Satellite News NA V1.2
From: Gary Torrens <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 16 Jul 96 22:07:42 EDT
From email@example.com Tue Jul 16 22: 08:53 1996
V1.2 15 July 1996
This news is co-sponsored by TELE-satellit and Satellite Journal Itl.
The information contained MAY NOT be republished or redistributed
without the prior written authority of Satellite Journal
ARIANESPACE FLIGHT 89
On July 9, 1996, Arianespace successfully launched two
telecommunications satellites, ARABSAT IIA and Turksat IC,
the ninth and tenth satellites placed into orbit by
Arianespace this year.
The seventh Arianespace flight this year was carried
out by an Ariane 44L, the most powerful version of the
European launcher, equipped with four liquid-propellant
strap-on boosters. This is the 60th of 86 Ariane 4 launch
vehicles ordered from the European space industry. Lift-off
from the Europe's Space Port in Kourou, French Guiana took
place on Tuesday, July 9 at:
7:24 p.m. local time,
or 6:24 p.m. in Washington, D.C. (E.D.T.),
or 10:24 p.m. GMT,
or 00:24 p.m. July 10 in Paris.
Commenting on this successful launch, Arianespace Chief
Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Francis
AVANZI said, "Flight 89 is the second Arianespace flight in
five weeks following the unsuccessful flight of Ariane 501.
This demonstrates once again the capacity of our
organisation and of the entire European space industry to
guarantee continuity of access to space for our customers."
"Flight 89 also marks a decisive new step forward in
space communications for our customers and partners on this
launch; the two satellite systems were delivered by
Aerospatiale, in co-operation with Alcatel, using the first
Spacebus 3000 platform to be placed in orbit."
"Arabsat, a loyal Arianespace customer since 1985, will
use its satellite to bring people in 21 countries access to
new telecommunications and direct TV services. Turk
Telekom's TURKSAT 1C satellite will give the operator
greater capacity for delivery of television programming to
satisfy growing demand in Turkey, Europe and central Asia."
Provisional parameters at third injection into
geostationary transfer orbit were:
Perigee: 199.2 km (+/- 3 km) for a target of 199.8 km
Apogee: 35915 km (+/- 150 km) for a target of 35,953 km
Inclination: 7.00 degrees (+/- 0.05 degrees) for a target
of 7.00 degrees
ARABSAT IIA is the first second-generation satellite of
the Arabsat organisation. It was built in Cannes, France by
prime contractor Aerospatiale Space and Defence Division.
The payload was developed by Alcatel Espace in Toulouse,
France. Weighing 2,617 kg (5,770 lb.) at lift-off, it has
22 C-band and 12 Ku-band transponders. Positioned over
Zaire, it will provide telecommunications and direct
broadcast television services for 16 years to people in all
21 nations of the Arab League.
TURKSAT 1C was built and developed by the same team for
Turk Telekom. Weighing 1,743 kg (3,843 lb.) at lift-off, it
is equipped with 16 Ku-band transponders. The satellite
will provide additional services_telecommunications and TV
broadcasting_to those delivered via TURKSAT 1B.
Initially positioned over Uganda at 31.3 degrees East,
it will be put into service at 42 degrees East, over
Somalia. Its coverage footprint will extend from
continental Europe to central Asia. The next launch, Flight
90, is scheduled for August 7. An Ariane 44L launch vehicle
will be used to place into orbit two European
telecommunications satellites: ITALSAT F2 for Telecom Italia
and TELECOM 2D for France Telecom.
VLSI 's New DVB MPEG 2 Solution
VLSI Technology Inc. announced a DVB (Digital Video
Broadcasting)- compliant MPEG 2 transport-crypto subsystem
for use in the fast-growing digital set-top box market.
This two-chip combination, the VES2020X MPEG 2
transport and the VES0010 DVB descrambling engine, offers a
flexible DVB-compliant hardware decryption solution for
protected DVB content. It also furthers VLSI's drive toward
a complete silicon set-top solution.
"The VES2020X MPEG 2 transport architecture is VLSI's
core MPEG 2 demultiplexing function, and will migrate into a
re-usable functional system block (FSB) as we go forward
with device integration for the set-top box," said Paul
Vroomen, vice president and general manager of VLSI
Technology's Consumer Digital Entertainment Group.
"As satellite and cable DTH (direct-to-home) services,
such as Canal+, DIRECTV, PerfecTV, Echostar and Alphastar
expand their deployment, the combination of the VES2020X and
the VES0010 will offer a programmable global solution of
decrypted hardware for protected DVB content."
VLSI's VES2020X, a new version of its VES2020 with
enhanced microcode, handles MPEG 2 transport streams of up
to 60 Mbps, allowing the VES2020X to support any DVB-
compliant DBS (digital broadcast satellite) service in the
world. The VES2020X supports all industry standard MPEG 2
audio and video decoders, has both serial and parallel input
interfaces, includes an on-chip RISC processing engine, plus
on-chip instruction and data RAM.
The part handles up to 32 different packet IDs as well
as a bit-maskable section, EMM (entitlement management
message) and ECM (entitlement control message) filtering.
Up to six pairs of control words obtained from a SmartCard
can be stored on chip for use by the VES0010 DVB
descrambling engine. The VES2020X supports multiple service
providers and conditional access subsystems (CAS) through
VLSI-provided, modular firmware.
This flexibility and modularity inherent in the
VES2020X architecture provides enormous benefits to set-top
manufacturers all over the world as they attempt to develop
the "universal" set-top box. The VES2020X enables a single
hardware design to support multiple services simply by
replacing the downloadable microcode that runs on the
VES2020X RISC engine. The VES2020 and VES2020X have been
qualified and are already in production for set-tops
designed for multiple world-wide services, including Canal+
in France and PerfecTV in Japan.
The newest member of VLSI's integrated set-top
architecture is the VES0010, a DVB-compliant descrambling
engine. This chip is designed to accommodate data streams
up to 78.5 Mbps and is designed to seamlessly interface with
the VES2020X. It can handle the descrambling at either the
transport stream or the PES (packet elementary stream)
VLSI has been fully licensed by the ETSI (European
Telecommunication Standards Institute) to design and
manufacture descrambling devices that conform to DVB common
scrambling specifications. VES0010 further underlines
VLSI's leading position in on-chip embedded cryptographics
for security hardware applications. VLSI's secure products
Cyber-GateKeyper, DES encryption/decryption engines,
RSA security algorithms and now a standardised DVB
The VES2020X is packaged in a 208-pin MQFP. The
VES0010 is packaged in a 44-pin PLCC. The VES2020X and
VES0010 chips are sampling today with production volumes
available by August.
StarSight Telecast Inc. has received an additional
patent covering StarSight technology that allows television
viewers to access program information while also viewing a
television program currently in progress.
The technology covered by the new patent provides the
TV viewer with a means of obtaining desirable program
schedule information without having to leave the program
currently being viewed. Thus the viewer can obtain
information about other programs currently in progress or
scheduled for showing at a later time.
The informational display can be as simple as an
overlay screen which obscures only a small portion of the on-
going program. The viewer can customise the informational
display to optimise the provided information, for example,
by showing schedule information for a subset of television
channels or by showing the schedule information in a desired
channel order or for a desired time period.
DISCOVERY CHANNEL EXPANDS IN ASIA
Scientific-Atlanta's PowerVu digital video compression
system will allow for the immediate expansion of Discovery
Channel via digital distribution in the Asia Pacific region.
The new system, to be installed in Singapore, will provide
Discovery Channel with extensive opportunities to localise
both programming and advertising.
The PowerVu digital system will carry Discovery
Channel's diverse array of history, nature, science and
technology, human adventure, and world culture programs.
Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, New
Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia will receive
broadcasts from the digital system. The new PowerVu
equipment will be installed at the Asia Broadcast Centre in
Singapore where Scientific- Atlanta was a key supplier of 9-
meter antennas and electronic equipment. Digital compression
will replace a Scientific-Atlanta B-MAC analogue
transmission system now delivering Discovery Channel
With the PowerVu Command Centre, Discovery Channel will
also have the opportunity to include more locally produced
programming for countries or regions and customise its
network feeds for greater advertising opportunities.
Another PowerVu feature is support for a flexible subtitling
capability. Several countries can receive the same video
program accompanied by a language-specific subtitling signal
that customises it for each country. This maximises the
usefulness of Discovery Channel programming while minimising
the number of video broadcasts required to serve the region.
The new PowerVu system also supports PAL and NTSC video
formats and will be used on the PAS-2 satellite.
GLA Announces Agreement With Turner Broadcasting and Macrovision
Galaxy Latin America announced programming agreement
that will bring four of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.'s
(TBS) channels to DIRECTV subscribers in Latin America.
TBS and GLA will offer the Cartoon Network, CNN
International and TNT Latin America; as well as CNN en
Espanol (CNN in Spanish), a new Spanish-language, 24-hour
news service from TBS aimed at the Latin American
marketplace. CNN en Espanol will be launched in the first
quarter of 1997.
Galaxy Latin America also has licensed Macrovision's
Pay-Per-View Copy Protection technology for implementation
in its satellite uplink centres and in the IRDs it will
deploy throughout its satellite network.
As part of its agreement with Macrovision, Galaxy Latin
America will implement Macrovision copy protection in its
head end and in the IRDs it deploys throughout Latin
America. Initially, these IRDs will be manufactured by
Thomson Consumer Electronics.
INTELSAT and THE OLYMPIC GAMES
Thirteen of INTELSAT's 25 satellites will provide live
television coverage around the world for the 1996 Olympic
Game being held in Atlanta. To date over 27,000 transmit
and receive hours of television service have been ordered on
the INTELSAT system to provide minute-to-minute live
coverage of the Games. INTELSAT spacecraft providing
coverage in the Atlanta Ocean Region include 512, 515, 601,
603, 605, 705, 707, 709 satellites located at 310 deg E,
325.5 deg E, 332.5 deg E, 335.5 deg E, 338.5 deg E, 338.7
deg E, 342 deg E and 359 deg E.
Covering Asia and the Pacific regions will be the
INTELSAT satellites 701, 703, 511 at 174 deg E, 177 deg E
and 180 deg E. Audiences in Eastern Europe and the Middle
East will receive coverage via the INTELSAT satellites 604,
602 at 60 deg E and 63 deg E.
With more than 10,000 athletes from 197 countries
competing in over 270 events, INTELSAT's global satellite
system will provide service to virtually every nation
represented at the Games. Two million spectators will enjoy
watching many of the events from grandstand seats, but most
of the world will watch the events on television live via
INTELSAT. The estimated world-wide television audience for
the 1996 Olympic Games is 3.5 billion.
INTELSAT Announces New Distance Education Initiatives
INTELSAT is sponsoring new distance education
initiatives through its Project Access program, in
conjunction with NETO/EDSAT. U.S. Senator Larry Pressler of
South Dakota, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce,
Science and Transportation, joined INTELSAT's Director
General and Chief Executive Officer Irving Goldstein in
announcing a Global Summit on Distance Education that will
take place in late October at INTELSAT headquarters in
Continental praises FCC decision
Continental Cablevision praised a FCC decision
upholding Continental's right to be HBO's exclusive cable
television distributor in Continental franchise areas.
In February, Ameritech and Americast_a joint venture
involving Ameritech, Bell South, SBC, GTE, and the Disney
Company_filed a complaint with the FCC, alleging that
Continental's exclusive programming agreement with HBO
violated the Commission's programming access rules.
At that time, Continental said Ameritech's claims had
"no legal merit," because the 1992 Cable Act "grandfathered"
exclusive contracts that existed as of June 1, 1990.
Continental and HBO had entered into their agreement in
1988. The exclusivity provisions of that agreement run
until December 31, 1997.
In an order released Friday, the FCC denied Ameritech's
complaint and said that it found the Cable Act provision
that Ameritech cited to be "clear and unambiguous."
EchoStar's second generation DISH Network receivers
EchoStar Communications Corp. revealed its lower cost,
second generation DISH Network set-top digital receivers
built with the same MPEG-2/DVB-compliant technology as the
first generation boxes.
"These new boxes are assembled with higher levels of
integration of chips compared to the first generation of
receivers that were introduced in March of this year," said
Mark Jackson, vice president engineering, EchoStar
Communications Corp. "The improvement in technology and
performance using the MPEG-2/DVB technology remains a key
strategy in reducing the cost of digital receivers making
the product more accessible to consumers."
The receiver production cost is significantly lower
because EchoStar engineers integrated twelve chips into one
chip and the entire front end, which receives the satellite
signal, has been integrated into the main board of the box.
This integration has not only reduced the cost but will also
continue to improve the overall system performance for DISH
The first purpose of the M2TL is the MPEG II transport
decode function, which breaks down the digital satellite
signal into three separate streams of audio, video and 13-
data. The second purpose, the DVB descrambler, descrambles
the satellite signal. The third, general purpose IO, serves
as the general integrated control function, which provides a
seamless interface with several other internal components of
The M2TL chip will be made available to other MPEG
2/DVB system suppliers.
MTV to launch M2:Music Television
MTV:MUSIC TELEVISION announced the launch of a sister
cable channel, M2:Music Television, which will present an
innovative new music format 24 hours a day, beginning August
M2:Music Television will target a unique segment of 12-
34 year olds with a new "freeform" music format. The
playlist will be made up of the broadest group of artists
and genres of music available. M2 will also feature
interactive and local programming elements.
M2:Music Television will provide viewers with a
uniquely interactive experience. Through Intercast, a new
technology developed by Intel, M2 will provide an enhanced
viewing experience for its audience, via the computer, 24
hours a day. With Intercast, viewers will be able to turn
on their computers, tune in to M2 and receive other relevant
information related to the music video they are watching.
Everything from artist tour dates, inside information about
the video/artist, polls and contests, will be available
through this technology. Additionally, through MTV's
relationship with Intel, other applications will be
Additionally, there will be a major local programming
component to M2:Music Television. Beginning in November,
there will be three local M2 affiliate breaks per hour,
where cable operators can plug in local music information,
provided by MTV Online's developing local music area. These
breaks will be sponsorable.
MSNBC PRIMETIME TV PROGRAM
MSNBC and ZDTV announced they will begin airing "The
Site," seven days a week during primetime . It will air at
10:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. (Eastern).
"'The Site' is an hour-long, media, technology
information and interview TV program offering comprehensive
and in-depth reporting on the technology revolution's effect
on the viewer at school, home and office. It is co-produced
by ZDTV, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ziff-Davis Publishing
Company, and MSNBC.
"The Site" also features the industry's first link
between a national, daily, hour-long primetime TV program
about technology and a dedicated website that allows viewers
to get more information about show topics and provide
feedback on what they have seen. Also featured at the
website will be behind-the-scenes information, scripts,
transcripts and additional video not aired on the TV
The program is being produced in San Francisco at a new
digital broadcast production studio, using the world-wide
reporting resources of NBC News and Ziff-Davis. The new
studio is located in the same 10,000 square-foot facility
where the program's interactive news website is being
Telquest Signs Formal Agreement With Telesat
TelQuest Ventures announced that it has signed a formal
agreement with Telesat Canada to manage the procurement,
construction and launch of two direct broadcast satellites
(DBS) to be launched into the 91 degrees W.L. orbital slot.
TelQuest will own and use transponders on those satellites
to provide subscription television service to U.S.
consumers. The satellites are scheduled for launch in early
1998. The agreement solidifies the relationship between the
two companies, which began negotiations last year.
The DBS satellites operating at 91 degrees W.L. will
allow TelQuest to retransmit digitised and compressed
national programming to independent U.S. wireless and
wireline cable providers, who can then integrate local
programming, including news, weather, sports, educational
programs and independent stations.
TelQuest's provision of subscription television service
is subject to FCC approval of its uplink application.
Pegasus XL Carries Out Successful Launch For NASA
A Pegasus XL air-launched rocket successfully carried
out its first mission for NASA delivering the Total Ozone
Mapping Spectrometer Earth Probe (TOMS-EP) satellite into
its intended orbit just eight minutes after launch vehicle
ignition. Orbital also designed and built the TOMS
instrument, that will provide ozone layer data to scientists
around the world.
After an eight minute flight, Pegasus deployed the TOMS
spacecraft into its proper 345 by 953 kilometre (214 by 593
mile) orbit, inclined at 97.4 degrees. Initial on-orbit
tests indicate that the satellite's main systems are
operating properly. The TOMS instrument will be turned on
and tested within the next few days, as scientists prepare
to receive data from the new spacecraft. TOMS-EP is part of
NASA's Mission to Planet Earth initiative, designed to
gather data on the world's environment.
The 650-pound TOMS-EP satellite is the third in a
series of TOMS satellites that gather daily data on the
status of the Earth's ozone layer. The information
generated by the satellite will enable the scientific
community to better understand, predict and mitigate the
effects of global ozone depletion.
The launch sequence for this mission was similar to all
previous West Coast Pegasus flights, except that it was the
first one conducted in darkness. After flying from
Vandenberg Air Force Base, California to the launch point
approximately 60 miles offshore, Pegasus XL was released
from the company's L-1011 carrier aircraft at an altitude of
approximately 38,000 feet. A five second horizontal free
fall was followed by launch vehicle ignition. Using an on-
board propulsion system, the satellite will ultimately
position itself in a 312 mile circular sun-synchronous
Shaw Communications Enters Into Agreement
SHAW COMMUNICATIONS INC. announced that it has entered
into an agreement with Rawlco Communications Inc. of
Calgary, Alberta, subject to CRTC approval, to acquire
Rawlco's 51 percent interest in New Country Network (NCN),
the Canadian country music video specialty service.
The NCN partnership currently has an application before
the CRTC for approval to reorganise its operations into a
corporation in order to facilitate the transfer of 20
percent of NCN from Rogers to Country Music Television
(CMT), the U.S. based country music video television
Cablevision, NBC reach agreement
Cablevision will offer MSNBC beginning with its launch
today. The newly signed agreement calls for Cablevision to
provide MSNBC to substantially all of its 2.8 million
customers over the length of the contract.
MSNBC can be seen by 22.5 million cable customers and
has commitments to reach nearly 41 million by the year 2000.
Hungarian Broadcasting On Satellite
Hungarian Broadcasting Corporation announced it has
entered into a contract with NetHold in its recently
relaunched station A3. The contract provides that the A3 TV
signal will be broadcast via Hotbird 2 which will be
launched in September 1996.
With Hotbird 2, A3 TV will increase its technical reach
from 30% to a 100% of Hungarian TV households. A3 will be
contracting with both cable operators and individual direct
to home (DTH) satellite users to achieve a 70% real
penetration by the end of 1997. A3's expanded reach also
gives the station the opportunity to reach Hungarian
minorities in surrounding areas with its Hungarian language
programming. In the interim period between August and
September 1996, A3 TV will be broadcast via Astra.
Eddy W. Hartenstein, president of DIRECTV Inc., and
Pradman P. Kaul, president and chief operating officer of
Hughes Network Systems Inc., have been elected corporate
vice presidents of Hughes Electronics Corp.
Home & Garden Television (HGTV) will premiere the one-
hour special "Southern Living Idea House-Atlanta" on Sunday,
July 21 at 9:00 p.m. (ET). Host Lisa Clark takes viewers on
a personal tour of the home and shares information from
experienced designers about how to design a home to be
comfortable, warm and accessible.
Global Access has expanded its operations staff in the
Boston office. Four new video services co-ordinators join 16
world-wide operations staff to provide 24 hours-a-day, seven
days-a-week service to the company's customers. With the
additional video services co-ordinators, Global Access now
offers its customers the ability to provide world-wide
support in 15 languages.
BSkyB is to take a stake of up to 49 percent in DF1.
BSkyB's withdrawal from talks with Bertelsmann, Canal Plus
and Havas means it has also pulled out of an agreement to
buy 25 percent of Premiere - Germany's only pay television
channel. It was to buy 12.5 percent from both Berteslmann
and Canal Plus.
Star Choice Television Network Inc.appeared before the
CRTC to try to gain a DBS license.
Portuguese state television RTP will set up a special
channel to promote Portuguese language. The channel will
broadcast to Lisbon's former African colonies_Angola,
Mozambique, Cape Verde, Sao Tome and Principe and Guinea
Bissau_by the end of the year.
Zhongwei I will be launched next year on a Chinese
Long March B rocket. The satellite will be equipped with 48
Japan and the Hughes Electronics Corp. Group have
agreed to launch more than 10 satellites next century using
a remodelled version of Japan's H-II rocket. Under the deal,
Rocket Systems will use a remodelled version of the H-II,
called the H-IIA, to launch more than 10 satellites
scheduled to be made by Hughes between 2000 and 2004.
Visit Satellite Journal's web site at
or TELE-Satellit at
[Other mailing lists]