SAT Observations 97.11.21

A news release from Cairo, Egypt, located at 30.3 North - 31.15 East,
sponsored by TELE-SATELLITE INTERNATIONAL, Europes Satellite Magazine.
- Satellite and Transponder Observations in C- and Ku-Band,
- Commented from the Middle Eastern perspective.
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-- Launch Information
-- Editorials
-- Showtime info
-- 1stNET changes
-- Hot Bird updates
-- Bits & Pieces
-- SAT-MidEast Intern 

LAUNCH INFORMATION,  http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
Asiasat 3 is now scheduled to launch late Dec. (was 24 Dec., was: 16

Astra 1G is now scheduled to launch on 3 Dec. (was: 30 Nov., was 24
Nov), with a launch window from 02:10-02:20 CAT

SATELLITE IN DISGUISE, 5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/sirius2.html
Ariane Flight 102 did not put two satellites (Cakrawarta 1 and Sirius 2)
into orbit as many falsly reported. Actually, there was a third one
aboard: GE-1E - at least according to a press release by GE American
Communications (GE Americom,) a GE Capital Services Company.

GE Americom will provide 16 high-powered Ku-band transponders for the
European television market. Nordiskasatellitaktiebolaget (NSAB) will
provide Sirius 2 service on an additional 16 transponders to the Nordic
market. The satellite will be located at 5 degrees East when it becomes
operational by year-end. GE-1E will have 16 high-powered transponders
with pan European coverage.

GE Americom said it will provide high-powered satellite transponder
service as a cost-effective alternative for European Direct to Home
operators, broadcasters and programmers delivering service to cable
head-ends. GE Americom's service will be capable of delivering either
digital or analogue television to small dishes from portugal to Western
Russia and from England to the Middle East.

"The launch of GE-1E in Europe demonstrates GE Americom's growing
international presence," says Andreas Georghiou, Senior Vice president
of Global Satellite services. "Europe has welcomed GE's value-added
approach in providing satellite service solutions tailored for each
customer's specific needs," added Mr. Georghiou.

APSTAR IIR READY, 76.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/apstar2r.html
Apstar IIR will officially be put into service soon after its passing
all in-orbit tests, reported news agency Xinhua.

Operated by APT Satellite Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong-based satellite
operator, Apstar IIR was launched on October 17 aboard a Chinese Chang
Zheng (Long March) 3B rocket. It arrived at 76.5 degrees East on October
27. The in-orbit tests showed complete compliance with each prime
specification and that the satellite was ready for normal operation,
Xinhua said.

Built by Space Systems/Loral of the United States, the satellite is
equipped with 28 C-band and 16 Ku-band transponders and has a design
life of 15 years.

The future Palestinian state has been allocated frequencies in the
Broadcast Satellite Service (BSS) band at the current World
Radiocommunication Conference (WARC) in Geneva.

An accord reached for direct-to-home satellite broadcasting in Europe,
Asia and Africa reserves five channels for Palestine. It is the first
time that the future independent state has been allocated frequencies.

"The use of those channels will be possible when a joint decision is
made by Israel and the Palestinian Authority, " said Francine Lambert,
spokeswoman of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU.)

Samir Baker, a Palestinian delegate, was quoted as saying the move was
"very important for the Palestinian people, for their aspirations, to
have our own channels in the future." An Israeli delegate reportedly
said "It is something positive."

 Copyright 1997 by Sat-ND

SHOWTIME UPDATE, http://www.satcodx.com/dig/showtime.html
Showtime, the fastest growing satellite TV network in the Middle East,
believes that Egypt will show the greatest growth in the regional pay-TV
market over the next year.

The premium Western television entertainment network has backed up its
claim by appointing Khaled Abou-Zeid as it's first regional manager for
Egypt and launching an aggressive marketing campaign to attract new

The appointment of Khaled Abou-Zeid is a coup for Showtime. He has
worked in the Egyptian television industry for seven years with CNE and
played a major role in introducing pay-tv into the country. He joins
Showtime from the Egyptian Satellite Company (ESC) where he was
instrumental in planning the introduction of digital satellite

According to Khaled Abou-Zeid growth in the Egyptian pay-television
market will be driven by the move to digital broadcasting. He said: "The
satellite television industry is changing from analogue to digital
technology and, as a digital broadcaster, Showtime is in an excellent
position to capitalise on the growth in pay-TV. We have an excellent
product and offer the very best in Western television entertainment for
the entire family."

Qualititative research conducted by the Middle East Market Research
Bureau (MEMRB) among Showtime subscribers backs up his claim. Results
show that subscribers think that - The Movie Channel - on Showtime is
the best in the region. - Nickelodeon -, the Showtime children's
channel, also claimed first place in the kids category.

Showtime has also recently acquired the right for Sony films such as
Sleepless In Seattle, Philadelphia, In The Line Of Fire, Forrest Gump
and Cliffhanger. It is also showing multi-EMMY award winning series like
- Seinfeld, Mad About You, The Jeff Foxworthy Show and Ricki Lake -.

To offer subscribers greater choice of programming and pricing
flexibility, Showtime has made a package of premium Western movie and
entertainment television channels available to subscribers in Egypt for
as little as LE3 a day (equivalent USD 0.90). Showtime has introduced
its Mini Package as a new, simple and flexible subscription option to
give viewers greater choice in the programming they want to watch.

The Mini Package contains three channels, - The Movie Channel -,
regarded as the leading film channel in the Middle East, plus any two
other premium channels on the Showtime network for a monthly
subscription equivalent to only LE99 (USD 29). Viewers paying a yearly
subscription in advance will also receive two additional months free.

Other Mini package options are available that give viewers even greater
payment flexibility. A six month subscription to the Mini package is
priced at LE111 per month (USD 32.50), while the quarterly option costs
just LE122 each month (USD 36). Viewers aslso have the option of
selecting any additional channels on the network at a monthly cost of
just LE20 each (USD 6).

During 1997 Showtime has added two additional channels - Discovery and
Style - to its bouquet at no extra cost to subscribers. The network also
promises to add more channels to its line-up in the very near future.
(SME, source Showtime)

SME Comment: One new channel has been already announced last week to
start in February 1998: the - Hindi languaged - Sony Entertainment TV
(SET). Another entertainment channel in the English language could be
expected to be launched even prior to the beginning of Ramadan ! Details
on the type of programming have not been delivered yet, a good bet could
be - The Hallmark Channel -.

Showtime Event TV (SET,) which specialises in heavyweight boxing events,
said it estimates that gross PPV revenue this year will come to almost
USD 1.27 billion. Movies generate USD 603 million in revenues, special
events USD 413 million, and so-called adult services can expect USD 253

This would mean that PPV revenues would have doubled within just three
years, an SET survey said. The increases can be attributed to
technological improvements rather than to a growing public interest. The
number of U.S. cable households capable of receiving PPV has grown from
21.5 million (1994) to 28 million (1997.)

Since then, several direct broadcast satellite (DBS) services have gone
on air, all offering PPV services to an audience that is generally
regarded "high-end." More than a third of DBS homes purchase movies on
PPV during any given month, compared with only 7 perecent of cable

 Copyright 1997 by Sat-ND

THAICOM 3, 78.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/thai78.html
The correct names for the TV 5 channels 3.520 GHz, H, SR 26666, FEC 3/4,
is "Thai TV.5 Global Network", as the logotype is saying just that and
all in-line advertisements mention this new brand name .

It is reported that an identical package is transmitted from 3.480 GHz,
H. I can find the identical strong carrier, but when tuning in to the
frequency, always the 3.520 GHz, package gets loaded, even after
delating everything from the channel database. I guess that the data
stream on both carriers are identical and therefore is pointing only to
3.520 GHz, H.

Thai TV 5 Global Network has started on 3,600 H, in NTSC/clear, with
audio subcarriers on 6.60 and 7.02 MHz. The sound is better here than in
the MPEG-2 packages where it is quite crackling.

PANAMSAT 4, 68.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/pas4.html
Indian ATN returned on November 21, on 4.156 GHz, H, with stereo audio
subcarriers on 7.56/7.74 MHz. They started at around 08:00 CAT.
(SME, Alex Chandy)

TURKSAT 1C, 42 East, http://www.satcodx.com/turk1c.html
Playboy TV has started transmissions on transponder 5L, 11.006 GHz, V, 
PAL/Nagravision, after Cine 5 ends its programming around 02:00 CAT.
(Ghassan Tabet)

ARABSAT 2A, 26 East, http://www.satcodx.com/arab2a.html
In the night from 14 to 15 November the DStv datastream for 1stNET and
ART has been updated as previously announced. Following the actual data:

Ku transponder 3, 12.562 GHz, H, SR 27.500, FEC 3/4
AL-M (clear, NEW documentary channel Al Ma'aref)
RTT (clear)
FUT3 (not occupied)

Ku transponder 5, 12.604 GHz, H, SR 27.500, FEC 3/4
MBC (clear)
TNT/Cartoon Network
OPEN (clear, identical to analogue arab2a Ku-tp 11 and C-tp 4)

Ku transponder 9, 12.685 GHz, H, SR 19.638, FEC 7/8
ART (six identical channels
ART  with different PID's
ART  showing the looped 
ART  demonstration video
ART  on how to change the 
ART  IRD settings )

Comment: The channels from transponder 3 & 5 are STILL overwritten with
the old Panamsat 4 frequencies, SR and FEC, wenn a manual search on that
satellite on the SHOWTIME network frequencies is performed. The new
1stNET datastream has not been changed to prevent this nasty effect.

The demo videos on transponder 9, 12.685 Ghz, H, are supposed to cease
prior to the end of the month. During December new channels will appear,
one-by-one, but all functional with the new SR 27500 and FEC 3/4. A
primary deadline is December 31st, the first day of the Holy Month of
RAMADAN, the yearly highlight in TV programming throughout the Arabic

Future 1stNET expansion includes the transformation of analogue
Ku-transponder 11 into an MPEG-2 transponder, connected to the bouquet,
and 4 additional transponder bookings on the full Ku-Band Arabsat 3A at
26 East from early 1999.

SME Comment: ART could come to an agreement with Kuwait TV on the
exchange of transponders: transponder 7 to the ART and transponder 11 to
Kuwait TV. Why: looks much prettier on my frequency tables... But jokes
aside: It would give the ART a wider spectrum of frequencies without any
interferencies in-between (12.550 through 12.710 GHz on transponders 3,
5, 7 and 9)

Qatari channel "JSC - Al Jazeera" started on November 20th, additional
to the Ku-Band transmissions, in the C-Band on transponder 19 on 4.120
GHz, RC, PAL, high power beam, with audio on the subcarriers 6.60 and
7.50 MHz. The radio stations featured on the Ku-Band are here not

It is not clear if the transponder will be returned to it's original
leaser ART or a double illumination is planned. ART could certainly use
the Horizontal polarized transponder for future expansion.

There are now only two C-Band transponder not used for TV broadcasts:
transponder 12, 3.946 GHz, LC (ec-CFI) where TV-5 is supposed to appear,
and transponder 15, 4.044 GHz, RC, still in use for various digital
transmissions. (SME)

EUTELSAT II-f3, 16 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f3.html
Test transmissions of Eros-TV could be observed on 11.575 GHz, V, from
02:00 CAT in PAL/clear, with an audio subcarrier on 6.50 MHz. Encryption
of the channel is announced.

Qa'im Channel on 11.163 GHz, H, is now broadcasting Sat-Sun 01:00-03:00

HOT BIRD 1, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb1.html
RNW TV - Radio Nederland/Wereldomroep - was supposed to start on 11.283
GHz, V, on 20 November, analog, from 20:00-01:00 CAT, but didn't, and
neither did the channel today (unforeseen technical difficulties with
the up-link - empty batteries, eventually ? <gg>).

In the next few days, Radio Netherlands radio channels will also be
available on this transponder as separate mono subcarriers. Exact
frequencies will be announced shortly.

The start of pay-TV test transmissions in the UK has meant that
transponder 58 on the Astra satellite is no longer available for
analogue distribution of Radio Netherlands Wereldomroep television.

Radio Netherlands "Wereldomroep TV" remains on Astra in the digital mode
for both television and radio. If you are receiving us using an MPEG
receiver, there is NO change. 

The analogue radio subcarrier of Radio Netherlands on Astra transponder
58 at 7.56 MHz will remain in use until the end of 1997

HOT BIRD 2, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb2.html
Canale 5 on 11.919 V, PIDs 0203/02A8, has teletext, called "MEDIA
VIDEO", to officially start on 24 November. The previous teletext
services on Canale 5, Italia 1 and Rete 4 have temperorarily ceased, and
could be replaced with the new model soon.

The Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) has confirmed that they plan to
launch a new religious satellite channel on November 30th. The channel,
which is provisionally called TeleCEI, will initially broadcast three
hours a day, in MPEG-2 via the Eutelsat Hot Bird 2 satellite.

Transponder space has been leased from the Italian pay-TV network
Telepiu. Around 12.5 million USD has been invested for the start of the
new channel. 

The program schedule will be made up of religious and cultural programs
with a special emphasis on the family and teenagers as well as of
reports from dioceses throughout Italy. The programs will be offered to
local religious TV stations for re-transmission. There are currently 90
such stations throughout Italy.

Polonia 1 on 11.977 GHz, H, is really using the super beam. It makes it
the only super beam transponder receivable in Cairo from the 13 East
(SME, source: Eutelsat)

Reteotto is has returned to the Polonia 1 transponder on 11.977 GHz, H,
on an audio subcarrier at 7.02 MHz.

HOT BIRD 3, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb3.html
The complete SBC package on 12.399 GHz, H, has been in MPEG-2/clear for
almost two days this, evrything is encrypted again, however, with the
exeption of the SAT Access Info channel.

The TV channels in the SBC bouquet have at times audio in the original
language on shows and movies on the main audio PIDs plus one. 
Please refer to the SATCO DX chart for the exact values.

EUTELSAT II-f2, 10 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f2.html
The NAK on 11.154 GHz, H, in MPEG-2/clear has 16 sound tracks with APIDs
from 43E9 to 43F8. All tracks are present identical.

SIRIUS 2, 5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/sirius2.html
Sirius 2 will enter geostationary orbit at 5 East during Sunday, 23

From the middle of December, as soon as Sirius 2 is operational, SVT
Europa, (Swedish International Television) will launch on transponder
35, 12.380	GHz, H, on the Europa-Wide beam, MPEG-2, SR 27000, FEC 3/4,
encrypted in VIACCESS.

Prices set for citizens of the European Union (with the exeption of
Swedes) are as follows:

VIACCESS CAM: 938 SEK or around 102 USD (probably PCMCIA for MM 96xx)
Smart Card:   200 SEK or around  26 USD
Subscribe:   1250 SEK or around 165 USD per year 				

Everyone outside the European Union gets a 20% "discount" while the
Value Added Tax (VAT) is not due for payment.

EXPRESS 2, 14 West, http://www.satcodx.com/e2.html
VIRI - Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran is on 3.975 GHz, RC, 6.80

INTELSAT 705, 18 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i705.html
A new Romanian TV channel called "Ameron TV" is said to start in
MPEG-2/clear in December, on a - yet - unknown frequency.

PANAMSAT 6, 43 West, http://www.satcodx.com/pas6.html
PAS 6 is experiencing trouble with its solar power arrays, which may
result in reduced performance at the end of its lifetime.

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.

That's all folks, get back to work !

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