SAT Observations 97.10.17

A news release from Cairo, Egypt, located at 30.3 North - 31.15 East,
sponsored by TELE-SATELLIT INTERNATIONAL, Europes Satellite Magazine.
- Satellite and Transponder Observations in C- and Ku-Band,
- Commented from the Middle Eastern perspective.
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(The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: News from the underworld...)

- Launch Information
- Showtime DStv
- Multichoice Africa
- TDF 2
- 1stNet Dstv
- Hot Bird 3
- Intelsat Moves
- SAT-MidEast Intern
- Bits & Pieces

LAUNCH INFORMATION, http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
A Chinese Long March 3B rocket was successfully launched at 19:13 CAT on
16 October by the China Great Wall Industry Corp. (CGWIC) carrying the
Apstar 2R telecommunications satellite from the Xichang Satellite Launch
Center (XSLC) in Sichuan Province. In January 1995, a Long March 2E
rocket carrying the original Apstar 2 blew up shortly after lift-off.

After reaching orbit, the FS-1300 Space Systems/Loral spacecraft will be
positioned at 77 degrees East longitude over the earth's equator.

The system is equipped with 28 C-band transponder of 60 Watt TWTA power
and 16 Ku-band transponder of 110 Watt TWTA power, and has a design life
of 15 years. The C-Band transponders will cover four continents: Asia,
Europe, Africa &  Australia. The Ku-Band will mainly cover China
(including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan).

After in orbit testing the system will be mid-November operational.
(SME, source ISIR)

The new launch date for Asiasat 3 from Baykonur with Proton is 12
December 1997.

EXPRESS 6, 80 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e6.html
ACT on transponder 15, 4.025 GHz, RC, has since three days a new
on-screen logo, more the reality fitting: It's a black & white
combination of the known ACT and 2x2 logos, in the lower right corner of
the screen, whereby ACT is placed above 2x2.

THAICOM 3, 78.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/thai78.html
The combination of VTV 1 and 3 (Vietnam) left 3.610 GHz, H, on October
16th, just more than a week after the first sighting of the brilliant

SME Comment: Hopefully it was testing for the things to come, there is
plenty of transponder space on the semi-global beam !

PANAMSAT 4, 68.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/pas4.html
M-Net is still free-to-air on 4.113 GHz, V, on channel 29 of the
Multichoice Africa package, in MPEG-2, SR 20600, FEC 3/4, VPID 4207,
APID 4287.
While Arabic subtitling is presented it must be assumed that this is the
feed for the 1stNET DStv network. The M-Net channel can presently only
be subscribed in Egypt.

The Rhema Network transmits only on Sundays on channel 27; during
weekdays "Bloomberg Information TV" and "Travel" are here transmitted
alternating for promotional purposes.
Canal Plus Horizons on channel 20 is still featuring its open windows at
various times throughout the day; CCTV-4 on channel 23 is in clear
24-hours a day.

Channel O - Sound TV, the Music channel for Africa, did start its
encrypted service on October 17th, from 07:00 - 19:00 CAT on 3.743 GHz,
V, channel 18 as part of the Multichoice Africa bouquet, in MPEG-2, SR
20600, FEC 3/4, VPID 4204, APID 4284.

All SHOWTIME channels are at the present time clear on Panamsat-4, due
to the expected transfer of the channels on the various transponder
space used by SHOWTIME and previous user 1stNET. The contents of FUT2
became clear due to the timewise absence of the encryption scheme. At
present time the VH-1 UK feed is available.

Unconfirmed reports mention the addition of 3-4 channels over the next
few weeks. The expansion of the network was always intended by SHOWTIME;
it has been hindered only by available transponder space, which now has
become available after the move of the 1stNET DStv network to Arabsat
2A, at 26 East.

In discussion have been a Classic moviechannel, a Sports channel, the
Sci-Fi channel, the Hallmark Entertainment Channel and Animal Planet, a
Discovery daughter channel.

A new software is, elegedly, in the works to allow two dishes and a
single PACE or PANASAT IRD to receive both Showtime & 1st-Net at one and
the same time, without re-entering the frequency and LNB data with every
change. The software will be made available to subscribers of both
packages and can be downloaded via satellite. The readiness of the
package is advised not before November 1st.
(SME, Anonymous)

INTELSAT 604, 60 East, http://www.satcodx.com/i604.html
The Symbol Rate for the RTR-Signal package on 11.135 GHz, V has changed
to 25244. There are currently a lot of changes in the line up, and
testing does not seem to have finalized.

TURKSAT 1C, 42 East, http://www.satcodx.com/turk1c.html
Since Wednesday, ATV is on 10.968 GHz, H, PAL, East (Turkey) beam, in
addition to 10.965 GHz, V, with identical audio subcarrier occupancy.
Minor differences could be observed between the East and West versions.

In general has the reception quality of the satellite improved from last
weeks observations.

GORIZONT 31, 40.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/g31.html
RDV - Rendez-Vous TV, as well as "The Classics!" promotional videos on
3.875 GHz, RC, have already a week ago ceased.

TDF 2, 36 East, http://www.satcodx.com/tdf2.html
Eutelsats TDF 2 has been testing at 29 East! The Eutelsat promotional
videos were broadcasted on 11.804 GHz, H, in-between videos displaying:

	10/11 OCTOBER 1997

The satellite is already on its move to the final 36 degrees East

Actually I was expecting a right hand circular polarized signal, but
what came down was measured at strongest in the horizontal polarization

Some reception reports:

The reception is instable and pulsar-like, accompanied with very poor
audio on 6.60 MHz, received with a 240 cm solid dish.
(Henk Room, Cairo, Egypt)

I received Saturday a very unstable signal from this bird, with a 140cm
(A.Kardos in Budapest, Hungary)
On Saturday, an extemely strong signal was received in Dubai, UAE, while
I was scaning the area between Arabsat 2A and Arabsat 2B. Since I was
using a band shifter to convince an old Echostar 5500 to accept all
bands in the Ku from a Universal feed, it is difficult to determine the
proper frequency. It was around 11.832 GHz and was advertizing the Hot
Bird at 13E. The signal seemed to come from either 28 E or 25 E. Further
attempts at seeing the signal again yesterday and today failed."
(F.Al-Gurg in Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

SME Comment: Astounding ! Strong Pictures in Dubai, unstable signal in
Hungary, poor and unstable (pulsing) signal in Cairo ? There seems to be
a lot of work for the Eutelsat/TDF monitoring crew !

More astounishing was that no reports from the target zone Russia could
be received, while many Russian DX'r had been informed about the test.

ARABSAT 2A, 26 East, http://www.satcodx.com/arab2a.html
Arab satellite operator Arabsat said it has agreed to lease transmission
time to France's Channel TV5, using a channel of the United Arab
Emirates (UAE.) The UAE welcomed the French request, as it included a
pledge to respect Arab traditions, culture and the religious teaching.

An Arabsat statement said TV5, a French-language television channel,
which is owned by various state broadcasting organisations in France,
would prepare "special programmes that conform with Arab and Islamic
codes of conduct."

The in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia based Arabsat Organization banned last July
the state-funded Canal France International (CFI) for broadcasting a
film with adult contents around the Arab world instead of a scheduled
children's programme. CFI apologised for the incident which it said was
a mistake by France Telecom which feeds French television programmes to
satellites across the world.

(C) Copyright 1997 by Sat-ND

The 1stNET DStv could make agreements for additional lease of some Ku
transponder space on the Arabsat 2A, but due to the hardware
capabilities of the used PACE and PANASAT IRD's,the broadcaster will
have to switch polarities for a few channels and will then be able to
use 4-5 horizontal polarized transponders and expand the channel
(SME, Anonymous)

HOT BIRD 3, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb3.html
The data stream of the new MCM Package at transponder 77, 12.245 GHz, H,
has been changed a day prior to the ceasure on 11.304 GHz.
In the afternoon the NOKIA Mediamaster loaded the complete package 
additional to the older one, so that all the channels were doubled, only
with different pointers to the stored frequencies.
Prior to the change the MCM package on 12.245 GHz, H, did not load at

The French package on 12.380 GHz, V, "France Telecom Globecast" did also
change it's data stream today, invalidating the old PID's.
The new data did not change in the old channel positions, a complete
additional package appeared automatically. The old package with black
screens had to be delated manuallly.

Prior to the change the programming of Kuwait TV was moved to the new
datastream, while the testcards of SERTE 2/3/4 were still presented in
the older data.

New PIDs for the France Telecom Globecast on 12.380 GHz, V:
	4BCD/4BD7: Kuwait TV
	4BCE/4BD8: Serte 2 test card, Kuwait TV audio
	4BCF/4BD9: Serte 3 test card, Kuwait TV audio
	4BD0/4BDA: Serte 4 test card

On Friday, October 17th, a lot of testing was performed on this

Early morning at 09:30 CAT already appeared Kuweit TV 2 (yes, wrongly
spelled) instead of the SERTE 2 testcard, with identical progamm content
as Kuwait TV.
15 Minutes later the SERTE 3 test card was replaced with Kuweit TV 32
(this time one spelling mistake, and a typing error -> Hey guys, what's
the hurry ? You're on live TV !) also with identical contents of Kuwait

It took until 10:10 CAT, where both channel titles were replaced by TV 2
and TV 3 consequently, still broadcasting Kuwait TV, identical on three

In the afternoon the video content was replaced by colorbar testcards,
Kuwait TV audio was still forwarded, and the channel names were restored
to SERTE 2 and SERTE 3. The transmission data of SERTE 4 has not been
edited at all in the process.

On Friday, October 24rd, at 00:00 CAT, ET1/ERT will move from Eutelsat
II-f2, at 10 East, transponder 33, 11.596 GHz, H, to Hot Bird 3
transponder 79, 12.284 GHz, H, PAL, widebeam, free-to-air.
(SME, source: on-screen message)

HOT BIRD 3 QUESTION, mailto:hcroom@intouch.com
Does anybody have any info on the proposed tests of the steerable
spotbeam ? 
I don't believe that Eutelsat will let this innovation go untested.
Are the reserved transponder 70, 12.111 (lowest V) and transponder 89,
12.476 (highest H) part of an unknown test programme ?
They can reach theoratically the Nordkap, America's West-coast, the
Kaukasus or South Africa; a really wide range to find a relative strong
but tight spotbeam.

HOT BIRD 2, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb2.html
The RAIsat package on transponder 54, 11.804, V, has complete
started-up, with on-screen logos on all 3 channels. Programming started
early afternoon on the educational channel RAIsat 3, Enciclopedia, with
VPID 4206, APID 4290.
RAIsat 1 shows now a NEW promotional video throughout the day only
concerning the first cultural channel, which cooperates with the
German/French ARTE collaboration. (Wow! real European ;-)

Mega Channel and ANT 1 on 11,823 H have been reported from various
observer to be in the clear for a while on Thursday, I myself have not
been able to view any of the broadcasts. ANT 1 features TeleText.

The Test K, Test S, Test A channels have ceased, therefore came new
TEST6, which is presently without programming but it seems (yet) not to
be encrypted.

This could be the channel of Mad TV, a new Greek Music Channel, which
will start in the next two weeks on 11.823 GHz, H , Multichoice Hellas
transponder and NOT as I wrongly reported Med TV.
(SME, thanks for the received corrections)

HOT BIRD 1, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb1.html
Everybody should meanwhile know that the Viacom package at transponder
2, 11.242 GHz, V, almost all of the time is only soft-encrypted, just a
few PIDs have to entered and here you go:


40A0	4050	VH-1 Germany
40A1	4054	MTV-3 Italy
40A2	4058	Bloomberg Information TV (clear, no need for PIDs)
40A3	405C	Sci-Fi Channel
40A4	4060	MTV-2 Germany
40A5	4064	MTV-1 Europa
40A6	4068	VH-1 Export (clear, no need for PIDs)

The MCM bouquet was replaced on October 14th by Animal Planet. On the
first day it was a re-uplink of the signal of Eutelsat II-f1 transponder
There were rolling titles displayed at the bottom of the screen saying
that "this transponder will be available for Fashion TV 24-hours as of
October 15th", obvious ment for the 21L transponder. Further was the
move of Animal Planet to Hot Bird 1 as of October 15th announced, with a
programm timing of 10:00 to 01:00 CAT.

Audio subcarriers are available in English on 6.60 MHz, and Polish on
7.20 MHz.

During the night hours the magnified Animal Planet logo is displayed as
a standing frame, on a "Zebra" backdrop. Hard chances that the
transponder space will be empty for all (night)times. 

Transponder 4, 11.283 V was for a single day this week integrated again
in the D+ (Telepiu) package. A search initiated on this frequency
brought channels T14, T15, T16, T17, T18, T19 and T20, thereafter the
NOKIA's Mediamaster continued its search on 11.958 -> 11.996 ->12.072 ->
11.861 -> 12.034 -> 11.900 GHz.

The whole bouquet was searched through, without too much response on my
system set-up, as it expects the vertical and horizontal polarizations,
AND the Hi & Lo Ku bands all available, AND evrything in digital
Nothing of that can be vailidated in Egypt at the present time.

EUTELSAT II-f1, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f1.html
The TVE news channel "Canale 24 Horas" opened its analogue transmissions
on transponder 39, 11.658 GHz, V, last Sunday, honouring the Spanish
national day.

The German lower chamber approved the implementation of advertisements
in the broadcasts of Deutsche Welle TV, on transponder 27, 11.163 GHz,
V, but on the other hand reduced its budget-part to 610 Million DM for
the coming year.

INTELSAT 515, 21.3 West, http://www.satcodx.com/ik.html
"It is probably Intelsat 515 that will go to 29.5 West", this will
co-locate the satellite with Hispasat, so no Ku band spots can be used
towards Europe.

INTELSAT 605, 24.5 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i605.html
This satellite was said to be deorbited soon, but new information says
it will be relocated to 29.5 West when Intelsat 603 has taken over at
24.5 West. Intelsat 605 is still fully operational, but has some
telemetry problems.

Some later dated inside information:
"Intelsat 605 may well go to 31.5 West", this was to be the Intelsat 515

It is not quite clear what is going to happen with the Intelsat 605 yet.
The most recent official Intelsat statement says:

Communications services on the INTELSAT 601 at 27.5 West were
transferred this week to the newly deployed and more powerful INTELSAT
803 satellite. The flawless transition was performed with no service
interruptions as INTELSAT worked with each customer individually to
ensure seamless transitions.
This transfer was the first of three service transitions being performed
to accommodate the September telemetry unit anomaly on the INTELSAT 605
at 24.5 West.

After short, but successful, in-orbit testing, the INTELSAT 803 was
moved into position and switched on at the 27.5 West location, using the
Pass-In-The-Night (PIN) technique.
This transition is the first step in releasing the best satellite to
ultimately replace the INTELSAT 605 at 24.5 West. The 605 is still fully
operational and no service degradations have been detected, but as a
precautionary measure, the spacecraft will be re-deployed to a less
demanding location. With the 803 satellite now in place, the INTELSAT
601 will replace the INTELSAT 603 at 34.5 West, allowing the INTELSAT
603 to replace the INTELSAT 605 at 24.5 West. The INTELSAT 605 satellite
will be moved to the currently open slot at 29.5 West.

All services at this location were maintained during the transition,
with nearly 90% of these remaining at the same frequencies,
polarizations and orbital locations. The remainder were transferred to
alternate satellites.
(SME, source Intelsat)
INTELSAT 803, 27.5 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i803.html
The analogue version of Worldnet on 3.742 GHz, RC, has ceased.

WorldNet has started on 3.715 RC, MPEG-2, SR 8448, FEC 1/2, VPID 4870,
APID 4848, East Hemi beam.

SME Comment: I am not able to receive this package, almost no signal on
this frequency, by far not enough to establish digital video or audio

However the large Worldnet MPEG-2 feed package from 3.762 GHz, RC, SR
20600, FEC 3/4, could be loaded easily this morning. (see last weeks
report for full details). No video or audio could be made
visible/audable however.

The CFI transmission on 3.886 GHz, RC, is reduced drastically in quality
and signal level, during the last week, it is equaly (bad) as Algeria
TV, at times.

Possibly the higher part of the transponder has been activated, I can't
receive anything however. A beam change is technically out of the
The received quality of CNNi & Canal Horizons did not change in the same

During the clear transmission period, Ghassan Tabet could receive
Channel 5 in good quality in Lebanon with a 180 cm Ku-only solid dish.

CNN International on 4.052 GHz, RC, features teletext / videotext

CMT-Europe on 11.172 GHz, V, is still available in the clear; quality
has drastically improved after the satellite change.

The current transmission of BBC PRIME via the Intelsat satellite at
27.5  degrees West at 10.995 GHz, V, will end on 31st October 1997 when
the ten year contract with the satellite owner expires. 
Unfortunately the new transmissions which have started on satellites
Eutelsat II-F1 at 13 degrees East and Intelsat 707 at 1 degree West, do
not cover the western Mediterranean areas.
(SME, source BBC Customer Service)

SAT-MidEast Intern, http://www.sat-net.com/sat-mideast/
Upon request of various readers the latest issues of the SAT
Observations in HTML format will remain available on the SAT-MidEast
website as long as they are not have been integrated in the individual
satellite archive pages.

Many of you don't have a TV-Set with a TeleText or VideoText function...
Why not try it over the net ? Here some startpages:

CCN International (English):
Euronews (Multi-lingual):
NBC (English):
MTV (English):
TV Polonia (Polish):
TRT (Turkish):
DSF (German):
RTL (German):

If you really are interested in Cairo's weather take a look at:


and you will see we are really expecting RAIN !
That's all folks, take shelter for downwards directed meteorites !

Henk C. Room / SAT-MidEast / Cairo - Egypt
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