Sat-ND, 19.8.96

Sat-ND 96-08-19 - Satellite and Media News

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China: Long March does it again
Following the successful launch of APSTAR 1A last month, China's space
industry is now back to normal operation.
Owing to a failure of its third-stage booster, a Long march 3 rocket
yesterday failed to put CHINASAT 7 into the preset geostationary transfer
orbit. News Agency Xinhua today admitted the failure in a one-sentence
statement. According to a spokesman for Great Wall Industry Corp, "there
was normal ignition and normal lift-off, but [surprise, surprise  Ed.] the
satellite is not in proper orbit."
Reportedly, the engine of the third stage shut off 48 seconds too soon.
CHINASAT 7, now in a lower orbit than planned, is still monitored by the
Xichang launch site. But officials said there was little chance of putting
the spacecraft back on its track.
CHINASAT-7 should have supplied domestic television and telecommunications
service for China Telecommunication Broadcasting Satellite Corp.
The satellite was built by Hughes Space & Communications Co. It was insured
for US$120 million, partly by the domestic People's Insurance Co.

Mexico: 48 new transponders
Hughes Space and Communications International Inc. and Telecomunicaciones
de Mexico (Telecomm) today signed a contract for the high-power satellite
MORELOS 3 to be delivered in 1998. Based on an HS 601HP platform, it will
be one of the most powerful satellites Hughes has built. By using gallium
arsenide solar cells, MORELOS 3 will offer nearly 8 kilowatts of payload
The satellite will reach most of North and South America from its orbital
position of 116.8W. The slot is currently occupied by MORELOS 2 which is
due to retire in 1998. The new satellite will carry 24 active transponders
in both C-band and Ku-band each, doubling the available communications
capacity at that location. The 24 C-band transponders are powered by
36-watt traveling-wave tube amplifiers (TWTAs). Twelve Ku-band transponders
will use 110-watt TWTAs, and the other 12 will have 132-watt TWTAs.
MORELOS 3 will carry three reflectors, one for C-band and one for each of
two Ku-band beams. Its operational lifetime is 15 years.

India/Malaysia: Satellite TV co-operation
India and Malaysia are currently working on details of a joint satellite TV
service, news agency Bernama reported. An agreement between India's state
broadcaster Doordarshan and Malaysian company Binariang had been signed
earlier. Binariang owns Measat Broadcast Network Systems, owner and
operator of MEASAT 1 (91.5E) and 2 (to be launched next October.)

Brazil: MTV buys MTV
MTV Networks, a division of Viacom Inc., has agreed to acquire 50 percent
of MTV Brasil Ltda, the production company which programs MTV Brasil, from
the Abril Group
MTV Brasil is a 24-hour Portugese language music television programming
service launched in 1990 through a licensing agreement with the Abril
Group. It reaches more than 15 million television households mainly through
Abril's UHF and VHF broadcast networks as well as cable, MMDS and DTH.

Europe: DMX not quite a success
Sat-ND wouldn't be the same without the influence of the Alternative Rock
channel provided by the digital pay radio service DMX. But how long will
Europeans be able to receive it? DMX Inc. reported a loss of US$6 million
for the second quarter, mainly caused by the poor performance of its
European unit. One year ago, the loss was US$5.1 million. Revenues have
increased from US$3.4 million to US$4.6 million, mainly because of a rise
in subscription fees.
In Germany, DMX Europe reportedly has 12,000 subscribers. Most of them were
surprised by the fact that Leo Kirch's digital TV package DF1 carries a
thirty-channel basic package of DMX that should suffice for most listeners.
DMX itself offers just the whole 70-channel international package for
direct subscription at a price of DM240 per year. DF1 (including the DMX
basic package) costs exactly the same, while offering some 15 TV channels
as well. On the other hand, Kirch's digital decoder 'd-box' doesn't seem to
sell too well. Several recent opinion polls also suggest that the vast
majority of Germans just don't want to pay more money for TV than they do
right now.

USA: Darling, I shrinked the dish
There's a price war going on at the digital TV scene. And there may also be
a size war. Primestar has announced to offer 70-cm dishes (27") for its
digital package from November instead of the 90-cm antennas (36") used so
far. Dishes for Primestar's Ku-band package, broadcast on medium-power
satellites, will then be not much larger than that used for digital
services in the DBS-band. "While PRIMESTAR research has shown that dish
size has never been an issue with our subscribers, the new smaller-size
dish allows us to better penetrate more suburban and urban areas," said
Denny Wilkinson, senior vice president of marketing and programming at
Primestar. "We think the smaller dish, combined with our
no-equipment-to-buy proposition, offers an unbeatable combination for our
Following the launch of the new satellite GE 2, Primestar will extend its
capacity from 95 to 145 channels next year. The service currently reaches
1.35 million US households.

Japan: Money for spy satellites
An unnamed official of Japan's Foreign Ministry has told Dow Jones News
that his country was thinking of launching indigenous spy satellites. Japan
so far has to rely on photographs and data supplied by the USA and France.
The ministry will ask for money to study the idea in the fiscal 1997
national budget, the source said.

UK: Granada Talk TV
by Mark Ian Mahabir <106206.1171@compuserve.com>

Talk TV would like to hear from anybody who would like to help voice their
opinions via the Internet or Videophone to leading political figures and
famous guests. Anyone who has Internet access and is a Sky multichannels
subscriber can join in, preferably having the PC and TV in the same room so
they can interact in real-time. e-mail talktv@talktv.demon.co.uk with your
snail mail address for more info...

Transponder Update
by Richard Karlsson <http://hem.passagen.se/richardx/satindex.html>

* RTL 5 has now ceased its analogue service on ASTRA. A test card says that
the channel now can only be received digitally on ASTRA transponder 80.
[Good luck  Ed.]
* Antenne Bayern which has been broadcasting on sound subcarrier 7,38/7,56
MHz behind RTL 2 on ASTRA also seems to have ceased. Today there was no
sound at all on these subcarriers. 

Golden Words
"We have to understand the problem first before we can fix it."
A Microsoft engineer on a minor bug in Internet Explorer 3.0 (Source: New
York Times)

Copyright 1996 by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.

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