There are a few companies and organisations who send me news releases directly. I appreciate that very much but please make sure not to use the email address firstname.lastname@example.org in the future. Same applies to every other email. Please direct all contributions and inquiries to email@example.com instead. Thank you very much.
Having been fitted with more than 600 tonnes of electronic and mechanical support equipment in St . Petersburg, it also took on the first two Sea Launch rockets--"modified versions of the proven Ukrainian-built Zenit," as Boeing said in a statement. [Out of 28 Zenit missions, seven failed. The main modification consists of RSC's Block DM upper stage which is added to the two-stage Zenit. DM 3 accelerators by RSC have failed on several crucial Proton missions, such as the launch of Mars 96 and Asiasat 3.]]
The second part of the Sea Launch system, a self- propelled, semi-submersible launch platform by the Name of Odyssey, is expected in Long Beach in late August. The home port is located close to satellite manufacturers in California and also includes a warehouse that can house up to three Zenit launch vehicles.
The first launch is scheduled for late 1998 near Christmas Island, about 2,240 kilometres southeast of Hawaii and near the equator when Galaxy XI is to be put into porbit. To date, Sea Launch has contracts for 17 other launches.
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Eutelsat contests the Board's opinion and continues to consider that the bringing into use of the network was carried out within the required time limit. Eutelsat claims it holds the older rights to that orbital slot, partly because of parking some newly launched satellites there temporarily. It was obviously not too convincing to transmit some test cards over a period of a few days each, saying they originated from Europesat I--a satellite that had been planned over a century ago but undoubtedly has neither been built nor launched yet.
Eutelsat intends to appeal against the Radio Regulations Board's decision which, in the organisation's opinion, do not seem to be the result of a fully objective analysis and do not comply with the International Telecommunications Union's (ITU) regulations.
Eutelsat also complained that the Board has granted no authority to the Luxembourg Administration to use the BSS band at the 28.2 degrees East orbital position, which SES was doing with Astra 1D "in violation of the ITU Radio Regulations." SES plans to use the position for Astra 2A and 2B in order to provide digital TV services mainly to the UK and Eire. As Astra 2A is late, 1D was shifted to that slot in order to enable experimental broadcasts prior to the official launch next autumn.
I would really like to see the contracts SES have with Mr Murdoch's BSkyB. I would also like to know how the satellite control processors aboard Astra 1C and 1D are doing--both satellites belong to the early series of HS 601 models. According to statistics by HS 601 manufacturer Hughes, Astra 1C even is the only HS 601 satellite successfully launched between Galaxy VII (running on spare processor) and IV (total loss.)
HS 601 timetable: http://sat-nd.com/special/
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"We definitely want to add a replacement satellite as insurance," Jeff Torkelson, DirecTV's vice president of communications, was quoted as saying. There are, of course, DBS-2 and 3 at 101 degrees West which could make up for some of DBS-1's capacity should the satellite's backup processor fail as well, in which case the bird was almost inevitably lost.
But both other satellites combined could transmit just 130 channels instead of 175 that are offered today by DirecTV. Building a new satellite would take at least a year, maybe one year and a half, and one never can rule out launch delays. In addition, it has been unclear so far whether a potential DBS-4 would actually be launched.
So it seems as DirecTV, a unit of Hughes, maybe looking for a satellite already in orbit. Did I hear anybody say 'HGS-1'? The former Asiasat 3, which after a launch failure was put into a usable orbit with the help of the moon, actually carries 16 active Ku-band transponders using 138-watt TWTAs--more than the 120-watts TWTAs on DBS1. What's more, HGS-1 belongs to HGS, another Hughes unit.
There's somebody else who is interested in backup capacity. Digital TV provider USSB actually owns five of DBS-1's sixteen transponders and uses them to broadcast their services. DirecTV would not be obliged to provide capacity on DBS-2 or 3 to USSB. Only a possible DBS-4 would have to be shared with USSB, if it ever were to be launched.
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During the two-day forum, HDTV vendors are conducting tests of their HDTV systems from PanAmSat's Napa teleport over the PAS-2 Pacific Ocean Region satellite. Broadcasters and programmers viewing the HDTV demonstrations include CBS, Disney, HBO, NBC, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Turner Broadcasting, Univision and Viacom.
HDTV vendors conducting system demonstrations are Mitsubishi-Tektronix, NDS, NEC, Sony, Tiernan and Thompson. Each demo begins with high definition source material at a 1.5 gigabit per second data rate. Using the vendor's HDTV system, the material is encoded into a post production quality video signal at 45 megabits per second or distribution-quality video signal at 19.3 megabits per second. The video is then uplinked from the Napa facility to PanAmSat's PAS-2 satellite in either the 1080I or 720P high definition formats. The satellite transmissions comply with MPEG-2/DVB, the latest international video standard for compressed digital video services.
The HDTV satellite transmissions are accessed again at Napa, demodulated and decoded into HDTV format using the vendor's integrated receiver/decoder and displayed on a high definition television monitor. PanAmSat is also providing bit error rate analysis to measure HDTV transmission quality.
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Ovum [strangely enough, this is Latin for "egg"] said in a press release that at the heart of this confrontation is the belief that, in order to remain competitive in the mass market, communications corporations will need to offer a full range of services, including video on demand, voice telephony, and high-speed Internet access. Many of the main telcos and cable corporations have run trials of these services. The results indicate a very weak case that will not justify the high cost of investment.
Digital Television: How To Survive and Make Money assesses the opportunities for content exploitation over digital television and the Internet. It provides an examination of the factors determining how the market will develop, presents Ovum's vision of the likely outcomes worldwide, and gives strategic guidance for cable corporations, telcos, broadcasters and content providers. The report is available from Ovum in August and costs just US$3,150.
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For the three months to May 31, the company--which only started operations last October 1--recorded an operating loss of C$19.3 million and a net loss (after a tax credit) of C$9.99 million on revenue of C$22.1 million. For the first nine months of operation, Star Choice had an operating loss of C$48.7 million.
StarChoice said its performance was actually running ahead of expectations. During the quarter StarChoice added 19,700 subscribers, boosting its total by 40.7% to more than 85,000. "Due to the start-up nature of the business, it is expected that losses will be significant for the next two years," said chairman Brian Neill.
ExpressVu, the competitor: http://www.expressvu.com/
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Satellite TV distributor PrimeTime 24 offered network programming via satellite, which is in accordance with current regulations only if a subscriber can't receive a "Grade-B," terrestrial broadcast signal clearly at least 50% of the time.
A federal judge in Miami now granted a preliminary injunction against PrimeTime 24 requiring the company to cut off any subscriber illegally receiving CBS and Fox signals within 90 days. Similar trials are scheduled in other U.S. cities.
PrimeTime 24: http://www.primetime24.com/
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The Senate has held 13 hearings with 32 witnesses so far on the issue, many of them behind closed doors with Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials.
"We have not reached any final determinations, but we have reached five major interim judgements," Lott was quoted as saying. "First, the Clinton administration's export controls for satellites are wholly inadequate.
"Second, in violation of stated U.S. policy, sensitive technology related to satellite exports have been transferred to China. Third, China has received military benefit from U.S. satellite exports.
"Fourth, the administration has ignored overwhelming information regarding Chinese proliferation, and has embarked on a de facto policy to protect China and U.S. satellite companies from sanctions under U.S. proliferation law.
"Finally, new information has come to light about China's efforts to influence the American political process," Lott said, adding that an independent counsel should be appointed to investigate these allegations. Earlier press reports claimed that China financially contributed to the Clinton campaign.
White House spokesman Michael McCurry denied the charges: "Senator Lott today tried to connect a lot of dots that frankly don't connect."
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Not at all. Nickelodeon has recently scrapped its German version. Not a loss, as children shouldn't be watching TV at all; but interesting as an indicator that U.S. channels in general have made quite a few mistakes in Europe even though they tried to offer localised versions in local languages. In most cases, it just didn't work--just ask the Weather Channel, CMTV, NBC, Nickelodeon, etc.
Now, despite the financial crisis, the new target is Asia. "We see long range opportunities in Asia for the Nickelodeon brand and our award-winning, original programming," said Bruce Tuchman, General Manager, Global Network Ventures, Nickelodeon International. "This is a very exciting region with huge potential for multichannel expansion."
I'll spare you the distribution details. You're welcome.
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