From: Satellite Journal <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 1996 12:14:13 -0500
From firstname.lastname@example.org Wed Dec 4 12: 17:13 1996
V1.12 December 1 1996
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HBO Asia Launches Cinemax - Its Second Movie
HBO Asia has launched its second movie channel in
Asia, Cinemax, on Apstar 1 using GI's digital compression
technology with full redundancy for its channels.
With the Cinemax launch, HBO Asia will initially
compress and transmit five channels on Apstar 1 to serve the
NTSC and PAL markets in the region, and eventually expand to
as many as eight channels.
TV/COM International Inc.
The Peoples' Republic of China has approved TV/COM's
Compression NetWORKS digital video compression,
communications and control system to expand digital
television in China. The system will play a critical role in
the delivery of entertainment programming from multiple
uplinks to cable TV affiliates within China and other
Video programming sourced from Inner Mongolia, Liaoning
and Guangxi provinces will be compressed and uplinked
locally and delivered digitally to the C-Band footprint
under AsiaSat 2. This includes the area covering Eastern
Europe, the Middle East, India, Southeast Asia, Japan and
Australia, as well as all of China. Because of Compression
NetWORKS' interoperability, these areas, which account for
60 percent of the world's population, will be able to
receive these signals with a DVB compliant receiver and
appropriate antenna. The system will also bring locally
originated Chinese programming to cable TV subscribers all
Home Shopping Network Moves Into Japan
Home Shopping Network, Inc. has entered into a joint
venture with Jupiter Programming Company (JPC) to form SHOP
Channel, Japan's first live television shopping network.
Home Shopping Network has a 30 percent stake in the venture
with JPC owning 70 percent. JPC is a 50/50 joint venture
between Tele-Communications International and the Media
Business division of the Sumitomo Corporation of Japan.
SHOP Channel began regular broadcasting on November 1
through cable and Perfect TV following several successful on-
air tests. It currently offers 18 hours of live
broadcasting a week with recorded broadcasting airing the
remainder of the time. Broadcast hours are from 10 a.m. to
10 p.m. and will be expanded to 24 hours a day in the near
future. Home Shopping Network will provide the SHOP Channel
with full access to its products, systems and know-how.
Japanese surf the web via PAS-2
PanAmSat will provide subscribers to Japan's
newest Internet service, Direct Internet Corp, Internet
access at speeds more than 20 times faster than conventional
telephone lines. Direct Internet will use one-half of a
transponder on the PAS-2 Ku-band Northeast Asia beam, which
provides coverage of Japan and neighbouring countries.
Internet information will be uplinked to PAS-2 from
PanAmSat's Pacific Ocean Region Teleport in Napa, Calif.
Hughes Network Systems will install equipment at the Napa
facility to connect Direct Internet to a major U.S. Internet
Direct Internet was established earlier this month.
Its major shareholders are Hitachi Cable, Ltd., Japan
Telecom Co., Ltd., Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. and
Parallel Technology Inc. Headquartered in Tokyo, the
company will distribute DirecPC products as well as provide
satellite capacity for the region and support and
Hughes signs contract for H-IIA launches
Hughes Space and Communications International Inc.
(HSCI) of Los Angeles, and Rocket System Corp. (RSC) of
Tokyo have signed a contract for 10 launches on RSC's new H-
IIA rocket, plus an undisclosed number of options.
Financial terms were not disclosed. The 10 launches
would take place over a five-year period beginning in the
year 2000. The H-IIA is Japan's newest entry into the
intermediate-lift launch vehicle market, designed
specifically to carry international commercial payloads to
geosynchronous orbit. The launch vehicles will lift off
from the Space Centre in Tanegashima, Japan. The H-IIA is
capable of lifting Hughes' two largest satellite models, the
body-stabilised HS 601 and HS 702, which weigh three to five
tons at launch.
Brazil to launch rocket during 1997
The Brazilian aerospace commissions CTA and Embraer
have been developing a spacial project called VLS (Veiculo
Lancador de Satelites) in order to launch a rocket between
February and April/97. The project already demanded overall
investments of US$270mil, and will demand US$150,000 to test
the equipment and other US$9mil to launch the rocket. VLS
will launch a 350-kg testing satellite called SCD II. In
addition to the VLS project, 5 satellites and a new version
for the VLS (2-ton capacity) will also be developed. Some of
the companies involved in the VLS development were Innobra,
Alcoa, Alcan, Celma, Explo, Villares and Brasimet.
Loral signs multiple launch service
Space Systems/Loral has also signed an agreement with
Rocket System Corporation (RSC) for 10 firm launches using
the H-IIA launch vehicle from 2000 through 2005.
The agreement gives Space Systems/Loral assured access
to launches into the next century when demand to put
commercial satellites on orbit will continue to be high.
These launches will add to SS/L's backlog of launches
allowing the company to offer its customers a variety of
launch options to meet each customer's requirements for
activating satellite communications service on specific
dates. Space Systems/Loral has not yet assigned the
payloads for these launches.
The H-IIA agreement gives Space Systems/Loral firm
launches on more than 10 different vehicles from service
providers across the globe.
Rocket System Corporation is a Japanese private company
held by more than 70 Japanese companies. It was established
in 1990 in order to realize commercial launches by the H-IIA
SS/L currently has a total backlog of more than 75
spacecraft. The company is the prime contractor for
Globalstar's 56 low-earth orbit satellites, TCI/Tempo,
PanAmSat 6, L-STAR and MCI direct broadcast satellites, the
nine satellites in the INTELSAT VII series, N-STAR, Mabuhay,
APSTAR-IIR, TELSTAR-5, PanAmSat 7 & 8 and M2A communications
satellites, as well as the latest series of weather-watch
satellites, GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental
Satellite), and the Japanese MTSAT, the next-generation
Japanese air traffic control and weather-watch satellite.
TV/COM and Media4 Sign Agreement
TV/COM announced a joint development and marketing
agreement for a new PC card that combines TV/COM's popular
QPSK satellite receiver module with Media4's MediaStream DVB
compatible satellite receiver into a single module.
The new PC card utilizes TV/COM's latest technology and
Media4's software expertise and hardware to deliver business
TV applications, as well as video and multimedia content,
directly to the PC in a verycost-effective manner.
TV/COM's high-performance QPSK satellite receiver
supports data rates from 2-90Mbps. The receiver performs
tuning, digital demodulation and error correction to produce
an MPEG-2 output stream. In addition, it automatically
tracks changes in the bandwidth of the input stream.
The Media4 MediaStream receiver card receives audio,
video, data and other programming from the QPSK receiver,
and decodes the incoming digitally encoded information for
In addition, Media4 provides a DVB compatible Broadcast
File Server compatible with TV/COM's MPEG-2/DVB video
encoding, network management and conditional access
products. This alliance provides a complete end-to-end
network solution for delivery of video, audio and data
directly into a standard PC, without the need for a digital
PanAmSat transmits Saudi Arabian and Italian TV
PanAmSat announced that Arab Radio and Television
(ART) and Radio Televisione Italiana (RAI) have added to
their existing PanAmSat satellite capacity by tapping into
PanAmSat's PAS-3 Atlantic Ocean Region satellite for
distribution thoughout Latin America. Though RAI has
broadcast part-time in the past, the service marks the
programmers' first full-time foray into Latin America. The
new PAS-3 service for both ART and RAI commenced in October.
Both RAI and ART currently have satellite capacity
on PanAmSat's PAS-4 Indian Ocean Region satellite. The
agreement with PanAmSat for full-time service on PAS-3's C-
band Pan-American beam is part of a planned expansion by
ART's Saudi Arabia-based parent company Dallah Al Baraka
Group. PAS-3's extensive coverage area will make ART and
RAI programming available to the more than 12 million cable
and MMDS households in Latin America.
MEDIASAT Selects Scientific-Atlanta's PowerVu
MEDIASAT, Australia's first independent commercial
broadcast facility, has selected Scientific-Atlanta's
PowerVu MPEG-2/DVB digital video compression system to
upgrade its broadcast transmission services. MEDIASAT
supplies value-added, end-to-end broadcast and transmission
services to television networks, corporations, and
government organizations. The new PowerVu digital system is
scheduled for commissioning this month.
MEDIASAT selected the PowerVu system for delivery of
cost-effective digital transmission services. "Digital
transmission technology is rapidly expanding in the
Asia/Pacific region," said Paul Mullen, chief executive of
MEDIASAT. "In Australia, we've already seen PanAmSat, the
ABC, and Network Ten introduce PowerVu digital compression.
We must offer and support this technology to remain
MEDIASAT will use the PowerVu system on PanAmSat's
Pacific Region satellite for Australia's first international
digital video compression contribution service to North
America. Additionally, the system will distribute digital
broadcasts on a point-to-point or multipoint basis in
Australia. The service provider currently supplies local
business television services via Optus Communications'
domestic satellite network.
The new PowerVu system will provide an international
eight-megabit digital television service between Sydney and
Los Angeles. PanAmSat already supports PowerVu services for
other organizations in the region. Scientific-Atlanta's
dedicated service centre in Sydney, which supports the
Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Network Ten, will be
responsible for commissioning MEDIASAT's PowerVu system.
MEDIASAT plans to continue offering encrypted and
conditional access broadcast services using an existing
Scientific-Atlanta B-MAC analog system after its new PowerVu
system is commissioned.
PanAmSat Enables Taiwan's CTS
PanAmSat Corporation announced that it will
provide full-time satellite capacity on the PAS-2 Pacific
Ocean Region satellite to Chinese Television System (CTS)
Corporation of Taiwan. CTS, one of three terrestrial TV
broadcasters in Taiwan, will use its PAS-2 capacity for
satellite news gathering (SNG) and contribution from the
Asia-Pacific to its studios in Taipei. The PAS-2 service is
expected to commence this month.
CTS currently has three antennas qualified for PanAmSat's
global satellite system: two mobile and one fixed earth
station. The broadcaster will use the new service, 9 MHz on
PAS-2's Ku-band China Beam, to transmit news feed mainly
from within Taiwan, Northeast Asia and the western United
States to its studios in Taipei. As part of this service,
PAS-2 will enable CTS to transmit directly from the
continental United States via southern California, accessing
vital news and information from throughout the Americas.
Though this is the first full-time service PanAmSat has
provided CTS, PanAmSat has worked with CTS before, providing
part-time capacity on PAS-2 during last year's presidential
elections of Taiwan, ROC.
North American News
Harris Television Transmitters
Harris Corporation said its new digital television
(DTV) transmitter can broadcast the industry's proposed new
standard and that the company can begin shipping the systems
soon after the Federal Communications Commission finalises
its decision. The company already has supplier agreements
to provide the transmitters to several top television
A broadcast and computer industry group this week
agreed to a new standard that deletes a provision from the
Grand Alliance proposal that required certain video formats
the computer industry felt was not compatible for PCs. The
compromise will support the requirements of the broadcast
and computer industries.
"This industry compromise paves the way for the roll
out of DTV," said Guy W. Numann, president of Harris'
Communications Sector. "Once the FCC approves this
agreement, the industry can finally move toward putting
digital television in the homes of the American public."
Harris has signed digital transmitter supply agreements
with several top television groups, including Tribune
Broadcasting, The Walt Disney Company's Capital Cities/ABC,
and Cox Broadcasting, Inc. In July, a Harris transmitter
became the first in the United States to broadcast
commercial digital television signals. Harris also recently
announced plans to establish a digital television research
and development centre near Cincinnati, Ohio.
Vyvx puts NFL fans on the 50-yard line
Vyvx is backhauling service over its 11,000-mile
nationwide fibre-optic network to five of the National
Football League's (NFL) national rightsholders through its
VenueNet system. VenueNet provides instant connectivity at
the nation's major sports arenas and stadiums directly to
the Vyvx network allowing highlights, interviews and video
conferencing from any venue to be shown in the stadium.
The feeds are collected by NFL Films and simultaneously
redistributed in 15-minute blocks to all stadiums. NFL
Films will increase the number of transmissions of game
highlights from six to seven times per game this season.
To facilitate broadcaster access, Vyvx Sports Services
has installed VenueNet boxes at 36 NFL and Major League
Baseball stadiums. VenueNet, which debuted in 1994, allows
production trucks to plug in, then transmit and receive
return feeds from Vyvx's network or any other vyvx-connected
source. The boxes come with video, audio and telephone
connections, are weather protected and are available 24
hours a day.
EchoStar Rescues Boulder from Cable-less Future
In the wake of Boulder Colorado's vote not to renew the
TCI (TeleCommunications, Inc.) cable franchise, EchoStar
Communications Corp. announced it is offering a free DISH
Network satellite television system to every TCI Boulder
cable television subscriber.
The limited time offer will be in effect through Dec.
1, 1996. Boulder residents recently voted 2 to 1 not to
renew TCI's cable franchise.
To be eligible for the offer, subscribers must purchase
a one-year subscription to the company's Top 50 CD(SM)
programming package and present a current bill from TCI's
Boulder cable system to one of DISH Network's Boulder area
retailers: SoundTrack, Satellite Showcase, Listen Up,
Cellular City, Star Trak Satellite, Entertainment Systems
and Stephen Morton Co. EchoStar is limiting the offer to
one satellite system per household.
Wegener Corporation Chosen
Wegener Corporation has received an order from the
National Technological University (NTU), based in Fort
Collins, CO, for MPEG-2 digital video transmission and
receiving equipment to be used in an international distance
learning satellite network. NTU will reach subscribers
located throughout the Pacific Rim with the new network.
The network is based on Wegener's Series DVT196 MPEG-2
Digital Video Transmit System and Wegener's DVR295
Addressable Digital Video SCPC IRD (Single Channel Per
Carrier Integrated Receiver Decoder). The Wegener Series
DVT196 MPEG-2 Digital Video Transmit System converts
analogue video to an MPEG-2 digitally encoded data stream
and modulates it for transmission over satellite.
The DVR295 receives and decodes both MPEG-1 and MPEG-2
bit streams at data rates ranging from 1.5 to 4.6 Mbps.
Lockheed Martin Opens Satellite Center
The largest, most efficient manufacturing plant in the
commercial satellite industry is now open at Lockheed Martin
Missiles & Space in Sunnyvale.
The 158,000-square-foot center will house A2100
commercial satellite operations being transferred to
Sunnyvale from a Lockheed Martin plant in East Windsor, N.J.
The new $65 million facility_originally scheduled to take 30
months to complete_is now finished after just 12 months.
Among the features of the new facility is a new 85,000-
square-foot, Class 100,000 clean room_about the size of two
football fields. Class 100,000 means that there can be no
more than 100,000 particles per cubic meter of air, each not
exceeding 0.5 microns in size_about 80 times smaller than
the diameter of human hair.
The facility, resembling an automotive production line,
initially will have the capability to produce eight
satellites a year_and ultimately will accommodate up to 16 a
year. Time from order to delivery will be cut from the 24-
month industry standard to 18 months during the initial
phase of operations_and eventually shrink to 12 months.
The facility was designed for the A2100 commercial
satellite. "The modular design of the A2100 allows it to be
configured to customers' specific needs, changing components
as required and avoiding the cost and risk of new design
developments," explained Mike Henshaw, president of Lockheed
Martin Missiles & Space in Sunnyvale that will operate the
"The design also uses 20% fewer parts than earlier
satellites, resulting in lower cost and faster cycle time."
The building has a 50-foot-high major assembly area,
including integration and test, staging and support areas.
The center's 11,664-cubic-foot thermal vacuum chamber
simulates the temperature and vacuum ranges found in
space_approximately 76 billion times less than Earth's
atmosphere. A 64,000-cubic-foot acoustic test cell
duplicates sound frequencies and noise levels up to 165
decibels to simulate the vibration effects of large booster
rockets at launch.
The center's Sine Vibration Test Facility can produce
45,000 force-pounds of thrust to check for resonant
vibration, simulating the low-frequency vibration effects of
launch. The facility's Planar Nearfield Test Range, one of
the largest of its type, measures the Earth area coverage to
ensure satellite antenna systems are all aligned.
Atlas Successfully Launches Hot Bird 2
A Lockheed Martin Astronautics Atlas IIA rocket
successfully launched the Hot Bird 2 television broadcast
satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit from Complex
36, Pad B. It was the sixth successful Atlas launch of 1996
from Cape Canaveral Air Station and the 26th consecutive
The Atlas IIA, designated AC-124 for the Hot Bird 2
mission, is one of four variants in the Atlas family
presently launching satellites for domestic and
international customers. Atlas IIA is capable of placing
satellites in the 6,200 to 6,700-lb. weight class into
geosynchronous transfer orbit. The Atlas II series,
including the II, IIA and IIAS, has achieved 100 percent
operational success since the introduction of each launch
Hot Bird 2 will be operated by EUTELSAT, the Paris-
based consortium of 45 member nations and signatories, which
is a leading provider of satellite-based communication and
broadcast services to Europe, North Africa and the Middle
East. Hot Bird 2 was built by Matra Marconi Space in
Once in final orbit at 13 degrees East, Hot Bird 2 will
be operated in the frequency band reserved specifically for
direct television broadcasts.
Lockheed Martin has commitments for 28 Atlas launches
through the 1990s, 22 commercial and 6 Air Force missions.
One more mission remains in the 1996 manifest, and nine
missions next year.
CLI to Expand
Compression Labs Inc. announced an aggressive
restructuring of its sales and distribution operations in
Europe to quickly expand and increase its share of the
growing video communications market.
A new subsidiary, CLI Europe Ltd., will be formed, to
be based in Bracknell in Berkshire in the U.K. and will
become the new CLI European Headquarters. Existing channel
support operations currently at CLI's Brussels office will
be transferred to Bracknell.
Effective Jan. 1, 1997, CLI Europe Ltd. will be
responsible for the management and development of
distributor channels throughout Europe, the Middle East,
Africa and India. An ambitious campaign is underway to
expand new channel/distributor outlets wherever appropriate
in these territories.
GE Spacenet Expands European Presence
GE Spacenet announced that its European subsidiary, GE
Capital Spacenet Services - Europe GmbH, has signed an
agreement to purchase the Satellite Communications Services
unit of Bosch Telecom GmbH (Bosch) of Stuttgart, Germany.
This unit provides Very Small Aperture Terminal
(VSAT) satellite communications services to approximately
2,000 sites in Europe today. In addition, GE Spacenet is
currently implementing over 6,000 VSATs in Europe and has
recently completed installation of a shared hub station in
Amstelveen, The Netherlands.
"The acquisition of Bosch Telecom's VSAT business
further demonstrates GE Spacenet's commitment to investment
in the European communications market. Bosch Telecom's
existing presence in western and central Europe, its
recognized shared hub services, installation and maintenance
capabilities, and its European-based staff provide an
excellent fit to our strategic plan. We are excited about
the tremendous opportunities in Europe as we continue to
implement our growth strategy to provide pan-European data
communications networks," stated Gino Picasso, president of
"In addition, GE Capital Services - Europe is
launching a new satellite for the European market. With the
capabilities of this new Sirius 2 Ku-band satellite
scheduled for mid-1997 launch, GE can provide full-service
pan- European networks through GE satellites," added Mr.
The agreement, subject to the approval of the
Federal Cartel Office in Germany, was signed on November 14,
1996. Per this agreement, GE Capital Spacenet Services -
Europe GmbH will continue to operate the VSAT business at
the existing Backnang, Germany facility.
- Check our web site for an updated listing of 1997
launches. Click on "Launch Info".
New files and documents at our WebStand
- DVB News International Vol. 1 No 12, next week
- PBS December programming schedule
- A&E December Prime Time schedule
- China Central Television has started carrying CNBC
programs on CCTV-2, which reaches 45 million households in
- Vyvx Inc. announced an agreement with EchoStar
Communications Corporation Inc. to backhaul television
programming and video content to its Digital Sky Highway
(DISH) Direct Broadcast by Satellite (DBS) Network
- PRIMESTAR will add VH1 to its PrimeValue programming
package early next year. The popular music channel will be
available on PRIMESTAR in early 1997, when PRIMESTAR
transitions to the GE-2 satellite.
- AlphaStar launched the Asian Television Network (ATN)
on Thursday, November 28. The new network targets the
growing population tracing its roots to India, Pakistan,
Bangladesh and the West Indies
- At the opening ceremony of Cable and Satellite Asia '96
conference, Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport
Chau Tak-hay said that Hong Kong had a first class
infrastructure and facilities to broadcast throughout the
Asia-Pacific region, as well as some of the best talent in
broadcasting and post-production in Asia and that Hong Kong
would continue to grow as a regional broadcasting hub after
- UVSGA said television's WGN, Chicago, will carry 143
Chicago Cubs games and 61 Chicago White Sox games during the
1997 baseball season.
- Keystone Communications Corp is providing network
origination, in-house tape library and terrestrial services
for Playboy's new networks from Keystone's Video Control
Centre and International Teleport facilities in Culver City,
Calif., to Galaxy Latin America, a 144-channel direct-to-
home satellite service provider.
- Iranian police have launched another crackdown against
banned satellite dishes after VOA started a television
program with popular U.S.-based Iranian artists
Now in our fifth year and the first `satellite news' service
on the World Wide Web (Jan 1994)
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