SAT Observations 97.11.14
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THE HEADLINES IN THIS 97.11.14 REPORT
(Breaking up is hard to do..., I'll miss you dearly):
-- Launch Information
-- SHOWTIME expands
-- MTV Mashaweer in ARABIC
-- Hot Bird MPEG News
-- Bits & Pieces
-- SAT-MidEast Intern
LAUNCH INFORMATION, http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
The Swedish Sirius 2 and Indonesian Cakrawarta 1 satellites were, after
a two day delay due to high winds, successfully launched with Ariane
flight V102 at 23:48 CAT, November 12th. The used 44L launcher is the
most powerfull commercial Ariane rocket, with four strap-on liquid
More details on the Sirius 2 satellite below...
International Launch Services (ILS) will use its newest Russian launch
vehicle, the Proton M, to launch Intelsat 901.
The launch contract, which has recently been signed, marks the first
time an Intelsat satellite will be launched on a Russian-built Proton
rocket. It calls for one firm launch with options for up to five
ILS is a joint venture company established in 1995 to jointly market
Proton and the Lockheed Martin Astronautics-built Atlas to the
world-wide satellite launch market. The company now holds seven
commercial Proton launch contracts for a total backlog of 20 launch
commitments. Two more commercial Proton launches remain in 1997 with
nine planned for 1998. The combined ILS Proton and Atlas backlog is in
excess of USD 3.5 billion, ILS said in a press release.
A Russian Proton-K/DM-2 rocket successfully placed a telecommunications
satellite into orbit today for the Central Bank of Russia, Moscow. The
satellite will not be transmitting any kind of broadcasting for
television or radio, its main purposes are the communication of data
between individual banking locations in the vast Russian state.
Built by NPO Lavochkin and named Kupon, this is the first spacecraft for
the bank, a second one on order is in the final construction stages.
The 2.300 kg system was launched at 20:00 CAT on November 12th from the
Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The Proton vehicle is built by the Krunichev State Space Center.
SONY PICTURES joins Paramount and KIPCO on SHOWTIME in Middle East
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has joined Paramount Pictures and the
Kuwait Investment Projects Company (KIPCO) in taking an equity share of
The Movie Channel on Showtime, the fastest growing digital satellite
pay-TV network in the Middle East.
Under the terms of the deal Sony and Paramount will also provide
first-run television product to Showtime's general entertainment
channels, while in February 1998 SET (Sony Entertainment Television)
will join the current nine channel Showtime bouquet at no extra cost to
Paramount Pictures and Sony subsidiary Columbia TriStar International
Television will each provide The Movie Channel with current release
films. Titles already slated for broadcast include Forrest Gump,
Philadelphia, Sleepless In Seattle, Cliffhanger, In The Line Of Fire and
Showtime's general entertainment channels - The Paramount Channel, TV
Land and Style - will also be further enhanced by the addition of
multi-EMMY award winning shows to the schedules including Seinfeld, Mad
About You, Ricki Lake and The Young and The Restless.
"We are pleased to be part of the Showtime/Gulf DTH partnership"
commented Michael Grindon, President of SPE's Columbia TriStar
International Television division. "Our television programming is a
great fit with the Showtime channels such as TV Land and Paramount, and
we are excited that the platform will also feature SET India, our
popular Hindi-language channel. Coupled with our equity investment in
The Movie Channel, the Showtime package offers an extremely appealing
channel selection to the Middle East audience."
"We are pleased that SPE has decided to join Paramount and KIPCO in
ownership of The Movie Channel," said Jack Waterman, President,
Paramount Worldwide Pay Television. "This development brings to
fruition Paramount's strategic initiative in the Middle East and brings
together SPE's and Paramount's combined output which enhances
Paramount's ownership in the platform and all of its channels."
"The addition of SPE strengthens our existing programming package for
the region," said Peter Einstein, President and Chief Executive of
Showtime/Gulf DTH. "We have already established Showtime as the premier
satellite network in the Middle East. This alliance further enhances
our already strong line-up and we fully expect to attract even more
Showtime was launched by Gulf DTH in September 1996 and has a strong
following of direct-to-home and other subscribers throughout the
region. Showtime's current channel line-up includes The Movie Channel,
The Paramount Channel, TV Land, Style, Discovery, MTV Europe, VH-1 and
Bloomberg Information TV. It is carried on the Panamsat 4 satellite at
the 68.5 Eastern location.
Sony Entertainment: http://www.spe.sony.com
(SME, Showtime, Dubai)
SME Comment: Great ! But may I raise the question if this is the Sony
Entertainment Television we are waiting for ? Is a "Hindi-languaged"
channel really an enhancement of the SHOWTIME package, more then another
modal expansion ? And coming to my last weeks comment on Arabisation of
the Network: Will it also be undertitled, and then in both English and
Arabic ? I guess not, it will stay more something for the Gulf expats,
so to speak.
The SET channel is now almost since the launch of PANAMSAT 4 present on
this satellite, Free-to-Air, and surely with great success on the Indian
sub-continent, but hardly a channel I have ever seen longer than a few
minutes while flipping through the channels. It has however a nice
on-screen logo and the brandname SONY alone will most probably attrack
plenty of subscribers. Only unfortunate that its broadcast hours so
badly fit into the Arabian TV culture.
If the set-up is part of the deal between SHOWTIME/GULF DTH and
SONY/Colombia TriStar, to enhance the Movie Channel and other action
packed SHOWTIME channels, then I see the need of the addition,
otherwise...there are easier methods to gain paying subscribers:
What is with the long awaited Sports Channel ? I understand, it's not
easy to get the right selection, and payable copyrights, but competitors
do have the same difficulties and find solutions. SHOWTIME subscribers
in the Middle East are longing for a 2nd Movie Channel: Why not launch a
Classic Channel ? Why not launch a time-shifted Movie Channel 2, with
the same offerings as the existing Move Channel ? Why is no major news
channel part of the deal; BBC is analogue receivable only in mediocre
quality in the western Mediterranean and Northern African States. BBC
24-Hours could be a renewed chance to get them aboard, and don't tell me
Bloomberg Info TV is the innovative, global alternative ! Then I would
certainly prefer EuroNews...
I could go on for a while, but I won't...there will be sufficient
reasons for all of the above NOT being reality at the present moment,
and only time will tell what we've really missed.
MTV MASHAWEER - new Arabic music show with energy, style and attitude
Get set for take-off with MTV Mashaweer, the first music show for the
Middle East from the world leaders in music television, MTV. The first
of the fortnightly shows airs on December 3 at 19:00 CAT, exclusively on
the Showtime satellite TV network.
Mashaweer means small trips or journeys, so it is fitting that new,
vibrant VJ Mounir presents this landmark programme, having travelled
extensively in Europe and the Middle East himself.
"I'm really excited about being a part of Mashaweer" enthuses Mounir.
"MTV has always been about cutting edge music, and this show has an
energy and style all of its own specially for Middle Eastern tastes."
The show represents a musical meeting place - a fusion of sounds and
visions from The Gulf, The Levant, North Africa, The Mediterranean and
Asia. Viewers can expect to see bright new acts surfacing on Mashaweer,
as well as singers and bands they already know and love.
The first show kicks off in high style, featuring an exclusive interview
with Ishtar, the beautiful and talented singer of the hugely popular
band Alabina. There will also be videos from Khaled, Ragheb Alameh,
Diana Haddad, Frankie Hi-NRG MC, Dania and Julia Boutros, among
Each episode will include special segments including Shouelkessa - the
regular viewer's request video and the personal story behind the
request. Mashaweer will also hold regular competitions and there's a
chance to win a Sony Playstation in the first epsiode.
(SME, Showtime, Dubai)
SME COMMENT: Anybody really wants a comment from my side on this ? I
really believe it will be very successfull, if the mistake of to much
Arabic music in a row (ART-5 !) is not made. A free minded, but decent,
packaged surrounding, with a mixture of Arabic and Western hits, will be
a great succes, without any doubts. Just look at the success of the
Indian and Asian versions of MTV. If MTV Mashaweer prooves succesfull
there is a great opportunity for more SHOWTIME future expansion: MTV
Arabic & MTV Classic (M2).
Away from the editorial part, back to some SAT Observations:
THAICOM 3, 78.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/thai78.html
"Army TV Channel 5" as part of the MPEG-2/clear test package on 3.520
GHz, H, has been renamed to "TV 5 International Headlines". In the
channels' on-screen logo is mentioned "THAI TV-5 GLOBAL NETWORK".
They show mostly news, some cultural info and a home shopping sequence.
(SME, SATCO DX)
Norbert Schlammer in Berlin, Germany reports regularely of the reception
of the UTV-MCOT MPEG-2 package on 3.880 GHz, H, SR 27500, FEC 3/4. I
could not get hold of this package yet.
Mark Long "MLE-Sat" web-site provides an excellent footprint map for the
C-band beam: http://www.mlesat.com/Giffz/078eT3c4.gif
APSTAR 2R, 76.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/apstar2r.html
Very strong test carriers could be observed on several C-band
transponder, at various times during this week. These initial signals
are stronger than any other C-band transponder seen, except on the
narrow transponder 1A.
Actual test-cards or video transmissions could not yet be observed, but
could start any day now.
PANAMSAT 4, 68.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/pas4.html
ATN India, uplinked by General Telecommunications Ltd. from Singapore
assures the restart of the transmissions in the nearby future (latest
November 12th). Technical difficulties have been the reason of the
SME Comment: Right ! ;-) Nothing seen yet !
(SME, source: Ms. Swapna Vora, Vice President, ATN India and Mr. Ashish,
Engineer of the up-link site of General Telecommunication Ltd,
INTELSAT 602, 62 East, http://www.satcodx.com/i602.html
Intelsat 602 has probably replaced Intelsat 801 at 62 East, and Intelsat
801 is aledgedly on a slow drift WESTwards to 27.5 West.
SME Comment: I personnaly believe that Intelsat only relocates the
satellite after a succesfull launch of the Intelsat 804 with Ariane V104
on 22 December towards the 64 East slot.
Irani Sahar Universal Network is back on 11.128 GHz, V, SECAM, and still
part time on 11.096 GHz, V.
EAST BIRD, 36 East, http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
Media Most plans to launch Bonum 1 in addition to the existing and
future GALS satellites, and will also use 19 of 32 transponder on the
new Eutelsat W4 satellite for their programming, according to their
Russian sales office.
ARABSAT 2A, 26 East, http://www.satcodx.com/arab2a.html
Take special note to the CHANGES to the 1stNET/ART package from ARABSAT
>From Saturday, November 15th, the 1stNET/ART package will change its
base transponder and the basic data stream of the bouquet, which itself
will be extended to 16 channels.
OLD DATA: transponder 3, 12.563 GHz, H, SR 19638, FEC 7/8
NEW DATA: transponder 5, 12.604 GHz, H, SR 27500, FEC 3/4
This information is transmitted on the new ART channel "Al Ma'aref"
since Saturday, November 8th, in a regular video presentation, 4 times
an-hour, with a demonstration using Arabic language on a PACE 500 IRD on
how to change the settings to the new required data.
EUTELSAT II-f3, 16 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f3.html
Eros TV will start adult transmissions before the end of this month, on
11.575 GHz, V, using the widebeam in D2-MAC/S2. Eros TV will offer four
hours of programs a day to its viewers between 02:00-06:00 CAT. A
commercial trailer is presently available at night in PAL/clear, with
French audio on 6.50 MHz.
The price of the smart card with annual subscription is 135.00 British
Eros TV can be contacted via E-mail: <Mediasat@aol.com> or on the phone
using number +44 (0) 171 537 1010.
(SME, Source: on screen message)
SME Comment: The reception of this channel in the Gulf States and KSA
will only be acceptable after the change of this satellite to the W2, as
the widebeam of the Eutelsat II-f3 is not covering these areas.
HOT BIRD 2, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb2.html
On 1 December, Canal 24 Horas will start on 11.785 GHz, H in PAL,
together with RNE Radio 1, RNE Radio 5 Todo Noticias, RNE Radio Clasica
and RNE Radio 3 on the audio subcarriers.
It has to be expected that the signals saturation of the widebeam
transponder will be increased over present day-time levels, in order to
cover the Canary Islands. Full saturation is at the moment only active
(SME, SATCO DX)
RAISat Nettuno as part of the RAI package on 11.804 GHz, V, started
regular transmissions on Monday, 10 November. A wide selection of
broadcasts from various Italian Universities for higher education are
shown throughout the day, evening AND night...
Canale 5 uses the "TEST" channel with VPID 4203 and APID 42A8 on
transponder 60 on 11.919 GHz, V, now regularely.
I personally remember however similar behaviour also to have observed in
times when the Mediaset channels were on the Intelsat 602 satellite, at
63 East, where often the feed transponder 10.973 GHz, H, for a longer
period of time was occupied for a double transmission of Canale 5. The
reasons behind this behaviour are unknown to me
HOT BIRD 3, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb3.html
On 10 November, at 13:00 CAT, the Croatian & Slovene MPEG-2 package has
started on transponder 80, 12.303 GHz, V, SR 27500, FEC 3/4. They were
initially scheduled to start on 1 November, but it had to be postponed
due to technical difficulties. The complete package will stay in clear
for three months. After that, selected programs will be encrypted.
A visit to these channels can be recommended, as the lot of the present
shown serials, soaps and movies are in the original language, which is
most of the time English. I was even lucky today and could see (for the
first time in 10 years, see a movie in Dutch !) The undertitling
provides you another learning exprience of the Croatian and the Slovene
HRT Sat will cease on Eutelsat II-f3 on 1 March next year.
VPID APID Channel
4064 4065 HRT TV 1 (with HRT Text)
4067 4068 HRT TV 2
4069 406A HRT TV 3
40C8 40C9 TV Slovenija 1
40CB 40CC TV Slovenija 2
40CD 40CE TV Koper Capodistria (SLO 3 testcard)
---- 4096 HR 1
---- 4097 HR 2
---- 4098 HR 3
---- 4099 HR KV
---- 40FA Radio Slovenija 1
---- 40FB Radio Slovenija 2
---- 40FC Radio Slovenija 3
(SME, SATCO DX)
MTV 2 on 12.130 GHz, H, is in stereo on audio subcariers 7.02-7.20 MHz.
CCTV 4 has again left the Multichoice Hellas II bouquet on 12.169 GHz,
The package now only consist of 8 encrypted test channels, while
channels Future 9 and Future 10 also ceased on Thursday, November 13th.
CCTV 4 is of course still available from Hot Bird 2, Multichoice Hellas
I bouquet, transponder 55, 11.823 GHz, H.
SIRIUS 2, 5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/sirius2.html
The Sirius 2 satellite, launched on November 12th, features 32
transponder, arranged over a Northern, Continental and European (wide)
beam. Only the latter will be receivable in the western parts of the
Mediterranean and Northern Africa.
RIK of Cyprus has reserved transponder space on this satellite for their
regular transmissions. RIK will leave Eutelsat II-f4 at 7 East, after a
period of succesful dual illumination from both satellites.
It is not publicly known which frequencies RIK will occupy; they will
all however be in the higher Ku-Band range. If transponder 1 or 3 is
used, a standard LNB will still receive these transmissions, in case of
an allocation of the channels to any other transponder, a wideband LNB
(10.700-12.750 GHz) is required for reception.
A footprint map for the European beam can be seen on:
Transponder layout for the European Beam:
Tp Pol Middle frequency
01 H 11.72748
03 H 11.76684
19 H 12.07272
21 H 12.11108
23 H 12.14944
25 H 12.18780
27 H 12.22616
29 H 12.26452
31 H 12.30288
33 H 12.34124
35 H 12.37960
37 H 12.41796
39 H 12.45632
INTELSAT 707, 1 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i707.html
There were a lot of complaints from the region about the reception of
BBC PRIME after its ceasure on Intelsat 803 at 27.5 West.
The D2-MAC transmissions of Intelsat 707 at 1 West with on 11.679 GHz,
H, are not receivable in the European East-Mediterranean Area.
BBC made its "Prime" programming now digitally available on 11.540 GHz,
V, using Spotbeam 1 and CONAX encryption. The startdate of the broadcast
will be any day between 15th November and 1st December 1997.
BBC recommends a NOKIA 9600-S receiver with the necessary smartcard and
a Conax common interface module. Existing customers will receive
automatically one year free subscription to the channel to compensate
for the expence of the new equipment.
SME Comment: The Northern Conax encryption system makes it simple for
the BBC to broadcast from this particular satellite, but is a burdon for
the viewers in an area where IRDETO is the commonly used CAM.
(Multichoice Hellas, SHOWTIME, Multichoice Africa, 1stNET). Do
broadcaster really take note of their target market ? Or is this
transmission another escape goat...
INTELSAT 515, 21.3 West, http://www.satcodx.com/ik.html
After years of only SCPC audio, Tele Sahel on 3.914 GHz, RC, presents
now an audio subcarrier on 6.60 MHz, but only during regular
transmisions; morning or afternoon feeds still do not have standard
INTELSAT 603, 24.5 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i603.html
Intelsat 603 replaced Intelsat 605 at 24.5 West on 6 November.
INTELSAT 803, 27.5 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i803.html
WorldNet is broadcasting several Audio and Video Channels on 3.762 GHz,
RC, SR 20600, FEC 3/4.
VPID APID Channel
4C58 4C30 One
4CBC 4C3A Two
4D84 4C30 Three (apid ??)
PANAMSAT 3-R, 34 West, http://www.satcodx.com/pas3r.html
PanAmSat reports that Nigeria-based Minaj Group will use PanAmSat's
PAS-3 Atlantic Ocean Region satellite to distribute the new Minaj
Broadcast International (MBI) television network throughout Africa.
PAS-3's continent-wide African coverage for program distribution
services will enable Minaj to reach Africa's potential television
audience of approximately 38 million TV households.
Minaj will use a 9 Megahertz (MHz) digital channel on the PAS-3 C-band
Africa beam to distribute a combination of popular and sports-oriented
television programming to its growing base of broadcast affiliates.
PAS-3, launched in January 1996, is a Hughes HS 601 satellite with 16
C-band and 16 Ku-band transponders. The satellite provides comprehensive
coverage of the Americas, Europe and Africa.
SAT-MidEast Intern, http://www.sat-net.com/sat-mideast/
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.
For a trial period a new ad-system has been implemented on the SAT
Observations HTML page, it gives directions to other interesting sites
of our sponsors.
For curiosity just take a look at:
Dr.DISH TV, 28.5 East, http://www.drdish.com/
The Dr.Dish TV transmission this Friday was on Kopernikus 2, 12.730 GHz,
V, and NOT on 11.550 GHz, V, as usual. (Sorry, I am a little late with
Fareed Al Gurg, Middle East's favourite satellite surgeon reports:
Following a very big storm in Dubai, I'm now left with a Paraclipse dish
that has a reflector in three segments.
One segment measures still 16.5 feet, the second is 14 feet and the last
is 6 feet. I'm still receiving all satellites, including all digital
packes on the Hot Birds, along with other C-band channels.
The wonders of satellite world never stop!
Fareed is editor of the Middle East Satellite Today, where he features
channel update pages and a Question & Answer corner.
That's all folks, and don't over-do it !
Henk C. Room / SAT-MidEast / Cairo - Egypt
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