a number of on-screen entertainment resources and in-depth
program recommendations for any viewing audience such as TiVolution
Magazine and TiVo Takes, a weekly interactive video magazine that
highlights the week in TV. Further advances include easy set-up and
installation, up-to-date local programming and scheduling information,
digital-quality video with Dolby Digital and variable speed rewind.

The TiVo Service is $199 for the life of the unit or $9.95 a month as
part of your DIRECTV bill. DIRECTV programming packages are available for
as low as $21.99 per month.

About DIRECTV, Inc.

DIRECTV is the nation's leading digital satellite television service
provider with more than 9 million customers. DIRECTV, the Cyclone Design
logo and Advanced Program Guide are trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc., a unit
of HUGHES Electronics Corp. HUGHES Electronics is the world's leading
provider of digital television entertainment, and satellite and wireless
systems and services. The earnings of HUGHES Electronics, a unit of
General Motors Corporation, are used to calculate the earnings per share
attributable to the General Motors Class H common stock (NYSE:GMH). Visit
DIRECTV on the World Wide Web at www.directv.com.

About TiVo, Inc.

TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO) is the creator of the personal television service.
Founded in 1997 with the mission to dramatically improve consumers'
television viewing experiences, TiVo developed a technology that serves
as a platform for delivering a variety of home entertainment services.
TiVo's Personal TV ServiceTM simplifies the way we watch and enjoy
television by digitally recording television shows, without video tape,
so you can watch what you want, when you want to watch it. TiVo was the
first to deliver on the promise of consumer choice and control over TV
viewing, building a loyal and passionate subscriber base.

TiVo's leadership is grounded in its ability to forge critical
partnerships, working together with the giants of the media, technology,
consumer electronics, and television industries. Industry support of TiVo
is reflected in its partner roster that includes, AOL, Blockbuster,
BSkyB, DIRECTV, Philips, SONY, Thomson and the leading cable and network
television companies. Today, the TiVo Service is available in the United
States on the Philips Personal TV RecorderTM and the Sony Digital Network
Recorder TM in nearly 3500 consumer electronics retail and online outlets
and in the UK under the Thomson Scenium brand. TiVo is headquartered in
San Jose, CA. with offices in Los Angeles, CA. Additional information can
be found at www.tivo.com.


Live chat tonight 8.30pm Sydney time onwards. A big package of Channels has appeared at St1 88E (NT and Asia areas only)

From my emails & ICQ

Bill Richards reports the following

0550 UTC Pas2 3888 V Sr 6619 Fec 2/3 Vpid 2160 Apid 2120 "NAPSA2" Encrypted Feed.
0600 UTC Pas2 4053 H Sr 13238 Fec 2/3 Vpid 1160 Apid 1120 "NAPSA1" Encrypted Feed
0610 UTC Pas2 4057 V Sr 13230 Fec 3/4 "No signal"

From the Dish

ST 1 88E 3552 V "Open" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 48 Apid 49
ST 1 88E 3552 V "ET Shop" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 50 Apid 51
ST 1 88E 3552 V "School F-E" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 52 Apid 53
ST 1 88E 3552 V "BBC World" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 54 Apid 55
ST 1 88E 3552 V "Mega Movie" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 56 Apid 57
ST 1 88E 3552 V "TW CH1" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 58 Apid 59
ST 1 88E 3552 V "TW CH2" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 60 Apid 61
ST 1 88E 3552 V "TW CH3" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 62 Apid 63
ST 1 88E 3552 V "TW CH4" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 64 Apid 65
ST 1 88E 3552 V "Karaoke" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 66 Apid 67
ST 1 88E 3552 V "TW-Folk" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 68 Apid 69
ST 1 88E 3552 V "Star Winged" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 70 Apid 71


ST 1 88E 3632 V "HKTV" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 32 Apid 33
ST 1 88E 3632 V "BTS" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 34 Apid 35
ST 1 88E 3632 V "CHA-CHA" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 36 Apid 37
ST 1 88E 3632 V "CASA" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 38 Apid 39
ST 1 88E 3632 V "TNN" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 40 Apid 41
ST 1 88E 3632 V "UCTV" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 42 Apid 43
ST 1 88E 3632 V "Big Love" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 45 Apid 56
ST 1 88E 3632 V "NewAsahi" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 48 Apid 49
ST 1 88E 3632 V "Rainbow" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 50 Apid 51
ST 1 88E 3632 V "School Movie" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 53 Apid 54
ST 1 88E 3632 V "SETV" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 80 Apid 81
ST 1 88E 3632 V "STV" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 82 Apid 83
ST 1 88E 3632 V "Global" Sr 26667 Fec 3/4 Vpid 98 Apid 99

Panamsat 4 68.5E 3799 V "Testcard" Vpid 1260 Apid 1220

Jcsat 3 128E 4120 V The analog NTSC testcard has gone

Agila 2 146E 4080 H "TWS Cinema" Sr 26700 Fec 3/4 Vpid 1860 Apid 1820

Panamsat 2 169E 3888 V "Occasional Digital feeds" Sr 6620 Fec 2/3
Panamsat 2 169E 4053 H "Occasional Digital feeds" Sr 13238 Fec 2/3
Panamsat 2 169E 4057 V "TVB 8, TVBJ and TVBS Asia" have left


ISRO recovers Insat-2B

From http://www.indiaserver.com/thehindu/2000/11/05/stories/0205000e.htm

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has recovered use of its Insat-2B communications satellite.

On November 3 afternoon, the Insat-2B lost its orientation, which keeps its antennae facing the Earth disrupting the communications traffic on the satellite, including many VSAT networks. Recovery of the satellite was complicated by insufficient propellant needed to fire the satellite's onboard thrusters and was accomplished only today evening.

But with insufficient propellant, station keeping operations will become more difficult and the satellite's orbit will drift slowly. So much of the traffic on the Insat-2B has to be moved to other satellites. But this can be done during the coming months. ``We have a couple of months of breathing time,'' Dr. S. Rangarajan, Director of the Satellite Communications Programme at ISRO Headquarters, told The Hindu from the Master Control Facility at Hassan.

Operators of VSAT networks, who use the extended C- band radio frequencies, have already been moved to the Insat-3B satellite. The Telecom Department is using six transponders in the normal C- band on the Insat-2B for carrying its voice traffic. This is likely to be shifted to the Insat-2C satellite. Insat-2B carries two S-band transponders which were being used for networking radio broadcasts. Some of it can be accommodated on the Insat-2C which has one similar transponder. The Arabsat 1C satellite, which was purchased by ISRO and renamed the Insat-2DT, also has an S-band transponder.

In addition, the Insat-2B had a Data Relay Transponder (DRT) which was being used by agencies like the Indian Meteorological Department, Central Water Commission and the Narmada Control Authority to continually gather meteorological and other information from automatic Data Collection Platforms (DCPs). The ISRO does not have a spare DRT currently and one will become available only when the Insat-3A is launched some time in the second half of 2001.

The ISRO currently has some 90 transponders available to it, including those on the Insat-2B, 10 transponders leased from Thaicom, and 26 transponders on the Insat-2DT. The Insat-3C, scheduled for launch in the first half of 2001, will carry 24 normal C-band transponders, six in extended C-band, two S-band and one for mobile satellite services. The Insat-3A, which will be launched subsequently, will have 12 normal C-band transponders, six extended C-band, six Ku-band, and the DRT.

The problem with insufficient oxidiser occurred because of a flaw in the design of the propellant tanks. In the low gravity conditions of space, liquid propellants can migrate away from the outlet and special systems are needed to ensure a continual flow.

The propellant tanks used in the Insat-2A and 2B satellites are based on a German design. Insat-2A showed signs of insufficient propellant availability after five and a half years in orbit. The problem has surfaced in the Insat-2B only after it had completed its design life of seven years in July this year. Satellites of other countries have also had similar problems as a result of this design flaw, according to Dr. Rangarajan.

The insufficient oxidiser flow has reduced the thrust of the satellite's onboard thrusters.


Eenadu TV’s ETV Bangla has become a 24-hour channel and relaunched its programming slate.
The six-month-old service has already created a niche in the
West Bengal and Bangladesh markets. The 24-hour channel will target the Bengali
population in markets in West Asia, Pacific, and Africa.


India’s state broadcaster, Doordarshan (DD) plans to launch a business channel
in mid December with six hours of live programming. The pubcaster will carry
information from local stock exchanges and is negotiating for links with major
international trading floors.


Nostrad is teaming up with PT Omnilink Multimedia Nusantara to launch wireless
broadband ISP and pay-TV services in major cities in Indonesia. The partners
plan to initially offer two-way, high-speed ISP services in Jakarta, with the
launch of a pay-TV network in the second quarter of 2001. These services would
also be launched in future in Surabaya and Denpasar. Indonesia has over 25
million TV households, and is the 4th most populous country in the world. It is
projected that the network’s signals will initially pass in excess of 3.5
million TV households. Nostrad Telecommunications, Inc. is a US based media and
telecommunications group which provides “last-mile” broadband solutions to
deliver pay-TV, IP telephony and high speed Internet services to homes and
businesses around the world.

Intelsat implements 2-degree spacing

Observers of the geostationary orbit may have noticed that Intelsat 702 has
moved by one degree. This is not much, but according to Intelsat this is only
the first step in a three-step plan which is to increase the operator's
capacity in the Pacific Ocean Region (POR) by more than a third when completed
in 2003.

This is being accomplished by switching from a three-degree spacing
configuration to a two-degree configuration, which will allow for the
deployment of a fourth satellite to serve the region.

In the first phase of the new plan, Intelsat 702 was moved from 177 degrees
East to 176 degrees East in a four-day controlled drift. The move created room
for the Intelsat 602 to be operated in inclined orbit at 178 degrees East.
Intelsat 602 will be moved in May 2001 as the second phase. The third and final
phase comes in 2003, when Intelsat 705 is scheduled to replace 602.
The two-degree spacing configuration is being implemented between 174 degree
East and 180 degrees. In the three-degree arrangement, Intelsat 802 was located
at 174 degrees East, Intelsat 702 was at 177 degrees East and Intelsat 701 at
180 degrees. In the new configuration, Intelsat's 802 and 701 satellites will
remain in the same positions.


I added ZED tv channel website to Asiasat 3 page


From my emails & ICQ

Telsat supplied the Press Release for CMT, CMT Pacific Rim has changed its name to "Music Country"

I can't post the press release here as its a Powerpoint script.

From The Dish

Panamsat 4 68.5E "Occasional NHK feeds on 4034 H Vpid 1560 Apid 1520.

Asiasat 3 105.5E "Zee News" has replaced Zee TV Asia on 4140 V Vpid 39 Apid 38

Panamsat 2 169E 4054H "Spanish Signal" Sr 6620 Fec 2/3

Spacenet 4 172E Possible beacon frequencies received on 4198.5 V? and 4199.5 V?. (According to Lyngsat)

(Need more reports of this satellite from Australia, Indonesia, the Islands etc and how about from NZ???)


The INDIAN DTH Opportunity

From indiantelevision.com

It came somewhat like manna to travellers lost in the desert. The Union Cabinet's decision on 2 November 2000 to lift the four-year ban on DTH has been long- awaited by Indian and foreign broadcasters. And now that it has come, it should open up the floodgates with a slew of them taking a shot at it.

Among those who could make attempts include: Star TV, Zee TV, C. Sivasankaran, Reliance, HFCL, Lalit Modi's Modi Entertainment Group, Sun TV. One cannot exclude tyros attempting to enter the DTH fray. One does not know if all of them will survive.

A lot of thought has gone into the drafting of the notification. It appears as if the government is taking clear steps to prevent the emergence of television monopolies. That is why it has placed a 20 per cent restriction on foreign direct investment, with the total foreign investment being permitted being 49 per cent. Additionally, it has stated broadcasters and cable TV operators - without further explaining whether these players are operating in India or overseas - will be permitted to hold only 20 per cent in a DTH platform.

If one takes these clauses at face value then Star TV, Zee TV, Sun TV, Eenadu, Sony will simply have to be satisfied with a minority stake each in a platform. It would not be surprising if three of them choose to come together for a new DTH operational company. The other option they will have is to become innovative in the equity holding pattern and incorporation of the DTH firm. With penalties of Rs 500 million one wonders whether they will take the risk? Hence it is more likely that unusual alliances are going to be formed, which one never thought possible in the past.

The government has also made it mandatory for the DTH operator to uplink from within Indian shores within 12 months to any satellite, be it foreign or Indian. Preferential treatment will be given to those uplinking to Indian birds, the notification says. An open architecture has been mandated with the set top box working with the smart cards and encryption technologies that the various operators choose to use. This is a big plus for consumers as they will be able to switch between services easily or subscribe to more than one.

Licence fees of Rs 100 million and a bank guarantee of Rs 400 million are not all that high at all. What could prove high is the 10 per cent revenue share that DTH operators will have to dole out to government each year. Sure the operator will build this into its subscription fees; but should targets of subscription be failed to be met; things could get quite tough.Remember, there will be fierce competition between the various services with each of them trying to woo subscribers with freebie and price-off offers. If such a scenario arises, 10 per cent could be the company's margin which would mean that the DTH company will end up making losses. It's quite likely the DTH company will make losses anyway for the first two-to-three years because the market will have to be created. And there's already a relatively cheaper option available in cable TV which is priced at Rs 150-200.

Of course, the government has protected the state-owned broadcaster Prasar Bharati by mandating carriage of all its channels at the most favourable terms provided to an occupant of the platform.

The I&B ministry's programming and advertising code will have to be followed to a T, the notification states. The problem is that a watchdog and adjudicator have yet to be set up. And if the government is banking on the convergence authority to keep tabs on content, it will have to move fast and enact convergence regulation.

How many platforms can coexist in India? Indications are that just one or two and if one stretches one's imagination, three. There's just not enough content in terms of programming going around. Not many channels are going to take the option of getting exclusively onto DTH, after all cable TV offers them their lifeblood revenue, either in the form of subscription or advertising. They have stuck it out for so long; bleeding in the Indian market for seven years to build up a cable TV business. They will not throw it away for DTH. What one will see is the development of new channels with diverse programmes being packaged in various use of innovative packaging of older and newer shows for the DTH platform. Other niche channels will also be developed.

One advantage is that set top boxes have become cheaper over the past three years and are priced at anywhere between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 (it could be lower should the DTH provider gives a higher subsidy). Three years ago, the sticker price was a hefty Rs 20,000-25,000. Monthly subscription packages could range from Rs 200 going up to Rs 350.

The DTH market on the upside is about two to three million strong, with 350,00 of them likely to come on board in year one. This could go up to 700,000 in year two and finally to a million in year three. The two million could take up to six to seven years to achieve. Or even longer. One can't forget: cable TV will be fighting back. As wil other newer options, such as broadband, which will make their appearance.


My local newspapers say a big hailstorm hit Sydney yesterday. I hope it didn't make a mess of anyones dish! I added a bit of a write up about Spacenet 4 newly located at 172E. No news section today to busy and I want to get the update done soon. There is Cricket Tonight NZ vs South Africa ODI, On I701

HBO Asias still on Telekom 1 108E unecrypted more reports needed on this one.

From my emails & ICQ

This from Bill Richards,

I did a quick scan of Thaicom3 this morning (Saturday) using dvbedit and there was a NEW signal on
3575H S/R 6142 FEC 3/4

By the time I got out of dvbedit back to enter the parameters via the remote control
the signal had gone.

C.MOORE in Perth (3M mesh)

Reports a Carrier on Spacenet 4 172E 4195V

From the Dish

TDRS 5 174.3W 3987H Testcards here have stopped

Spacenet 4 172E Test carrier seen around 4195 V (according to Lyngsat) which is strange because their transponder list dosn't list one up at that freq as seen below

Spacenet 4 172E Vertical Transponders

3720 V tp 1
3760 V tp 2
3800 V tp 3
3840 V tp 4
3880 V tp 5
3920 V tp 6
3960 V tp 7
4000 V tp 8
4040 V tp 9
4080 V tp 10
4120 V tp 11
4160 V tp 12

Spacenet 4 172E Horizontal Transponders
3760 H tp 13
3840 H tp 14
3920 H tp 15
4000 H tp 16
4080 H tp 17
4160 H tp 18

GE Americom Offers Transoceanic Services VIA Spacenet 4

"4 New Alcatel Satellites to replace Interim Fleet"

While Alcatel Space constructs four high-powered, dedi-cated
satellites to boost GE Americom’s transoceanic coverage,
additional interim capacity will be provided immediately
through three former Columbia satellites, as well as through GE
Spacenet 4, which is moving into a fourth orbital slot, 172° East.
The interim satellites carry television, data, Internet and
telephony services among the African, Asian, European, North
and South American continents. The interim spacecraft will
eventually be replaced by the Alcatel fleet, which will be col-lectively
known as GEi, due to its international footprint.
Ȋs an interim measure, these satellites provide a quick-start,
technically sound and cost-efficient solution,” explains
Cynthia Dickins, vice president, international sales develop-ment,
GE Americom. “When Spacenet 4 is in place by early-November,
we will generate momentum for all four replacement
transoceanic satellites, which will begin to come on-line in first
quarter 2003. The satellites, 515, TDRS-6 and TDRS-5, already
have a solid base of trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific cus-
tomers, respectively. From 172° E.L., Spacenet 4 offers addition-al
station-kept capacity between the Asia-Pacific region and
the U.S. West Coast – one-hop connectivity only available
through a limited number of orbital locations.”

Americom’s AOR and POR expansion supports Internet
backbone access, among other services, and meets the growth
and connectivity requirements of both large media customers
and relatively new Internet companies.
These satellites are essentially the bridges connecting our
well-established domestic fleet and our newer, international
platforms,” concludes Dickins. “With Asia, North and South
America, and Europe now linked by Spacenet 4 and TDRS-5 in
the Pacific and 515 and TDRS-6 in the Atlantic, we can offer
customers a dependable plug-and-play operation well before
the replacement GEi satellites are delivered. The cost-effective,
interim capacity goes a long way in helping our customers
establish momentum as well.” g

GESpacenet 4’s C-band payload will become operational over the Pacific Ocean in November, 2000. The diagram shows typical EIRP in dbW. For
more information on GE Americom’s global satellite coverage, go to http://www.geamericom.com/satellite/fleet.html.
Bird’s Eye View Sep/Oct 2000 e

Alcatel Space to Build Four Transoceanic Satellites

Next generation Fleet to provide services by 2003

Representing a major step in GE Americom’s global expan-sion
initiative, the company has contracted Alcatel Space,
France’s space industry leader, to build four high-powered
satellites. The Alcatel Space satellites, based on the company’s
highly reliable Spacebus 4000 platform, will expand GE
Americom’s global fleet with dedicated transoceanic capacity.
The spacecraft will replace satellites occupying the 172°
East and 47° West orbital slots – gained through GE
Americom’s recent acquisition of Columbia Communications.
Americom’s Spacenet 4 and Satcom C-1 satellites, in addition to
a pair of Columbia spacecraft, will soon be providing interim
transoceanic capacity via these locations.
Americom’s AOR expansion will support Internet backbone
access, among other services, and meet the growth and con-nectivity
requirements of its large media customers. Service will
focus on traffic between North America and Latin America,
between Europe and Latin America and between North
America and Africa. The POR expansion will serve the growing
demand for U.S.-based programming throughout the Pacific
Rim and the need to transport the region’s incoming, outgoing
and internal Internet content.

All four Alcatel satellites will use the new-generation
Spacebus, one of the largest and most powerful commercial
satellite platforms available on the market today. Spacebus is
well known for its plasmic propulsion, which features a lower
fuel consumption rate. This adds to the satellites’ lightweight
dimensions and longer life expectancies.
The satellites – weighing approximately 4-5 metric tons –
will be constructed in Alcatel Space’s Cannes and Toulouse-based
clean rooms. The spacecraft will feature double redun-dancy
of the satellite management unit to ensure mission relia-bility.
In addition to satellite construction, Alcatel Space will
spearhead LEOP (Launch and Early Orbit Phase) operations, in-orbit
testing and operator training with an Alcatel Space-sup-plied
dynamic simulator.

Alcatel Space ranks among the world’s leading space sys-tems
prime contractors. With expertise in civil and military
applications, Alcatel Space develops satellite technology for
telecommunications, navigation, optical and radar observation,
meteorology and science. With partners around the world, sub-sidiaries
throughout Europe and a strong commitment to R&D,
Alcatel serves as prime contractor, operator, investor and/or
service provider in a majority of ongoing space programs. g
Weighing approximately 4 to 5 metric tons, the satellites will be con-structed
in Alcatel Space’s Cannes and Toulouse-based clean rooms.
The Alcatel Space satellites, based on the company’s highly reliable
Spacebus 4000 platform, will expand GE Americom’s global fleet
with dedicated transoceanic capacity.


Quite a bit of news today with HBO Asia on Telkom 1 108E seeming to have increased power? and with India allowing DTH pay tv via KU Band services to start. Expect Asiasat 3 KU signals to start soon!

Page to be trimmed later!

From my emails & ICQ

A follow up to the HBO Asia on Telekom 1 (108E)


Just a note to say that I observed an increase of signal quality
from 10-20% (marginal in poor weather) to 50-80% over the course of a
few hours today. I guess that they are still testing. Does anyone have
any web links or other information on the operator of Telkom 1?


Stewert in Rockhampton writes..

Subject: Telkom1

As an aside, Telcom1 here in Rockhampton with HBO is noise free 80% on my phoenix 222 with a 3m mesh orbitron dish.

Cheers, Stewart

Heres a few items about Telekom 1 one of thems in Indonesian


During the night of 12 to 13 August 1999, Arianespace successfully launched the Telkom 1 telecommunications satellite for P. T. Telekomunikasi of Indonesia. Built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, USA, Telkom 1 weighed 2,655 kg at lift-off. It is equipped with 24 C- band and 12 extended C-band transponders.

Originally scheduled for launch on 4 August, the mission was scrubbed when an electrical anomaly was detected aboard another Ariane-4 rocket's third stage during final pre-launch tests. Components were changed aboard the launched rocket as a precautionary measure.

Flight 118 used an Ariane 42P launcher, fitted with two solid-propellant strap-on boosters. It was the 87th out of 116 Ariane 4 launchers ordered to date from the European space industry, and marked the 45th successful launch in a row for Ariane 4, which the company claims to hold the world record in reliability for a commercial launch vehicle.

The next launch, Arianespace Flight 120 is scheduled for 1 September. An Ariane 42P will place into orbit the Koreasat 3 communications satellite for Korea Telecom. (Flight 119 is an Ariane 5, Flight 504, set for the end of this year)

The Telkom-1 satellite will replace the existing Palapa B2R satellite which will be retired later this year. The A2100 spacecraft will provide Telkom greater capacity than its earlier satellites, as well as a longer design and manoeuvre life. Telkom-1 will be positioned at 108 degrees East longitude, providing coverage to all of Indonesia, and potentially to parts of Southeast Asia and northern Australia.

The satellite is designed to provide a 15-year life span, but may continue to provide service for several years beyond that. Telkom-1 will support a variety of telecommunication applications, including high-speed digital traffic compatible with Very Small Aperture Terminal applications.

In addition to the satellite, Lockheed Martin provides Telkom with launch support services, mission operation services, additional equipment to augment the existing ground station in Cibinong, Indonesia, and training of the Telkom-1 technical team.


"C.Moore" reports that Tv Malagasy is on Apstar 2r76.5E in B/W about P2 quality on 3780V he also reports its on LMI 75E on 3980V programming is the same but signals are analog.

This response is from Loral Skynet- Asia Pacific "There is no analogue C band programming on Telstar 10/Apstar 2R at this
point in time. The Malagasy TV you described may be transmitting from LMI satellite instead."

So we have 2 signals the same but one of them in B/W and weak, with a 200mhz diffeerence in Frequency any ideas? other than a uplink problem?

From the Apsattv mailing list Sungadi supplies the latest sports info

Soccer match this week:

SERI-A Italy - Live

RCTI - Lazio vs. Bologna - Sunday November 5, 2:30 am - Jakarta Time
Brescia vs. Roma - Sunday November 5, 20:55 pm - Jakarta Time
Verona vs. Inter Milan - Monday November 6, 2:20 am - Jakarta Time

Champions Cup League:

Monaco vs. Glasgow Ranger - Live - Wednesday November 8, 2:30 am - Jakarta Time
AC Milan vs. Leed United Thursday November 9, 2:30 am - Jakarta Time

English Premiere League

SCTV - Conventry vs. Manchester United - Saturday November 4, 22:00 pm - Jakarta Time
Everton vs. Aston Villa - Sunday November 5, 23:00 pm - Jakarta Time

Badminton: JVC Asian Badminton Championship - live begin at: 13:00 am Jakarta-Time

Boxing: Indosiar - Sunday November 5, begin at 10:00 am Jakarta-Time - Shane Mosley vs. Antonio Diaz

From the Dish

Apstar 2R 76.5E The AXN promo is fta again

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3451 V "Raj Plus" Sr 6667 fec 3/4 Vpid 512 Apid 640 (note this is on Global beam)

ST 1 88E "KSB TV Movie" has left 3468 V
ST 1 88E "PowerCom Tech mux on 3506 H has left.
ST 1 88E "Space TV" muxes on 3550 V and 3632 V have left.

Panamsat 8 166E 4050 V "Fuji/NTV Feed" Sr 12000 Fec 3/4

TDRS 5 at 174.3W "Testcards" on 3987 H are now encrypted.

Friday Feeds Bit

Possible feeds this weekend to look out for.

Friday 3/11/00

4pm Syd Rugby All Blacks vs Barbarians from Tokyo Japan

7.30pm Syd Soccer Spirit vs Kingz (mediasat?) from North Sydney Oval

Saturday 4/11/00

6.55pm Syd Cricket NZ vs South Africa check the usual I701 tvnz feeds for this

Sunday 5/11/00

12.00 a.m Syd Masters Tennis from Germany

1.55pm Syd League England vs Fiji (this one should be on I701, probably encrypted)


Optus offers regional satellite package

From http://www.excite.com.au/news/story/aap/20001102/18/business/optus-fed.inp

Cable & Wireless Optus Ltd today launched a new satellite service aimed at offering isolated Australians phone, Internet and free-to-air television via a single dish.

The second-ranked telco launched the Down to Earth brand offering residents and businesses in regional Australia the ability to receive phone, high-speed Internet, facsimile and television services.

The service follows the introduction of Remote Area Broadcasting Services (RABS) in Australia.
C&W Optus hopes to build up its current satellite mobile phone customer base of 8,500.
"Satellite is the idea communication choice for rural and remote Australia because geography is no obstacle," C&W Optus general manager satellite services Bob Murray said.
"It does not matter where you live, satellite will reach your home.
C&W Optus currently has two A series Hughes satellites and the Optus B1 and B3 satellites.
Mr Murray said C&W Optus was the first to deliver satellite to Australia in 1985.
Satellite technology is available in regional and isolated Australian areas but mainly used for mobile phones and Pay-TV.

C&W Optus shares closed two cents lower at $4.12.

Union Cabinet clears DTH broadcasting in India

From indiantelevision.com

The Union Cabinet has cleared all the hurdles in the way of Ku-band direct to home television. The GoM had met earlier this week and this morning before finalising the modalities of opening up DTH. The Cabinet took this decision at a meeting which has just concluded at Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's residence.

The lifting of the December 1996 ban has been a difficult political decision to make for several governments. I&B minister Sushma Swaraj with support from former I&B minister and current law minister, Arun Jaitley, however have managed to push it through.

Details of the clearance are awaited, but CNBC India has reported that the government has decided to open up DTH to as many players as possible.

Details of India DTH notification

From indiantelevision.com

The Union Cabinet opened up Ku-band direct to home television broadcasting today by issuing a notification (executive order). The notification lays the ground rules for a company wanting to foray into Ku-band DTH broadcasting. The details are slated to follow later in the day. But the gist of the clearance is as follows:

* Entry fee has been put at Rs 100 million. The DTH operator will have to hand over 10 per cent of its revenues as annual fees. A Rs 400 million bank guarantee has also been mandated.
*The limit on foreign direct investment is 20 per cent with non-residents being allowed to hold 49 per cent.
*The licence is for 10 years and it is non-exclusive.
*No broadaster or cable TV company is allowed to own more 20 per cent of the DTH operation. This is to prevent the emergence of a vertically integrated monopoly.
* The DTH offering company will be under Indian management control. Its chief executive will be an Indian citizen.
*The DTH service will have to be uplinked from Indian soil within 12 months of the licence being awarded. The common encryption, and conditional access system, and subscriber management system should be located in the earth station on Indian soil. The system should be based on an open architecture.
*The DTH operator will follow the advertising and programming code drawn up by the information and broadcasting ministry. And it should maintain a record of the advertising and programming for 90 days.
* The DTH operator should not discriminate between various channels wanting to get on the network.
* Government banned channels will not be allowed to be carried.
* Uplink can be to both foreign and Indian satellites. Preferential treatment will be given to uplink to Indian satellites.
* The information & broadcasting ministry will be the licensing authority until one is set up.
*The DTH operator is bound to carry Prasar Bharati channels on most favourable terms offered to any other channels.
* The DTH operator can offer value added services such as fax, voice, or broadband, as long as it gets clearance from the right competent authority.

The DTH Wannabes

Star TV Had set up ISKyB with a team of 300. When government decided to ban it, it hung on to the team for nearly two years before dismantling it. It laid off some employees, relocated others. But it still has the SMS in place in Delhi; lost its DTH chief recently. Will also be hemmed in by foriegn ownership restrictions. Has a presence in cable TV, broadcasting. Likely to got with earlier DTH partner Pramod Mittal as Indian ally.

Zee TV Likely player.The Zee Network has invested in Canal Plus technology. Has a pay bouquet. But is presently cash strapped. Could face problems as it is in cable TV, broadcasting, and is also owned 70 per cent plus through foreign (read non-resident Indian Subhash Chandra) equity.

Modi Enrtertainment Was a potential player in DTH, having signed with Loral. Has broadband plans and experience with pay TV distribution. Is probably the only player who is not a broadcaster or in cable; is Indian owned and does not have any foriegn equity ownership. Is well-positioned to launch a platform

C. Sivasankaran Had options on Ku-band transponders on ST-I band satellite. Planned to become an education and infotainment player via DTH. Is in the process of launching broadband from November. Likely player. Has no problems of foreign ownership; is also loaded with cash.

Doordarshan Had signed a two year contract with Measat. Lobbied for DD as platform operator. Has recently launched two pay channels. It does not have experience with DTH, with all senior officials including Rathikant Basu, RK Singh, Urmila Gupta, Ashok Mansukhani who were involved with the Measat negotiations having left. Is a likely player.

HFCL Has come out from nowhere to be a force to reckon with in telephony, television, and hardware. Potentially could get into DTH. Also has a partnership with Ozzie media and leisure baron Kerry Packer. Manufactures television hardware.

Reliance Is extremely ambitious about convergence. Has deep pockets. Is setting up a broadband backbone and is looking at investing in television programming. Would like to have other options for bandwidth; hence could go for DTH. Is television neutral as it is not a broadcaster nor in cable TV. Is also Indian owned.

Sri Lanka cricket telecast rights enters last leg

From indiantelevision.com

The rights to the telecast of cricket matches played in Sri Lanka are likely to be decided before 6 November. The Sri Lankan cricket board has shortlisted two bidders - TWI and a company backed by Nimbus Communications chief Harish Thawani. Meetings are being held this week in Colombo to decide who will finally pocket the rights.

According to Thawani, it won't be a surprise if his bid proves successful. Sources indicate that he has proposed a joint venture with Sony Entertainment Television, in which Sony will hold a major stake. The new venture will be headed by a senior Sony Enterainment Television executive, and will make a concerted effort to pocket telecast rights for other sports events, apart from creating new ones.

Zee TV, which was one of the bidders that was eliminated, is not too perturbed by Thawani's claims and its own elimination from the bidding. It believes its close relationship with TWI should work in its favour and the rights will come its way should TWI emerge victorious.

New Skies in India

The commercial Intelsat spin-off New Skies Satellite N V, based in The
Netherlands, has launched its Indian operations. NSS will provide a total of 60
megabits of international Internet bandwidth to Internet provider Satyam
Infoway, at six locations across India, for a period of four years from January
According to Satyam, the capacity costs US$600,000 per month. Currently, a
transponder on NSS-703 is used. New Skies said it would dedicate 15
transponders of its NSS-6 satellite to its India operations after NSS-6 becomes
operational by the end of 2002. The satellite, to be build by Lockheed Martin,
will be solely dedicated to Asia.

New Skies said it had generated five percent of its revenues from India, with
25 percent of all Internet-related communications revenues also from India.

(Craigs note NSS 703 is located at 57E and is viewable in Perth)


Yes we are back now, we were back yesterday at about 11pm NZ time and even a few turned up in the chatroom. The problem with the server was traced to a faulty NIC card. It looks like Zee is prepareing for the eventual shutdown of its analog Zee News and Zee TV channels, these channels are now also transmitting in digital on 4140V with Zed Channel. No date is set as yet for the Zee analogs to disapear.

From my Emails & ICQ

Robert Anthoney in the NT reports the following via the mailing list last night.

I Found the following at 1000 GMT 1 NOV 00 on Telkom 1 108E:

HBO is currently FTA on Telkom 1 3580 MHz (H) SR 20000 FEC 3/4.

This replaces CNBC that had been at this location.

Most likely to be HBO Asia





From the Dish

Apstar 2R 76.5E "TV Malagasy" has started on 3780 V "Can someone please confirm this one"

ST 1 88E 3468 V "KSB TV Movie" has encrypted.
ST 1 88E 3506 H "Rai International" Sr 23437 Fec 3/4 Vpid 790 Apid 791

Telekom 1 108E 3580H "HBO Asia" has replaced CNBC, Sr 20000 Fec 3/4 Vpid 32 Apid 33 (not encrypted)

HBO Asia TV Guide http://www.hboasia.com/on_fs_schedules.html

Asiasat 2 100.5E 3796V "Fashion TV" Sr 2533 Fec 3/4 Vpid 4194 Apid 4195 , Has new pids, maybe encrypting soon?

Asiasat 3S 105.5E 4140 V "Zee News" Vpid 35 Apid 36 has started here
Asiasat 3S 105.5E 4140 V "Zee TV Asia" Vpid 39 Apid 38 has started here

N-Sat 110 110E Test carriers seen on 12351 L, 12431 L, 12471 L, 12551 L, 12591 L, and 12631 L, 12691 R and 12711L (This not likely to make it to Australia but there is a South Asia beam listed, perhaps our readers in Indonesia, Hong Kong and Thailand might see something from it)

Panamsat 8 166E "ABC-CBN "Bouquet has left 3800 V


From www.indiantelevision.com

Nimbus readies for Xmas launch for Showbiz channel

Content provider Nimbus Communications is making its moves - quietly but surely. The company says it will launch its long-talked about channel on the entertainment business, the Showbiz channel, on 23 December via Thaicom-3.

Modi Entertainment Network will be the distribution agent for the digital encrypted channel. The proposed 24 hour pay service will charge cable ops Rs 4 per subscriber per month. Nimbus also plans a woman's channel expected to launch at the end of the first quarter of 2001, reveals Nimbus chairman, Harish Thawani.

According to him, his company is amongst the front runners to bag the Sri Lanka cricket rights which are currently under review. Besides, Nimbus says it will produce and distribute a range of Hindi and regional movies. Directors Aziz Mirza and Sudheer Misra have been signed, as well as "some of the bigger stars," says Thawani.

Besides, Hindi, Nimbus plans to produce films in Marathi, Kannada and Oriya languages. Nimbus Communications, which decided against an IPO earlier this year, had received Rs 432 million as part of a private placement with Transatlantic Corp. The company is awaiting "a period of stability in the stockmarket" to launch its IPO seeking another Rs 1,800 million. Nimbus prospectus has been approved by SEBI.

Urdu channel launches 1 November

From www.indiantelevision.com

Urdu Television Network which has been beaming a test signal for the past three months is making its debut on 1 November. UTN is promoted by Khalid Bhaimia, an eminent Pakistani banker, with interests in television production.

The channel has signed up with Zee Telefilms since 2 October on the distribution and marketing front. Zee will be distributing the channel in India and west Asia. In consideration of that carriage, Zee TV has agreed to extend its marketing and Management expertise particularly in the area of content and packaging to UTN on commercial terms. The benefit for Zee TV: it gets another niche channel catering to a well-heeled Urdu speaking audience, which helps make its digital bouquet look a lot more attractive.

"We are looking at the future DTH and DTO scenario, where having a right bouquet of channel will help us to garner more revenue," says Aparna Srivastava, who heads UTN's marketing along with Zee Sports. She adds that the channel is getting a good response from advertisers. 'Already a few FMCGs, and soft drink manufacturers have agreed to advertise on the channel."

Deputy Chief Executive Satish Menon - who heads the channel - reveals that "as of now we only have agreement under which UTN will be content provider and we will be looking after distribution and marketing. There is no revenue sharing, We are working out the same." The 24 hour channel will initially be free-to-air and in be delivered in an analogue mode off AsiaSat 3S.

At startup UTN, has four hours of original programming: two hours each from India and Pakistan. "The content is going to be different. I assure viewers," says Almas Shah, programming controller. "The Urdu will not be heavy but normal which can be understood by the masses. We are looking at a huge audience not only from India and Pakistan but also west Asia UK, USA, Canada, Australia."

UTN has already gathered programming for three months. Zee is helping in content aggregation. Shah says UTN's positioning is as an entertainment channel. One movie will be shown per day with a huge chunk of the library coming from Pakistan.

Says Shah: "We have got a very good response for our trial run, even though it was a repeat telecast." She has no fears of the channel being labeled as a Muslim channel and any related controversy since content is being sourced from Pakistan. "There will be no mention of politics, current affairs or religion. UTN will have the final authority as far as the profile of the channel is concerned. So it is not at all a Muslim channel but a pure Urdu entertainment channel," she says.

But competition is creeping up in the form of at least another three Urdu channels: one from Eenadu, Lashkara and the long-in-gestation Falak TV. Now it is left to be seen whether Zee TV and UTN will take advantage of the first movers' advantage.


Live chat tonight 8.30pm Sydney time onwards in the chatroom.

YES the sites been down, beyond my control so no update untill tommorow but hopefully the servers fixxed.