SAT-MidEast 98.03.13

A news release from Cairo, Egypt, located at 31.15 East - 30.3 North,
sponsored by TELE-SATELLITE INTERNATIONAL, Europes Satellite Magazine
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-- Launch Information
-- Editorials
-- Transponder Infos
-- Hot Bird 4: SkyPlex
-- Bits & Pieces
-- SAT-MidEast Intern
-- Dr.Dish@TV Intern

LAUNCH INFORMATION, http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
The launch of Nilesat 101 and B-SAT 1B with Ariane V108 seems to be
moved forward from 21 to 17 April.

The launch of Insat 2E is most probably postponed to October, possibly
together with GE 5.

Asiasat 3S will be launched with Proton in the first quarter of 1999, as
replacement for Asiasat 3. The satellite will be completely identical to
Asiasat 3 (see full report below).

New names and launch dates for the three WorldCom Radio satellites:
98/10/15: Afrispace
99/01/15: Asiaspace
99/05/15: Amerispace

A fourth satellite for this system has been firm ordered, with a fifth
as an option.

Delayed Atlas launches: (old date in parenthesis)
98/06/13: est.launch window 01:03-02:04 CAT: Intelsat 805
98/08/23: est.launch window 01:00-03:00 CAT: Eutelsat W1 (98/05/12)

India has bought Arabsat 1C, which was being kept as a back-up by
Arabsat, for US$40 million. Equipped with 25 C-band transponders and one
S-band transponder, it is expected to serve another five years, reported
The Hindu.

The satellite is at present being controlled from Arabsat's control
centre in Tunisia. Equipment is to be installed so that the Indian
Master Control Facility (MFC) at Hassan in Karnataka, which currently
oversees operations of the Insat satellites, will also be able to take
over control of Insat-2DT in a few months' time.

An advanced system developed for the control of the next generation
Arabsat-3 satellites had also been bought for the MCF.

At the same time, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has just
completed a six-week programme for 13 Arabsat engineers. As part of the
programme, the ISRO has developed a computer-based self-learning
tutorial where trainees could use to learn the theory and concepts
underlying satellite control. Any Internet browser can be used to run
the tutorial. The tutorial software can be marketed as a CD-ROM. The
ISRO has, however, not yet taken a decision in this regard. The ISRO was
also providing training and consultancy to Koreans in establishing and
running their satellite ground station facilities.

Copyright 1998, Peter C Klanowski

Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holdings Ltd has appointed Hughes
Space and Communications International Inc to build a new satellite to
replace AsiaSat 3, which failed to reach its proper orbit on a Proton

The new AsiaSat 3S would be launched by a Russian Proton rocket from the
Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in the first quarter of 1999, Asiasat
said in  a statement. The satellite operator added it had received the
full insurance proceeds of US$200 million from the failed AsiaSat 3. The
sum would be used to fund the procurement, launch and insurance of
AsiaSat 3S.

Hughes Space and Communications International Inc. gave some details
about Asiasat 3S in a press release.

The new satellite, to be designated AsiaSat 3S, is an exact replica of
AsiaSat 3. It will be designed to provide a minimum of 15 years of

The HS 601HP satellite will feature 9,900 watts of power and will
increase AsiaSat's capacity to distribute television and
telecommunications services to Asia, the Middle East, Australasia and
the Commonwealth of Independent States. The satellite will carry 28
active C-band transponders, using 55-watt travelling-wave tube
amplifiers (TWTAs), and 16 active Ku-band transponders using 138-watt

Just as in AsiaSat 3, these transponders will operate through two
2.7-meter shaped surface antennas. One antenna, mounted on the east side
of the satellite and operating in the C-band, will provide broad-band
coverage for Asia and Australasia. The west-side antenna will operate in
the Ku-band and provide focused area coverage for East Asia.

A 1.3-meter, dual-gridded shaped surface antenna, operating in Ku-band,
will provide focused area coverage for South Asia. In addition, a
1-meter Ku-band steerable spot-beam antenna will allow AsiaSat 3S to
directly cover any area on the Earth's surface that is visible from the
spacecraft's orbital location at 105.5 degrees East.

Copyright 1998, Peter C Klanowski

The Saudi Arabian prince and businessman Al Waleed, who owns a 2,6%
stake in the private TV holding company Mediaset, has expressed his
support for an eventual deal with the media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

In an interview to the Italian weekly "Il Mondo", Al Waleed said that a
Murdoch-Mediaset alliance would "make sense" because they could
cooperate in many fields such as media, telecommunications and
satellite-TV. He added that Mediaset is still too much concentrated on
the Italian market and need's to expand beyond Italy's frontiers.

The Saudi-born businessman also holds a minority stake in Rupert
Murdoch's company News Corporation.
(SME, Copyright 1998, SAT-Italy)

Singapore-based Interasia Television (ITV) said it would launch a new
non-vulgar satellite channel on April 15 that would reflect Moslem
values and be free of obscenity.

The Urdu language channel, devoted to entertainment programmes, is to
focus on southeast Asia and Pakistan. "We want to promote our own Moslem
culture and values through this channel. There will be no obscenity or
vulgar programmes," ITV chief executive Haroon Leghari announced.

He told a news conference in Karachi that most satellite channels were
dominated by Western culture and values while "ITV is basically a
Pakistani channel which will reflect culture and values of South East
Asian people in general and Pakistan in particular."

The channel will use uplinking facilities of S.T. Teleport in Singapore
to broadcast to 43 countries via Asiasat 1. Urdu, Pakistan's national
language, was spoken and understood by more than a billion people in the
region, Leghari said.

Copyright 1998, Peter C Klanowski

Radio Nederland Wereldomroep (RNW) announced that as of March 29th, it
will terminate its analogue radiosignal for Europa from the Astra
frequency: 10.947 GHz, V, subcarrier 7.56 MHz. RNW-1 has already started
on Eutelsat Hot Bird 1, behind the transmissions of PolSat: 11.431 GHz,
H, 7.56 MHz.

It is the Wereldomroeps strategie to concentrate the analogue
transmissions of the radio- and the BVN television signals from one
orbital position, and, also considering financial backgrounds, the
Eutelsat system has here been favoured over the Astra offer. 
(SME, Copyright 1998, DutchMedia)

APSTAR 2R, 76.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/apstar2r.shtml
TVB 8 on 4.188 GHz, V, is testing in MPEG-2/encrypted, SR 13.237, FEC

TVB 8 on 4.188 GHz, V, is showing a 20 minutes promotional video in PAL
every full hour. As announced in the promo the Pay-TV bouquet should be
called "Galaxy Channel" and will, in the end, consist off 8 encrypted
Chinese entertainment channels and an additional promotional channel
eventual in MPEG-2/clear.

For further channel details see SAT-MidEast 09.03.06 

INTELSAT 703, 57 East, http://www.satcodx.com/i703.shtml
Occasional feeds could be observed on 3.857 R, MPEG-2, SR 5998, FEC 2/3.

INSAT 2DT, 55 East, http://www.satcodx.com/in2dt.shtml
DD-17 (seventeen -NOT- one) transmits occasional feeds on 3.848 GHz, L,
PAL/clear, with audio on 5.50 MHz, alternating with 3.811 GHz, L.

COUPON 1, 55 East, http://www.satcodx.com/coupon1.shtml
Occasional test carriers could be seen on 11.060 GHz, H, and 11.080 GHz,
H, with a signal strenght of around 39-41 dBW in Finland.

EUROPESAT-1, 29 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb4.shtml
The HOT BIRD 4 satellite has reached a geo-stationary orbit and is
presently tested as a first in the EUROPESAT-1 Network on 29 East.
Strong, empty, carriers, on the various transponder, could be seen
already on March 8th, originating from 26-27 East.

SME Comment: Astra 1D is testing from almost the same orbital location
(28.2 East), but do not worry about it too much. The Astra beam goes in
a complete different direction and is not, and will not, be receivable
in the Middle East.

SME Comment: Read an interesting story on the disputed ASTRA/EUTELSAT
28/29 degrees Eastern slot on:

From March 11th, around 22:15 CAT, the EuroSport channel was relayed on
12.360 GHz, H, in PAL/clear, with the English audio carrier on 6.60 MHz,
and the German audio circuit on the subcarrier at 7.20 MHz.

The transmission was interupted for 30 minutes, on March 12th at 13:06
CAT to make place for some EBU Channel-A feeds in PAL/clear, at the same
time, identical (but with SiS - Sound in Sync) transmitted on Eutelsat
II-f4-M, at 7 East, transponder 20A, 10.972 GHz, H.
After EuroSport picked up again, the transmissions on this frequency
12.360 GHz, H, ceased around 15:30 CAT, and in the evening only a test
card was shown.
EuroSport was moved to the 12.303 GHz, V, frequency for the night and
the following day.

Plenty of videos of the French "Fashion" channel, mixed with some older
and new produced ESA and Eutelsat promotional material could be observed
on 12 and 13 March on 12.303 GHz, V, PAL/clear with audio on 6.60 MHz. A
colourbar test card could be observed on this transponder already in the
evening of March 11th.

On a testcard with the initial text "Antenna Hungaria" on transponder
115, 10.815 Ghz, H, the wording was changed to "29 Degr.E" - "Eutelsat"
shortly after the appearance. 

The steady running text in English, French and German on 12.303 GHz, V,
and 12.360 GHz, H, had following wording (E version):


The transponder in the high-band frequencies are tested in the
12.250-12.400 GHz range, in order not to interfere with Arabsat 2A at 26
East and Kopernikus 2 at 28.5 East.

SME Comment: The above confirms that Eutelsats Hot Bird transponder, as
those on the recent Astra satellites, are able to adjust their
up/downlink frequency spectrum, in order to create a back-up system in
case of failing transponder capacity on co-located satellites.
The three tested vertical Hot Bird 4 high-band transponder 96, 98, and
100 have been switched to the exact middle frequencies of their
corresponding Hot Bird 3 transponder 76, 78 and 80 ! The tested
horizontal high-band transponder 95, 97, 99, and 101 have been switched
to the Hot Bird 3 middle frequencies of the respective transponder 79,
81, 83, and 85.

Testing will be rounded up at the 29 Eastern Eutelsat slot this weekend.
The third week of March is reserved for the movement and integration of
the satellite into the 13 Eastern position, where, after an additional
brief station-keeping, the Hot Bird 4 will be introduced to the viewers
from March 25th.

Eutelsat's Hot Bird 4 satellite is scheduled to begin its normal
operations on 31st March 1998 at 02:00 CAT. Hungary's Duna Television is
principally ready to start its transmission on the following day as
planned. Transmissions on the Eutelsat II-F3 will cease at the end of
(SME, Sat-Hungary)

The Arabsat Organization has an option on transponder 101, 12.731 GHz,
H, for a digital, in VIACCESS encrypted, package of Arabic channels for
Europe, probably consisting of channels currently in the C-band on
Arabsat 2A.

SME Comment: Transponder 101 is the one with the highest middle
frequency used in the Hot Bird System, at the top-end of the Ku3
transmission spectrum.
(SME, source: Eutelsat)

Hot Bird 4 may be the third it a series of Eurostar 2000+ craft but it
also heralds the arrival of new technology. The satellite is the world's
first ever telecommunications craft to allow on-board multiplexing.

Developped by Italy's Alenia Aerospazio (together with MMS and Alcatel
Espacio), Skyplex is the fruit of an ESA research program (ARTES) into
advanced telecommunications systems. The system allows broadcasters at
widely separated locations to individually uplink video or multimedia
programs to the satellite (at 17 GHz at a bit rate of 6 Mb/s).

These are then processed in-orbit. The onboard treatment involves
demodulating incoming low rate signals and combining them into a single
high-rate multi-channel digital video signal. Further processing and
encoding (according to the MPEG-2 standard) allows a multi-channel
signal, fully compliant with European ETS1 standards to be beamed back
down directly to viewers.

The essential features of the Skyplex system are its two steps: the
broadcaster performs the first, sending a single-channel packet-stream
to the satellite. (The uplink consists of a 50 Watt transmitter and a
1.80 cm dish). The second step is carried out by the in-orbit component.

Hot Bird 4 carries one Skyplex unit. The unit weighs about 5kg and
consumes about 14 Watts, representing approximately 25% of the mass of
one satellite transponder and 6% of its power consumption. The
advantages of this approach are the economies gained from a greatly
simplified infra-structure between the broadcaster and home viewer.

The Hot Bird 4 Skyplex will be used for experimental and demonstration
purposes, but second generation units have already been ordered by
Eutelsat. Three of these new type Skyplex processors, will be aboard Hot
Bird 5, due for launch later this year.
(SME, source: go-Ariane)

ARABSAT 2A, 26 East, http://www.satcodx.com/arab2a.shtml
There is an MCM info card on 12.563 GHz, H, PIDs 0204{516}/02B2{690}
after the recent ceasure of MCM in the 1st Net package. The card is at
times also shown on the ART Open channel.

The Ku-Band transponder 2, 12.536 GHz, V, is frequently showing an empty
carrier. A test card here has reportedly ceased last week.

EUTELSAT II-F3, 16 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f3.shtml
O-Sat is just testing on 11.680 GHz, H, and has announced plans to move
to the Hot Bird constellation at a later stage.

EUTELSAT II-F1, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f1.shtml
Eurotica Rendez-Vous has left 11.658 GHz, V.

WTN London on 12.558 GHz, H, MPEG-2/clear, SR 5632, FEC 3/4, PIDs
0200{512}/028A{0650}, became visible again on Friday, March 13th, after
being hidden for almost a week by an unknown code. A test card or text
inert however could still not be received.

HOT BIRD 2, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb2.shtml
Polonia 1 had at various times early this week severe uplink problems
but finally returned to 11.977 GHz, H, on March 10th.

ART - Al Ma'aref has started in the Arabesque Bouquet on 12.015 GHz, H,
MPEG-2/clear, PIDs 00A8{168}/0070{112}. The ART testcard with PIDs
00A9{169}/0074{116} ceased, only a black, empty, screen is displayed.

HOT BIRD 4, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb4.shtml
See the entries above from its test location on 29 East.

EUTELSAT II-f2, 10 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f2.shtml
Occasional feeds on 11.006 GHz, H and 11.011 GHz, H, MPEG-2/clear, SR
3055, FEC 7/8, PIDs: 0021{33}/0032{34}.

APTV is on 11.026 GHz, H, MPEG-2/clear, SR 3055, FEC 7/8, PIDs
0021{33}/0022{34}. The news service is identical to the one on Eutelsat
II-f1 at 13 East, 12.549 GHz, H, MPEG-2/clear, SR 5632, FEC 3/4, PIDs

Occasional feeds could be seen on 11.130 GHz, H, MPEG-2/clear, SR 5632,
FEC 3/4.

IHA News feeds have moved from 11.043 GHZ, V to 11.063 GHz, V, but there
are new IHA News feeds on 11.043 GHz, V, MPEG-2/encrypted, SR 3125, FEC

SIRIUS 2, 5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/sirius.shtml
"NTL Winchester teleport" is on 12,303 H, MPEG-2/clear, PIDs:
067C{1660}/0654{1620}, European beam.

SuperTrack (South African horse racing channel) occasional NTL feeds on
12.303 GHz, H, MPEG-2/clear, 067C{1660}/0654{1620}.

Occasional feeds of BrightStar Washington on 12.226 GHz, H,
MPEG-2/clear, SR 5632, FEC 3/4, PIDs: 0200{512}/0280{640} and 12.232
GHz, H, MPEG-2/clear, SR 5632, FEC 3/4, Pids: 0200{512}/0280{640}.

Cartoon Network Italy has started regular transmissions on 12.303 GHz,
H, MPEG-2/clear, PIDs 0744{1860}/071C{1820}, English/Italian, European

INTELSAT 707, 1 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i707.shtml
Radio Nederland has started behind Deutsche Welle TV on 3.915 GHz, R,

AMOS 1, 4 West, http://www.satcodx.com/amos1.shtml
A new footprint map was added to the SATCO-DX chart for the Israeli beam
on Amos 1.

GORIZONT 26, 11 West,  http://www.satcodx.com/g26.shtml
NTV (Russia) has started on 11.525 GHz, L, SECAM, with audio on 7.00
The channel can be followed without special installations only for a
very short period of time, due to the inclination of this bird.

INTELSAT 803, 21.5 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i803.shtml
A strong carrier appeared on Wednesday on 10.994 GHz, H, around 16 MHz
wide. The nature of the signal could not yet be determined.

Another, much weaker, standing carrier is on 11.190 GHz, H. Both signals
are using the Spot-2 beam.

The BFBS package seems to have ceased on 4.082 GHz, R, MPEG-2, global

INTELSAT 605, 27.5 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i605.shtml
CMT Europe on 11.170 GHz, V is now in PAL/clear, probably until is
ceases on 31 March.

NTA (Nigeria) has moved from 4.043 GHz, L, to 4.065 GHz, L, and switched
from PAL to SECAM.

DR.DISH KNOWLEDGE TV, http://www.drdish.com/
Itīs Dr.Dish@TV time again! Watch DFS-II (Kopernikus) at 28.5 East,
11.550 GHz, V, on Friday, March 13th, from 21:00 to 24:00h CAT.
You can expect the following features:

	Transponder Infos (with Norbert Schlammer and SATCO-DX)
	Media Germany (with Petra Huether)
	Dutch Media (with David de Jong)
	SPACE (with John Locker)

	WX-Reception gear for NOAA and METEOR
	Get last Internet-Info without a PC
	Lemon-Volksbox (from the production line, insha'Allah)
	Beware of cheap copies of Chaparrals Corotor

	Dr.Dish Live (answering all your questions)

Dr.Dish@TV is not a costly pay-phone service or pay-tv, but a free to
air (still analogue) program for the satellite enthusiast in Europe!

If you like to contribute to the show, please send your material to
DrDish@TV, P.O.Box 1153, D-52532 Gangelt, Germany or call +31-45-5640002

DR.Dish@TV would like to extend the service in the English language. To
do this, it depends on the co-operation of all viewers in the UK and
Ireland. In other words: any interesting video is welcome!

DR.DISH@TV IN DUTCH, http://www.drdish.com/
Dr.Dish@TV plans from September a monthly show presented in the Dutch
language. The, one hour, show means to reach the Dutch and Flamish
communities all over Europe, and will therefore be transmitted from the
Eutelsat 13 East orbital position. The planned transmission is a
specific broadcast, NOT just a simple translation of the well-known
Dr.Dish@TV shows in the German language.

Dr.Dish@TV is presently looking for additional sponsors, studio
facilities and communication organizations for an analogue uplink to the
Hot Bird slot. Furthermore the use of a wide beam transponder is looked
for, in order to expand the transmissions into a authentic European
service in Dutch, English and German.

Dr.Dish@TV will in short be re-broadcasted towards Australia. For more
on that, and other topics, make a visit to the above mentioned URL.
(SME, Copyright 1998, DutchMedia)

SAT-MIDEAST INTERN, http://www.sat-net.com/sat-mideast/
The SAT-MidEast website at sat-net.com got completely revamped, some of
the hardly visited pages have been removed, other remodelled, a few new
added, and everything got completely updated.

It's really time to pay another visit to this remarkable site. ;-)

I am still looking now for any suitable consulting work in the field of
broadcast satellites for a national or commercial broadcaster; in order
to secure at least the internet/telephone costs for this service in the
near future. Any help, eventual temporary, is highly appreciated.

Please contact my usual e-mail address: hcroom@intouch.com

Best regards,

Henk C. Room / Sat-MidEast / Cairo - Egypt
- SAT-MidEast maintains a web site with relevant Middle Eastern
- satellite information, and a regular updated, satellite based,
- archive of observations, features & news for the Middle East. 

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