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How Rupert Murdoch helped NRL hit $2 billion TV rights jackpot
'Great outcome' for league: Deal 'comparable to AFL's', says expert
Just three months after declaring he preferred AFL and would commit resources to promote the code in NSW and Queensland, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has doubled its commitment to the NRL in a record $2billion broadcast rights deal.
Under the terms of the deal, which were being finalised by lawyers on Thursday night, News Corp and Foxtel partner Telstra have agreed to pay $1.175b over five years for the NRL's pay-TV and digital rights.
Costly business: News executives Mike Fitzpatrick, Rupert Murdoch and Robert Thompson. News will pay $900m for the NRL pay TV rights from 2018-2022.
With Nine selling back the Saturday night match it bought in August as part of a $925million free-to-air contract, the deal effectively retains the status quo for viewers as there will still be three free-to-air matches and five games on pay TV each week.
However, Nine will broadcast 18 Thursday night matches next season in a move that means NRL will be played five nights per week in 2016 before the scrapping of Monday night football the following year.
All matches will be broadcast live as there will only be one Friday night match on Nine next season before the introduction of a 6pm game on Fox Sports in 2017.
Fox Sports will also simulcast the three free-to-air matches after taking up an option to pay Nine $25million per year for the rights, while News Corp paid $175million to buy back the Saturday night match and ensure the continuation of its Super Saturday franchise.
The Nine deal so infuriated Murdoch that he overspent by an estimated $300million for the AFL rights and personally attended a press conference in Melbourne a week later to announce the $2.508billion, six-year deal.
"We have always preferred Aussie rules," Murdoch declared, while News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson said the company would use its media outlets to help the AFL's expansion into NSW and Queensland.
Murdoch also said News Corp's investment in AFL would be "much bigger", while News Corp reports claimed the company would not match the $550million it paid under the current five-year broadcast deal, which began in 2013.
However, News Corp has paid $900million for the NRL pay-TV rights from 2018 to 2022 in a deal that compares favourably with that secured by the AFL.
While News paid $1.3billion over six years for the pay-TV broadcast rights for 5.5 AFL matches per season and simulcast rights to the remaining 3.5 games, a breakdown of the deals reveals that each weekly AFL game costs the company $39million per season compared to $36million for the NRL games.
The $35million per season that News Corp has paid to regain the Saturday night match, plus the $125million for the simulcast rights, has reduced the cost of Nine's free-to-air deal to $625million over five years, which includes the State of Origin series and streaming rights.
Telstra is understood to have paid $200million for the digital rights and is also expected to retain the naming rights for the NRL premiership, while the New Zealand broadcast rights could yield up to $150million more to take the overall deal to $2billion.
The deal was negotiated at a marathon round of talks on Wednesday night between representatives of the NRL, headed by ARL Commission chairman John Grant and fellow commissioners Graeme Samuel and Jeremy Sutcliffe, News Corp, Nine and Telstra at the offices of Sydney lawyers Clayton Utz.
Thomson flew in to Sydney to finalise the deal, while News Corp's Australian chief executive, Peter Tonagh, former CEO Julian Clarke, Fox Sports chief executive Patrick Delaney and commercial director Scott Briggs were also involved.
The ARL Commission met on Thursday to approve the deal, which has been the cause of delays to the NRL's planned announcement of the 2016 draw due to the introduction of regular Thursday night matches.
The viewer's view
Thursday: 7.30pm (Nine)
Friday: 7.30pm (Nine)
Saturday: 3pm, 5.30pm, 7.30pm (Fox Sports)
Sunday: 2pm (Fox Sports), 4pm (Nine)
Monday: 7pm (Fox Sports)
Thursday: 7.30pm (Nine)*
Friday: 6pm (Fox Sports), 8pm (Nine)*
Saturday: 3pm, 5.30pm, 7.30pm (Fox Sports)
Sunday: 2pm (Fox Sports), 4pm (Nine)*
* Fox Sports to simulcast Nine matches
NRL wins A$1.8bn rights deal
Rugby League will reach more fans than ever before both in Australia and globally under a massive new NRL broadcast deal. The ARL Commission, Nine Network, News Corp Australia, Fox Sports, and Telstra have formed a partnership to provide free to air television, pay television and mobile coverage of Rugby League for five years from 2018. Telstra’s successful involvement follows its loss of English Premier League football rights, having been outbid by telco Optus.
The deal is worth A$1.8 billion (€1.22bn) to the NRL 70 per cent higher than the existing rights. With the sale of international and radio rights to come, it is anticipated that the total value of the final package will exceed $1.9 billion.
Under the agreement, many of the changes to improve the schedule of games will start from 2016 two years early. Under the new package:
•Telstra Premiership matches will be held five days a week in 2016 from Thursday to Monday inclusive before reverting to four days a week (Thursday to Sunday) in 2017
•From 2017 the Monday night game will be moved to Friday at 6pm
•Nine Network will telecast games live and free to air on Thursday and Friday nights and Sunday afternoon in 2016
•Fox Sports will show all eight games every weekend including five exclusive telecasts each weekend. Super Saturday, featuring three live games, will be retained by Fox Sports.
•The last five Saturday night games of each season will be telecast on free to air television in the build up to the Finals series
•From 2017 Fox Sports will run a dedicated Rugby League channel giving the game more exposure than any time in the game’s history
•News Corp Australia will use its local media and newspaper resources to promote the game wherever it is played
•And it will use its worldwide resources to take NRL on to the global stage where the League believes over time its incredible appeal will see an army of new fans emerge
•Telstra will remain the naming rights partner of the NRL and will telecast the game digitally on its mobile network as well as replays and highlights on its new Telstra TV platform in 2016.
Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman, John Grant said the package was a win for all the game’s stakeholders and especially its fans. “We have delivered the very best outcome for the game as a whole. In revisiting the number of free to air games in this agreement, we were responding to the value both Nine and News Corp Australia saw in the Saturday game. Compared to our current schedule, this result still means more games live and free for our fans and gives grass roots and elite clubs and organisations immense financial benefits,” he advised.
Hugh Marks, CEO of Nine Entertainment, said: “This is an outstanding result for the game with more live and free coverage for NRL fans from 2016. Nine has always placed enormous value on its strong media partnership with Rugby League and that will only grow over the next seven years. Our quality coverage of NRL games will this year be complemented by the NRL Rookie just one of many ways we seek to expand and enrich our fans’ experience on free to air.”
News Corp Australia chief executive Peter Tonagh said: “This is a truly outstanding deal that will, for the first time in the history of the game, give fans live coverage of every game each round. It’s a big win for the fans and a big win for the clubs, and News is delighted to be a part of it.”
Andrew Penn, Telstra Chief Executive Officer, said the new agreement reaffirmed Telstra’s leadership in giving Australians access to world class mobile sporting experiences. “Only Telstra can bring the sport experience and technology together using Australia’s largest mobile network and we are very excited to give fans digital access to NRL action,” he added.
Fox Sports CEO, Patrick Delany, said: “This is the best deal for the game, for the fans and for Foxtel subscribers. This breakthrough deal will ensure fans get to see their NRL team live in action every week up to the Grand Final on Fox Sports without ad-breaks during play and in high definition. In another huge win for the sport, Fox Sports will launch a dedicated 24/7 Rugby League channel in 2017, giving fans what they have been asking for. This new deal would not have been possible without the support of Channel Nine and the ARLC. And together, with our digital partner Telstra, we will deliver the most dynamic NRL coverage to fans than ever before,” he concluded.
TVNZ GOES BANANAS FOR BOX SETS: NEW CONTENT, DEVICES AND FEATURES ADDED IN DECEMBER
From Press Release
As the nation prepares to unwind over summer, TVNZ is ramping up with a major expansion of its online offering TVNZ OnDemand is adding 200 new hours of exclusive content, launching on new devices and introducing new features as it responds to Kiwis’ changing viewing habits.
Russell T Davies’ sexy interlinking dramas Banana and Cucumber, the satirical comedy series W1A starring Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville, and the British Comedy Award-winning sketch show Cardinal Burns are among a bundle of exclusive box sets coming to TVNZ OnDemand from 1 December.
Director of Content Jeff Latch says TVNZ will release a large collection of international comedy, drama and factual titles exclusively online more than 40 series in all.
“Summer’s a great time to watch TV we might be off the clock but we’re not completely off the grid. We’re taking our devices away with us and we’ve actually got time to enjoy quality content. It’s created an exciting new opportunity for TVNZ from a digital programming perspective.
“Kiwis can look forward to kicking back over their holidays and binging on hilarious Brit comedies, top notch dramas and fascinating factual investigations. We’ve also got you covered if you want to dip in for a quick fix. TVNZ OnDemand’s new Shorts line-up is a home for quality curated shorts from here and abroad.”
TVNZ OnDemand has amassed 900,000 verified users since relaunching in February. A stronger focus on online premieres has cemented its status as an entertainment destination in its own right, says Latch.
“This year a growing number of TVNZ OnDemand’s streams have been generated by shows offered online before on air. Kiwis love being able to enjoy hit shows like iZombie and Scandal within hours of US broadcast,” he says.
“TVNZ OnDemand is all about having the shows Kiwis love first to market at the same time we know viewers want more time to discover new content. This summer we are meeting that need by releasing a number of new titles exclusive to TVNZ OnDemand for viewers to watch at their leisure.
“Based on the trends we’re seeing, we think viewers will have a field day with TVNZ OnDemand over their holidays and beyond.”
New content: full seasons of top international comedy, drama and factual series will be available exclusively on TVNZ OnDemand as box sets. Shorts also launches on 1 December, catering to the demand for mobile-friendly, bite-sized video. Shorts will offer an entertaining and evolving line-up of local and international series, new commissions and brand funded partnerships.
New features: TVNZ OnDemand will make it easier for viewers to keep up with the shows they love. Watchlists will automatically update with new episodes of favourited shows. Push notifications to mobile devices will also be available.
New devices: offering viewers a big screen experience, the TVNZ OnDemand app is now on PlayStation®3 and PlayStation®4. In December it will also be available in the Windows Store for those who have Windows 10 on their PC or tablet.
Contact: Georgie Hills, TVNZ Communications Manager, Phone 021 259 3016
China's navigation satellite system doing well after tests
The three satellites launched this year for China's indigenous navigation satellite system are sending twice as many signals as their predecessors, said the system designer after completing tests on the new units.
The 18th and 19th satellites for the Beidou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), which is being developed as an alternative to US-operated GPS, were sent into space on July 26, and the 20th on September 30, Xinhua reported.
While they are less than half the weight of earlier generations, the new satellites' output is greater, matching the best around the world, said the China Academy of Space Technology in its latest newsletter.
After tests of their orbits and key technology, they are working as intended and in all weather, according to the academy.
The 18th and 19th BDS satellites are the first that can communicate with each other, helping with distance measurements, said Wang Ping, chief engineer on the project.
China began to build the BDS in 1994, two decades after the US developed GPS. China plans to complete a constellation of 35 satellites, achieving global coverage, by 2020
EBU welcomes pro-DTT WRC-15 UHF decision
Representatives of over 150 governments attending the ITU’s World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) have taken the decision that UHF spectrum will remain exclusively allocated to terrestrial TV services in ITU ‘Region 1’ well into the next decade. Delegates reached this conclusion after deliberations over whether the lower UHF frequency band (470-694 MHz) should be retained for broadcasting only or also allocated to mobile broadband.
In their session, representatives reached a consensus that this spectrum, currently used by broadcast services such as digital terrestrial TV [DTT] and radio microphones, is too important to be allocated to mobile services. They agreed that there would be no change to the allocation in the 470-694 MHz band either now, or at WRC-19 in four years’ time. Instead there will be a review of the spectrum use in the entire UHF band (470-960 MHz) at the WRC in 2023. Only then will it be decided whether to make further changes to the Radio Regulations. This added security will enable many countries in ITU Region 1 to continue with their digital switchover programmes without the risk of an impending change in use of the spectrum.
In discussions lasting four weeks, delegates stressed the importance for social cohesion of terrestrial television. For many governments, it is seen as a crucial driver of growth in the cultural sector. There has been considerable investment in DTT platforms in a number of countries, and further investments are planned. Other countries are still rolling out DTT networks with significant investments committed in the near future. The EBU appreciates the strong support to broadcasting shown by the national administrations and highlights the fact that today’s decision will provide regulatory certainty, and act as an incentive for further investment in DTT.
“The world-wide community of broadcasters welcomes this important WRC-15 decision,” said Simon Fell, EBU Director of Technology & Innovation. “So should the millions of viewers who rely on DTT to watch TV. Now that we have certainty on access to spectrum, the broadcasting industry can complete the transition to fully digital television broadcasting. We can also continue to innovate, and ensure that everyone has access to the benefits that new digital services bring.”
European broadcasters also welcome the fact that a vast majority of EU Member States supported the decision to maintain the lower UHF frequency band for terrestrial broadcasting. The WRC-15 decision will have a positive impact at EU level, affirming the direction proposed in the Lamy Report in 2014 that DTT should continue until at least 2030.
ITU Region 1 comprises Europe, Africa, the Middle East (west of the Persian Gulf), and the whole of the territory of Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Russian Federation, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, and Ukraine.
Notting the decision, Ali Zarkesh, VP Product Management at Vislink, suggested that broadcasters would be relieved to hear that the band will remain exclusive well into the next decade. “However, the continuous growth in mobile data traffic ultimately means that other spectrum traditionally allocated to broadcast will still be under threat,” he warned.
“Broadcasters are in a position where they need to achieve more with less. Satisfying the growing consumer demand for HD video and the increasing requirements for 4K UHD (Ultra High Definition) transmission presents the industry with a fresh set of obstacles.
“Fortunately, the introduction of next generation video compression through H.265 looks set to alleviate these concerns. Developments in wireless transmission equipment have also put efficiency at the forefront of the broadcast agenda.
“By employing H.265 encoding techniques and combining them with sophisticated modulation schemes, broadcasters can immediately slash their costs by half, without compromising on quality. This is because H.265 only requires half the bandwidth of H.264 while providing the same video quality. Additionally, advancements in encoder hardware to support 4K UHD have resulted in benefits for SD/HD transmission, enabling up to four channels of SD/HD video to be encoded as multiple services in a single transport stream, all from one compact device.
“The desire to deliver more with less is now truly feasible,” he concluded.
SkyVision and ABS launch new African satellite TV platforms
abs-3aSatellite communications service provider, SkyVision Global Networks, has partnered with global satellite operator ABS to launch two new video platforms for Africa.
The platforms will launch on the ABS-3A satellite at 3°West and will provide DVB-S and DVB-S2 content across Sub-Saharan Africa, including French speaking Africa and South Africa.
“Launching these services on ABS-3A creates a new era of high performance satellite services to customers in Africa,” said SkyVision CEO, Sky Ori Waterman.
ABS CEO Tom Choi added: “Our cooperation with SkyVision will result in a cost-effective solution to expand coverage in remote regions throughout Africa, add viable bandwidth and introduce new services to more customers.”
The new platforms will support both SD and HD channels in MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 encoding and coverage will focus on the free-to-air channels and pay TV markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.
SkyVision said the platforms will “effectively meet the growing demand for content and DTH services using 90cm dishes”.
India: Half DTH subs inactive
India’s telecom regulator TRAI says that half of the nation’s DTH subscribers are inactive as at the end of June. The precise number is 49.54 per cent out of a claimed installed DTH base of 78.74 million users, spread across the 6 main DTH operators. This equates to some 39 million inactive homes (and 39.74 million ‘active’ subs).
Other end-June data showed that the regulator had licensed a total of 826 private channels, with 4 new pay-TV channels added during the quarter-year (AXN HD, Sony KIX, ETV News Odia and Star Movies Select HD).
Three pay-channels went off air during the quarter-year (Fox Crime, 9X and Zee Premier). There were 251 pay-TV channels active according to broadcaster’s reports.
The Shopping channel is testing FTA , Freeview NZ (NZ beam)
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News Corp stumps up almost $1b to salvage NRL rights
The NRL has signed a record $1.8bn broadcast rights deal with Fox Sports, Nine Entertainment Co and Telstra
Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation will spend almost $1 billion to salvage crucial pay television rights to broadcast the National Rugby League in what will be a record $1.8 billion five-year deal for the code, including free-to-air and digital rights for Nine Entertainment Co and digital subscription rights for Telstra.
The deal, which was revealed by Fairfax Media on Wednesday evening, is a record for the code and was due to be announced on Friday morning at 9am as Fairfax went to press.
It gives News Corp's Fox Sports exclusive rights to Saturday games for most of the season in a move that will bolster News' pay TV joint-venture Foxtel as it faces increasing competition for audiences from the likes of Netflix. Fox Sports will launch a dedicated rugby league channel in 2017 as part of the agreement.
News Corp is understood to be paying about $920 million for the Fox Sports rights over five years, from 2018 onwards, Telstra about $200 million and Nine Entertainment Co about $625 million.
The NRL's total income over the five years of the deal is likely to top $2 billion after it sells New Zealand and other international broadcast rights.
Nine Entertainment Co has slashed its bill by $300 million over five years in a move likely to be welcomed by investors.
The $925 million deal it struck in August controversially included Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening games - the latter of which robbed Fox Sports of its exclusive access to up to three Saturday games it holds in the current deal - and Sunday afternoon.
Fox Sports will acquire the Saturday night game from Nine for around $175 million over five years, while, under the agreement, the pay TV broadcaster will also simulcast Nine's games for $125 million over five years.
As foreshadowed by Fairfax Media last month, Fox Sports will show every NRL match live for the first time, including finals. The only exceptions will be the NRL grand final and the three high-rating State of Origin matches.
Telstra, the half-owner of Foxtel, will retain its digital rights though Nine has non-exclusive digital rights to the three matches it will telecast each week, plus the State of Origin and NRL grand final.
However, Nine will retain about five Saturday night games at the end of each season, giving it high-rating matches on four consecutive evenings each week in the lead-in to the finals series.
The new structure would be introduced progressively over the 2016 season and into 2017, with Monday night football initially remaining on Foxtel.
The current television arrangements, under which Nine show three games live and Fox Sports five, expire at the end of the 2017 season.
The deal follows a drawn-out battle between the NRL and News Corp after the code snubbed the media conglomerate in August and hashed out the free-to-air contract separate from the subscription rights, breaking with the tradition of selling all the rights at once. It sparked a concerted and ultimately successful campaign by News Corp to oust then-NRL chief executive Dave Smith.
In August News Corp's chairman Mr Murdoch personally stepped in to complete a six-year $2.508 billion deal with rival code the Australian Football League. Announcing that deal he took a shot at the NRL, saying: "We've always preferred Aussie Rules and we've always believed this is the premium code in Australia. I guess we will engage with the NRL in time."
This time around, News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson, who was also present when the AFL deal was done, flew into Australia from the United States for negotiations with the NRL. Mr Murdoch did not.
Japan: SKY PerfectTV boosts UHD output
Japan’s SKY Perfect TV pay-TV operation has cracked some of the major problems related to broadcasting 4K/UltraHD. It has just demonstrated at the InterBee electronics show its 4K solutions featuring High Dynamic Range (HDR), described by experts as being needed to deliver more of a ‘wow’ effect to Ultra-HD screens.
SKY Perfect TV says it transmitted ‘live’ music to InterBee in HDR, as well as showcasing car races, football, winter scenes, cityscapes and music footage, and all designed to demonstrate the broadcaster’s ability to handle end-to-end challenges in UHD.
“As to equipment, we have added just HDR monitors and S-Log to Hybrid Log Gamma conversion equipment to our 4K broadcasting infrastructure. The demonstrations were very successful and shown at 4 booths at INterBEE including Sony,” said the company.
Additionally, SKY Perfect announced November 22nd that it is going to produce new original drama with 4K HDR, which will be broadcast in 4K SDR and HD SDR from February 2016.
Selevision: “Nukodec could revolutionise the sector”
IP&TV News talks to Dr. Raed Khusheim, CEO for TV Connect MENA Awards winner Selevision.
IP&TV News: I understand Selevision had some success at last this year’s TV Connect MENA Awards. Could you tell us what this was?
Antoine Tannous: Earlier this year, another invention by Selevision saw the light. A new game changer aptly called Nukodec was publicly announced for the first time during the TV Connect MENA Summit & Awards 2015. It’s an H.265 based codec that can compress both Full HD and Ultra HD (4K) channels and content on both IP and Satellite, enabling them to run on 1 Mbit/s and 4Mbit/s respectively.
This represents a major transformation for DVB, OTT and CDN operators, allowing them to save up to 80% of bandwidth and storage.
And what do you think distinguished your entry from some of the others. What do you think raised it to the status of an award winner?
We are confident that Nukodec has the potential to revolutionise the sector. We believe it will soon become the new industry standard, and can envisage satellite operators, telcos and service providers adopting new business models in the near future, thanks to the new technology at hand.
Broadcasters can now put Nukodec to use for both off-line and real-time transcoding. The impact of this is potentially huge, positively affecting the OTT as it will it will increase the Full HD and 4K content availability and affordability notably to end-users with a low bandwidth in the MENA region.
What do you think you have learned about the direction the industry is going to go next in the region?
The past does not equal the future. The old names and faces are no more the reference for today’s innovations. These last are being made by new players, new game changers. All that matters today is what you are going to do right here and now. This is the growth of our industry.
Looking forward, what’s the focus for Selevision over the next twelve months?
Now that Seevii, our OTT entertainment platform is launched and that our new hybrid Android-based set-top box, Andredo is deployed, we will be focusing on bringing more HD and 4K content to the MENA region via OTT.
This, in addition to a brand new technology to be announced early next year a dynamic algorithm that enables pinpoint and targeted advertisements on satellite. Another revolutionary game changer that Selevision will be providing in all its aspects dynamic channel delivery, dynamic time delivery, dynamic frequency delivery, dynamic broadcast delivery and dynamic interactive delivery.
Another ‘super compression’ CODEC arrives
Early April saw V-Nova introduce its impressive Perseus video compression system. V-Nova claimed Perseus was able to handle Ultra-HD at 7-8 Mb/s comfortably, and UK telco EE endorsed the technical success with a number of trials and test transmissions.
However, V-Nova now has a competitor claiming even lower bit-rates. Canada-based Tveon Systems can, it claims, achieve a 2 Mb/s bit-rate for UltraHD, and a potentially spectacular sub-200 Kb/s for true 1080p HD.
“Tveon has developed and patented a new compression/decompression technology that it says “drastically decreases bandwidth and storage costs by reducing the file size of HD and UHD videos up to 90 per cent with an average of approximately 75 per cent, and with no loss in clarity or quality.”
‘Large Display Monoitor’, in a report, quotes Tveon CEO Scott Hayward saying Tveon had developed its own version of what he describes as a “persuasive-based algorithm’ and which is now ‘patent pending’.
Evidently, trials of the software-based technology are imminent, with licensing deals to follow within six months.
DirecTV: 4K launch “early 2016”
US satellite pay-TV giant DirecTV (now part of AT&T) is currently testing Ultra-HD sport transmissions ahead of a formal launch of a 4K service “early in 2016”.
DirecTV’s Phil Goswitz (SVP, Video & Space Communications) confirmed the plan at the recent TranSPORT conference in New York. DirecTV has been offering OTT supply of 4K material since the end of 2014.
Responding to the question of where the biggest hole was in 4K/Ultra HD technology right now, Goswitz told delegates that DirecTV had capacity to launch 50 UHD channels today (at 30 Mb/s) on top of its normal portfolio of HD and SD channels, and that the technical challenges had largely been solved.
“There are only three questions where’s the content? Where’s the damn content? Where’s the goddamn content?”
He continued: “I think the belief that there are technology challenges is a bit of a misinformed myth. I think technology throughout the entire ecosystem is ready. But I think content is king; the plane is ready to take off and there is no king on board. So we are moving into working with partners who are enthusiastic about it and we are bringing our cheque-books. Forty per cent of people are going to have UHD TVs coming out of Christmas and they are going to be looking for something to watch. Our goal is to have them tuned to DirecTV and have as much linear live content, especially sports content, as soon as possible.”
Goswitz confirmed the “early next year” plan, based on live UHD sport, on November 26.
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Report: Optus network ‘not fit for nbn’
The Optus cable TV and broadband network acquired by Australia’s national broadband network (nbn) for A$800 million (€545m) is in such poor condition the nbn is considering replacing it entirely, according to a leaked document, which suggests that building over the Optus HFC network with Telstra HFC or a mix of other technologies would deliver better results than upgrading the current network, with a funding increase of between A$150 million and A$375 million.
The document, a briefing presentation, was described by an nbn spokesperson as part of an ongoing approach of risk mitigation. “In order to manage risk nbn regularly prepares for multiple scenarios in the network deployment the document concerned is part of that,” he explained.
The presentation posits moving to a ‘Plan B’ for the HFC network, rather than upgrading the Optus network as originally intended, whereas the ‘Plan A’ HFC rollout would see existing Optus infrastructure used for 470,000 premises.
However, the report suggests the Optus network is “not fully fit for purpose” with some equipment is “arriving at the end of life” needing to be replaced. Other parts of the network are oversubscribed and don’t have sufficient capacity to support NBN services. Accordingly, overbuilding the Optus HFC network with Telstra HFC or a mix of other technologies would deliver better results than upgrading the current network.
nbn is currently conducting an HFC Pilot on the Optus HFC network in Redcliffe, Queensland, built out to 4,500 premises. “We have activated end-users from several of our RSPs. End-users have been receiving speeds of up to 100Mbps/40Mbps. nbn has not found any unexpected technical issues with the Optus network in the Redcliffe area,” said an nbn spokesperson.
Tracking new missions from down under
A new 4.5 m-diameter 'acquisition aid' dish antenna is being added to ESA's existing New Norcia, Western Australia, tracking station, ready to catch the first signals from newly launched missions. The new antenna will allow acquisition and tracking during the critical initial orbits of new missions (see Liftoff: ESOC assumes control), up to roughly 100 000 km range. It can also 'slave' the much larger 35m dish, which can then be used to retrieve ranging data and telemetry signals - on-board status information - from the newly launched spacecraft. Image courtesy ESA - CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO. For a larger version of this image please go here.
For beachgoers, Australia's pristine west coast is an ideal location to catch some rays. It is also ideal for catching signals from newly launched rockets and satellites, which is one reason why ESA is redeveloping its tracking capabilities down under.
When rockets and their satellites leap into the sky from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, they typically head east across the Atlantic, rising higher and faster with every second.
Some 50 minutes after launch, the new mission can be seen from Western Australia, rising up from the Indian Ocean horizon and then arcing high in the sky, already in space.
By the time the satellite, travelling at some 28 000 km/h, separates to start its life in orbit, it will already be in radio range of the land down under.
By early next year, a new radio dish will be working at ESA's existing New Norcia, Western Australia, tracking station, tracking station, ready to catch the first signals from new missions.
New Norcia currently has a large, 35 m-diameter dish for tracking deep-space missions such as Rosetta, Mars Express and Gaia, typically voyaging in the Solar System several hundred million km away.
Its size and technology are not ideal, however, for initial signalling to new satellites in low-Earth orbit.
In contrast, the new dish, just 4.5 m across, will lock onto and track new satellites during the critical initial orbits (see Liftoff: ESOC assumes control), up to roughly 100 000 km out.
It can also 'slave' the much larger dish, which can then receive ranging data and telemetry - onboard status information - from the new spacecraft.
"For satellite signals, the new dish has a wider field of view than the 35 m antenna," says Gunther Sessler, ESA's project manager, "and can grab the signal even when the new satellite's position is not precisely known.
"It also offers rapid sky searches in case the satellite's position after separation is completely unknown, which can happen if the rocket over- or under-performs."
In addition to satellites, the new antenna can also track rockets, including Ariane 5, Vega and Soyuz.
The upgrade was prompted by the need to move the capability that, so far, has been provided by the ESA tracking station at Perth, 140 km southeast of New Norcia.
That station's location has become increasingly untenable through urban sprawl and radio interference from TV broadcast vans.
The upgrade ensures that ESA's Estrack tracking network can continue providing crucial satellite services along the most-used trajectories.
"With the closing of Perth station, ESA would have lost its capability in Western Australia, which is a critical location for most European missions," says Manfred Lugert, ground facilities manager at ESA's operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany.
The antenna was designed for low maintenance and operating costs and can go into hibernation when it is not needed between launches.
Perth station will remain in operation until the end of 2015, when it will be dismantled and many of its components reused at other ESA stations.
Once testing is completed, the dish will enter service in early 2016 in time for Galileo navsat launches and the first ExoMars mission, in March.
Mini set-top box, 4K and download-to-go: Fetch TV's big plans for 2016
Part set-top box, part free-to-air TV, part streaming device, Fetch TV has long billed itself as an all-in-one option for entertainment lovers. But now, the company is looking further with new products and better features to woo Australians.
Fetch TV has outlined its ambitious plans for the streaming market in 2016, revealing that it will launch a new mini set-top box to challenge the likes of Apple TV and the Roku-powered Telstra TV. The company has also confirmed that it will introduce support for 4K, multi-channel streaming and 'download to go' content next year, as well as bringing a new streaming app onto its platform.
The announcements come off the back of a big year for Fetch TV, which saw a major spike in subscribers off the back of the launch of Netflix and a AU$100 million investment in its platform. With subscriber numbers expected to pass the 300,000 mark by the end of the year, the company says it has more paying subscribers than Stan, Presto and Quickflix combined and is on track to become the second largest pay TV provider in Australian history.
At its heart, Fetch TV bills itself as Pay TV "light." There's full free-to-air functionality that allows users to pause, rewind and series record live TV, and catch-up TV apps are baked in alongside subscriptions video on demand (SVOD) services such as Netflix. Users can also buy one-off movies and TV shows, or pay an additional fee per month for "premium" pay TV channels such as Disney, Nickelodeon and ESPN.
In this sense, Fetch combines the pay TV elements of Foxtel, the transactional content of Quickflix or Bigpond Movies, the EPG of a Smart TV and the catch-up and SVOD apps of a set-top box (along with hard-drive storage for recording).
According to company CEO Scott Lorson, Fetch TV has a slightly different offering to competitors, matched by a "fairly different view" on how to win customers over. And in 2016, that winning strategy is going to involve a number of big announcements.
"We're going to launch a series of new products in the first half of next year, and we're going to go from being a one-product company to a three-product company," said Lorson at a summit on over-the-top streaming services in Sydney last week.
"We are in a very significant expansion phase at the moment. [That includes] enhanced functionality, more content announcements and...we will be doing far more with catch-up TV on the subscription channels."
One new piece of hardware forming part of this three-product strategy is a new 4K capable set-top box, complete with 4K content, due in the market "early next year."
There's a new SVOD app in the works, though Fetch isn't sharing details of who is coming on board just yet. But regardless of which app they're using, Lorson said Fetch users would notice much faster app launch speeds, thanks to 'app suspend' -- a technology that ensures "Netflix feels like a channel change rather than an app loading." The introduction of "quad recording" in 2016 will also let users record an entire channel stream (such as Gem, Nine and Go) on the one tuner.
As well as better speeds, Fetch is promising better picture quality, thanks to an upgrade to the high efficiency video coding (HEVC) standard, which offers better video quality coupled with better compression, so there's less data to deal with. And if you have Fetch TV at home, you will also be able to download shows to go, for watching on your mobile or tablet.
All of these updates, as well as the new 4K-compatible set-top box, will be joined by one more product in the Fetch stable with the 2016 launch of a mini set-top box. But, in keeping with its free-to-air focus, Fetch plans to one-up rivals Telstra TV and Apple TV by including a TV tuner in its mini.
According to Lorson, tying together traditional terrestrial broadcast TV with over-the-top streaming is a no-brainer, especially considering Australians' viewing habits.
"We believe that the bulk of viewing continues to be free to air," he said. "You have perfectly good terrestrial signal that consumes no bandwidth, generates no cost and gives you the highest possible quality of resolution. Why would you not use that as the vehicle to bring the free-to-air in?"
"Our belief is to ensure you have that terrestrial tuner on everything you do, so you can have a single interface that covers your free-to-air, your subscription, your transactional content, your Netflix and everything."
Taking a subtle swipe at Fetch's competitors, Lorson reiterated the central selling point of Fetch TV as a home for popular new streaming apps, as well as traditional broadcast TV.
"If you don't have free-to-air, it is a longer journey for the customer," he said. "If you're just banking on the SVOD world or just on the PVR or just on subscription content, you're missing the point that people want to do all these things.
"It's about a single interface, a single bill, one service that offers the non-Foxtel 6.5 million homes [across Australia] an opportunity to have a very rich content experience."
Nickelodeon Australia launches free Nick Play app on iOS and Android
Nickelodeon’s new smartphone and tablet app gives Aussie kids access to a range of Nickelodeon content, with even more on offer for those who are full-blown Foxtel subscribers.
Nickelodeon Australia’s new app, Nick Play, is a ‘branded app experience that allows kids to interact with Nickelodeon wherever they go.’
Part of parent company Viacom’s ‘Play Plex’ model, with Australia one of the first global territories to experience it, Nick Play offers Australian kids ‘access to hundreds of Nickelodeon-themed videos, original short-form animations and newly created games.’
If you’re a Foxtel subscriber and authenticate with a username and password, you get access to a complete suite of full-length episodes of Nickelodeon’s biggest hits and current top shows. Those who aren’t subscribers get a much smaller selection of these biggest hits and current top shows, but still get a stack of the aforementioned content to keep the app’s value up - as well as access to a new show called Supa Phresh - details of it all are below.
Unfortunately for Foxtel subscribers, some discrimination is being applied, even though a company like Nickelodeon would presumably be against any kind of discrimination against kids.
Even so, only Foxtel residential subscribers with Nickelodeon included as part of their subscription will get access to Nick Play’s full suite of content. Foxtel subscribers that are excluded and discriminated against are Telstra T-Box customers and Optus TV featuring Foxtel customers, who are obviously second-class Foxtel citizens - no full throttle Nick Play for you or your kids.
Even if you do qualify as a full-blown Foxtel subscriber, you must also be the Foxtel primary account holder to access the Nick Play App. I guess life wasn’t meant to be easy.
As for Play Plex, Viacom explains this is ‘a global suite of authenticated multiplatform products for all of Viacom’s brands, which will launch in every one of the 180 international territories in which Viacom owns and operates TV channels (excluding the U.S).’
The Nick app, which has been rolled out in five international markets since 2013, has been updated and rebranded as Nick Play. Australia is one of the first global territories for the roll-out of the updated and rebranded Nick Play app.
So, what else does Nick Play offer?
It features a tile layout that can be swiped in any direction and will include new content daily, which kids can ‘favourite’ and watch whenever they want.
Claiming to be ‘true to the spirit of Nickelodeon,’ the app offers ‘a range of funny, interactive elements including a “Do Not Touch” button that triggers an array of disruptive comedy and surprises. There is also a “mystery box” element on the homepage designed to include specialised messaging for Nickelodeon highlights and/or sponsor integrated campaigns.’
Nick Play also launches with the Australian-produced animated shorts series Supa Phresh, consisting of 4 x 3min episodes, created by Melbourne-based Darcy Prendergast of Oh Yeah Wow.
We’re told that the premiere series ‘follows the hilarious journey of Tex (a half-dinosaur, half-fish) and his two best friends Squidula (a vampire squid) and Pug-tank (part dog, part toy tank), who work (badly) in a low-rent, bulk-buying supermarket.’
Nickelodeon Australia has also exclusively commissioned two Supa Phresh companion games for the app, Coupon Cannon and Suga Rush. The Supa Phresh shorts and games will be available to international Nickelodeon markets as exclusive digital-first content.
Jihee Nam, VP and GM of Nickelodeon Networks A/NZ commented: “Nick Play provides yet another opportunity to connect with our current and new audiences in a safe environment parents can trust. We have listened to what kids want and have created original short-form content that is true to our brand values of being irreverent, funny and entertaining.”
At launch, Nick Play app will include:
Over 320 videos, including:
24 full episodes of Nickelodeon’s current hit shows (two episodes available to all users and 22 for Foxtel subscribers^);
A binge-worthy 13 episodes from the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series leading up to the massive Season 3 Finale (as part of Foxtel subscriber episodes);
The launch of original animated shorts series Supa Phresh and two Supa Phresh mini games;
Nickelodeon’s first-ever digital short-form series Welcome to the Wayne;
Over 290 short form videos and exclusive behind the scenes content from Nickelodeon’s hit shows;
Refreshed content every day and new videos every week.
Ms Nam added: With Nick Play, we have the flexibility to create original, unique content that can be accessed by kids no matter where they are. Our dedication to constantly innovate across all of our platforms means that we can provide viewers with a different experience every time they connect with our brand.”
The app will be available on both iOS and Android to download on the Apple store and Google Play respectively. Full-length episodes on Nick Play can be accessed by households that subscribe to Foxtel with the Kids Channel Pack.
Nam concluded: “Australian kids use an average of six devices, which is more than the global average*. It is vital that we offer them an app that is functional in navigation, user interface and content. Nick Play is designed to complement our linear channel and provide our distribution partner, Foxtel^ with an enhanced entertainment experience for subscribers.”
More information on Nick Play is here.
Once again, you must be a Foxtel residential subscriber with Nickelodeon included as part of their subscription. This excludes Telstra T-Box customers and Optus TV featuring Foxtel customers.
Finally, Viacom shares a some tidbits of information from its Viacom International Insights, VIMN TV [RE]DEFINED 2015 research. This is as follows:
Australian viewers aged 6 34 use an average of 7 devices, one more than the global average.
Australian kids 6 12 own and use an average of 6 devices, more than the global average of 5.2, and they use them at an earlier age.
The tablet is the #1 device that stands out for kids. Global: 64% vs. Australia: 75%.
Kazakhstan plans return from its satellites
Kazakhstan telecommunications satellite Kazsat-3 is expected to get a return on its investments this year, reports Profit.kz citing Victor Lefter, the president of the National Space Centre. The return on the investment in the Kazsat-3 satellite is expected for 2017, when Kazakshtan operators, which still have long-term contracts with foreign satelite companies, will switch to the Kazsat-3 satellite. The workload of Kazasat 2 currently totals 72 percent; 14 Kazakshtan operators use its services. Four Kazakhstan operators use services from Kazsat 3.
Amos-5 on station, but dead
The mystery over the problems at the Israeli-owned Amos-5 satellite has deepened. It emerged that the satellite is still at its assigned orbital position of 17 degrees East. The spacecraft dramatically went silent at 4.44am (UTC) on November 21st.
However, Space-Communications, which owns the satellite, now says it had “no information” on the precise nature of the problem, nor whether the loss is total.
There has been some press speculation that the craft might have been hit by so-called ‘space junk’ but had this unlikely problem occurred it is likely that the craft would have suffered a move from its designated orbital position.
Amos-5 was 65 per cent full as far as clients were concerned, and other satellite operators as well as Spacecom are now scrambling to fill the gap created by the lost satellite. The majority of clients were based or feeding bandwidth into Africa.
“There are several options for transferring customers and we are closely working with customers vis a vis other satellite operators to ensure minimal interruption,” the company said. “Spacecom is being completely transparent with our clients. We are working to find solutions for each and every client.”
Amos-5 is fully insured.
Government funding for BBC World Service
The UK government is to invest £85 million (€120m) a year in enhancing BBC services around the world including in Russia, North Korea, the Middle East and Ethiopia.
The money is to help “build the global reach of the World Service” to half a billion people and “increase access to news and information”.
The government will provide £34 million between 2016-17 and £85 million a year from 2017-18 for digital, TV and radio. The next review of this funding come in 2020.
Director general Tony Hall said he “warmly welcomed” the announcement. “This new funding is the single biggest increase in the World Service budget ever committed by any government,” said Hall. “The millions announced today will help the BBC deliver on our commitment to uphold global democracy through accurate, impartial and independent news reporting. The World Service is one of the UK’s most important cultural exports and one of our best sources of global influence. We can now further build on that.”
He added: “The funding will also help speed us on to our target of reaching half a billion people globally.”
BBC Trust Chairman Rona Fairhead described the BBC World Service as “a vital cultural export,” informing and educating millions of people across the world every day.
“As the BBC continues to cut costs and faces more reductions in future, it is extremely welcome that proposed new services to extend the global reach of the World Service will be paid for by the additional government spending announced today.
“We hope that if these new services are to continue to thrive beyond 2020, this new government spending continues to be protected,” she stated.
The BBC currently reaches 308 million people worldwide, and its goal is to reach 500 million people by 2022.
Announcing the new funding in its document, the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review, the government said: “The BBC World Service reaches into some of the most remote places in the world, providing a link to the UK for individuals and societies who would otherwise not have this opportunity. We will invest £85 million each year by in the BBC’s digital, TV and radio services around the world to build the global reach of the World Service and increase access to news and information.”
Confusion over UHD spec delays
Last week, Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch stated that Sky in the UK would start Ultra-HD transmissions later in 2016. Documentation issued at his press conferences talks about UHD at 3840 x 2160 pixels. He declined to give a specific start date, but he was enthusiastic in saying that Sky’s introduction of its all-new Sky Q premium set-top box would be capable of handling UHD reception.
However, almost simultaneously, the European TV standards-setting body (DVB Project) put out a major statement saying that “they are close” to receiving a UHDTV technical specification, and that the new spec would “potentially become available” to broadcasters during 2017.
This 2017 date is not a surprise, and the world’s various technical bodies have frequently talked about 2017-2019/2020 for ‘full’ UHD to emerge with complete and agreed standards.
The DVB Project admits that it will take a further 12 months to see its ‘UHD-1 Phase 2’ delivery format translated by broadcasters. The meeting of the DVB Steering Board in Geneva examined the phasing in UHD in three or four or five steps. The first being 4K including 60 frames per second, the next likely to be High Dynamic Range (HDR) and then a wider colour gamut (WCG). DVB has said that HDR is likely to be one of the first features included in the newly approved UHD-1 Phase 2.
DVB UHD-1 Phase 1 was the first system developed in 2014, delivering a 2160p resolution at 60fps four times that of HDTV, and it is this formula that today’s 4K transmissions are being made under.
The DVB Project says: “The next challenge for DVB is to convert the requirements into a specification for submission to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) for standardisation. It is expected that the specification will be finalised in 2016. We should expect the first DVB UHD-1 Phase 2 services including HDR, to become available from 2017 onwards.”
“As well as HDR, the standards body also mentions phasing in a higher frame rate (HFR) into the specification, which is the capability to provide images with sharper moving objects. The development of consumer equipment capable of supporting HFR is expected to take several years longer than other features. There are TVs out there that support 60 frames a second and some that refresh at 240 times a second (240 Hz), but this does not translate to being able to handle 60 frames of 4K HDR.”
Separately to the DVB’s work, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) is also working via various expert groups of finalise its own set of standards, not least those covering High Dynamic Range, Wider Colour Gamut and Higher Frame Rates, and it suggests its work will come together (for the various key elements) in the 2018-2020 timeframe.
However, consumers are buying into UHD sets today, even though there are many displays which by any measure will not meet the emerging higher-end specifications.
There is also uncertainty as to whether some (so-called 4K) displays now being used will be able to handle these upcoming ‘full UHD’ specifications. In particular there are concerns about some displays which depend on a RGBW panel and have only 2880 lines of pixels, and not the ‘full’ UHD spec of 3840 lines of active pixels. The International Committee for Display Metrology (ICDM), which is part of the Society for Information Display’s Definitions & Standards Committee, and which defines performance measurements, quality and fundamental parameters of all display technologies, is urgently considering revising its Measurement Specifications to prevent low resolution TV panels being misleadingly sold as 4K UHD TVs.
In many ways the current problem is similar to the early days of HDTV when so-called “HD Ready” lower-cost displays flooded the market with less-than-perfect technology. Today, some displays from the current crop of (mostly) Chinese-manufactured units now available are generally failing to deliver true 4K resolution.
Critics of the RGBW technology say that the final image is simply diluted and that colour fidelity information is lost, and the ‘premium’ offering damaged. One negative comment from the well-regarded Vincent Teoh of HDTV Test, suggested: “[They are] trying to shoehorn RGB video signals into an RGBW matrix, [where] colour information is lost, and users will never be able to enjoy movies in the manner intended by the director.”
Worse, perhaps, is that the buying public has no way of identifying these less-than-perfect units. There is simply no notification or labelling to indicate the display’s core structure. The “RGBW” issue was highlighted at the recent Eurodisplay 2015 the International Display Research Conference held in Ghent, Belgium. The ICDM is now contemplating revising its Measurement Specifications to prevent RGBW-based panels being misrepresented as supporting 3840 pixels per line and thereby qualifying as ‘true’ UHD TVs.
DisneyLife goes live
Disney is taking on Netflix with the launch of its DisneyLife app in the UK, which lets up to six family members stream Disney content on their iOS and Android devices, and also via Airplay and Chromecast.
Available immediately for £9.99 a month (with the first month free), users can stream movies such as The Muppets, The Lion King and Toy Story as well as TV shows include Phineas and Ferb. DisneyLife also lets users access online storybooks and stream music soundtracks from the likes of Frozen and The Little Mermaid.
Every month, members also get a free app to download from a hand-picked selection of other Disney apps from the respective stores. At launch, this will be Cars 2 World Grand Prix Read and Race game.
“Our team has worked tirelessly to create a personal, intuitive and unique experience for the whole family,” Paul Brown, general manager of DisneyLife UK, said. “Disney means something different to every parent and child and now with DisneyLife we are handing over the keys to them to explore the ever-expanding digital world of Disney wherever they are and whenever they want.”
MPAA wins MovieTube shutdown
A Federal Court judge in New York has granted a permanent injunction and final judgment in the Motion Picture Association of America member companies’ lawsuit against the operators of the MovieTube ring of websites, shutting down the sites, awarding the plaintiffs $10.5 million in damages and transferring the domains to the plaintiffs.
“The MPAA’s member companies filed a civil suit in July against the operators of a ring of websites called MovieTube whose explicit purpose was to distribute stolen copies of the latest motion pictures and television shows without compensating the people who worked so hard to make them,” advised Dean Marks, Executive Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Chief, Global Content Protection of the MPAA. “Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, the sites were taken down by their operators. By shutting down these illegal commercial enterprises we are protecting not only our members’ creative work and the hundreds of innovative, legal digital distribution platforms, but also the millions of people whose jobs depend on a vibrant motion picture and television industry. This court order will help ensure the sites stay down and are not transferred to others for the purposes of continuing a piracy operation on a massive scale.”
Missing the old vetrun.com forum? try www.nzdtv.com I have overhauiled and cloned most of the old Vetrun sections. It still needs quite a bit of work and you will need to rejoin. I'll see if we can get the old vetrun.com domain re-directed as well
Cima replaced Antenna, Intelsat 19 12646 H Vpid 372 Apid 373 MPG2 FTA
Record TV is new, Intelsat 19 12726 H Vpid 643 Apid 943 MPG4 FTA
From my Email
From the Dish
AsiaSat 5 100.5E 3760 H "Emarat TV" has left .
Intelsat 19 166.0E 12726 H Rai Italia Australia, Rai News 24, Rai World Premium, Mediaset Italia, La 7, Ant1 Pacific, Greek Cinema, SportPlus, BBC Arabic, ERT 1 and 4E on are in clear again.
Intelsat 19 166.0E 12726 H RTP Internacional Ãsia and SIC Internacional have started on , Fta.
Insat 4B 93.5E 10990 V "Maha Movie and Big Magic Ganga" have started on , Fta. DD India and Shri News have left.
Insat 4B 93.5E 11150 V "Home Shop 18 has replaced Maha Movie" on , Fta.
Insat 4B 93.5E 11490 V "DD National, DD News, DD Bharati, DD Kisan, DD Bihar, DD Urdu, Rajya Sabha TV and DD North-East" have left .
Insat 4B 93.5E 11570 V "Sanskar TV and Aaj Tak Delhi" have started on , Fta. Manoranjan TV and Aalami Samay have left.
From asiatvro site
东经68.5度轨道位置的国际20号卫星C频段，Nickledeon HD、MTV HD（高清）频道新增，设置4013 V 7200参数有条件接收。[11-24]
东经122度轨道位置的亚洲4号卫星C频段，AMC（印度）频道加密，设置4035 H 12500参数有条件接收。[11-24]
东经93.5度轨道位置的印星4B号卫星Ku频段，Sanskar替换Manoranjan Music（印度）频道，设置11570 V 28500参数免费接收。[11-24]
东经93.5度轨道位置的印星4B号卫星Ku频段，DD Kisan替换DD India（印度）频道，设置10990 V 28500参数免费接收。[11-24]
东经83度轨道位置的印星4A号卫星C频段，Naxatra News Hindirtpl（印度）频道消失，设置3874 H 3400参数无效接收。[11-24]
东经70.5度轨道位置的欧星70B号卫星Ku频段，MC TV替换AB TV（MPEG-4）频道，设置11294 H 44900参数免费接收。[11-24]
东经116度轨道位置的韩星6号卫星Ku频段，Star Sports、Fox（韩国）等全组频道改频率，设置12730 H 29500参数有条件接收。 [11月24日]
东经116度轨道位置的韩星6号卫星Ku频段，探索频道、MovieChoice（韩国）等全组频道改频率，设置12490 H 29500参数有条件接收。 [11月24日]
东经116度轨道位置的韩星6号卫星Ku频段，Ns Shop+（韩国）频道新增，设置12690 H 29500参数有条件接收。 [11月24日]
东经108.2度轨道位置的新天11号卫星Ku频段，龙祥时代、天映经典（环宇卫视）等10个频道加密，设置12591 H 30000参数有条件接收。 [11月24日]
东经83度轨道位置的印星4A号卫星C频段，DD News、DD HD（印度）等9个频道新增，设置3885 V 27500参数免费接收。 [11月23日]
东经92.2度轨道位置的中星9号卫星Ku频段，Monoscope、Color Bar（测试）等3个频道消失，设置12180 R 28800参数无效接收。[11-23]
东经95度轨道位置的SES 8号卫星Ku频段，Fahai TV、Loso、Real Stories（泰国）频道消失，设置11038 V 45000参数无效接收。[11-23]
东经113度轨道位置的韩星5号卫星Ku频段，Mountain TV（韩国）频道解密，设置12530 H 26000参数免费接收。[11-23]
东经95度轨道位置的SES 8号卫星Ku频段，CCTV-4、Fan TV（IPM）等全组频道加密，设置10977 V 40000参数有条件接收。[11-23]
东经78.5度轨道位置的泰星6号卫星C频段，BBTV Channel 7（泰国）频道重现，设置3832 H 8000参数有条件接收。[11-23]
东经75度轨道位置的ABS-2号卫星Ku频段，India News替换Kasthuri TV（印度）频道，设置11735 H 44000参数免费接收。[11-23]
东经75度轨道位置的ABS-2号卫星Ku频段，News X替换Kasthuri News 24（印度）频道，设置11735 H 44000参数免费接收。 [11月23日]
东经78.5度轨道位置的泰星5号卫星C频段，Hero Channel替换Dara Channel（泰国）频道，设置3480 H 30000参数免费接收。 [11月23日]
东经78.5度轨道位置的泰星5号卫星C频段，Topline Channel、Pop TV（泰国）频道消失，设置3480 H 30000参数无效接收。 [11月23日]
东经113度轨道位置的帕拉帕D号卫星C频段，Disney Channel、Disney Junior（印尼）频道消失，设置3960 H 30000参数无效接收。 [11月23日]
东经113度轨道位置的帕拉帕D号卫星C频段，Outdoor Channel、My Kids（印尼）等3个频道消失，设置3880 H 30000参数无效接收。 [11月23日]
Australia: tenplay on Telstra TV
Network Ten’s digital catch-up and streaming service tenplay has arrived on Telstra TV, giving viewers a new and way to watchshows from TEN, ELEVEN and ONE.
In partnership with streaming platform Roku, Telstra TV brings tenplay straight into Australians’ living rooms, providing a dynamic viewing experience on their HD screens.
Network Ten Chief Digital Officer, Rebekah Horne, said: “From today, Telstra TV will provide immediate and seamless access to Network Ten’s catch-up and streaming product, anytime and for free. Telstra TV is a great opportunity for streaming growth and is the next step in tenplay’s cross-platform strategy, offering a first-class viewing experience wherever our audiences are.”
Australia: SVoD ups data use 51% in six months
The recent boom in SVoD services, driven by the launch of Netflix, Stan and Presto in Australia has been accompanied by a sharp rise in network data traffic according to a report prepared for Australia’s national broadband network (nbn) by consultancy firm Ovum.
Average monthly download usage on the nbn network was 73GB in March 2015 but was 110GB by September, a rise of 51 per cent in just six months. Some capacity problems arose this sudden increase in demand.
According to Ovum, video use in Australia is set to grow even further in the coming years, so further new capacity will be required as time passes. Ovum estimates that the number of SVoD subscribers in Australia will grow by a factor of 17 between the end of 2014 and the end of 2019. By that time, Ovum forecasts that there will be 4.707 million OTT SVoD subscriptions in Australia.
Other forms of OTT video delivery such as downloaded video-on-demand (VoD) will also grow significantly. Many users of these services will be individuals rather than households, with the number of screens per household proliferating; already, there are 2.3 TV sets per household, and 1.6 tablets, not to mention smartphones. Video traffic is already the driver of overall household traffic.
The capacity problems that were caused by SVoD video traffic in 2015 were addressed fairly quickly as telecommunications operators moved to add broadband capacity to cope with the increased data traffic. Ovum notes that the event raised questions about over-the-top (OTT) video, particularly where the responsibility rests for OTT service quality. There was also some confusion about the origin of the problems, which were not related to basic access speeds in the last mile, but to capacity in local and long-distance transmission that link up the last-mile networks.
According to Ovum, these questions will only become more pressing as more OTT service providers and new video business models emerge over the coming years. The Australian video services market will look very different in 2019 compared to 2014. The main difference will be the new variety of services available. In 2012, Australia was still in the throes of the analogue FTA switch off, and traditional FTA and pay-TV were completely dominant. In 2019, they will share the market with IPTV and a dramatically expanded OTT video industry.
Ovum suggests that OTT video is qualitatively different from more traditional video services such as free-to-air (FTA), pay-TV and IPTV. FTA TV, pay-TV and IPTV are all delivered by a single integrated service provider that can perform end-to-end management of service quality (or something very close).
In contrast, OTT video is delivered by multiple service providers across a value chain that is only loosely coordinated. No single provider is ultimately responsible for service quality and stability. This arrangement has the undoubted advantage that it is low cost, and this makes OTT video services cheap to buy. It will allow the delivery of a ‘long tail’ of niche content that would otherwise be uneconomic, and this will greatly increase viewer choice.
According to Ovum, there is a price to pay for this. Service guarantees are limited, and service quality cannot reach the same levels as pay-TV and IPTV unless OTT providers convert themselves into IPTV providers which would require major investment in new infrastructure. But investment on this scale is not going to happen, because it would undermine the prime attraction of OTT video to customers its low cost and growing variety.
The purpose of the Ovum report is to explain the origin of the trade-off between cost and quality that customers will need to understand to get the best out of OTT video. Customers need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each mode of video delivery pay-TV, IPTV and OTT video and what are reasonable expectations of the newly-minted OTT services.
“OTT video can deliver great customer benefits, but it also creates tensions between different players in the value chain that have erupted into open conflict in some markets,” notes Ovum. “In the USA, this has manifested itself in a battle over net neutrality. In South Korea, it led to Korea Telecom briefly blocking video services to Samsung Smart TVs to relieve capacity problems in 2012, prompting intervention by the regulator. More recently in Spain, Netflix and rival Totalchannel have complained that their OTT video offer is being constrained by incumbent Telefonica’s network policies, reducing picture quality and lowering streaming rates,” it advises.
Ovum suggests that fortunately, these tensions are somewhat mitigated in Australia because of the country’s (almost) unique tiered data allowances which sees data usage roughly aligned with prices. There is profit in traffic growth that network providers can reinvest to address customer demand.
These tensions can be further mitigated, to the benefit of customers, if telecommunications retail service providers (RSPs) and OTT video players can cooperate to fund some focused infrastructure investment to manage the delivery of digital video content.
“This creates a better experience for OTT video customers, and also creates a wholesale revenue opportunity for telecommunications service providers. This is the strategy now being adopted in advanced video markets, and it can deliver benefits in Australia too,” Ovum concludes.
Japan rocket launches its first commercial satellite
A Japanese rocket lifted off Tuesday with the national space programme's first commercial satellite as Tokyo tries to enter a business dominated by European and Russian companies.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries oversaw the launch from Tanegashima Space Center in southwest Japan.
The launch of the H-IIA rocket was originally scheduled at 3:23 pm (0623 GMT), but was delayed by roughly 30 minutes because a small ship unexpectedly came near the space station.
The rocket successful launched at 3:50 pm, carrying the TELSTAR 12V communications and broadcasting satellite for Canadian satellite operator Telesat.
It was scheduled to release the payload into orbit about 4 1/2 hours after liftoff, the space agency said.
Japan wants to become a major player in the satellite launching business. It has tried to improve the H-IIA rocket to cut the cost of each launch to make its programme competitive.
earlier report OTTAWA, CANADA, September 9, 2013 - Telesat, a leading global satellite operator, has procured a powerful, multi-mission satellite from Astrium that will replace Telesat's Telstar 12 satellite at 15 degrees West while significantly expanding coverage of growing markets in South America, the Atlantic and EMEA region.
The new state-of-the-art satellite, called Telstar 12 VANTAGE, will utilize a combination of broad regional beams and more focused high throughput spot beams to increase capacity and offer superior performance for broadband networks on the ground, in the air and at sea. By using Ku-band across all coverage beams, Telstar 12 VANTAGE will be fully backwards compatible with existing Ku-band terminal equipment.
Telesat engineers set out to design a next generation Telstar satellite with improved coverage and flexibility to meet the growing communications needs of broadcast, corporate, government and enterprise users, including demand for aero and maritime services. The result is Telstar 12 VANTAGE, a completely new Telesat satellite that will deliver the capacity needed to support the types of bandwidth intensive applications increasingly being used across the industry.
From its central orbital location of 15 degrees West, Telstar 12 VANTAGE will provide coverage of the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In addition to optimizing coverage of the regions now served by Telstar 12, Telstar 12 VANTAGE provides new, high capacity coverage of Brazil and East Africa and builds on Telesat's leading position in mobility and energy services with new coverage of the Caribbean, Mediterranean, South Atlantic and North Sea.
"Telstar 12 at 15 degrees West has long been valued by the satellite user community for its continental coverage and ability to seamlessly connect the Americas to Europe and the Middle East," said Dan Goldberg, Telesat's President and CEO.
"Now with Telstar 12 VANTAGE, our customers will have access to a combination of broad regional coverage and high throughput beams to support the increased use of more bandwidth intensive applications. Telstar 12 VANTAGE continues Telesat's long tradition of outstanding innovation and provides our customers with the competitive advantage they require to compete successfully in the markets they serve."
Telstar 12 VANTAGE will have a 15 year design life and provide up to 52 Ku-band 36 MHz transponder equivalents
Synertone picks Gilat for fixed, mobile offerings in China
Gilat Satellite Networks announced that Synertone, a Hong Kong satellite services provider, has selected Gilat's baseband equipment to enable fixed and mobility applications on its HTS IPSTAR-based network, offering coverage throughout China. Synertone placed orders totaling approximately USD 12 million for Gilat's equipment.
Powering Synertone's network will be Gilat's SkyEdge II-c platform with X-Architecture. The VSATs used are part of Gilat's Capricorn suite of high-speed IP routers. The network is estimated to go live within six to twelve months. Additionally, the MOU signed by Synertone and Gilat includes an option for advanced manufacturing and future R&D cooperation.
No decision on C-band at ITU conclave
Reports from the important ITU WRC 2015 conclave in Geneva say that regulators have not reached a decision on how or whether a portion of the C-band wireless spectrum should be used in the future.
The frequencies are currently used by satellite operators around the world, and a proposal from the cellular industry wants to use some of the lower frequencies for mobile use. The C-band bandwidth under examination is from 3.4-4.2 gigahertz, and telcos are seeking 200 megahertz in the 3.4-3.6 gigahertz band.
November 20th was the end of the third week of discussion (out of four) and no consensus agreement emerged. The WRC 2015 event wraps on November 27th.
Mobile broadband enabled in 694-790 MHz band
In a move that is suggested will enable mobile and TV equipment manufacturers to benefit from economies of scale, the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15), currently in session 2-27 November, has taken a key decision that will provide enhanced capacity for mobile broadband in the 694-790 MHz frequency band in ITU Region-1 (Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia) and a globally harmonised solution for the implementation of the digital dividend.
The decision allocates this band to the mobile service and identifies it for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) in ITU Region-1, similarly to what was decided by the World Radiocommunication Conference in 2007 (WRC-07) for ITU Region-2 (Americas) and Region-3 (Asia-Pacific).
The provisions adopted by WRC-15 provide full protection to television broadcasting, as well as to the aeronautical radionavigation systems operating in this frequency band, specifically in countries of the Regional Commonwealth in the field of Communications (RCC).
“The WRC-15 decision represents a landmark in the development of broadband mobile on a worldwide scale, regardless of location, network or terminal used,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “It goes a long way in enabling bridging of the digital divide, while fully protecting the other services currently operated in the band.”
“The global harmonisation of the 694-790 MHz frequency band that has been decided by WRC-15 paves the way for manufacturers and mobile operators to offer mobile broadband at an affordable price in currently underserved areas,” said François Rancy, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau.
Videocon d2h launches Active HD Hollywood Channel Services
MUMBAI: After the first 24-hour 4K Ultra HD multi genre channel in January, Videocon d2h Limited has launched a new active HD Channel Active HD Hollywood Channel services for its subscribers. Skoda has been roped in as channel partner for this launch. This is a part of Videocon d2h’s ongoing commitment to provide unmatched viewing experience for its subscribers.
The channel Active HD Hollywood Channel Services will be available on Ch No. 940 on its network. It will air handpicked Hollywood movies everyday at 9 pm. All High Definition subscribers of Videocon d2h will be able to avail it for free in the initial phase of launch. The service will be available on paid subscription basis from a later date.
Active HD Hollywood Channel Services will showcase a line up of critically acclaimed popular films. With new titles being released every day at 9pm, viewers can look forward to quality Hollywood movies, including such mega-hits as Pandorum, Broken City, Jobs, Astro Boy, Remember Me, A Single Man, Agoraa, The Women in Black, Blindness, Something Borrowed, The Conspirator, The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part -2, London Boulevard and Now You See Me among others.
“We have observed that there is a genuine requirement to watch highly acclaimed Hollywood movies in HD and there are very few catering to this opportunity”, said Videocon d2h executive chairman Saurabh Dhoot. “Not only are we launching a new premium Hollywood HD movie channel, but we’re bringing value to our consumers. This channel will definitely resonate well with the young audience,” he further added.
Videocon d2h CEO Anil Khera said, “We are excited to offer Hollywood movies fans across India access to high-quality entertainment in HD. With Active HD Hollywood Channel Services, we continue to provide high quality world class programming content delighting consumers. We are confident that our unique content offering of Hollywood movies in HD will make this an instant hit with subscribers.”
Speaking on the same Skoda Auto India sales, service & marketing director Ashutosh Dixit explained, “Skoda looks at innovative platforms that resonate with the brand’s image to connect with its audiences. The audience of the Active Hollywood HD channel largely overlaps with the kind of consumers our brand converses with. This association will benefit both brands and we expect good traction from this partnership.”
Intelsat 19 12511 V Sr 7200 1920x1080/50i HD, "Red Bull GP1" FTA , Red Bull Trolley Grand Prix 2015
Intelsat 19 12574 V Sr 14400 "STS 1" Asian service? FTA
Intelsat 19 3805V "EMTV" is / was FTA (Rare!)
Vinasat 1 132E 3590 V Sr 19200-2/3 8PSK "Vtv7" is new FTA.
Quick scan 9p.m NZ
D2 12641 V Sr 7500 ""globecast oz" showing brace mma event promo. Fight event coming up tonight?
D2 12670 V Sr 22400 "iac path1" encrypted , has been permanent there the past few days.
D1 12670 V Sr 7500 "Svc1_service" Horses
From my Email
Macau Grand Prix
Asiasat 5 3746V, sr 7199, DVBS2, HD, and FTA
Quite a few car categories, Formula 3 being the premier class, but also
They must be brave racing bikes on a street circuit with no run offs and
lots of concrete. Good to watch though.
Australian Masters Golf from Melbourne
3755V, sr 7499, DVBS2, HD, and FTA
From the Dish
Optus D2 152.0E 12581 H TVI Internacional, RTP Internacional Ãsia, SIC Internacional, Record AmÃ©ricas, TV Chile, TV Globo Internacional AmÃ©ricas and Canal 13i have
Apstar 9 142.0E Apstar 9 has arrived at 142 East.
Yamal 401 90.0E 10933 V "8 Kanal Krasnoyarsk" has started on , Fta.
JCSAT 4B 124.0E 12410 H "Discovery HD World South East Asia" has left
JCSAT 4B 124.0E 12450 H "SPH Channel, O Channel, Jaya TV, Papua TV and All Sports Network" have left .
JCSAT 4B 124.0E 12490 H "DMAX Southeast Asia and TV Edukasi" have left .
JCSAT 4B 124.0E 12530 H "Sony Channel Asia and CNC English" have left .
JCSAT 4B 124.0E 12570 H "Discovery Science Channel South East Asia, Australia Plus TV Asia and Antara TV" have left .
JCSAT 4B 124.0E 12610 H "RT English and Berita Satu World" have left .
JCSAT 4B 124.0E 12650 H "Fashion One Asia, TVBS News, Reformed 21, JTV and Bali TV" have left
JCSAT 4B 124.0E 12690 H "Da Vinci Learning Asia" has left .
JCSAT 4B 124.0E 12730 H "Eve and Eurosport 1 Asia" have left .
SES 7 108.2E 2535 V "Da Vinci Learning Asia" has left .
SES 7 108.2E 2565 V "Zee Bioskop" has left .
SES 7 108.2E 2595 V "TV Citra Indonesia Terampil" has left .
SES 7 108.2E 2625 V "Kanal QNB League 301" has left .
SES 7 108.2E 2655 H "IConcerts" has left .
AsiaSat 5 100.5E 3960 H "STN" has left .
Yamal 401 90.0E 11305 V "Moy Mir" has started on , Fta.
Horizons 2 84.8E 11720 H "Gamanoid TV" is now encrypted.
Insat 4A 83.0E 3725 H "Reporter 24x7 and Whistle TV" have left .
Insat 4A 83.0E 3805 H "Khabrain Abhi Tak, UTV Movies and Vallabh TV" have left .
Insat 4A 83.0E 4005 H "TV Cinema, ETV Plus, ETV Life and ETV Abhiruchi" have started on , Irdeto.
Thaicom 5 78.5E 3600 H "One Young World" has started on, Fta.
Apstar 7 76.5E 3847 V "Sangu TV" has left .
Intelsat 20 68.5E 3752 V "TV Filmy" has started on , Fta.
Intelsat 20 68.5E 3790 H "Pearls NCR TV" has started on , Fta.
Intelsat 20 68.5E 3828 V "Aapla Talkies has replaced Luck TV" on , Fta.
Intelsat 20 68.5E 3974 V "BBC World News South Asia" has left .
Intelsat 20 68.5E 4000 H "Zee Magic" is Fta.
Intelsat 20 68.5E 12602 V "Praise TV" has left .
From asiatvro site
东经140度轨道位置的快车AT2号卫星Ku频段，Muzika（MPEG-4）频道加密，设置12207 R 27500参数有条件接收。[11-22]
东经132度轨道位置的越南1号卫星C频段，VTV 7（VTV）频道开播，设置3590 V 19200参数免费接收。[11-22]
东经91.5度轨道位置的马星3a号卫星C频段，Test Channel（测试）频道新增，设置4120 H 30000参数有条件接收。[11-22]
东经105.5度轨道位置的亚洲7号卫星C频段，Geo TV、Geo Kanani（Geo TV）等3个频道加密，设置4180 V 29720参数有条件接收。[11-22]
东经134度轨道位置的亚太6号卫星C频段，樱花频道（数码天空）频道消失，设置4020 V 30000参数无效接收。[11-22]
东经122度轨道位置的亚洲4号卫星C频段，DW、星空卫视（印度）等5个道消失，设置4035 H 12500参数无效接收。[11-22]
东经132度轨道位置的越南1号卫星C频段，VTV 7（测试）频道新增，设置3590 V 19200参数免费接收。 [11月22日]
东经134度轨道位置的亚太6号卫星C频段，E01、E02（数码天空）等9个频道新增，设置4060 V 30000参数有条件接收。 [11月22日]
东经134度轨道位置的亚太6号卫星C频段，法界卫视替换壹电视综合（数码天空）频道，设置4020 V 30000参数免费接收。 [11月22日]
东经100.5度轨道位置的亚洲5号卫星C频段，Mega TV、Mega 24（MPEG-4）等全组频道加密，设置3765 V 4640参数有条件接收。 [11月21日]
东经140度轨道位置的快车AM5号卫星C频段，GTRK Sakhalin（俄罗斯）频道重现，设置4180 R 4340参数有条件接收。 [11月21日]
东经140度轨道位置的快车AT2号卫星Ku频段，Muzika（MPEG-4）频道解密，设置12207 R 27500参数免费接收。[11-21]
东经138度轨道位置的亚太5号卫星Ku频段，Uvur Mongol、Dream、Kmg3替换TV9-2（蒙古）等频道，设置12690 H 43200参数有条件接收。[11-21]
东经138度轨道位置的亚太5号卫星Ku频段，Okhota I Rybalka替换Trance urban（蒙古）等频道，设置12629 H 43200参数部分免费接收。[11-21]
东经132度轨道位置的越南2号卫星Ku频段，HTV 9（测试）频道消失，设置11090 V 28800参数无效接收。[11-20]
东经105.5度轨道位置的亚洲7号卫星C频段，AsiaSat Test Channel（宣传）频道改频率，设置3666 H 3750参数免费接收。[11-20]
东经70.5度轨道位置的欧星70B号卫星Ku频段，Gulf TV HEVC、RTV HEVC（孟加拉）等16个频道新增，设置11294 H 44900参数免费接收。[11-20]
东经70.5度轨道位置的欧星70B号卫星Ku频段，AB TV替换PBC TV（孟加拉）频道，设置11294 H 44900参数免费接收。 [11月20日]
东经70.5度轨道位置的欧星70B号卫星Ku频段，HEVC Test、CH-1（4K）等3个频道消失，设置11356 V 44900参数无效接收。 [11月20日]
东经90度轨道位置的雅玛尔401号卫星Ku频段，Moy Mir（俄罗斯）频道新增，设置11305 V 30000参数免费接收。 [11月20日]
东经132度轨道位置的越南1号卫星Ku频段，TBK（VTC）频道重现，设置11472 H 23200参数免费接收。 [11月20日]
Some channels from Spain
Proyecto 40 HD
FORO TV HD
El Pais TV
NTV HTB Russia
Rocket Lab to move launch site to North Island
A company planning to launch satellite-carrying space rockets is moving its launch base from Kaitorete Spit in Canterbury to the Mahia Peninsula, south of Gisborne.
Auckland-based Rocket Lab said its decision was partly due to the time it was taking to get the necessary resource consent from Christchurch City Council.
When the company announced the Canterbury site, it said it was also considering moving its rocket manufacturing operation to Christchurch - creating up to 200 jobs.
It has now decided on a location on the Mahia Peninsula, for which it already has the necessary consents, as the site where it aims to launch rockets from 2017.
Rocket Lab founder Peter Beck said, because Mahia Peninsula was more remote than Kaitorete Spit, more launches could be made from there.
"A resource consent process is a resource consent process, and it takes however long it takes," he said.
"We're continuing to work through that process down there, but the Mahia site was an accelerated and simpler site to gain resource consent for."
Mr Beck said launching from Mahia Peninsula made it more likely its rockets would be manufactured in Auckland, rather than Christchurch
Laos launches its first satellite
A rocket carrying the LaoSat-1 satellite blasts off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Xichang, southwest China's Sichuan province on November 21.
Laos' first telecommunications satellite (Lao Sat-1) was launched into orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan province at 00:07 local time on Saturday.
Lao Sat-1 successfully separated from the rocket upper stage and deployed its solar panels after it had blasted off.
The satellite was designed, developed and delivered on-orbit by China with the total project amounting to US$259 million.
The scientists also noted that out of 193 United Nations member countries in the world, less than half still did not have their own satellites.
The launching ceremony was attended by Vice President of the Lao PDR Mr Bounnhang Vorachit, ministers and other senior government officials from Laos and China.
Bounnhang said Laos was proud to have its own satellite which was considered a landmark in Lao history.
He said the launch of the satellite would contribute to further enhancing relations and the comprehensive strategic partnership between Laos and China.
The satellite is designed to provide communication links for government work, television transmissions and a range of telecommunication applications in Laos.
The satellite will also be used for other purposes, including education, health, defence, security and so on.
Xichang is one of the only three satellite launch centres in China with many satellites having blasted off onboard rockets here. China’s rocket to explore the moon was also launched at this centre.
Lao Sat-1 was developed through a venture between the Lao government and three Chinese developers.
A shareholders’ agreement for the Lao Sat-1 Joint Venture Company was signed in Vientiane on October 30 between all sides.
The Lao government holds a 45 percent stake in the Lao Sat-1 Joint Venture Company, while APMT has a 35 percent shareholding, SSTC has 15 percent, and APST has a 5 percent stake.
Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Mr Hiem Phommachanh said "The launch of the satellite by China is a special gift to Laos to mark the 40th anniversary of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on December 2."
Work on the satellite project began in 2006 when Laos expressed interest in seeking an orbital slot.
When Laos found the 128.5 degrees East orbital slot available in 2009, the Lao government applied for use of the slot.
But one of the most important issues for this project was funding as it required large sums of capital investment.
It was also in 2009 when the government decided to seek out a loan in order to move the project forwards, but it was delayed while funding was procured.
Then in 2012, the Lao government signed a US$259 million loan agreement with the Export-Import Bank of China.
Hundreds of satellite and cable channels bite the dust
MORE THAN 400 cable and satellite TV channels have been scrapped this year mainly due to the fast-changing media landscape with the addition of dozens of new digital TV channels and the poor economic conditions.
The latest data from the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) reveals that 40 per cent of the 1,092 broadcasting licences that were registered last year are no longer in operation. This accounts for 258 satellite TV channels, 158 cable TV channels and 15 Internet Protocol TV (iPTV) channels.
Among those out-of-service channels, GMM Broadcasting has stopped its Z Pay TV34, Z1 and GTH On Air channel; CTH Cable TV has ended its Wisdom, Asian Food Channel, Australian Network, Max Sports and Kon Dontree; and True Visions Group has discontinued its RAMA Channel, Star World, Channel V Thailand, HD Showcase, Activ TV, BBC Earth, MTV HD, WE TV and True Information Channel.
However, 661 cable/satellite TV and iPTV channels are still operational. Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the NBTC's Broadcasting Committee, explained that this was the result of the launch of 24 digital terrestrial TV channels.
"I witnessed some of those digital TV operators continue to gain market share because of their quality content. Following this change, not only are analog TV channels like Channel 7, Channel 3 and MCOT losing their audience share, but also cable and satellite TV channels," Natee said.
Nielsen Thailand showed that the audience share of 21 digital terrestrial TV channels continues to rise.
As of last month, digital TV's audience share increased to 39.2 per cent of 22.3 million households, up from 15.96 per cent in the same period last year, while the share of six analog TV channels fell to 60.8 per cent from last year's 84.6 per cent. Despite the downward trend of the cable and satellite TV business, consumer complaints about services from those TV operators were on the rise.
Supinya Klangnarong, chair of the NBTC's subcommittee on consumer rights protection, said last week that 189 complaint cases related to radio and television broadcasting services last year. The majority of those (92.59 per cent) involved TV broadcasting service, particularly cable and satellite TV channels such as GMM Z, CTH, IPM TV and True Visions.
Of the complaints, 35.65 per cent were for violations, 18.52 per cent involved unfair terms and conditions from subscription contracts, and 12.96 per cent related to poor quality of service.
Intelsat and Next Step to deliver HD content to Thailand via a new DTH platform
(19 November 2015) As the prices of High Definition (HD) satellite set-top boxes have become more affordable in Asia, larger numbers of viewers are demanding and switching over to HD services.
With Direct-to-Home (DTH) TV platforms in Thailand expected to add more than 2.5 million new subscribers in the next 10 years, Intelsat S.A (NYSE: I), the leading global Provider of satellite services, today announced that Next Step, a multi-channel operator and distributor, is leveraging Intelsat’s satellite solutions on Horizons 2 at 85º E to launch a new Free-to-Air DTH platform in Thailand.
Under its multi-year agreement with Intelsat, Next Step is utilizing Ku-band capacity on Horizons 2 to diversify its business offerings moving from content provider to platform operator through its new Freeview HD platform, a platform positioned to serve an addressable market of approximately 67 million people. Given Intelsat’s global, flexible fleet, Horizons 2 was moved to the 85º E orbital location and its beam repositioned to enable Next Step to capitalize on the opportunity to support the HD trend in Thailand.
“The breadth and depth of Intelsat’s global satellite solutions provide a perfect complement to help expand and diversify our business,” said Philipp Heussen, Head of Freeview HD. “By partnering with Intelsat, we will be able to quickly and cost-effectively launch a DTH platform that will enable us to meet the demand for more affordable, high-quality HD content in the region. As a result, viewers across Thailand will have access to a greater variety of entertaining and educational content, regardless of whether they reside in the city or in more remote communities in the country.”
“Intelsat is a leading provider of satellite services for DTH operators, delivering programming to over 31 million subscribers and supporting more than 30 DTH platforms around the world,” stated Terry Bleakley, Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific Sales, Intelsat. “Throughout our history, Intelsat has incorporated the latest technology to enable our media customers to differentiate their service offerings and grow their businesses. We look forward to working closely with Next Step to ensure the seamless migration to HD as they launch their Freeview HD platform and distribute new and compelling content to Thailand.”
Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I) is the world’s leading provider of satellite services, delivering high performance connectivity solutions for media, fixed and mobile broadband infrastructure, enterprise and government and Military applications. Intelsat’s satellite, teleport and fiber infrastructure is unmatched in the industry, setting the standard for transmissions of video and broadband services. From the globalization of content and the proliferation of HD, to the expansion of cellular networks and mobile broadband access, with Intelsat, envision your future network, connect using our leading satellite technology and transform your opportunities.
About Next Step’s Freeview HD Platform
Freeview HD is a new HD DTH Free to Air satellite TV platform providing 81 channels with 55 channels in HD including all digital terrestrial TV channels. Freeview HD is the only FTA KU-Band platform in Thailand providing Digital Terrestrial TV Channels in High Definition instantly nationwide on top of quality content channels from Next Step. Seeing the bigger picture is fundamental to us and thus we are very committed to providing exceptional TV content in order to foster the communities and culture of the people so they could raise their potential and achieve great things. We believe that we can help Families in the middle class gain more knowledge and experience and that this knowledge will help contribute and develop their own wellbeing. This is essentially what seeing the bigger picture means and that’s what Freeview HD stands for. Freeview HD Beyond.
Contact Lost With Israeli Communication Satellite Amos 5
Satellite operator Spacecom has been unable to reestablish contact with Amos 5 since it went quiet early Saturday morning.
Contact with the Israeli communications satellite Amos 5 was lost on Saturday and customers are no longer receiving service, satellite operator Spacecom announced on Saturday. Spacecom is owned by the Eurocom Group.
Contact with the satellite was lost early Saturday morning. Spacecom said it had been unable to reestablish contact with the satellite and had not yet isolated the cause of the problem.
Launched in 2011, Amos 5 is in geostationary orbit over Africa. Its coverage extends over Africa, Europe and the Middle East. It is regarded as playing a major role in Africa’s emerging satellite services market.
Unlike the first four Amos satellites, which were built by the Israel Aerospace Industries, the Amos 5 satellite was built by Russian manufacturer NPO PM.
Industry experts described the total loss of contact with the satellite as a highly uncommon event.
The announcement comes as Eurocom is in the process of selling Spacecom, which has been valued at 1.1 billion shekels. Eurocom owns 64.5 percent of Spacecom.
Amos 5, which brings in annual revenue of some $40 million, has an estimated value of between $160 million and $190 million. It is insured by an international syndicate for $158 million.
“The Company wishes to clarify, based on the preliminary examinations it carried out, that even if there will be a ‘total loss’ (complete failure) of the satellite, this would have a negligible effect on the equity of the company,” Spacecom said in a statement.
Spacecom plunges after Amos 5 satellite contact lost
The Russian-built satellite accounts for one third of Spacecom's revenue.
Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd. (TASE:SCC), controlled by Shaul Elovitch, has lost contact with the Amos 5 satellite, which has caused a hiatus in service to customers, mainly in African countries. According to the company's notification to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, contact with the Russian-built satellite was lost at 06:45 on Saturday, Israel time.
Spacecom has a market cap of NIS 1.1 billion on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. According to its second quarter financial statements, the orders backlog for the satellite was $136 million. The satellite is recorded in Spacecom's books at $153 million. In the first six months of the year, Spacecom had revenue of $54 million and posted a loss of $1.4 million.
Loss of contact with Amos 5 means the loss of about a third of Spacecom's revenue. The Amos 6 satellite, for which Spacecom has already signed a $1 billion contract with Facebook, is due to be launched only in February next year. Capital market sources estimate that it will take about three years to launch a replacement satellite for Amos 5.
"The company shrank by a third this morning," a market source said. Spacecom's share price is indeed currently down by about 30% on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
The Amos 5 satellite is insured to a value of $158 million, and Spacecom stresses that even if the satellite fails completely, the effect on its shareholders' equity will be "negligible".
Amos 5 was launched from a site in Kazakhstan in 2011, and even before its launch the company signed a five-year contract for satellite communications in Africa worth nearly $28 million.
US and China set up ‘space hotline’
Washington and Beijing have established an emergency “space hotline” to reduce the risk of accidental conflict.
As fears grow of an orbital arms race, the new communications channel between the US and China like the nuclear hotlines of the cold war will serve as a diplomatic safety valve. By sharing technical information, officials hope that misunderstandings can be avoided and problems quickly resolved.
Washington already has a space hotline with Moscow as a legacy of the cold war.
China has ramped up the testing of weapons designed to knock out almost all US high-tech military capabilities by targeting the orbital networks they depend on.
In response, the US and Russia have also poured resources into fast-tracking their own space attack and defence platforms.
“China is developing a full spectrum of anti-satellite capabilities,” Frank Rose, US assistant secretary of state, told the Financial Times in an interview for an investigation into the new space race.
“They have done numerous tests . . . They view space as an asymmetric vulnerability of the United States. And if they can deny the United States, and its allies, access to space systems, they can gain military advantage here on earth. That’s fundamentally what this is about.”
Russia has been covertly conducting its own satellite-killing technology, said Mr Rose. “We’ve made it clear we don't believe it’s in anyone’s interest to engage in a space arms race . . . But we’ve also made it clear that we will do what is necessary to protect the space assets of the United States . . . We all have a lot to lose.”
We’ve made clear that we will do what is necessary to protect the space assets of the US. We all have a lot to lose
- Frank Rose, US assistant secretary of state
Amid the tensions, an urgent safety mechanism was required, said Mr Rose, pointing out the growing amount of potentially lethal space debris in orbit, as well as numerous undisclosed military satellite launches.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work with the Chinese on this. Up until about nine or 10 months ago, we had to send notifications [of potential collisions, approaches or tests] to the Chinese via their ministry of foreign affairs. The chain would go from JSpOC [Joint Space Operations Center, at Vandenburg air base in California] to the Pentagon to the state department, to the US embassy in Beijing, and then on to a contact there,” he said.
“Hopefully, it would get to the right people in China at the right time.”
A new arms race in our skies threatens the satellites that control everything from security to communications
Several international initiatives are already in train to seal a space treaty to avoid a further build-up of weapons beyond the atmosphere. However, security experts say the initiatives have little chance of success.
A joint Russia-China proposal wending its way through the UN was not acceptable to the US, said Mr Rose, because it would allow “cheating” when it came to anti-satellite platforms.
An EU proposal, for a “code of conduct” in space, was having diplomatic “difficulties” but was closer to Washington’s position, he said.
Patricia Lewis, research director at Chatham House international affairs think-tank in London, said: “This is a problem we have to address, not just for military reasons.
“Our societies are becoming more and more dependent on space. A conflict or accidental loss of some of these satellite constellations could be game over for us. They are critical to everything from cars, air traffic control to shipping and things you might not even realise like gas pipelines or farming.”
HbbTV Association welcomes Freeview Play
The HbbTV Association, a global initiative dedicated to providing an open standard for the delivery of broadcast and broadband services through connected TVs and set-top boxes, is pleased to announce the successful launch of Freeview Play last month. Freeview Play, a Freeview and Digital UK co-initiative, is built on the HbbTV 2.0 standard which was released earlier this year.
Freeview Play allows viewers to access advanced TV services such as catch-up TV from leading broadcasters including the BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Channel 5 on their own schedule. It is built with HbbTV 2.0 technologies which supports the development of a range of features including HTML5 user experience and support for Ultra HD and HEVC. Free from subscription and supported by all existing broadband services, with Freeview Play viewers can watch their favourite shows whenever they want.
“The HbbTV Association celebrates last month’s successful launch of Freeview Play, which was co-developed and co-marketed by Digital UK and Freeview,” stated Klaus Illgner, Chair, HbbTV Association. “HbbTV 2.0, released in February of this year, paves the way for the creation of new services which will delight and excite viewers and these features can be seen in Freeview Play.”
“Freeview Play brings the natural next step in television and is now available on a range of Panasonic TVs and digital recorders from Humax, with more manufacturers set to launch products in 2016,” advised Ilse Howling, Managing Director of Connected TV at Digital UK. “Digital UK has worked closely with Arqiva to build a technical platform that can support advanced TV services through HbbTV 2.0.”
“The launch of Freeview Play brings connected television to the mass market and, with our largest ever marketing campaign, we aim to make it the new normal way to watch TV in the UK,” declared Guy North, Managing Director of Freeview.
UHD TVs consume 3x more power than HD
As consumers already know buying an Ultra HD TV is an expensive process. But a US research group says that the costs might be significantly more than viewers realise.
The problem comes in the form of the household’s electricity bill. The USA’s influential National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), in a detailed report on the impact of the adoption of UHD says that tomorrow’s UHD sets will cost the nation an extra $1 billion a year to run
The report, carried in trade newsletter Display Daily, says that replacing today’s typical HD TV of some 36” in size with 50” or larger models will have a direct impact on utility bills. “Not only do today’s large UHD televisions consume almost one-third more energy, on average, than the HD TVs they’ll replace, there is a huge range in the efficiency of the UHD models on the market,” said senior scientist Noah Horowitz, director of NRDC’s Center for Energy Efficiency.
“We found an almost three-fold difference in energy consumption between the best and worst UHD TVs, with some models using little or no more energy than their HD predecessors, proving the technology already exists to cut needless energy waste in these large televisions,” Horowitz said.
The NRDC study says that the US currently has some 300 million installed TVs, and switching these over in time would mean the equivalent of an extra 8 billion kilowatt hours, which equals three times the amount consumed by all the homes in San Francisco in a year. The least efficient of the new UHD models consumes power at the rate of a new refrigerator.
Add in the near-essential High Dynamic Range (HDR) features that high-end sets are now being supplied with, and the power bill jumps again. “The new High Dynamic Range, or HDR, feature that provides brighter colours and deeper shadows could significantly increase national TV energy consumption. Our testing showed the HDR version of a movie used 47 per cent more power than the same title in 4K format. More attention is needed to understand HDR energy use and reduce it,” says the report.
Google will fund YouTube copyright cases
Google will help fund up to $1 million in legal fees for some content creators on YouTube who have received copyright takedown notices. It will step in if it feels their material is considered to be fair use.
However the Web giant admitted that only a handful of people have been chosen to benefit from this support.
Copyright holders are able to make requests to Google or other sites to take down content under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
“We are offering legal support to a handful of videos that we believe represent clear fair uses which have been subject to DMCA takedowns,” wrote Fred von Lohmann, Google’s copyright legal director, in a blog post. The firm will keep these videos online in the US and cover the cost of any lawsuits, he added. “We’re doing this because we recognise that creators can be intimidated by the DMCA’s counter-notification process and the potential for litigation that comes with it. While we can’t offer legal protection to every video creator or even every video that has a strong fair use defence we’ll continue to resist legally unsupported DMCA takedowns as part of our normal processes.”
Sunday, no update
Saturday, no update
SIC Internacional and RTP Internacional started on intelsat 19 12726 H FTA MPG4
RTP Internacional Vpid 644 Apid 945
SIC Internacional Vpid 645 Apid 944
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From asiatvro site
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YESSHOP signs deal with Foxtel
From Press Release Yesshop
YESSHOP will be the first dedicated 24/7 television channel to broadcast into Australia from a New Zealand studio.YESSHOP signs deal with Foxtel
· New Zealand’s home TV shopping channel YESSHOP will launch on Foxtel next year.
· YESSHOP will be the first dedicated 24/7 television channel to broadcast into Australia from a New Zealand studio.
· The Foxtel deal will give Australian SMEs the opportunity to access Australian viewers along with access through YESSHOP to the New Zealand and Korean markets.
YESSHOP television shopping channel has signed a deal with Foxtel to launch a new TV shopping channel in Australia early next year. YESSHOP is celebrating two years of operation, and is the most watched shopping network in New Zealand, according to Nielsen figures in August 2015.
Phill Dodds, Head of TV Production at YESSHOP, said this was an exciting venture and the first time that a dedicated 24/7 TV channel would broadcast into Australia from a New Zealand studio.
“We are delighted to take YESSHOP to the Australian market. Home shopping through television and online is a growth industry. This deal gives manufacturers and producers of the right goods the potential to sell to Foxtel viewers as well as the 10.5 million South Koreans subscribed to Hyundai Home Shopping Mall and New Zealand’s Yes Shoppers.”
“We will bring new, innovative products and ideas to the Australian marketplace, and aim to outperform established players,” he said.
Mr. Dodds said that YESSHOP was open to approaches from Australian suppliers of quality products that can be offered to Yes Shoppers in New Zealand, South Korea and Australia.
Confirmation of YESSHOP’s entry into the Australian media market comes on the heels of YESSHOP’s groundbreaking supply agreement earlier this year with H-Mall, part of one of the world’s largest omnichannel retailing giants.
H-Mall is the online platform of Hyundai Department Store Group and Hyundai Home Shopping in South Korea, where television shopping is one of the most popular ways to buy goods.
South Korea is the world’s biggest home shopping market, where online sales have now overtaken offline store sales. Through YESSHOP, Korean shoppers can order New Zealand products online and have them delivered directly to their homes.
YESSHOP currently airs in New Zealand on Sky (pay TV) channel 26 and Freeview (free-to-air) channel 21.
Telstra rejects Foxtel sale talk
Telstra CEO Andy Penn says Telstra is not looking to sell its 50 per cent stake in Foxtel, following rumours it was considering its options.
Mr Penn told Business Spectator in an interview that Foxtel was an important strategic asset for the company, and that it had the best sports content and TV service in Australia.
He added Telstra is “open to how we organise the businesses and structure them to make them as successful as possible in the future.”
“But we have no plans to sell our investment in Foxtel,” he said.
Fairfax newspapers reported earlier this month, citing anonymous sources, that the telco was mulling a possible exit from Foxtel as rivals such as Netflix gather momentum.
Mr Penn, who became chief executive following former CEO David Thodey’s resignation earlier this year, said under his leadership Telstra would grow its international business faster than its domestic business in coming years.
“Within Asia typically there are faster growing markets, so that’s the opportunity for us. Today it probably represents a little over 10 per cent of our business and obviously we’d like to grow that.”
Next Step taps Intelsat for DTH platform in Thailand
Next Step, a multi-channel operator and distributor, has selected Intelsat's satellite services on Horizons 2 at 85º E to launch a new free-to-air DTH platform in Thailand. Under the terms of the multi-year agreement with Intelsat, Next Step will use Ku-band capacity on Horizons 2 to diversify its business offerings, and move from content provider to platform operator through its new Freeview HD platform. This platform is positioned to serve an addressable market of nearly 67 million people.
NCPO shuts down a satellite TV channel for defying Order 44
BANGKOK: The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has ordered the shut down of a satellite TV channel, Fa Hai TV, after the news channel broadcast contents that it considered detrimental to national security and peace and order of the country.
Five station staffers were detained for questioning it freed later on bails, while two others who included a DJ and a former commissioner of the Royal Thai Police are being sought for questioning.
The shut down of the satellite TV station came after a combined force of soldiers and Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police raided the station located off Tivanond road in Pak Kred district of Nonthaburi late Wednesday evening on the order of the military junta after a new programme it aired carried contents that were considered breaching Order 44 of the interim constitution, or detrimental to national security and disturb peace and order of the country.
Six station staffers were arrested. They were Ms Pornthipa Supatananukul or known as DJ Fah, also former programme organiser of Channel 13 (Siam Thai), Chaiwat Chantem, Kunnam Nerunchara, Narongrit Poothavi, and Warit Arkham.
Two others, one identified as DJ Pan Pan or Panatorn Ratapuridet, and a former national police chief, were also sought after when they were not at the station at the time of the raid.
The police and soldiers also seized 44 items of materials that were vital to the operation of the station for inspection.
All were later brought to the CSD headquarters for questionings.
They were initially charged for breaching the military junta’s order for broadcasting contents detrimental to national security, and also operated the news channel without licence from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.
They were later freed after each of them posted 20,000 baht in cash as bail.
For the two other persons, a DJ and a former national police chief, the military was coordinating with the CSD to issue warrants to summon them for questioning.
Japan: HBO for Star Channel
Star Channel has agreed a new exclusive content deal with HBO. That will see the channel will become the exclusive television home of HBO titles in japan, including the new season of Game of Thrones.
“At the re-branded Star Channel, we are committed to providing more than just content, but to offering value added services with a focus on originality and exclusivity, creating a unique community for cinema fans,” commented representative director Keiichi Kosaka.
Star Channel operates three channels on BS10, whose non-scramble transmission is received by 37 million households, and will offer OTT and 4K services in the future in the Japanese market.
Russia’s Glonass-M navigation satellite planned for launch in late December
The Glonass-M satellite, which has No. 51, will replace the satellite that has operated for three years above the warranty term in the Russian navigational orbital grouping
Russia plans to create renewed remote Earth sensing system deputy PM
MOSCOW, November 20. /TASS/. The Russian navigation satellite Glonass-M is planned for launch from the Plesetsk space center in north Russia in late December, the Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems, the satellite developer, told TASS on Friday.
The satellite will be orbited by a Soyuz-2 carrier rocket with the Fregat booster. The Glonass-M satellite, which has No. 51, will replace the satellite that has operated for three years above the warranty term in the Russian navigational orbital grouping, the company said.
The satellite "was transported to the space center in a normal regime," the company said.
The No. 51 Glonass-M satellite is the first among the ground-based satellite reserve pool delivered to the cosmodrome.
The Reshetnev Company has created a reserve pool of satellites thanks to the stable operation of satellites in orbit. The previous launch of a satellite from the Glonass-M series comprising the backbone of the Russian navigational orbital grouping took place on June 14, 2014.
The Reshetnev Company’s reserve pool currently comprises 8 Glonass-M satellites.
Murdoch to re-enter India?
A few weeks ago Rupert and James Murdoch and other media leaders met with India’s Prime Minister Narenda Modi in New York. At the time Rupert Murdoch tweeted “Great hour with Indian PM Modi. Best leader with best policies since independence, but massive task to achieve in most complex nation.”
Also present with Modi were influential business leaders Sir Martin Sorrell (ad agency WPP), and the heads of Ernst & Young, JP Morgan, Blackstone and others.
A few days ago Modi announced the lifting certain restrictions on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Outsiders can now own 49 per cent of a News Channel and much more generous foreign ownership (up to 100 per cent) of DTH and cable operations.
There’s talk locally that this might well tempt the Murdochs into a wider role in India. Of course, they are very present via their Star TV operation. Indian web-site Television Post says that Star India until recently held a 26 per cent stake in Media Content & Communications (with the APB Group holding the remaining 74 per cent). But relations between the two soured and Star exited the news relationship. Fox is very much present in TataSky (where it has a 30 per cent stake).
That could now change, and while 21st Century/News Corp might be a high-profile incomer, the same argument could apply to Viacom, Discovery, Turner/Time-Warner, and others.
James Murdoch indicated a change in the shareholding structure when he was speaking at the recent Goldman Sachs 24th Annual Communacopia Conference in New York, saying: “The Tata Sky business is different because it’s a 30 per cent shareholding and we are partners there. We have to see what the future holds. What the shareholding and capital structure there looks like remains to be seen. We will be talking to our partners. You will probably see some changes there.”
But there’s also an opposite argument. Important as India is, it is not necessarily a high-value market, either in broadcasting or DTH. DTH and cable subs are miserably low but numerous. However, if the Murdochs see a reasonable rise in DTH subs value, and elimination of the under-reporting of cable subs, plus a fairer reward for incoming investors, then India’s huge middle class could prove to be a lucrative media environment.
SES tests Real Madrid vs. Barcelona in Ultra HD
FootballSES it will test broadcast Saturday’s Real Madrid vs. Barcelona football match in Ultra High Definition (Ultra HD/4K) via SES’s Astra 1L satellite at 19.2 degrees East. The transmission is part of the Ultra HD technical tests being conducted by SES, Movistar+ and other industry partners.
“A test live broadcast of a football match in Ultra High Definition marks another milestone in the introduction of this new technology in Spain, as well as in Europe, and shows the readiness of the Ultra HD ecosystem,” said Luis Sahún, general manager of Spain at SES.
“Thanks to satellite and its ability to cost-effectively deliver the best quality content to a large audience, it is only a matter of time before the live broadcast of Ultra HD content becomes part of our daily TV viewing experience.”
New Discovery DTT channel for Spain?
Spain’s Veo TV, owned by Unidad Editorial and Discovery Communications, is reportedly negotiating the rent of a DTT licence, now used by the channel 13TV, to launch a new channel from the Discovery family targeting a female audience.
Following the awarding of a national DTT licence to 13TV, this will free up the current channel owned by Veo TV with the opportunity for Discovery to take its place. Discovery is already present in the Spanish DTT market with Discovery Max on another digital channel owned by Veo TV.
Discovery Real Time or TLC are options for the new channel with programmes like Bake off, Millions Dollar Decorators or Hairstyle.
YuppTV includes Al Jazeera on its platform for global consumption
MUMBAI: With an aim to provide comprehensive content that includes quality international news to subscribers in many key markets around the world , except for USA, YuppTV today announced the launch of the globally recognized ‘Al Jazeera’ news channel on its platform and added another news services provider to its bouquet of offerings
Announcing the launch, YuppTV CEO Uday Reddy said, “We are thrilled to launch Al Jazeera English for consumers across the world today, except for the USA. Al Jazeera English is a fresh voice in international news and we believe the channel will offer pioneering news viewing experience to people. We strongly believe our viewers will benefit from this launch immensely.”
Al Jazeera Media Network Executive Director of Marketing and Distribution Abdulla Al Najjar said, “The mission of Al Jazeera is to deliver captivating content which tells the human story; we are therefore naturally excited to partner with YuppTV, which is one of the leading over-the-top content players. Al Jazeera English offers audiences, on a variety of platforms, an unparalleled look at the world and shines a light on under-reported regions which are rarely covered by other international news channels. We trust this will mark the beginning of a new and exciting international partnership.”
YuppTV says that it is accessible on more than 25 internet enabled devices, delivering more than 200 Indian television channels worldwide in 14 Indian Languages.
Tata Sky ties up with MediaCorp; launches a new English news channel
MUMBAI: Tata Sky has tied up with Singapore based media company MediaCorp and announced the launch of Channel NewsAsia International on Tata Sky. The memorandum was signed on November 19.
The pan-Asian channel will be available to the subscribers on channel number 535. Channel NewsAsia will be clubbed with the other English news channels available on the DTH platform and is priced at Rs.8. The channel will be a part of the a-la-carte and is a part of Tata Sky’s English news pack.
Channel NewsAsia started in March 1999 and is a Singaporean English language Asian cable television news agency and news channel. The channel is ranked among the top three most preferred English news channels in Asia and has bagged two awards in the 8th International Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival.
NewsAsia’a distribution and marketing VP Chuk Chan Woon says, “Winning awards is just icing on the cake for us”, the channel’s programming is home to award winning content. The channel, in the past five years, has picked up 18 regional and international awards for their content. In the recent New York fest, the channel has bagged 8 awards. The channel has been nominated for 24 top level categories in the Asain Television awards.
Channel NewsAsia is all charged up to face the competition with the existing English news channels on Tata Sky, though the Chief Content and Business Development Officer of Tata Sky Paolo Agostinelli strongly avers that the launch of Channel NewsAsia in India is not just for competition or numbers. The opening of the channel in India will just expand the news channel list and will provide an additional source of information from around the globe for the sophisticated and evolving news hunters in India.
“Technology spreads awareness amongst the consumers. People are curious because of the internet, increasing literacy rate, the curiosity to know about what is happening around them. Our subscribers want more than what the Indian English news channels offer to them. They consume more news from the International news channels. We want to expand our International news bouquet for our subscribers by giving them a 360 perspective on what is happening. Adding Channel NewsAsia is just one step closer to our vision”, adds Agostinelli.
Channel NewsAsia’s relentless strive to be the leading news channel across Asia by delivering a much wanted content seems to make a huge difference in the eco system across Asia. Beyond reporting current issues, the channel also documents content to show Asia’s success. With this new perspective brought in India, the channel foresees a successful penetration in the Indian business.
Speaking with indiantelevision.com, Woon asserted, “We are truly proud to be partnering with Tata Sky. We believe that the platform will give us reach to people pan-India. We are well placed to provide the audience in India a better understanding of the whereabouts around them in a better and efficient way than the rest of Asia.”
Channel NewsAsia is geared up to launch in India with the same feed that is available in the global eco-system. The channel aims at providing increasing cosmopolitan Asian audiences an avenue to know what’s happening in the rest of Asia. The channel’s main focus will not be just reporting stories to the viewers but will also engage the onlookers about everything happening around in a story telling format. The other aim of the channel in India is to reach out to the Indian companies who wish to reach out to the Asian audience.
With the introduction of Channel NewsAsia International, Tata Sky has now expanded its bouquet of news channels to 96, which includes 14 English news channels, 22 Hindi news channels and 57 regional news channels.
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AsiaSat 5 100.5E Luxe TV on 3700 V is now encrypted.
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Qantas rethinks inflight Internet for Airbus A380, domestic routes
Qantas could offer satellite Internet access on its flagship Airbus A380 flights to the USA as well as on selected domestic routes, CEO Alan Joyce tells Australian Business Traveller.
Sky-high surfing is back on the Flying Kangaroo's watchlist now that American Airlines' Boeing 777 flights between Sydney and Los Angeles feature WiFi as part of the inflight experience.
Qantas first trialled inflight WiFi in 2012 but experienced minimal take-up rates on its A380 services, with less than 5% of passengers logging on.
Speaking of that trial at a media lunch in Sydney last week, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said that “it didn’t really work well across the Pacific because I think people were sleeping a lot and not using it, but we’re very keen to continue to explore it.”
Joyce admits to Australian Business Traveller that Qantas is keeping a firm watch on American Airlines, saying that “it’ll be interesting to see what (AA) finds out with its (Sydney-LAX) flight in uptake.”
“If that’s significant, we’ll be very keen to introduce on-board WiFi… it’s only a matter of time when we do it, and it’s only a matter of us having it everywhere at the same time and not having it patchy and working only in certain zones at certain times, which just causes confusion for our customers.”
WiFi for Aussie flights, too
On the domestic front, Qantas could be an early customer for the NBN's new Sky Muster satellites which begin beaming broadband across Australia from the middle of 2016.
Australia’s vast size combined with its population distribution makes ground-to-air Internet technologies such as Gogo used heavily in the USA largely impractical on domestic flights, with satellite-based services showing much more promise as both speed and coverage improve.
Currently, “Australia hasn’t got the satellite coverage that North America has,” Joyce highlights. “Many parts of our country don’t have anybody in them, and as a consequence the satellite coverage was never there, so it’s very hard for us to offer (inflight Internet across Australia) it’s very patchy.
“But that is changing... the NBN satellite just went up a couple of weeks ago and that’s going to change the coverage, and I think that may make certain domestic operations more appealing, and that’s not that long away.”
Also read: Telstra tests 4G inflight Internet for Sydney-Melbourne route
AA CEO: WiFi loses money, but it’s needed
With the proliferation of inflight Internet aboard US-based carriers, American Airlines Chairman and CEO Doug Parker explains to Australian Business Traveller that “it doesn’t matter what the take-up rates are, it’s never going to pay for the cost of carrying the WiFi...”
“… but what we know is that in the United States, it’s gotten to where if we don’t provide WiFi for customers, then it’s an enormous problem because it becomes something that needs to be part of the product,” Parker elaborates.
Thus, the airline hasn’t projected its WiFi take-up rates to and from Sydney, but notes that WiFi is most popular on its Dallas-Hong Kong services the longest flights in the airline’s network with passengers paying a flat US$19 (A$27) fee for unlimited access until touchdown.
Pricing can vary on other routes, such as on LAX-JFK where it's US$33.95... Pricing can vary on other routes, such as on LAX-JFK where it's US$33.95...
Parker continues that “as much as some of us might like the possibility of being out-of-touch for 10 to 12 hours, there are a lot of people who just can’t do that and don’t want to do it, and if we give them the opportunity, they’re willing to pay for it.”
To beat Netflix, Telstra TV may have to make its own content
Telstra recently launched the Telstra TV box, which is made by a US provider. But will it also start making its own media content?
Telstra's outgoing head of pay TV says the telecommunications giant may have to invest more in creating its own content to succeed against local and international rivals.
Telstra director of internet-based TV and Pay TV Eric Kearley is a highly experienced media executive who was poached from Television New Zealand in 2012. He is one of three senior media executives leaving the telco over the coming weeks as part of a change in leadership at the company.
Mr Kearley said it was vital for telcos to supply their customers with content like movies, TV shows and sports in order to drive up broadband usage. But he also hinted that Australia would face more convergence between internet providers and content creators.
"Telstra TV... is a good example of the merger between the telecommunications and media industries," he told the Informa OTT Summit in Sydney on Wednesday. "There are very few paid media companies left that are telcos and telcos who aren't paid media companies.
"The new world makes for interesting bedfellows."
When asked if that meant Telstra would have to invest more in creating media content, Mr Kearley said it was a possibility.
"It might," he laughed, having noted that Friday will be his last day at Telstra. "Or maybe not - but I'm not going to be there.
"I heard [News Corp executive chairman Rupert] Murdoch speak about Sky in the UK in the very, very early days and he said that the original mission was just to aggregate and not to start any channels but they found they had to because the channels that their consumers needed to drive their business didn't exist so they had to do it.
"I think telcos often approach media that way."
The rise of media in Telstra comes as US streaming video on demand giant Netflix continues its domination of the local market. Research firm Ovum on Wednesday released research that predicted Australia would have 4.7 million streaming video subscribers by 2019 and the Australian Communications and Media Authority recently said Netflix had around 2.5 million users as of June 2015.
Telstra and Optus are locked in a battle to give customers exclusive content to keep them loyal once the national broadband network rolls out and creates a level playing field for premium and budget telcos alike.
Optus recently surprised the market by beating Fox Sports to win the local broadcast rights for the Barclays English Premier League commencing August 2016. Its chief executive Allen Lew has pledged to make the investments needed to stream live games in high-definition over the internet - a move likely to result in new customers at the telco.
But Mr Kearley insisted Telstra's close partnership with and 50 per cent stake in Foxtel meant it had a substantial lead on Optus, whose main pay TV product is Fetch TV.
"We're ahead of Optus [thanks to Foxtel]," he said. "We haven't seen what Optus is going to do with the rights yet [and] they may on-sell the rights."
DVB approves UHD commercial requirements
A meeting of the DVB Steering Board has approved the Commercial Requirements for the next phase of Ultra High Definition Television, paving the way for the technical work on the specification to progress.
The path to UHDTV was set in the ITU in 2012 with a potential list of new features for future television (ITU-R BT.2020.) Since then, DVB has developed, and continues to develop, systems to allow appropriate features to be practically delivered to the public. A major milestone for television has now been reached with the agreement on the requirements for a ‘UHD-1 Phase 2’ delivery format.
The first system developed by DVB in 2014 was termed ’DVB UHD-1 Phase 1’. This offered content providers the possibility of delivering services with images with four times the resolution of 1080p HDTV. This is available and is in use, but in future it will be possible to also provide services with further features to enhance the viewing experience. This is termed ‘DVB UHD-1 Phase 2’.
A key new feature will be the capability to provide images with a high dynamic range (the difference between the blackest black and the whitest white in the image), termed HDR. Television sets of the future will allow higher peak screen brightnesses that can exploit the HDR. This is seen as a major potential gain in image quality, said to add ‘sparkle’ to the image.
Other new features may be available for UHDTV in the same timetable such as ‘Next Generation Audio’ offering a number of new options for sound.
A further potential new feature is the capability to provide images with sharper moving objects a higher frame rate or HFR. The development of practical consumer equipment for this feature may take longer than the above features, and thus it may follow several years after them.
Technical specifications are to be included that would allow, when needed by the service operator, users already using Phase 1 to make use of Phase 2 services (backwards compatibility).
The task now remains for the DVB Technical Module to translate the Commercial Requirements into a technical specification, which once completed will be submitted to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) for standardisation. It is expected that the specification will be finalised in 2016. This could mean that the first DVB UHD-1 Phase 2 services, that include the HDR feature, would be available from 2017 onwards.
“This is a major achievement for DVB and the television industry,” declared DVB Chairman Phil Laven. “We now have a plan for the evolution of television into the age of Ultra High Definition Television. It’s an exciting future that will bring a new quality of experience to television.”
Nicaragua Plans to Have 2 Satellites in Orbit by 2017
MANAGUA Nicaragua said it planned to have two telecommunications satellites in orbit by 2017 thanks to a project being carried out by satellite manufacturer China Great Wall Industries Corp., or GCWIC.
“The Nicasat (project is made up of) two satellites. They’re (scheduled to be launched in) 2017,” Telemaco Talavera, an adviser to the Nicaraguan government and president of the National Council of Universities, told reporters.
The Nicaraguan government said in 2013 that the Nicasat-1 satellite would be built with $346 million in financing from Chinese banks by GCWIC, a unit of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp., the Asian nation’s top space industry contractor.
Talavera did not provide details on the second satellite nor its construction and launch timeframe, although he said both were being built and that the technicians who would operate them were currently undergoing training.
Nicaragua expects the satellites will “not only improve telecommunications, but also access to data that will enable improvement in educational aspects and (the areas of) science, technology, the environment, illness, crops, diagnoses and climate change,” the official said.
He gave no reason for the one-year delay in the launch of Nicasat-1, which was originally to have been put into orbit in the third quarter of 2016.
The satellites will be used to provide cellular telephony, television and data services and eventually also provide coverage to other countries in Central America, authorities say.
No Central American nation currently has its own satellite in orbit.
Sky launches ‘Fluid Viewing’ Sky Q
Describing it as “the biggest reimagining of Sky in its history”, Jeremy Darroch, CEO of the UK pay-TV operator, has launched Sky Q, a family of products which it says are designed to reflect the way people consume content nowadays. It also confirmed that Sky Q would be UltraHD ready in advance of the launch of what Sky claimed would be the UK’s most comprehensive such service later in 2016, offering customers a range of sports, movies and entertainment content.
As well as a SkyQ set-top box to sit alongside the existing Sky+ box, a wireless Sky Q Mini will allow on-demand streaming, with a Sky Q app allowing personalisation of viewing across devices, with a Sky Q hub offering wireless connectivity. Andrew Olson, Director of New Products, described the initiative as offering “Fluid Viewing”.
Darroch said Sky Q was “a brilliant new way” for customers to consume content on their terms “It’s a system of products that work together to create a whole new way of watching TV.”
In addition, he said that Sky Q broadened the choice that Sky could offer its customers, as a new, premium option to complement its existing services. “It means we’re going to have a bigger and better range than ever before,” he claimed. He said that with Sky Q sitting alongside Sky+ and NOW TV, it made for three “outstanding and complementary” platforms.
He said that each was designed to meet the needs of different groups of customers, suggesting that Sky Q was an “all-new” option, offering the very best Sky experience. According to Darroch, this extension of choice was good news for the business. “We know from our experience that broadening out and innovating throughout our product range helps us to keep our customers happy and helps us to keep them loyal. For those who don’t yet have Sky, it is going to create a brilliant new reason to join in.”
Darroch said that his job was to obtain the best content form around the world and to use that content to make it easy for customers to access that content on their terms. He said that customers wanted it to be easy to navigate content and to find what they wanted to watch. “They want TV to be more flexible and more seamless across more screens, and most of all, they want it to be seamless and effortless.”
“In short, our ambition was to reimagine TV for the way people live their lives today, and result is SkyQ,” concluded Darroch, advising that it would be available to customers in the UK and Ireland from early 2016. Exact details of timing and pricing would be divulged nearer the time.
The new range of products introduced by Olson includes:
•Sky Q Silver and Sky Q two new super-slim, powerful boxes for the main TV set, featuring up to 12 tuners and up to 2TB of storage
•Sky Q Mini a new plug and play box giving wireless access to Sky Q in other rooms in the home without running cables from the dish
•Sky Q Hub the all new Hub has built in Powerline networking technology, so it can use in-home electrical wiring as well as Wi-Fi to communicate with Sky Q boxes, automatically giving the best connection available. The Sky Q Hub also turns Sky Q boxes into Wi-Fi hotspots which means Sky Broadband customers get a stronger signal and better coverage throughout the home
•Sky Q app a brand new app for your tablets that lets you enjoy all of the Sky Q experience at home, and take recordings with you and watch live and on demand content on the go
In addition to its range of broadcast content from around the world, Sky Q opens up access to an even wider range of content. Customers will be able to browse their Facebook photos and stream music wirelessly over their TV sound system with Bluetooth or Apple’s AirPlay. They can also catch up with the latest news and sport through interactive sidebar apps which are seamlessly integrated into the viewing experience. Sky Q will also allow viewers to watch their favourite videos from YouTube, watch on demand music videos from the new Vevo app and stream the best of the web to any TV connected to Sky Q or Sky Q Mini. Initial streaming partners include Condé Nast Entertainment including GQ, Vanity Fair, Vogue and WIRED, GoPro, Jukin Media, Kin Community, Red Bull Media House and Whistle Sports with even more content creators to be added.
Stephen van Rooyen, Managing Director, Sales and Marketing, said that Sky’s embaracing of changes in customers’ viewing habits had enabled it to grow in new and different ways. “We’ve created the opportunity to reach new customers with the creation of a service like NOWTV and we’ve also made our existing products and services so much better, creating better loyalty for our existing customers.”
He suggested that in terms of market segmentation, there was an opprtunity for Sky to ‘superserve’ its customers and to attract new prospects who consume more content and more media on more devices than ever before. “It’s really for that media-centric consumer that we see both in our base and across the marketplace. And while Sky Q is really targeted at a very specific customer type, we think it will have a huge impact on creating a halo for the brand.”
Da Vinci Learning and The Quint launch India’s 1st Kids HD Educational Channel
Raghav Bahl launches The Quint
MUMBAI: With a vision of building its global footprint and further extending across 100+ territories spanning three continents, HD Educational channel Da Vinci Learning announced its formal launch in India. Its HD Educational channel will offer award-winning knowledge programming and documentaries to Indian audiences, with a special focus on curious young minds. The channel aims to offer safe and quality entertainment for the entire family.
Da Vinci Learning is entering India through a 50:50 joint venture between Da Vinci Media GmbH and Quintillion Media Pvt. Ltd. (The Quint).
Da Vinci Media founder and CEO Ferdinand Habsburg said, “It is an exciting phase in the journey of Da Vinci Learning. India has always been a key priority market for us and the time has now come to showcase our differentiated programming, aimed at triggering creative young minds bubbling with talent and curiosity to do more. Our association with The Quint will help the channel to effectively increase and strengthen our foothold in the country by offering meaningful and creative content to the Indian audiences.”
The Quint co-Founder and Chairman Raghav Bahl said, “While Da Vinci Media brings expertise in knowledge-based programming content, this joint venture helps us to further expand, drive synergies and diversify our digital content portfolio.”
The Quint co-Founder & CEO Ritu Kapur asserted, “The Quint will help consumers access Da Vinci Learning content through our digital distribution capabilities. I am confident that the differentiated content of Da Vinci Learning will bring about a transformation in the knowledge and education based content space in India; and I look forward to seeing this transformation take shape.”
Da Vinci Learning, India Managing Director Mohit Anand added, “Arousing the curiosity of our viewers is our mission and we take pride in offering completely safe, non-violent, soft skills-based knowledge programming for the whole family. This has been our USP and we believe that there is a huge demand for such content in India as well. Our commitment is to find the best knowledge programming and make it available to Indian viewers because we understand the rush of inspiration, the thrill of discovery and the pleasure to know.”
The company says that its channel’s programming covers a wide array of topics, ranging from physics and chemistry to history and nature, and makes complex subjects understandable in an entertaining way. Da Vinci Learning turns TV watching from passive observation into a meaningful experience, helping children develop various skills early on, encouraging older viewers to keep asking questions and inviting families to take their learning journeys together.
Da Vinci Learning is targeted at the 6-12 year olds and their families; the channel aims at offering programming and content that makes astounding scientific ideas understandable, arouse curiosity, spark conversation and motivate viewers to continue uncovering the mysteries of the universe.
Not a lot happening today. But there is news that ABC Australia will begin live streaming in December!
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Intelsat 19 166.0E 12726 H "Canale 21" has left . Rai Italia Australia, Rai News 24, Rai World Premium, Mediaset Italia, La 7, Ant1 Pacific, Greek Cinema, SportPlus, BBC Arabic, ERT 1 and 4E are now encrypted. (Check, were back FTA earlier..)
AsiaSat 7 105.5E 4180 V "Geo TV" is Fta.
AsiaSat 5 100.5E 4040 H "Perviy kanal Asia" has started on ,Fta.
Insat 3A 93.5E 4136 V "RTA Nangarhar" has started on , Fta.
Horizons 2 84.8E 11760 H "Pyatnitsa! and Telekanal Spas" have left .
Horizons 2 84.8E 12080 H "Russkiy Detektiv" has started on , encrypted.
Intelsat 20 68.5E 12522 V "Salvation TV" has started on , Fta. 4WG TV has left.
Intelsat 20 68.5E 12602 V "Evangel TV" has left .
Express AM6 53.0E 12666 "IVMN TV, 01 TV, Omid-e-Iran and Parvaz" have left .
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东经108.2度轨道位置的SES 7号卫星Ku频段，Reserve 4（Cignal）频道新增，设置11656 H 18750参数有条件接收。 [11月17日]
东经70.5度轨道位置的欧星70B号卫星Ku频段，HEVC（4K）频道消失，设置11356 V 44900参数无效接收。 [11月17日]
东经105.5度轨道位置的亚洲7号卫星C频段，AsiaSat Test Channel（宣传）频道新增，设置3630 H 6700参数免费接收。 [11月17日]
东经100.5度轨道位置的亚洲5号卫星C频段，Fuel TV HD（高清）频道消失，设置3960 H 30000参数无效接收。 [11月17日]
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ABC targets 10pc local content lift
The ABC will aim to lift the amount of Australian TV content in prime time by at least 10 per cent to 60 per cent in the next three years, after falling to 42 per cent.
ABC director of television, Richard Finlayson said the ABC’s proportion of local content in evening television had fallen from 53 per cent and ranked below its overseas peers the BBC (84 per cent), Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (73 per cent) and even TVNZ (43 per cent).
After a six-month review with LEK Consulting, ABC TV has launched an Australian Content Plan of initiatives aiming to lift local first run content in prime time to 1300 hours annually while still using the “same money” it currently receives.
“It’s not enough, but it’s a good start, “ Finlayson told The Australian. “It’s ambitious.”
One of the key initiatives is a possible subscription model for content delivered online, to “finally unlock the ABC archive” and offer an alternative to SVOD start-ups such as Netflix and Presto.
“While direct government funding has reduced, competition for Screen Australia funds has increased and commercial revenues for DVD and retail have fallen, production costs, have continued to rise,” he said. “This means the volume of hours the ABC can produce has decreased.”
Other parts of the plan include: a “culture of high performance and continuous improvement”; a restructure of commissioning; a return to investing in longer-run series and “program brands”; international partnerships with “broadcasters and distributors like AMC and Netflix to tap into the burgeoning demand for high-quality, English language content with a global appeal”; and working with ABC Commercial to better maximise returns on programming.
Finlayson said the production and performance sectors needed to help the ABC lift its local content by concluding two key negotiations that will affect its ability to see continued growth in online audiences as TV audiences decline.
“The reality is, in order to keep up with the changes in the future, we need a new rights framework,” Finlyason said. “We absolutely will work with producers to ensure they have ample commercial opportunities but we need to be able to offer programs on iView for a longer period of time and more frequently.”
Firstly, the ABC and Screen Producers are negotiating a Terms Of Trade agreement in which the ABC is seeking the ability to hold programs for longer with iView.
“Having four runs over a licence period with a two week catch-up period is simply not adequate today,” Finalyson said.
Secondly, he described the actors’ union, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance of “behaving like King Canute” in not adapting the Australian Television Repeats and Residuals Agreement (ATRRA) which currently makes it more expensive to re-run Australian shows than a US series.
“The ABC has not relicensed an Australian drama or comedy for over a decade,” he said. “No Kath and Kim; no Sea Change; certainly no Norman Gunston. ATRRA residuals make this impossible.”
“MEAA is not only behaving like King Canute, standing against the digital tide, but ultimately depriving their members of income,” he added. “And they are certainly depriving Australian audiences of Australian content.”
Finlayson also confirmed, ahead of ABC TV’s 2016 season launch next week, that it is planning to switch it main ABC channel to the high-definition (HD) signal in June 2016 (with ABC News 24 reverting to an SD signal) and switch on a live stream of ABC in December (ABC News 24 is currently streamed live).
“No Netflix impact” says Intelsat boss
There have been more than a few reports these past weeks that the role of satellite-delivered TV is under threat from broadband and OTT services such as Netflix. ‘Not so’, implies Stephen Spengler, president and CEO at satellite giant Intelsat.
Addressing a Morgan Stanley investors conference last week in Barcelona, Spengler admitted to analysts that its broadcasting clients clearly had to cope with the challenge of OTT in the same way that cable operators do today. “[They] have to address the issue of people moving to the Internet, and to OTT delivery, and that of course is terrestrial for the time being,” Spengler stated. “But we think that, at some point, satellites can play a role. Some of the benefits of satellite distribution to cable head-ends can also be spread to [broadband and internet] servers in various cities.”
Spengler added that Intelsat would start testing Internet-type delivery services next year with the intention of rolling out follow-on services. Intelsat is about to see its first ‘EPIC’ satellite (I-29e) early in 2016 and which would add considerable extra bandwidth to the fleet. Each of the EPIC satellites can provide high-throughput capacity via a slew of targeted spot beams.
Tricolor TV claims 6 mln HD subscribers
Russian satellite TV operator Tricolor TV announced that its subscriber base using HDTV services totals over 6 million, reports Cnews.ru. This is more than half of the total subscriber base of the operator, up by 10.5 percentage points since the beginning of the year to to 51.7 percent at the end of October. In the period the HDTV subscriber base grew by 1.45 million.
Zimbabwe: Eutelsat Wins Three-Year Deal to Accelerate Zimbabwe's Digital TV Transition
Eutelsat Communications has announced that it has sealed a three-year contract with the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) for capacity in Ku-band on the EUTELSAT 3B satellite.
The capacity will be used to deliver twelve free-to-view channels to a nationwide network of 48 Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) transmitters so that Zimbabwean viewers can benefit from improved image quality and a wider choice of television programmes.
The agreement between BAZ and Eutelsat will accelerate digital transition of Zimbabwe's national broadcasting network that was initiated in 2011, and reflects the general move across Africa to a fully digital environment.
The new service is currently being tested and is due to launch during the first quarter of 2016. The project is managed by BAZ that works with Transmedia, the country's national signal carrier, ZBC, the state broadcaster, and Huawei for sourcing of digital equipment, including set-top-boxes for user homes. Huawei will also uplink the digital multiplex from BAZ's teleport facilities in Harare to the EUTELSAT 3B satellite.
Obert Muganyura, Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe's Chief Executive Officer, said: "Access to EUTELSAT 3B will transform our country into a nationwide provider of digital broadcast services. With this Eutelsat partnership and our project partners, the stage is set for Zimbabwe to accelerate the transition from analogue to digital TV in order to deliver improved service to viewers nationwide."
Michel Azibert, Eutelsat's Chief Commercial and Development Officer, added: "This contract with the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe marks a first step in our involvement in Zimbabwe's digitisation process and reflects the increasing contribution of satellite to rapid and efficient digital transition. We are delighted to see EUTELSAT 3B's increasing weight in the African landscape and to be part of this continent-wide movement to digital."
The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe is a statutory body established to regulate the provision of broadcasting services in Zimbabwe and to assist in the establishment of a modern and effective broadcasting infrastructure for Zimbabwe. The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe is financing the digitalization programme through its Broadcast Fund, which will see the digitalization of all existing analogue television studios to HD quality, the installation of a National Head-end, Satellite Uplink facility for signal distribution and Content Production facilities, and the digitalization of the national television transmission network among other works. The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe is committed to promoting the provision of a wide range of broadcasting services in Zimbabwe which are of high quality and universally accessible.
SBS Food Network screenshot (Optus D1)
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AsiaSat 7 105.5E 4180 V "Geo Kahani and Geo Super" are Fta
Yamal 401 90.0E 11385 H "Enisey" has started on , clear.
ABS 2 75.0E 3618 V "Trace Sport Stars" has started on, Irdeto.
ABS 2 75.0E 3781 V "Perviy kanal, RTR Planeta, Rossiya 24, L!feNews, Mir 24, Karusel, Detski Mir, Dom Kino, Lubimoe Kino, Mir Seriala, Russkiy Illusion, KHL TV, Okhota i Rybalka, RT Doc, RTG HD, Muzika, Rusong TV and Ru TV have started on , Irdeto. Russkiy Bestseller and IQ HD" are now encrypted.
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东经100.5度轨道位置的亚洲5号卫星C频段，Fuel TV HD（高清）频道消失，设置3960 H 30000参数无效接收。[11-17]
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东经108.2度轨道位置的SES 7号卫星Ku频段，Reserve 4（Cignal）频道新增，设置11481 H 18750参数有条件接收。 [11月17日]
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东经78.5度轨道位置的泰星5号卫星C频段，Most替换频道，设置3520 H 28125参数有条件接收。 [11月16日]
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Ditch control laws, says Ten chief David Gordon
Ten Network chairman David Gordon has called for the removal of all media ownership and control laws, warning that “piecemeal tinkering” will further distort a fast-changing landscape.
Mr Gordon used his first annual report to lobby for a broad approach to media reform amid suggestions Communications Minister Mitch Fifield is prepared to retire only the population reach rule, while leaving other pre-internet laws untouched.
“Ten Network has, for many years, argued for the removal of all ownership and control restrictions, so as to free us to better compete in the marketplace,” Mr Gordon said.
“We are hopeful that the coming year finally sees the wholesale removal of these rules and not a piecemeal tinkering that will of itself only create a new set of distortions and continue to impede our competitiveness.”
Mr Gordon said the current regulations “limit and constrain Australian free-to-air networks”, while new internet-based TV services such as Netflix and digital giants such as Google and Facebook operated without the same heavy regulatory burden.
“Notwithstanding the pleasing results in 2015 and the completion of our strategic review, Ten Network continues to operate in a dynamic and changing environment. The combination of new technologies and new ways to consume media is changing viewing habits and presents new challenges,” he said.
Ten would also like to see the abolition of the two out of three rule that prohibits a single entity controlling a commercial television licence, a commercial radio licence and a newspaper in the same area.
A notice of the annual general meeting, to be held in Sydney on December 16, confirmed that Brian Long and Siobhan McKenna were seeking re-election as directors. Other resolutions to be voted on include the remuneration report. The salary bill for key personnel soared to $10.9 million, up from $4.3m, boosted by salary and fees taken home by former chief executive and chairman Hamish McLennan. His total amounted to $8,040,923 for 2015. Directors fees fell to $761,233, down from $914,082.
In his address to shareholders, Mr Gordon said Ten’s turnaround continued to gain momentum as ratings and the network’s share of the advertising market improved.
By sticking to a strategy of event television, premium live sport, and the advertiser-friendly 25- to 54-year-old demographic, “our television revenue increased 4.6 per cent per cent during the 2015 financial year”, Mr Gordon said.
It comes after subscription-TV provider Foxtel gained regulatory approval to buy a 15 per cent stake in Ten as part of a wider deal to jointly sell advertising space through pay-TV sales house Multi Channel Network.
Captioning to be extended to Prime TV
Tuesday, 17 November, 2015 - 17:25
Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams says the extension of captioning to Prime Television will ensure more content availability for deaf and hard of hearing people.
From early next year, service providers Sky and Able will make captioning available on Prime Television with a focus on local, NZ on Air funded and prime time content.
"It’s great to see content providers taking the lead. Extending captioning services to Prime will greatly assist deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders to access the television content that most of us take for granted," says Ms Adams.
After a funding boost this year, NZ on Air now funds Able to the tune of $2.8 million a year. This funds 265 captioned hours and 35 hours of audio description per week. 100 per cent of primetime content on TVNZ channels is now captioned.
"This shows NZ On Air’s real commitment to better accessibility for those who need it," says Ms Adams.
"The addition of Prime to the list of free-to-air services means more shows important to a New Zealand audience will be captioned, increasing the choice of channel and content for hearing-impaired viewers."
Further details of the Prime programmes and content to be captioned will be announced closer to the time.
Intelsat Exec Says Sky Perfect JSAT Deal Took 18 Months to Do
[Via Satellite 11-16-2015] Intelsat’s latest EpicNG deal with SkyPerfect JSAT was not easy to do and in fact took well over a year to complete, according to Bruno Fromont, senior vice -president of strategy and asset management at Intelsat. Fromont told Via Satellite that Intelsat had been working on this deal “for quite some time” and that it had been “18 months in the making.”
Intelsat and Sky Perfect JSAT announced earlier this month that they had signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture that will launch a new satellite with optimized C-band and high throughput Ku-band capacity to satisfy the growing mobility and broadband connectivity demands in the Asia-Pacific region. To be known as Horizons 3e, the satellite is based on the Intelsat EpicNG high throughput design, which, upon launch, will complete the global footprint of the Intelsat EpicNG next generation platform. The satellite will be stationed at the 169 degrees east orbital location with a launch expected in the second half of 2018.
Sky Perfect JSAT is a long-standing partner of Intelsat, and given the history that the two operators share, the deal is perhaps not a surprise. Also, with Japan being such an important market and an overall telecommunications hub, the partnership makes a lot of sense for Intelsat.
Fromont said Intelsat felt the partnership model made the most sense for its first High Throughput Satellite in Asia.
“There is a lot of fragmentation. We truly believe that the satellite and solution we are going to put together is really going to be great, and will be a differentiator in the marketplace,” he said.
Fromont described the Asia market as unique; hence why the operator has decided not to go at it alone with the launch of this satellite.
“The Asian market is peculiar, it is very fragmented. There are a number of operators and solutions. It is a matter of making sure that the satellite and the economics make sense. It makes a lot of sense when you can get the synergies from a capital expenditure perspective. In Asia, it is easier if you can manage the opportunity and challenges with a partner,” he said.
The deal, while an important one for Intelsat, Fromont described as “more evolution, than revolution” for the operator. “From a deployment perspective, this is a pretty significant milestone. We have been looking for a while to have the right business case to deploy a high throughput asset in the Pacific Ocean region. We have global mobility coverage, and we wanted to add with the first two Epic satellites that we are going to launch next year. We wanted to augment these capabilities on a global basis, and Horizons 3e venture adds that. It is closing the loop for us. We are pretty excited about it,” he added.
Also, given the fact that much of East Asia has quite advanced terrestrial and wireless infrastructure, is the opportunity for a high-powered broadband satellite more limited? “We have a strong commitment toward Asia. Regarding the land mass market, yes the market is more challenging, but even in a country like Japan, you have companies that are relying on satellite solutions for remote areas. The region just cannot go cellular,” Fromont said.
The Horizons 3e satellite addresses a number of different verticals. Intelsat will be focusing a lot on all of the mobility sub-markets such as aeronautical, maritime, and beyond. There are a number of very heavily used transport routes in the region, which could lend itself to what Intelsat is doing here. Fromont believes there are also a number of opportunities for pure broadband connectivity to enterprises, cellular backhaul and government-type activities. Horizons 3e aims to provide good solutions for government applications.
“We will try to address most of the countries. In Japan, we felt there were a number of domestic applications that would make sense. We will also focus on New Zealand, Australia, and these are really the key markets for us,” Fromont said.
If Fromont was to pick one, he says maritime would likely be most important vertical market for Horizons 3e.
First Flight for Gogo’s 2KU Satellite-Based System
Gogo (booth N1716 and Static Display) unveiled its new satellite-based 2Ku Internet to the media for the first time last week, and on two Boeing 737 test flights some passengers recorded download speeds faster than 22 megabits per second, though at times speeds were considerably slower, likely because many journalists tested streaming media at once.
The 2Ku system, which relies on more than 180 satellites in the Ku-band, is Gogo’s answer to ViaSat’s Ka-band platform used by JetBlue, United and, on 10 new deliveries, Virgin America. ViaSat’s system now only works in and near the Continental U.S. Virgin America is not offering Wi-Fi on ViaSat-equipped Hawaii flights so Gogo will have an advantage until ViaSat launches a new satellite in mid-2016.
While Gogo’s 2Ku platform is most efficient at the equator, it works nearly everywhere with one exception. Passengers will notice speeds “degrade” as they reach the Arctic Circle, and the system will not work over the North Pole, CEO Michael Small said. “About 2% of the world’s flights are polar,” Small said Thursday. “On a few flights, we might have a disadvantage, but this is absolutely the dominant technology.”
Each test flight Thursday had about 25 passengers and flew a north-south route from Gary/Chicago International Airport. In the test, Gogo’s 2Ku system not only permitted passengers to stream from popular sites like YouTube, Netflix and Amazon, but it also allowed them to watch live, high-definition television through the company’s portal. “It’s actually pretty crisp,” Small said of the live television. “I have never seen it buffer.”
It is not clear whether airlines will permit streaming, as data costs are expensive and some party the user, the airline or a sponsor would need to pay for it. But Gogo says 2Ku can support more than 40 streaming devices at a time.
Many airlines, however, are not rushing to add the system, which should be commercially available within weeks. While eight carriers have said they will add 2Ku, putting it on roughly 550 aircraft, about half of those aircraft belong to Delta Air Lines. Other 2Ku customers include Aeromexico, Virgin Atlantic and, for a test, United Airlines.
Delta is expected to convert more than 250 aircraft to 2Ku, and an airline spokesman said installations will begin in the middle of next year. Aeromexico is the launch customer, and it should offer 2Ku to passengers on some Boeing 737-800s before year-end. On Friday, Gogo said it had received supplemental type certification (STC) from the FAA.
Gogo is now focused on attracting more customers, especially from outside the U.S. Small called the new technology a “quantum leap,” adding, “This is what will make broadband take off on a global basis.”
Russia’s New Defense Satellite Launched From Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Russian Defense Ministry said that a Russian Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket laden with the newest defense satellite was launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the country’s northwest.
The launch of a Start-1 intercontinental ballistic missile based on Topol missile. The Plesetsk cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk Region
Russian Forces Launch Intercontinental Ballistic Missile From Plesetsk
MOSCOW (Sputnik) A Russian Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket laden with the newest defense satellite was launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the country’s northwest, the Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday.
“A Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with a new generation space apparatus in the interests of the Russian Defense Ministry was launched from the Aerospace Forces’ Plesetsk Cosmodrome at 9:34 a.m. [06:34 GMT],” the Defense Ministry’s press service said.
The current launch is the fourth in 2015 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome using a Soyuz-2 carrier rocket.
Indian Times Now for UK
Times Now, India’s most-watched English-language news channel, is launching in the UK this week following the visit of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as it accelerates global growth it says will see it challenge broadcasters like Al Jazeera and the BBC.
Backed by Bennett, Coleman & Co, a media conglomerate that owns the The Times of India newspaper, Times Now will target Britain’s 1.4m Indians by rebroadcasting existing shows on the Sky platform.
The launch, which Times Now calls its most important since opening in the US in 2011, is the first step in a wider European expansion, where it hopes to begin broadcasting in France and Germany next year.
“The UK launch is extremely important,” said MK Anand, chief executive. “It can be our biggest diaspora market and a bridge into Europe . . . Over the longer run there is no reason for us not to envisage Times Now as a global brand. Al Jazeera is an English-language channel which is talking about the world with an Arabic lens, and in time we can do the same for an Indian world view,” he added.
Multichoice drops Animal Planet
Multichoice is dropping another couple of channels from its DStv bouquet. Out goes Animal Planet and Vox Africa (a London-based pan-African entertainment channel).
Local reports say that Multichoice’s management are stressing that its focus is on entertainment and it has assessed the performance and viability of channels on its platform to achieve a diverse variety of programming that best resonates with its viewers, market by market.
“In line with a recent strategic review, we have therefore decided to make these changes, while also including an exciting range of entertainment channels; Maisha Magic Bongo, Vuzu and M-Net Family and opened up BBC Brit, CBeebies, BBC Lifestyle and a localized BET channel from DStv Premium to Compact Plus and Compact packages to give more subscribers a broader variety of entertainment programming to enjoy in time for the holiday season,” said a statement.
ChinaSat 2C has arrived at 103.5 East, with a bit of luck it will get loaded up like the firstname.lastname@example.org and 125E
D2 12539 H Sr 6978 "UFC press conference"
IS19 4147 V Sr 5632 FTA..Oceania 7's Rugby..
D1 12662 V 7200 "channel7" "channel9" Royal event feed, 2 services loaded
D2 12643 V Sr 6670 "Telstra 1" Trotting night races
D2 12660 V Sr 6670 "globecast oz" horses
D2 12670 V Sr 6670 "globecast oz" horses
D2 12679 V Sr 6670 "telstra" Horses
From my Email
From Alek (W.A)
Optus D1 ABC and SBS have reconfigured their Symbol rates to 14291 with SBS now adding Food Ch.
12326 H 14291
The networks are slowly switching over their main chs to HD, With Ch9 starting on Nov 20th. SD services WILL NOT BE SIMILCASTING the main ch services and will be turned off in time. This will create a whole new market in stand alone HD boxes for those that do not have a TV with inbuilt DTV tuners.
From the Dish
Apstar 9 Apstar 9 has left 136.5 East, moving east.
Palapa D 113.0E 3574 V "Banten TV" has started on , Fta.
Palapa D 113.0E 3792 H "BNI Life +1" has left .
Palapa D 113.0E 3818 V "Reformed 21 and Megastar TV" have left .
ChinaSat 2C 103.5E ChinaSat 2C has arrived at 103.5 East.
Insat 3A 93.5E 4132 V "RTA" has started on , Fta
Yamal 401 90.0E 11504 V "UzReport TV" has started on , Fta.
Thaicom 5 78.5E 3448 V "Himalaya TV" has started on , Fta.
Thaicom 5 78.5E 3545 V "Movie Hits" has started on , BISS.
Thaicom 5 78.5E 3545 V "Grace TV, Smart SME Channel and Thai TV 7" have left .
Thaicom 5 78.5E 3585 V "Melo TV" has started on , BISS.
Thaicom 5 78.5E 3625 V "55 Channel" has started on , BISS.
Thaicom 5 78.5E 3600 H "The Living Show, Gen C, News 1, Peace TV, DDTV, H Plus Channel, Dhamma Media Channel, TV 24 and Dara Channel "are now encrypted.
Thaicom 6 78.5E 3742 H "Southern TV" has started on , Fta.
ABS 2 75.0E 3700 V, GoldSun TV, JET Variety, Hollywood Movie Channel, Top TV, Da Ai TV, No. 1, Tien Liang TV, Taiwan Yam TV, Hwazan Satellite TV, MTV Taiwan, Good 2 and Life TV have started on Irdeto.
ABS 2 75.0E 3740 V SET International, SET Finance, Much TV, GTV K Channel, Taiwan Macroview TV, Azio TV, CSTV Finance, Unique Satellite TV, Express Finance Satellite TV, TACT, TTV World, JET TV, Winner, K-Asia, UCTV, SBN and Taiwan Comprehensive Channel have started on , Irdeto.
ABS 2 75.0E 11733 V "Kaleydoskop TV" has started on , Fta
Eutelsat 70B 70.5E 11294 H."Ohm TV and Pirai TV" have left
From asiatvro site
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Foxtel taps News Corp and Telstra for $30m to fight rivals
Foxtel is testing the waters on whether its shareholders, Telstra and News Corp, will put more money behind the pay TV provider.
Foxtel is attempting to raise a further $30 million from shareholders News Corp and Telstra to bolster its marketing fight against rising competition from Netflix and other digital interlopers.
Fairfax Media has learnt that Foxtel chief executive Richard Freudenstein flew to New York in recent weeks to discuss the fundraising with News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch.
Mr Murdoch is understood to have given his blessing to the proposal.
However, it is understood that talks are ongoing with Telstra, which, like News, owns a 50 per cent stake in the cable and satellite television giant.
The $30 million fundraising is a relatively small amount for the shareholders but it will, nevertheless, test their appetite for putting more money behind Foxtel's strategy to attract and retain subscribers.
The Australian Financial Review revealed last week that Telstra was considering the future of its Foxtel stake.
Sources understand that the telco is open to offers at the right price in what will mark a seismic shift in the Australian media landscape if a Foxtel sale eventuates.
It is understood that News Corp has pre-emptive rights over Telstra's stake in the event it decides to sell.
Mr Freudenstein slashed the price of basic Foxtel cable and satellite packages from $49 to $25 a year ago in the biggest revamp of the company's strategy in years in an effort to increases its penetration of Australian households beyond 30 per cent.
Foxtel has also moved into broadband. It had a botched launch of its new set-top box, the iQ3.
Foxtel is believed to have considered a possible move to drop the price of its live streaming and catch-up web-based service, Foxtel Play, which starts at $25, to help it compete with popular subscription video-on-demand services.
Netflix is the largest SVOD service in Australia, followed by Stan, which is owned by Nine Entertainment Co and Fairfax Media, owner of The Australian Financial Review. Foxtel's own service, Presto, which it owns with Seven West Media , is in third position.
SVOD services start from $9.99 a month.
Despite the growing competitive threats, Foxtel remains Australia's most profitable media company, making more than the three metropolitan free-to-air television networks combined.
CBA values Foxtel's equity at $3.6 billion, or 7.5 times the broker's 2016 forecast for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $900 million plus Foxtel's $3.1 billion of debt.
However, Mr Freudenstein's move to invest in new services and cut prices has hit the bottom line, in the short term at least.
This month, News Corp told investors that Foxtel's first-quarter EBITDA fell 21 per cent in Australian dollars "due to increased programming costs, increased costs associated with higher sales volumes, and the public launch of Triple Play".
Nevertheless, the company reported robust subscriber growth with the annualised proportion of cable and satellite subscribers defecting falling from 10.9 per cent to 10.1 per cent.
When The Australian Financial Review revealed Telstra was considering the future of its Foxtel stake, a spokesman for the telco said: "Foxtel remains an important strategic asset. We have a strong working relationship at the most senior levels with News Corp."
Streaming negates media ownership laws: NBN chair
Ziggy Switkowski, the chairman of the company rolling out high-speed broadband across Australia, has said IPTV has caused obsolescence in decades-old cross-media ownership laws.
National Broadband Network (NBN) chair Ziggy Switkowski has argued that Australia's cross-media ownership laws should are no longer necessary, as the advent of streaming video-on-demand services such as Netflix have rendered them "obsolete".
According to Switkowski, one of the primary needs for high-speed broadband is to provide consumers with a high enough quality connection to deliver over-the-top (OTT) video services, with the chair arguing that streaming is only going to grow in popularity, as demonstrated by telecommunications carrier Optus recently acquiring the exclusive rights to broadcast the English Premier League, taking them away from pay TV provider Foxtel.
"This train is only going to gather speed. We've seen the recent move by Optus to acquire the EPL soccer rights, and we're likely to see an increasing number of these kinds of deals in the future as the arrival of OTT and the national availability of high-speed broadband creates far more competition in the subscription and broadcast TV market," Switkowski said, speaking at Monday's CommsDay NBN Forum in Sydney.
The chair said the change in the TV industry has been "extraordinarily rapid", with consumers going from having only two TV sets in their households to having a dozen laptop, smartphone, and tablet screens streaming content in every home.
Switkowski identified streaming as a public policy issue that the NBN, as it continues its rollout, will "amplify" over the next five years, saying traditional media ownership rules -- specifically, the rule providing that a single entity may only own two out of three forms of media at maximum, and have 75 percent reach -- are no longer relevant.
"The cross-media ownership rules ... seem in a broadband world to be increasingly obsolescent. So does regulation by traditional content-delivery channels make any sense now, or might it make any sense at all in 2020?" he said.
The chair pointed out that these laws were written before high-speed broadband made alternative forms of broadcasting content readily available.
"At a time when the only media were broadcast television, radio, and print, and with concentrated ownership, which was the case in the 1990s, that environment gave birth to the two-out-of-three rule," he said.
"Now, with such a diversity of content-delivery options provided by availability of the internet in the first instance, but [high-speed] broadband in the second instance, one questions the continuing relevance of a two-out-of-three rule. I think that is a debate that is ongoing, and I expect that that will be a policy matter that will be revisited.
"My personal view is I don't see the continuing relevance of a two-out-of-three rule or the 75 percent reach rule in 2015."
Earlier this month, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) likewise argued that advances in technology such as streaming television have also gone beyond the scope of competition laws, with legal and policy framework needing to catch up to innovation.
"The two-out-of-three media ownership rules may be preventing efficient delivery of content over multiple platforms, and should be reviewed to see if they are still relevant for the preservation of diversity. Surely laws that restrict acquisitions need clear justification. Changing technology may have made the initial justification for the two-out-of-three rule, from 30 years ago, redundant," said ACCC chairman Rod Sims.
"The 75 percent reach rule has been undermined by the ability of commercial free-to-air television to stream their content nationally via the internet. Both the two-out-of-three rule and the 75 percent reach rule were introduced before the emergence of the internet."
Switkowski also addressed whether media anti-siphoning rules remain necessary, pointing out that they, too, predate not only widespread internet usage, but even pay TV.
"Anti-siphoning rules date back to 1992, with the Broadcast Services Act, and just ahead of the arrival of pay TV ... a very high proportion of video-on-demand households will challenge the continuing purpose of an anti-siphoning regime, and I've seen the chairman of the ACCC opine on this matter, and I think it is a matter worthy of continuing debate," Switkowski said.
Sims had also discussed this, arguing that the anti-siphoning rule may need to be revised due to the increasing popularity of streaming -- though this would need to be balanced against the risk of pay TV providers acquiring all high-value broadcasts and consequently being able to drive up pricing.
"The concern is that, without the anti-siphoning regime, Foxtel could acquire exclusively all premium sport and reduce competition in the television viewing market," Sims said.
"If the trend of streaming live sport is replicated in Australia, particularly via paid subscription models, the anti-siphoning regime may need revisiting, but we are not there yet."
Government regulatory bodies are beginning to recognise the changes within the industry; last week, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced the registration of a new Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice, written mainly in response to how streaming services have affected complaints handling, privacy, advertising, content programming, and classification.
"Since the previous code was registered in late 2009, there have been tremendous shifts in the media landscape. Many of the provisions in the earlier code had been around for 20 years or so -- from an analogue era where viewers could only source content from three commercial free-to-air channels and two national broadcasting channels," said ACMA chairman Chris Chapman.
"The new code reflects the reality that television is operating in a new, digital era in which content can be viewed from a wide variety of sources and on a wide variety of platforms. The digital era has brought many challenges for broadcasters, and there were aspects of the previous code which made it difficult for them to respond and innovate."
The ACMA's new TV code will come into operation from December 1, 2015.
Last month, the ACCC also approved an acquisition deal between Ten Network and Foxtel, giving Ten the option to take a 10 percent stake in Australian video-streaming service Presto, while Foxtel acquires 15 percent of Ten.
While the ACCC had been initially wary of approving the deal, saying in September that it could reduce competition in the traditional TV broadcasting market, in approving the deal, the ACCC said it also had consideration of encouraging competition among streaming services.
"The ACCC considers the other free-to-air television networks, pay television providers, and online service providers will continue to have sufficient alternatives to allow them to obtain content that is attractive to their viewers," Sims said.
"Foxtel and Ten will continue to face competition from the remaining free-to-air networks, and streaming services are also likely to become increasingly important."
The government has also responded to the increasing popularity of streaming services by revealing draft exposure legislation that will see GST added to all digital products and services purchased online by Australians.
"This change will result in supplies of digital products, such as streaming or downloading of movies, music, apps, games, ebooks, as well as other services such as consultancy and professional services, receiving similar GST treatment whether they are supplied by a local or foreign supplier," the explanatory material [PDF] for the exposure draft says.
"When the GST was introduced in 2000, such transactions were relatively unusual, especially for consumers. However, cross-border supplies now form a large and growing part of Australian consumption.
"The growing importance of these types of transactions has highlighted the fact that the GST system was designed with a focus on Australian-based, rather than cross-border supplies ... This harms the integrity of the GST tax base and can disadvantage local suppliers."
The law governing GST on digital products, if passed, is set to come into effect on July 1, 2017.
Optus to ramp up video unit for sports coverage
Optus is set to embark on a hiring spree to populate its newly created video division that will take responsibility for distributing and developing the telco’s growing stable of content rights.
The telco has placed its head of consumer insights and former Foxtel and BSkyB executive Paul Rybicki in charge of the new unit and is preparing to make a “significant” investment to hire content developers and broadcast journalists to provide commentary and coverage for its portfolio of sporting broadcast rights, which include the English Premier League and cricket.
“We will hire quite a significant number of people but we are not ready to disclose that number right now,” Optus chief Allen Lew told The Weekend Australian.
“Having spent significant sums of money to acquire that (EPL) content, and having the rights from Cricket Australia for mobile, we have to make sure we have the right people to manage that portfolio of assets for us.
“So yes, we will be making a significant people investment to make sure we have the right style of people to look after that.”
Mr Lew said Optus would also enter the content creation game and develop a suite of pre- and post-game programs to bookend the broadcast of popular English Premier League games and cricket matches.
Aside from working on ways of bringing live EPL games into Australians’ homes, the telco is also developing technology that will broadcast the live stadium experience into homes as part of its new content offerings.
“It’s not just about showing live games, it’s also about creating something for pre-game viewing and after the game and making it very Australian,” Mr Lew said.
“We are looking at doing that and something even better than that. We will look at how we can use technology and use personalities to bring Australians who are sitting so far away from the UK into the ground, so that they can experience what it is like to be at the game.”
Optus’s aggressive pursuit of exclusive content rights forms the major plank of Mr Lew’s ambitious transformation of the nation’s No 2 telco to turn its big, dumb pipes of internet connectivity into an analytics and smarts machine capable of rivalling the world’s best content aggregators.
The telco’s move to grab cricket and football rights is the first of many deals Optus is looking to execute with local and international media companies in a bid to expand its portfolio of sports, movies and television content offerings to lure consumers to its mobile and fixed-line services.
The plan to sign content deals that can be offered across its partnerships with pay-TV platform Fetch TV and through subscription services such as Netflix will allow Optus to track viewing behaviours as well as bridge the generation gap.
Mr Lew’s strategy to reinvent Optus as a multimedia and connectivity hub is centred on one of the biggest problems facing telcos around the world.
As consumers continue to flock to smartphones with their fast computer processing power, access to hundreds of thousands of applications and photographic prowess telcos around the world are experiencing exponential growth in the data that flows through their mobile networks.
But there’s a catch. The telcos aren’t making profits commensurate with that data consumption. The problem is that while growth in network traffic is exploding, margins and earnings at the big telcos are not travelling on the same trajectory.
“We believe that in the case of Australia, sport is one of the last few bastions that allows us to aggregate huge numbers of people if we have the right content,” Mr Lew said.
MP & Silva distribute Premier League in APAC
MP & Silva continues its streak of securing top-flight football content, with the announcement of the English Premier League live audiovisual broadcast rights across all platforms, in East and Southeast Asia, including Live Matches and Clips Packages.
The international sports agency has secured a deal for the exclusive distribution rights of the Premier League in seven broadcasting territories, composed by 27 countries across Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Pacific Islands, Taiwan, Philippines and Mongolia for three seasons from 2016/17 to 2018/19.
Currently, 2.7 billion viewers around the world watch the English Premier League and the Asia and Oceania region makes up more than 38 per cent of that total figure.
Said Marco Auletta, MP & Silva’s Chief Executive Officer: “Given the star power attached to the English Premier League, we look forward to further strengthening the league’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region. We believe EPL’s fan base in these territories will continue to grow, and given the excitement over the signing of Japan International, Shinji Okazaki, to Leicester City, and South Korean Heung-Min Son to the Tottenham Hotspur, we can only expect this trend increasing.”
China to launch Dark Matter Satellite in mid-December
The Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) Satellite, developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), is expected to be launched at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in mid-December.
DAMPE, the first satellite in a CAS space science program, and its carrier Long March 2-D rocket left Shanghai Saturday, heading for Jiuquan in northwest China's Gansu Province.
The satellite and carrier rocket are fully prepared for blast-off after passing the inspection and approval of the CAS.
It will be the 26th mission for the Long March 2-D rocket.
DAMPE is one of the first four scientific satellites employed in the CAS space program. It will observe the direction, energy and electric charge of high-energy particles in space in search of dark matter.
DAMPE will have the widest observation spectrum and highest energy resolution of any dark matter probe in the world.
According to experts, DAMPE is designed for increased payload, with the scientific payload weighing 1,410 kg and the whole satellite weighing 1,850 kg.
The design helps cut down on the size and weight of the satellite and save launching costs.
ITU ‘save satellite spectrum for emergency services’
Major inter-governmental and private-sector organisations responsible for providing safety-of-life communications to millions of people have requested the national administrations of every region to preserve satellite spectrum for use in delivering mission-critical satellite services worldwide.
The unprecedented demonstration of support for satellite spectrum was made during a series of briefings held at the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU’s) World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), where the wireless industry is attempting to get access to satellite spectrum despite reports that previous efforts have already disrupted communications services with serious interference.
Included among those calling for safeguarding of satellite services were the United Nations World Food Program and Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the World Meteorological Organization, the World Broadcasting Unions, NetHope, the International Maritime Organization, and the Space Frequency Coordination Group, a group of space agencies from throughout the world.
In a joint statement issued by an international coalition of seven non-profit associations representing the global satellite communications sector, the show of support was strongly commended: “The high level of support from these organisations makes clear the importance of satellite communications in C band spectrum and how further disruption of safety-of-life services due to wireless interference is unacceptable.”
As governments consider whether any portion of the 3400-4200 MHz band (“C band”) should be identified for IMT, they have heard from the safety-of-life organisations during a series of briefings held for the inter-governmental groups of each major world region, including the Arab Spectrum Managers Group (ASMG), Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT), the Conference Europeenne de Postes et Telecommunications (CEPT), the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL), and the RCC & Commonwealth of Independent States.
“Some administrations may be under a misimpression,” the coalition statement continued. “It is not necessary to support IMT identification if they have already authorized WiMax or other terrestrial wireless services. An identification for IMT is not required to make WiMax or other authorisations comply retroactively with ITU rules. No ITU rule change is required at the WRC in order to enable national deployments of WiMax or other wireless service
ETSI releases new spec for HbbTV 2.0
ETSI has just released the latest specification on hybrid broadcast broadband TV (HbbTV), TS 102 796 V.1.3.1, which corresponds to HbbTV 2.0. The latest HbbTV release adds support for new capabilities including companion device support, HTML5 user experience and support for advanced video delivery features such as Ultra HD and High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) to enhance the consumer experience.
The HbbTV standard allows creation of TV services that combine broadcast and over-the-top content. This hybrid broadcast broadband TV standard creates a global open platform as an alternative to proprietary technologies and extends the user experience.
Mexico donates 7m digital TVs
Mexico’s government says it is in the process of distributing 7 million digital TV sets to poor and low-income families in the country. The move is part of a total of 9.7 million TV set promise designed to ensure that every Mexican home has access to digital signals.
The government says the most recent distribution covered the regions of Durango, Hidalgo, Zacatecas, Sinaloa, Sonora and Veracruz. This distribution means that 75 per cent of Mexicans will have access to digital TV, according to the country’s Deputy Communications Secretary Monica Aspe.
Analogue TV is scheduled to be switched off on December 31st this year.
Admitting that the distribution of TV sets and converter boxes has not been easy, the government oficial said they were making every effort to complete the task by January 1st.|
Hinduja Group’s HITS to be available on Thaicom 7
MUMBAI: Thaicom, one of Asia’s leading satellite operators, announced that its Thaicom 7 satellite is fully booked following an order from Grant Investrade Ltd (GIL).
GIL. a subsidiary of Hinduja Ventures Ltd, confirmed the order for the C-band transponders on the satellite, which it will use to provide digital cable TV services through its Headend-In-The-Sky (HITS) system.
The HITS service, branded Nxt Digital, will help the distribution fraternity smoothly transition to digital and allow customers to choose channels through a satellite multiplex across India.
“It is one of India’s national missions to roll out Digital Addressable Systems (DAS) of broadcasting all over the country and we believe ‘Nxt Digital’ is a significant step towards this goal,” said GIL, MD Tony D’Silva. “Thaicom is a trusted and experienced satellite provider which has played a vital role in this initiative and the substantial number of satellite transponders we have at the time of launch will continue to grow as we expand our portfolio.”
“We are proud to be able to contribute to India’s broadcast and media development and thank our Indian partners for their trust in us. This latest deal is particularly exciting for Thaicom as it marks an important milestone for us, not only in regards to Thaicom 7 now being 100 percent booked, but also in bringing our platform for content distribution to India which sets us in good stead for the launch of Thaicom 8,” said Thaicom CEO Paiboon Panuwattanawong.
Castle Media has been appointed as the technology program manager for Nxt Digital. It has been tasked with the design-to-delivery of the HITS service including setting up a state-of-the-art next generation broadcast facility and a robust back-end facility for SMS, CRM, Billing, CAS and other mission critical components and services.
“Thaicom 7 being a recently launched satellite exhibits strong parameters to facilitate a high-quality digital HITS service in India. We’ll continue to work closely with Thaicom to upscale our transponder requirements as our business grows over the next few years, on the back of a strong push by the government to make India a digital nation,” Castle Media ED Vynsley Fernandes added in parting.
Sunday, no update
Saturday, no update
Prime TV (New Zealand) is going HD in 2016 (no other details)
John Fellet interview by Throng website
From my Email
From the Dish
AsiaSat 5 100.5E 12522 V "TV 5 Monde Asia" has left .
NSS 6 95.0E 12535 V "BBC World News South Asia" has left
From asiatvro site
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Upgrades to help Optus play English Premier League Ball
Optus will spend tens of millions of dollars upgrading its fixed and mobile networks so it can broadcast English Premier League matches in high definition to as many homes and smartphones as possible.
Speaking to The Australian on the release of its half-year results, Optus chief executive Allen Lew said the upgrade of its network would cost less than $100 million and come from the $S1.9 billion ($1.88bn) that its parent Singtel has allocated it this year to boost its presence in Australia.
Optus shocked the broadcast industry this month when it snatched the Premier League broadcasting rights from News Corp’s Fox Sports in a three-year deal worth $189m.
But the telco faces many challenges before it will be able to offer a consumer-grade product to smartphone users and households by the next season’s kick-off in August next year.
“Although broadband penetration is high (in Australia) the ability to stream HD and 4K depends on the last mile and there are a significant number of homes … that won’t get the minimum speed required for HD. So we are working on how we can get Premier League in HD and 4K,” Mr Lew said.
Unlike other content such as on-demand TV and movies that can be stored and accessed from local data centres, the live nature of sporting events and the fluctuating audiences that tune in can cause congestion problems for internet providers that lack capacity and speeds to deliver high-quality streams.
“We will have to do some work to our existing networks to make sure that the streaming experience is what the Australian public expects. There will also be other networks that we use to get the EPL (to consumers),” Mr Lew said.
Until now, no specific details have been disclosed on how Optus would deliver the popular sporting code to homes, but Mr Lew said Optus was considering delivering its suite of content which also includes the mobile streaming rights to cricket and popular service Netflix across a multitude of platforms and devices.
This would include smart TVs, traditional free-to-air broadcasters and pay-TV platforms such as Foxtel and FetchTV. But he emphasised that the mobile platform would remain at the heart of any offer.
“We are talking to a lot of platforms and different platforms are coming to us including free-to-air,” he said.
“This is not about us being a pay-TV provider. For us it’s about using this content and the exclusivity to enhance our core mobile business. So whichever platform we put this content on has to result in it being beneficial to our core mobile business.”
Optus reported an 8.3 per cent lift in first-half profits as the company continued to grow its dominant mobiles business.
Net profit for the six months to September 30 climbed to $426m while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased 7.8 per cent to $1.35bn.
Optus’s mobile business provided the bulk of its growth, with revenue surging 13.3 per cent to $3.1bn despite the telco reporting a slight dip in its subscriber base, which fell by 20,000 to 9.36 million in the last three months.
The decline in mobile subscribers came from its less valuable prepaid customer base, which shed 45,000 in the quarter. The more lucrative post-paid base increased by 57,000.
The growth in Optus’s mobiles business underpinned a 9.3 per cent increase in total revenue to $4.61bn for the half. But while mobiles boomed, the telco’s fixed telephony business slid 9.8 per cent to $210m for the half. Revenue grew 3.7 per cent to $573m.
Optus’s business division rose 3 per cent rise to $777m.
Australian Netflix subs top 1m
There are now 2,677,000 Australians (14+) who have Netflix in the home, with the number of households with a Netflix subscription rising again in October to 1,039,000 (11.4 per cent), subscription VoD data from Roy Morgan Research shows.
For the majority of Netflix subscribers, this is their first time paying for TV. In the year preceding the arrival of Netflix, over seven in 10 Australians lived in a home without any paid TV service; as of October, this had declined to 58 per cent.
According to the research firm, the rise of SVoD, dominated by Netflix, is perhaps impacting Australians’ DVD and downloading habits. In the six months to September 2015, fewer Australians have been buying or renting DVDs or downloading TV shows or movies.
The findings also reveal that 20.6 per cent of Australians bought a DVD and 15.3 per cent rented one in an average three-month period in the six months to September 2014down to 19.3 per cent and 12.4 per cent respectively during the six months after Netflix launched. The rate of downloading TV or movies has also declined: from 10.8 per cent a year ago to 9.1 per cent now.
According to Tim Martin, General Manager Media, Roy Morgan Research, the trends suggest it may not be long before the majority of Australian homes are paying for TV content through one or more Pay or Subscription TV providers. “The impacts of Netflix, as well as Foxtel’s broadening range of options and now Telstra TV, will be felt across multiple areas: from the reach of commercial television and how much time we spend watching free-to-air channels, to our internet data limits and uptake of the NBN, sales of DVDs and Blu-Rays, and our attitudes to what content we’ll pay for and what we expect to get for free.
Australians have been notorious for their high levels of illegal downloading. While our figures of course include legal downloads, it is notable that the younger, tech-savvy people most likely to download TV shows and movies have been the quickest to subscribe to Netflixand the overall rate of downloading has declined.
A year ago, just over one in five 14-24 year-olds downloaded TV shows or movies in an average monthtoday, around 22 per cent of this group lives in a Netflix home, and the rate of downloading has fallen sharply to 15 per cent.”
Speedcast Acquires ST Teleport to Strengthen Business Role in Asia Pacific
Hong Kong-headquartered SpeedCast International Limited (SpeedCast), a leading global satellite telecommunications service provider, disclosed Friday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire ST Teleport, a leading satellite communications services provider based in Singapore. The acquisition includes ST Teleport’s world class teleport facilities and data centre infrastructure in Singapore, a major hub in Asia for global maritime and oil & gas customers. The acquisition enables SpeedCast to remain, more than ever, the partner of choice for satellite communications in Asia-Pacific and further strengthens the Company’s position in both the maritime and energy sectors.
Established in 1994, ST Teleport is the leading independent provider of satellite services in Singapore. ST Teleport focuses on maritime, energy, enterprise and media verticals and serves a strong base of local and international customers. As part of its work servicing offshore companies, it has obtained various certifications for Quality, Environmental, Health and Safety standards and has a team of experienced and certified engineers supporting its customer base. ST Teleport prides itself on its ability to connect businesses seamlessly and reliably through a diverse network of satellite systems, and terrestrial network infrastructures.
Singapore is widely recognized as a strategic hub for communications services in Asia-Pacific, and in particular for the energy and maritime sectors. With this new acquisition, SpeedCast significantly strengthens its presence in Singapore to serve its growing customer base there. It also extends SpeedCast’s global network with a state-of-the-art facility and infrastructure in a strategic location in Asia. The infrastructure further complements the teleports acquired by SpeedCast earlier this year in Australia through the NewSat acquisition. SpeedCast’s customers will benefit from being able to land their traffic in Singapore, co-locate equipment there, leverage a stock of spare parts, and take advantage of an offshore certified engineering team, as well as a 24/7 customer support center. The associated lab will also allow customers to test applications and do live proofs of concept on site.
ST Teleport’s hybrid satellite-fibre infrastructure supports access to more than 22 satellites and direct connections to fibre switches in Asia and in the U.S., facilitating an extensive reach in global content and data distribution. Services for maritime and oil & gas customers represent a significant percentage of ST Teleport’s business, and will further enhance SpeedCast’s position in these two important sectors.
“The acquisition of ST Teleport takes our capabilities in the strategic hub of Singapore to a completely different level. This is very important for our growth in Asia-Pacific in maritime and energy,” said Pierre-Jean Beylier, CEO of SpeedCast. “Our customers will be able to leverage an impressive infrastructure and about 50 communications and IT experts to meet their business needs. ST Teleport represented a significant opportunity, as it is one of only two major teleport infrastructures in Singapore, at the heart of our core Asian maritime and energy markets.”
“This acquisition is very complementary to both parties, and combining the strengths of SpeedCast and ST Teleport will allow us to present our customers new compelling solutions for their satellite communications needs,” Beylier added.
The acquisition of ST Teleport is subject to regulatory approval. This is the fifth acquisition announced by SpeedCast in 2015.
China's satellite expo opens
BEIJING - A satellite exposition opened on Thursday in Beijing, displaying more than 6,000 new products and academic achievements.
The three-day exposition, Satellite Application China 2015, will attract nearly a hundred specialists, scholars and entrepreneurs from the aerospace and satellite application industry.
Products to be exhibited include a test communication satellite co-designed by private companies and universities, personal outdoor terminals supported by BeiDou navigation and a new domestic-made satellite communication system.
Ran Chengqi, director of the China Satellite Navigation Office, said BeiDou navigation has already been applied in the regional network.
BeiDou services are expected to cover most countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road by 2018, and offer global coverage by 2020, Ran added.
The exposition is held by the China Users Association for Satellite Communications, Broadcasting and Television and the Electronics and Information Industry Sub-Council of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
China Eastern taps Panasonic for aircraft connectivity
China Eastern Airlines launched inflight connectivity on international flights with Panasonic Avionics. The Chinese carrier installed Panasonic's eXConnect inflight connectivity system on its newest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
Panasonic Avionics' eXConnect uses the company’s Ku-band satellite network to deliver broadband connectivity to aircraft flying all over the world. This Wi-Fi connectivity service enables passengers to access a wide range of services including the internet, email, and their favorite social media sites.
The service will initially be offered on the airline's services from Shanghai to New York, Los Angeles and Toronto, and rolled out on other routes including San Francisco and Vancouver in December. It will also be offered on the airline's domestic services including Shanghai to Beijing, Guangzhou, Kunming, Chengdu and Chongqing. By the end of 2015, inflight connectivity will be available on 20 of China Eastern's aircraft. Almost 1,000 aircraft are now installed with Panasonic's eXConnect system, with over 2,500 commitments in total.
CASBAA Announces Thirteen-Strong Board of Directors
New Directors and Member Companies Further Broaden the CASBAA Community
HONG KONG, Nov 12, 2015 - (ACN Newswire) - Since its inception in 1991, CASBAA has welcomed an ever-growing group of members, showcasing the diverse industries and areas that make up Asia Pacific Broadcasting. Now, following its AGM on 29 October, CASBAA has announced its most extensive group of Directors to date, with many of the regional industry's leading players represented.
A lineup of 13 preeminent Directors will form the new Board: Marcel Fenez (PwC), Amit Malhotra (Walt Disney), Andrew Jordan (Eutelsat), Bill Wade (AsiaSat), Janice Lee (PCCW), Joe Welch (21st Century Fox), Jonathan Spink (HBO), Mark Patterson (GroupM), Ricky Ow (Turner), Alexandre Muller (TV5MONDE), Frank Rittman (Motion Picture Association), Sompan Charumilinda (TrueVisions), and Todd Miller (Celestial Tiger Entertainment).
"We are very fortunate to have such a remarkable group of multichannel TV industry professionals on the CASBAA Board," said outgoing Chairman Marcel Fenez. "I would like to extend a personal thank you to our long-standing Board members, and a heartfelt welcome to our new Directors. Together, our mission is to lead the Association for the benefit of the CASBAA members and the industry as a whole. Thanks to their combined experience, insight, and dedication, the future of CASBAA looks bright under their direction."
CASBAA also welcomed two new Corporate Members to its roster. Satellite-to-mobile internet multimedia provider, CMMB Vision is a cutting-edge company employing L-band geo-satellite with converged mobile broadcasting technology to deliver IP-based video, audio and data content directly to mobile users.
Also joining the Association is cable and broadcasting network giant 21st Century Fox, home to the premier portfolio of cable, broadcast, film, pay TV and satellite assets across the globe.
"It is a delight to welcome these new members, who bring with them unparalleled experience and reach in the broadcasting industry. I am confident they will prove to be invaluable additions to the CASBAA community," said CASBAA CEO Christopher Slaughter.
In a final piece of news, to encourage an even broader range of industry professionals to join the CASBAA community, the Association has added a new membership category. As the industry develops, new players are emerging, with smaller start-ups and entrepreneurial organisations providing invaluable services to the industry. In order to encourage active participation with the broader CASBAA membership, the new category, Associate Membership, is open to firms with fewer than fifty employees worldwide.
CASBAA is the Asia Pacific region's largest non-profit media association, serving the multi-channel audio-visual content creation and distribution industry. Established in 1991, CASBAA has grown with the industry to include digital multichannel television, content, platforms, advertising, and video delivery. Encompassing some 500 million connections within a footprint across the region, CASBAA works to be the authoritative voice for multichannel TV; promoting even-handed and market-friendly regulation, IP protection and revenue growth for subscription and advertising, while promoting global best practices. For more information, visit www.casbaa.com
Contact: Cynthia Wong
Member Relations & Marketing Director
Tel: +852 3929 1711
Express AMU1 satellite has left Airbus Defence and Space
(11 November 2015) Airbus Defence and Space, the world’s second largest space company, has successfully completed the final integration and testing of the Express AMU1 satellite for the Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC).
The satellite left the Airbus Defence and Space facilities in Toulouse, France, and is now in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, in preparation for itslaunch on a Proton vehicle at the end of this year.
Express AMU1 is a state-of-the-art high-capacity telecommunications satellite with up to 70 transponders. The satellite will increase the in-orbit capacity operated by RSCC, providing coverage for broadcast services in the European part of the Russian Federation in Ku and Ka bands. The multibeam Ka-band antennas feature a highly innovative feed array antenna technology developed by Airbus Defence and Space.
The satellite will also ensure service continuity and growth for broadcast markets developed by Eutelsat in sub-Saharan Africa as Eutelsat 36C.
Based on the highly reliable Eurostar E3000 platform, Express AMU1 has a launch mass of 5,900 kg and a spacecraft power in excess of 15 kW. Its design lifetime is 15 years in orbit. Express AMU1 is the 70th satellite of the highly successful Eurostar series, the third to leaveAirbus Defence and Space since last month, and it will be the fifth scheduled for launch this year.
Airbus Defence and Space
Airbus Defence and Space is a division of Airbus Group formed by combining the business activities of Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military. The new division is Europe’s number one defence and space enterprise, the second largest space business worldwide and among the top ten global defence enterprises. It employs more than 38,000 employees generating revenues of approximately €13 billion per year.
Sling TV offers legal alternative to TVpad
In the wake of federal court action and subsequent enforcement efforts to shut down the distribution of pirated content via the “TVpad” streaming device, Sling TV has announced a promotion to help connect US-based fans of Chinese television with a legal, reliable source of popular programming.
Earlier this year, DISH Network (of which Sling TV is a subsidiary), China Central Television (CCTV), China International Communications (CICC), and TVB USA filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributors of the TVpad device for allegedly setting up a pirate broadcasting network designed to illegally stream CCTV and TVB channels using peer-to-peer technology.
As a result, the US District Court for the Central District of California issued a preliminary injunction to halt the illegal distribution of CCTV and TVB content on TVpad. The preliminary injunction prohibits dealers from distributing, advertising, marketing or promoting TVpad devices that deliver CCTV’s or TVB’s copyrighted content. The injunction also prohibits Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from providing web, server, or file hosting services used to illegally distribute Chinese programming. ISPs have begun complying, terminating internet connections and thereby disrupting the TVpad device.
To help former TVpad users find an affordable, reliable and legal way to watch the Chinese shows they enjoy, Sling TV recently announced a new promotion for popular Chinese programming. Under the promotion, customers can get Sling’s “Great Wall” and “Jade” packages for one year, plus a Roku 2, for just $99. Sling TV brings consumers content from 30 popular Chinese channels, including TVBHD, TVB1, TVB2, TVBe, TVB Drama and top CCTV channels. The promotion is available at sling.com/tvpad1 (Chinese language) or sling.com/tvpad2 (English language).
“The court took an important step to protect consumers from paying for a product that delivers content obtained illegally, and we are pleased by the response we’ve seen from ISPs who have complied with our enforcement efforts,” said Chris Kuelling, senior vice president of International Programming for Sling TV. “Together with our programming partners, we will not stand for piracy, whether via TVpad or another device, and we want consumers to know they have a reliable, affordable and legal option through Sling TV to obtain the shows they want to see.”
“The injunction against TVpad is a major success in our efforts against pirates who distribute our television programs without authorisation and for their own monetary gain,” said Samuel Tsang, vice president, Operations for TVB USA. “The public should not be misled. Operators of pirate boxes do not have copyright licenses from TVB to distribute TVB programs in the United States. Users may be paying hundreds of dollars for a pirate box and hundreds more to upgrade the hardware to continue using the device. We obtained an injunction against TVpad and we intend to take strong action against other pirate boxes as well. We will be relentless in our efforts to shut down devices that illegally distribute TVB programming.”
“Consumers expect to watch the content they purchased, but when that content comes from an illegal source, they end up ripped off, frustrated and missing the shows they enjoy,” said Chunguang Lu, President of CICC. “The court’s action will help prevent consumers from being exploited, while also protecting the copyrighted works of CCTV and other programmers.”
CCTV is the largest television broadcaster in mainland China, and TVB USA’s parent company, Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB), is the largest television broadcaster in Hong Kong. DISH holds certain rights to transmit CCTV and TVB television programming in the United States.
Turkmenistan plans to launch another satellite
Turkmenistan plans to launch the second space satellite into the orbit, said the message from the country’s government.
This will open great opportunities for scientific researches aimed at using space for peaceful purposes, according to the message.
The announcement was made during the official visit of Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov to China Nov.11-12.
“Our country is ready to consider the proposals of Chinese companies specializing in this sphere,” said the government’s message.
Turkmenistan’s first satellite TurkmenAlem 52°E was launched into the orbit on April 28, 2015 from the Cape Canaveral (Florida, US).
The first satellite is equipped with three antennas - the eastern, northern and MENA (Middle East and North Africa), which cover tens of countries in Europe and Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa. (Cihan/Trendaz)
ITU Moves to Enable Civil Aircraft Tracking by Satellite
It was tasked with determining technical requirements for a tracking system capable of providing complete surveillance of global airspace.
The UN’s aviation arm, the worldwide Civil Aviation Organization, has set a deadline for November 2016 for airlines to install tracking technology.
Representatives from more than 160 countries chose to set aside a radio frequency for the satellite tracking of planes at the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), organised by the UN’s global Telecommunication Union (ITU).
A United Nations meeting has cleared the way for satellite real-time tracking of airliners, a decision that was spurred by the disappearance of the MH370 aircraft in March 2014 with 239 people on board.
The federal government has welcomed a landmark agreement on the use of satellites to track flights, as part of a concerted effort to avoid a repeat of the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
“The frequency band 1087.7-1092.3 MHz is now being utilized for the transmission of ADS-B signals from aircraft to terrestrial stations within line-of-sight”.
The agreement at the World Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, could pave the way for 100 per cent flight coverage, compared with just 30 per cent today. The new initiative may help to eliminate the cases of missing planes that have plagued the aircraft industry in recent years.
The fate of MH370 is still unknown, and its disappearance led to a debate about the need for better flight tracking should such an event occur in the future.
The major issue is that the aircraft completely disappeared from ground-based radar and its flight path has never been accurately discovered. In July, a wing component was found on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean.
British satellite communications firm Inmarsat, which has been working on an alternative system to provide airlines with flight tracking capabilities, said: “We support any improvement in aviation safety… and look forward to further details on how this system will be put into operation”. The satellite tracking would send data to air traffic controllers every 15 minutes. In the U.S., most planes now use a tracking system called ACARS, for Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System.
Space rains junk on Spain
It's raining space junk in Spain.
Rocket fuel tanks, chunks of satellites or something else entirely... In just over one week, three mysterious objects have fallen from the sky onto the country's southeast, prompting bomb disposal agents and experts in hazmat suits to rush over as puzzled locals looked on.
First up a strange black beehive-like ball was found in Mula, a town in the region of Murcia last week.
Then at the weekend, a similar-looking, smaller object was discovered in Calasparra, just 30 kilometres (19 miles) away in the same region.
"In the early morning of the day when the first object was found, witnesses said they saw between six and seven balls of fire falling from the sky," Maria Jose Gomariz, spokeswoman for Calasparra town hall, said Thursday.
"Maybe there were just two balls of fire and it looked like there were more... or some may have fallen in areas where no one goes."
The discoveries sparked a stir, prompting special agents to rush over and inspect the objects, but in both cases, police determined there was no radioactivity and no danger to human health.
The mysterious space junk was transported to the city of Cartagena where there is a national vocational training centre that specialises in chemistry.
"They could be auxiliary fuel tanks belonging to a rocket," said a source at Murcia's Guardia Civil, the police force that was called to the scene.
- Celestial garbage -
A third object was discovered on Tuesday in Elda in the neighbouring region of Valencia, where a farmer found a long, metal-like object in his field and called the police.
This time, special agents turned up but after determining the item did not present any danger, they took it to the police station in nearby Alicante.
"It looks like a piece from an aerospace vehicle, but not a commercial plane. It could be a piece of satellite or something similar," a spokesman for Alicante police told AFP.
According to NASA, more than 500,000 pieces of debris are currently orbiting Earth, and bits of space junk plummet to our planet every year.
"Houston, we have a problem," quipped an editorial in Spain's El Pais daily.
"Some measures may have been taken to tackle the problem, but we're far from a solution," it said.
"Not only is it expensive, but it's also difficult to devise a garbage collection system to go sweep in space."
India looks to recover $672m penalty
Last month an international arbitration court awarded $672 million to Indian satellite facility company Devas. The award was judged as compensation for lost contracts with its then partner the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Now it seems the Indian government is seeking any sort of loophole in which to avoid paying the penalty.
One idea reportedly under consideration (according to The Times of India) is to hit Devas with official fines equal to the sum awarded for alleged breaches of India’s tough Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) which covers money laundering rules and regulations.
The news report says that India’s official Enforcement Directorate had investigated Devas and found certain payments that were “in violation” of the FEMA rules.
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World nations reach landmark deal on using satellites to track flights
World nations struck a landmark deal Wednesday on using satellites to track flights, which could prove key to preventing a repeat of the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370 in March 2014.
Countries reached an accord at a conference hosted by the UN's International Telecommunication Union (ITU) that aimed to improve on the current civilian flight-tracking system which relies on ground-based radars.
"In reaching this agreement... ITU has responded in record time to the expectations of the global community on the major issue concerning global flight tracking," the organisation's secretary general, Houlin Zhao, said in a statement.
The ITU statement made clear the deal was driven by the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 which was lost en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people onboard.
That tragedy "spurred worldwide discussions on global flight tracking and the need for coordinated action," the organisation said.
Representatives of more than 160 nations attended the talks, known as the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC).
It was tasked with determining the technical requirements for a tracking system capable of providing complete surveillance of global airspace.
The ITU said a frequency band previously used to transmit signals from aircraft to terrestrial stations would be enabled to send transmissions from aircraft to satellites.
This change will enable "real-time tracking of aircraft anywhere in the world," said Francois Rancy, director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau.
The new system is expected to be fully implemented in 2017, but Rancy noted that most planes already have the necessary equipment, so compliance will not pose major logistical hurdles.
US Ambassador Decker Anstrom praised the deal, saying it would "enable better tracking and location of aircraft that otherwise could disappear from terrestrial tracking systems."
The UN's International Civil Aviation Organization has previously voiced support for a proposal that would make it obligatory for airlines to track their aircraft using a system that gives its location at 15-minute intervals.
The ground-based radars currently in use can track a plane but coverage is sketchy and fades when aircraft are out at sea or they are flying below a certain altitude, shortcomings that intensified the need to develop a better system.
Finding consensus on other agenda items at the WRC could prove tougher however, including discussions on using existing satellites to provide coordinates to civilian unmanned aircraft systems, or drones.
Countries are also discussing whether to shift the way radio spectrum is used by different radio transmission technologies and applications.
The United States among others wants to see a reallocation of a significant amount of spectrum for mobile technologies and emerging 5G mobile networks.
But this is a touchy subject, as most of the high-quality spectrum is today used by broadcasters, and striking a deal by the end of the conference on November 27 is not guaranteed.
Singtel secures Premier League rights
A week after Optus won the rights to broadcast the EPL in Australia, its parent company Singtel has secured the same for Singapore.
Singapore's largest telecommunications provider Singtel has secured the rights to broadcast the next three seasons of the English Premier League from August 2016 for the third time running.
The deal, announced on Monday for an undisclosed amount, will see Singtel broadcast the most-watched football league worldwide across its pay TV offering Singtel TV and the Singtel TV Go app for flexible viewing across smart devices.
"We are delighted to bring the Barclays Premier League to Singaporeans for another three seasons," Yuen Kuan Moon, CEO of the Consumer Singapore group at Singtel, said.
"Singtel TV fans can be assured that their football experience stays uninterrupted, at rates that remain affordable."
Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore welcomed the bid from Singtel, saying the telco offers "excellent" access to match coverage.
"We are very pleased that Singtel has again chosen to invest in Premier League broadcasting rights in Singapore," Scudamore said.
"Singtel currently provides excellent coverage of the Barclays Premier League to fans across the country, and we look forward to working with them for another three seasons."
Singtel has successfully secured the Premier League broadcasting rights for Singapore since the 2010-11 season. However, as a consequence of using its exclusive rights in 2010 to drive up subscription costs, the government passed a regulation in July 2011 mandating that pay TV providers cross-carry content in order to prevent high prices from a lack of competition.
Euro 2012 was subsequently shared between both Singaporean pay TV operators as a result of this regulation, despite rival telco StarHub winning the exclusive rights at the time.
When Singtel again won the rights to air three seasons of the Premier League in 2013, content regulator Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) forced it to likewise share the rights with StarHub's own pay TV platform under Singapore's cross-carriage rule
"Following a thorough examination of the agreement between Singtel and FAPL [Football Assocation Premier League], and the information provided by Singtel and relevant parties, MDA concluded that the agreement contained certain clauses which prevent or restrict, or are likely to prevent or restrict, the same content from being acquired or otherwise obtained for transmission on selected platforms in Singapore by other pay TV retailers," MDA said in a statement in April 2013.
"These restrictions therefore trigger the cross-carriage measure, which became effective on August 1, 2011 ... pay TV retailers that have acquired any exclusive content ... must widen the distribution of such content by offering it to other subscribers."
The Singapore government rejected Singtel's appeals on the matter, ordering Singtel to cross-carry its Premier League content with StarHub.
StarHub then began offering a SG$30 a month rebate to customers, capped at a total of SG$600, for fans who cross-carry the content on both platforms. The resulting price for StarHub customers was SG$29.90 a month to subscribe to Premier League content.
"Since the beginning, our aim was to bring the Premier League and other football properties to as many Singaporeans as possible," Singtel's Yuen claimed on Monday.
"Football is for everyone, and we intend to work with all relevant parties to make sure fans get access to the best League experience."
Singtel broadcasts multiple football competitions, including the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League, the FA Cup, the Capital One Cup, and the Italian Serie A.
Singtel's subsidiary telco Optus last week likewise won the exclusive Australian broadcast rights to the Premier League for the next three seasons beginning August 2016, taking the league away from pay TV provider Foxtel's Fox Sports, which had long held the rights.
In what Optus CEO Allen Lew called "a great win", the telco has the rights to live broadcast all 380 Premier League games in every season until mid-2019 across home broadband and mobile, with Lew saying it confirms Optus' commitment to providing streaming and media content.
"This is another significant step in our strategy to become a mobile-led multimedia company," the chief executive said.
"We are dedicated to delivering the best domestic and international entertainment for our customers. With 930 million followers worldwide, the Premier League is one of the most sought-after sports properties for content providers."
Scudamore also welcomed the undisclosed successful bid from Optus, saying he is looking forward to working with a "multifaceted" telco.
"We are extremely pleased that Optus has chosen to invest in our broadcasting rights for the three seasons 2016/17 to 2018/19," Scudamore said.
"They have an excellent track record as a multifaceted telecommunications company in Australia, and we look forward to working with them to make all the best Premier League content available to our fans across the country."
Lew told ZDNet earlier this year that Optus had developed a three-year strategy for media and entertainment.
"I think you've seen us starting to move away from being very mobile focused to one that is about integrating communications and entertainment for customers, regardless of where they are," he said.
Lew, who said at the time that he is an avid viewer of the English Premier League, noted that in the US, customers pay directly for sports viewing rather than signing up for entire pay TV subscriptions.
"A lot of these sporting codes are going direct to customers. The most advanced market for that is the US. You don't have to have a paid subscription to watch those sports in the US," he said.
"I think that is going to disrupt the pay TV model."
Optus has offered unmetered access to Netflix from its launch date in Australia in a bid to secure more customers, and last month announced that it will also be throwing a free six-month Netflix subscription into its entertainment bundles for home broadband customers. The bundles include unlimited data and unlimited national landline calls, as well as the Optus TV 1TB set-top box with Fetch.
"Customers tell us they want an easy and flexible streaming experience that allows them to watch what they want and how they want, without the worry of frustrating data limits," said Vicki Brady, MD of Marketing and Product at Optus.
Partnering with Netflix was a straightforward choice for Optus, Lew said in April.
"Entertainment was the low-hanging fruit," he said.
"Pay TV penetration is low -- 30 percent. We think there is opportunity for 70 percent of homes, particularly those who are not big sports fans, to come up with a much stronger media package that is about video on demand.
"That's what we've done with Fetch box and integrating Netflix into the Fetch box."
Optus declined to say whether its Premier League offering would be provided on the Fetch Optus TV platform, or to clarify the subscription cost.
Similarly, in New Zealand, IPTV provider Coliseum won the broadcast rights to the Premier League in June 2013, taking them off incumbent pay TV provider Sky TV.
Telco Spark then purchased 50 percent of Coliseum in December 2014 to broadcast the Premier League through joint venture Lightbox Sport from mid-2015 for a subscription cost of NZ$200 per season.
"This partnership looks to simplify the crowded online TV marketplace. By joining forces, we will be giving customers a greater breadth and depth of choice and a more compelling viewing experience," said Lightbox CEO Kym Niblock.
"Both Lightbox and Coliseum Sports Media already give Kiwis greater choice over how they watch TV online, and both have proven the ability to secure top quality content -- but together, our combined buying power will make us an even more formidable force in the market."
Industry analyst Ovum on Tuesday released research saying that almost one fifth of pay TV subscriptions globally are now provided by telcos. 177 million pay TV connections were owned or controlled by telcos during 2015, up from 140 million in 2014, accounting for 19 percent of the total worldwide pay TV customer base.
Ovum has forecast telco-provided IPTV pay TV services to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 4 percent until 2020, to reach approximately 210.4 million customers.
"The growing share of 'traditional' TV platforms within the telco TV base reflects a recent shift towards a global consolidation of pay TV operations, in which telcos are playing a significant part," said Ovum Consumer Telecoms principal analyst Jonathan Doran.
"While the flurry of M&A activity has boosted numbers of telco TV connections over cable and satellite, IPTV is also still growing, both organically and via gradual migration from traditional platforms. The choice of delivery technologies is a strategic decision that will vary according to each operator's position within a given market."
Optus' main rival Telstra has also been predicting increasing telco involvement in the media landscape.
Telstra last month launched its video-streaming device Telstra TV to provide home broadband customers with access to streaming services Netflix, Presto, and Stan; as well as catch-up services SBS on Demand, Plus7, and 9Jumpin; and Foxtel content.
Joe Pollard, chief marketing officer and group executive of Media, outlined Telstra's plans to become a media company as well as a telco.
"The next wave of media ecosystem disruption is coming from telcos and media companies coming together," she said.
"They're beginning to integrate, be overtaken by each other, so what we are seeing is the need for world-class content with world-class distribution mechanisms -- ie, the power of a great network -- and scale to deliver the next wave of shareholder value. So what we're seeing around the world is telcos becoming media companies, and media companies becoming telcos."
Intelsat picks ILS Proton launch vehicle for 5 satellites
International Launch Services (ILS) announced a multi-launch agreement with Intelsat for five ILS Proton missions through 2023 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The agreement is designed to provide Intelsat with increased flexibility in its fleet management and the necessary launch schedule assurance that it requires. Yet to be designated, the five satellites will be launched using the Proton Breeze M launch vehicle, manufactured by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center (Khrunichev), the majority owner of ILS. Proton launched 407 missions since its maiden flight in 1965. Under the auspices of ILS, there have been 91 ILS Proton missions launched for global commercial satellite operators.
Thales Alenia Space to Build Bangabandhu Telecommunication Satellite for Bangladesh
SINGAPORE, Nov. 12, 2015 (Antara/PRNewswire) -- Thales Alenia Space announced today that it has signed a contract with BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission) to build the Bangabandhu telecommunications satellite, successfully winning the contract against an international field of competitors. This satellite will narrow the digital divide, taking broadcasting and telecommunication services to rural areas and introducing profitable services, including direct-to-home services, across the country and over the region.
As the prime programme contractor of this turnkey system, Thales Alenia Space is charged with the design, production, testing and the delivery in orbit of the satellite.
This satellite is based on the flight proven heritage of Thales Alenia Space with 81 Spacebus already ordered and more than 600 cumulated years in orbit. Built on the upgraded Spacebus 4000B2 platform, Bangabandhu will be fitted with 26 Ku-Band and 14 C-Band transponders. The satellite's coverage zone encompasses Bangladesh and the surrounding region. This system will offer capacity in Ku-Band over Bangladesh and its territorial waters off the Bay of Bengal, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Indonesia and will also provide capacity in C-Band over the whole region.
Thales Alenia Space will also take charge of the ground segment, which will leverage the SpaceOps tools for mission planning and monitoring. It includes two ground facility buildings gathering Satellite Control and a Network Operations Center based on the SpaceGate global solution. Spectra Engineers Ltd., Thales' partner in Bangladesh, is in charge of the civil work of the ground facilities.
To be launched in 2017, Bangladesh's first satellite will be positioned at 119.1 degree East longitude.
"Thales Alenia Space is proud to have been selected by the BTRC for the first iconic Bangladeshi telecom satellite. This satellite, proudly identified with the nation's founding father Bangabandhu, is a key milestone for Bangladesh's country telecommunications development and a fantastic support to the national economic growth and recognition in Asia. Thales Alenia Space is honored to be associated with the country's great expansion plan," said Jean Loic Galle, CEO of Thales Alenia Space.
"The contract for this telecommunications satellite signed with Thales Alenia Space, the key European player in space telecommunication, marks a major turning point in the history of Bangladesh, not only reducing the digital divide, but also generating business development and creating jobs," said Md Golam Razzaque, Bangabandhu, Project Director of BTRC. "We hope to carry out the launch on the 46th anniversary of our country's Victory Day, which will be on December 16th 2017."
About Thales Alenia Space
Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%), is a key European player in space telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, exploration and orbital infrastructures. Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio form the two parent companies' "Space Alliance", which offers a complete range of services and solutions. Because of its unrivaled expertise in dual (civil/military) missions, constellations, flexible payloads, altimetry, meteorology and high-resolution optical and radar instruments, Thales Alenia Space is the natural partner to countries that want to expand their space program. The company posted consolidated revenues in excess of 2 billion euros in 2014, and has 7,500 employees in eight countries. www.thalesaleniaspace.com
Thales Alenia Space Press Contacts:
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 74 06
SA leads Africa's pay-TV market
SA's pay-TV market is dominated by a single, entrenched player, MultiChoice, with its DSTV offering.
Although dominated by a single player, SA leads Africa's pay-TV market with 35.8% of the continent's total market share.
This is according to a recent study done by telecom, TV and media business market research firm, Dataxis. It notes total pay-TV subscriptions across Africa amounted to 15.9 million as of Q2 2015, an increase of 18% over the 13.4 million recorded in the same period last year.
Dataxis tracks all pay-tv operators in all markets worldwide. "We compile subscription numbers based on publically available information from listed operators, national regulators, government agencies and equipment vendors," says Gavin Patterson, research director at Dataxis.
Where information is not publically available, the firm provides market analysis based on primary or secondary research of operators, national regulators, government agencies and equipment vendors.
The top five pay-TV markets account for 65.4% of total African pay-tv subscriptions, says Dataxis, adding these are SA (35.8%), Nigeria (14.5%), Angola (6.5%), Tanzania (4.4%), and Kenya (4.2%).
SA's pay-TV market is dominated by a single, entrenched player, MultiChoice, with its DSTV offering. According to Naspers' financial results in March 2015, DSTV has 5.4 million subscribers in SA.
Meanwhile, On Digital Media (ODM) whose StarSat pay-TV service was expected to create some rivalry for DSTV is still limping along. This week, the Independent Communications Authority of SA approved the transfer of a network licence from ODM to StarTimes Media.
About 65% of the 13 million homes with TV in SA rely exclusively on free-to-air broadcasting services.
"South Africa has the largest number of subscriptions due to a combination of factors, including population size, electricity penetration, a relatively developed broadcast (TV) industry, strong regulation, and various economic factors," says Patterson.
He notes the main growth drivers for pay-TV uptake in Africa are different from market to market based on a number of different factors, including terrestrial free-to-air network penetration; deregulation of the terrestrial free-to-air market; competition in the terrestrial free-to-air market; availability of electricity supply; and affordability and other economic factors.
"In general, however, satellite platforms have seen the majority of net additions due to limitations of terrestrial free-to-air network penetration as well as competition in the terrestrial free-to-air market."
According to Dataxis, direct to home (DTH) is still the dominant pay-TV platform across the region, with 12.6 million subscriptions at the end of June, an increase of 17% over the 10.8 million at the end of June 2014.
However, it says, DTH market share fell slightly from 80% to 79% over the period, while its share of actual growth was down to 74%.
It adds digital terrestrial television (DTT) is the fastest growing platform up 31% from 1.7 million to 2.2 million and increasing its overall market share from 13% in Q2 2014 to 14% Q2 2015. Approximately 22% of all new subscriptions over the period were to DTT platforms.
"With recent moves to digital migration, DTT is now seeing the largest growth," says Patterson. In SA, the digital migration process has already kicked off in the Square Kilometre Array area of Kai Garib Municipality in the Northern Cape.
However, the process may be delayed after a court ruling by the Pretoria High Court that free-to-air broadcaster Etv can appeal government's DTT policy to the Supreme Court of Appeal.
The main disadvantage of DTH is fading of the signal due to rains. Heavy rains may result into outage for a few minutes in the DTH signal. Meanwhile, DTT is an implementation of digital technology to provide a greater number of channels and/or better quality of picture and sound using aerial broadcasts to a conventional antenna instead of a satellite dish or cable connection.
Dataxis research also saw IPTV subscriptions increased 24% from 250 000 to 310 000, with multichannel multipoint distribution services up 10% to 460 000 and cable seeing just 4% growth to 270 000.
Looking ahead, Dataxis forecasts 27.14 million pay-TV subscriptions at the end of 2018, with DTH accounting for 68% of the total, DTT 26%, IPTV 3%, MMDS 2% and cable just 1%.
India makes changes to FDI rules
India’s government has approved raising the limit on inward foreign investment in its media sector.
The limits, for direct investment in news and current affairs TV channels, rise from 26 per cent to 49 per cent.
However, for direct investments by foreign entities in broadcast distribution outfits, including MSOs and local cable operators, as well as DTH, teleport and other related businesses, the limits rise to 100 per cent.
For non-News (general entertainment) channels, the limits are also raised to 100 per cent.
The 49 per cent limits are granted automatically. Higher levels of foreign participation are allowed but only via government approval.
The plans had already won support of the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI).
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Foxtel on the run from SVOD field
Foxtel announced yesterday it is giving its high paying subscribers free SVOD (steaming video on demand) via the Presto offering.
With the SVOD field of playersNetflix, Presto and Stanbaying on Foxtel’s heels, this feels like a desperate bid to entice Foxtel’s high paying customers to remain on a vintage service.
Earlier this year research firm Roy Morgan reported that Netflix in Australia has 10 times the number of subscribers in Australia than its closest competitor, Presto.
Netflix has 1,039,000 subscribers in 408,000 households around the country and Presto has 97,000 customers in Australia. They are followed by Stan with 91,000 customers, then Quickflix at 43,000 and Foxtel Play at 40,000 subscribers.
Presto for Foxtel Platinum customers aims to widen Presto’s availability as it continues its march across platforms and comes on the heels of last month’s arrival of Presto on the newly launched Telstra TV.
Presto brings an impressive selection of streamed on-demand TV and movie shows to Foxtel Platinum subscribers and features unmetered data streaming for Telstra BigPond residential broadband and Foxtel Broadband subscribers.
Foxtel Platinum customers will be able to access Presto across a range of devices including smartphones, tablets, Telstra TV, select Samsung Smart TVs, Google Chromecast, or using AirPlay on Apple TV.
For non-Foxtel Platinum customers, Presto offers a one month free trial of the Presto Entertainment bundle subscription, providing access to Presto’s full TV and movie libraries.
Australian News Channel Chooses Ericsson For Captioning Services
Ericsson has signed a multi-year news captioning contract with ANC, an Australia’s 24-hour multi-channel, multi-platform news service provider. Ericsson will provide live captioning services for Sky News Live and Sky News Business, which are broadcast to 2.8 million subscribing homes across Australia on subscription television provider Foxtel.
ERICSSON_Venue-InitiativeAs part of the contract, Ericsson will also provide captioning services for SKY NEWS-produced bulletins on Qantas flights. The captions will be delivered as an as-live service to ensure the news is as current and up-to-date as possible.
Ericsson now provides captioning services for four of the six national TV news outlets in Australia.
Angelos Frangopoulos, CEO, ANC, says: “We look forward to working with Ericsson to expand our captioning services and explore new technology to further improve the quality and availability of live captioning.”
Thorsten Sauer, Head of Broadcast and Media Services, Ericsson, says: “As a leading news provider in Australia, it is important that SKY NEWS’ captioning services match the quality of its editorial output. Our market-leading live captioning platform allows us to do this, by delivering the highest levels of service and quality to both our client and their audiences.
“For the first time, Ericsson’s captions will also be made available on an airline, ensuring that the latest news from SKY NEWS will be accessible to as many Qantas air passengers as possible the world over.”
Ericsson’s live captioning platform made its debut at the IBC2014 event. The real-time platform supports live captioning in various languages for broadcasters around the world by using speech-to-text, newsroom integration and rapid offline content preparation.
The enterprise-level, schedule-driven software platform, which was developed in-house, uses the best possible speech recognition and stenography technologies to power Ericsson’s live captioning services. It allows multiple captioners to prepare and deliver real-time services for clients while maximizing re-use of the caption data after it has been broadcast for example, by helping to power content discovery and enrich archive search. The platform is currently being used to deliver live captioning services for major broadcast clients around the world.
Ericsson’s closed captioning business is one of the largest in the world, with hubs in Australia, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the US. Ericsson has been providing captioning services for over 30 years and delivers 200,000 hours of captions every year, 80,000 of which are live. It is also the world’s largest provider of TV audio description and sign-language translation.
Activ8me, nbn get active connecting remote indigenous communities
Australian satellite broadband and registered nbn service provider, Activ8me, has been working with the Australian Government to provide and maintain remote indigenous community access to essential telecommunications services such as phone and internet.
Since May 2009, Activ8me has installed 301 community phones under the government’s Remote Australia Strategies Programme. Remote Community Telecommunications is part of the programme to support the provision of infrastructure, housing, telecommunications and home ownership in remote Indigenous communities, as well as the development of local and regional place-based approaches.
Activ8me developed and installed the remote community phones, powered by solar energy, and utilising a powerful satellite connection.
Calls from the phones to all fixed phones in Australia are completely free, and any standard prepaid phone card can be used for mobile calls, international and 13 numbers.
Almost all freestanding phones have lighting and Wi-Fi installed and are now working.
The phones installed by Activ8me are located in the most remote parts of Australia and, the company says that at last count more than 600,000 calls - from Goolargoon, 200 kilometres north of Broome to Papunya in the Northern Territory and over to the tip of Cape York in Queensland - had been made from these ‘unique’ phones made available to indigenous communities.
The phones are totally standalone, having solar power and utilising two satellite links for communications, and can be located literally anywhere, and provide free local WiFi access over a 100m radius.
In addition to the continued maintenance of the 301 phones, Activ8me has also recently won the contract for services for the maintenance and monitoring of 245 community payphones, taking the total to 546 remote phones.
Activ8me says the new contract will also see the full-time employment of an indigenous Australian on the project.
Tony Bundrock, Activ8me CEO, said the company is proud to “bridge some of the incredible isolation these communities live in through this contract”.
“The Remote Community Telecommunications programme is a testament to the positive social outcomes that can be achieved when Government and private business collaborate.
“There are many communities that are now occupied throughout the year, including during the wet season. Previously, whole communities would relocate to towns during the wet season because they had no means of communication at their original location. What has exceeded my expectations is the value in connecting these communities to the world through Wi-Fi with 25,065 gigabytes of data being used between August 2013 and June 2015.”
Bundrock said that, due to Activ8me’s involvement in the programme, the company is the first nbn Retail Service Provider to receive one of the new nbn satellite modems that will deliver new commercial nbn satellite services from April 2016 to regional Australian residents.
According to Bundrock, the new nbn satellite service heralds a new era in which regional Australia will get the “broadband services that it needs”.
Nbn has embarked on a rigorous testing phase in the lead up to new nbn satellite commercial services. Activ8me is one of three companies that will be testing the performance of the new satellite service, and group of Activ8me satellite customers selected at the discretion of nbn will take part in the test phase.
Activ8me says it will also have a fully functional test facility in its Melbourne headquarters in Preston before Christmas.
“This is particularly satisfying as our business was founded on our capability as satellite experts and we have watched both technology and the dynamic demands of the consumer change and evolve at a startling pace. The new nbn satellite technology will be crucial in covering the diverse needs of Australia and its terrain,” Bundrock said.
Ariane 5 lofts dual birds
Following a series of burns controlled by Ariane's computer, the Sylda structure encasing the 3164 kg GSAT-15 was then jettisoned. GSAT-15 was released into its own transfer orbit about 16 minutes after the first satellite.
Telecommunications satellites for two loyal Arianespace customers - Arabsat and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) - were launched today on the company's sixth Ariane 5 flight in 2015, bringing to 69 this workhorse vehicle's string of consecutive successes.
Ariane 5 orbited the Arabsat-6B (BADR-7) and GSAT-15 payloads from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana during a flight lasting approximately 43 minutes, and in doing so, continued Arianespace's record mission pace in 2015 with its full launcher family - which consists of the heavy-lift Ariane 5, medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega.
"Launch after launch, we are demonstrating our capability to increase our operational pace while remaining the most reliable solution for all our customers," said Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stephane Israel, who provided his post-flight comments from the Spaceport's mission control center.
Today's mission payloads are well-placed to begin their orbital lifetimes, based on another of Ariane 5's highly accurate payload deliveries - with the following estimated orbital parameters at injection of its cryogenic upper stage: - Perigee: 246.9 km. for a target of 247.1 km. - Apogee: 35,884 km. for a target of 35,884 km. - Inclination: 3.99 deg. for a target of 4.00 deg.
Relationships of trust
Designated Flight VA227 as the 227th launch of an Ariane-series launcher to date, today's heavy-lift success continues long relationships of trust between Arianespace and the mission's customers.
Arabsat-6B (BADR-7) was lofted for Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space as part of a turnkey contract with Saudi Arabia-based Arabsat - for which Arianespace has launched eight previous spacecraft since 1985. In addition, it is the 113th Airbus Defence and Space-built satellite to be orbited by Arianespace.
Arabsat was represented during the post-launch comments by the company's Chief Technology Officer and Vice President, Mueid Al-Zahrani - who thanked all involved with today's success and underscored Arabsat's continued growth as a leading satellite operator.
Arabsat-6B, which will be renamed BADR-7 once in orbit and weighed some 5,798 kg. at liftoff, is the initial sixth-generation satellite for Arabsat's fleet - providing broadcast, broadband and telecommunications services over the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. Airbus Defence and Space supplied its Eurostar E3000 platform and handled satellite integration, while Thales Alenia Space supplied the telecommunications relay payload.
GSAT-15 was the 19th satellite entrusted to Arianespace by the Indian Space Research Organisation - and the 18th built by ISRO. This productive relationship extends back to 1981 with launch of the APPLE experimental satellite, and further underscores the strong collaboration France and India have set up in space.
"Today's launch is ISRO's 19th mission with Arianespace. In the meantime, ISRO also has launched four French spacecraft using [India's own] PSLV," said Dr M Annadurai, Director of the ISRO Satellite Centre. "Thanks to such a long association, our team is quite familiar with working with Arianespace and the support we get from Arianespace in preparing a satellite launch is excellent."
With a liftoff mass of approximately 3,160 kg., GSAT-15 is designed to provide telecommunications services, as well as dedicated navigation-aid and emergency services, across India.
Continuing the momentum
While the emphasis was put squarely on the customers for today's mission, Flight VA227 also continued a busy year of launch activity for Arianespace - which is on pace to perform a record 12 launches from the Spaceport using its Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega vehicles, having now completed 10 so far.
In his post-launch comments, Chairman and CEO Israel also paid tribute to Arianespace's operational teams for their exceptional performance this year, while also giving credit to Ariane 5 prime contractor Airbus Safran Launchers.
Arianespace's next launch - its 11th this year - is Vega Flight VV03, which is scheduled for December 2 and will carry the LISA Pathfinder scientific space probe for its mission to study the ripples in space-time predicted by Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.
Wrapping up the 2015 launch schedule - as well as Arianespace's record pace of 12 flights in 12 months - is the 13th Soyuz mission since this workhorse Russian-built vehicle's Spaceport debut in 2011. Designated Flight VS13, it will deploy two additional spacecraft for Europe's Galileo satellite navigation system in mid-December.
New launch business for Arianespace
In addition to marking the latest operational achievement with today's mission, Arianespace further strengthened its order book through new launch services agreements.
It was announced at the Spaceport that ISRO selected Arianespace to launch India's GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 telecommunications satellites on Ariane 5 flights from French Guiana in 2016 and 2017. Weighing approximately 3,400 kg. at launch each, the two spacecraft are planned as replacements for currently-operational relay platforms that provide key national services in multiple frequency bands.
Separately, Intelsat S.A. confirmed that the first of its Intelsat EpicNG high-throughput satellites would be orbited by Arianespace aboard an Ariane 5 on January 27. Carrying an advanced digital payload, the Intelsat EpicNG will be the heavy-lift launcher's sole passenger - a change from the typical dual-payload missions - and is to open Arianespace's 2016 mission activity, according to Chairman and CEO Israel.
India’s GSAT-15 satellite successfully launched from French Guiana
Seeking to augment telecommunication, Direct-To-Home and radio navigation services, India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-15 was successfully launched by European Ariane rocket from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana in the early hours today.
The satellite with a lift-off mass of 3,164 kg was injected into the intended Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) about 43 minutes after a perfect lift-off of Ariane 5 at 3:04 AM (IST) on flight VA-227.
After a flight of 43 minutes and 24 seconds, GSAT-15 separated from the Ariane 5 upper stage in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 250 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 35,819 km, ISRO said.
GSAT-15 was hurtled into the orbit very close to the intended one after its co-passenger Arabsat-6B (BADR-7) was injected into the space.
A high power satellite, GSAT-15 is being inducted into the INSAT/GSAT system. GSAT-15 carries a total of 24 communication transponders in Ku-band as well as a GPS-Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) payload operating in L1 and L5 bands.
Providing replacement for the Ku-band capacity of INSAT-3A and INSAT-4B satellites, GSAT-15 will augment and support the existing DTH and VSAT services in the country. The GAGAN payload will meet the in-orbit redundancy requirement for Safety of Life (SOL) operations benefiting the civil aviation services and other users of augmented GPS-based systems in the country.
ISRO’s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka took over the command and control of GSAT-15 immediately after its separation from the launch vehicle.
Preliminary health checks of the satellite revealed its normal health, ISRO said here.
Speaking at the launch facility in Kourou, ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) Director M Annadurai said the launch of GSAT-15 will enable ISRO to provide continuity of service to Indian users in Ku-band.
The navigation payload GAGAN will provide in-orbit backup to ensure safety of life navigation services in civil aviation sector as well as other location based services to various users in the Indian region, Annadurai said.
Annadurai also said other two communication satellites GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 were getting ready for launch by Ariane vehicle during the next year. “The realisation of both the satellites are in very advanced stage.”
In the coming days, orbit raising manoeuvres will be performed to place the satellite in the Geostationary Orbit (36,000 km above the equator) by using the satellite’s propulsion system, ISRO said.
After the completion of orbit raising operations, the two solar arrays and both the antenna reflectors of GSAT-15 will be deployed. Following this, the satellite will be put in its final orbital configuration, ISRO said, adding after the successful completion of all the in-orbit tests, the satellite will be ready for operational use.
With the designed in-orbit operational life of 12 years, GSAT-15 will be positioned at 93.5 deg East longitude and co-located with INSAT-3A and INSAT-4B satellites that will be completing their tenure one this month and the other next year.
“The launch of GSAT-15 will be one more step towards further strengthening the satellite navigation infrastructure and sustaining the communication infrastructure in the country,” ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar said in a recorded video message.
Arabsat-6B (BADR 7) satellite is the first of the sixth generation of satellites in the Arabsat fleet, It will provide telecommunications and direct- to-home (DTH) TV broadcast services for the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia.
GSAT-15 is the 19th payload launched by Arianespace for ISRO.
Work on Digital TV is progressing:
General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says they hope to have the Digital Television live between Nausori/Lami corridors by the end of the year. Sayed-Khaiyum says the sets of boxes are being purchased and the testing is underway. He says one of the directors of International Telecommunications Union was in the country over the weekend to look at the project and also the tests that have been done so far. The set of boxes that are being bought will be given to low income earners. Two million dollars have been allotted for the purchase of digital set top boxes in next year’s budget
Russia, China want LEO satellite constellation
There are now a handful of ‘Western’ Low Earth and Medium Earth satellite constellations either in use or in the planning and development stage. Russia and China are talking about building their own system.
The current constellations include O3b (a MEO system), and LEO systems from the Iridium sat-phone vehicles, and Globalstar, Orbcomm and RapidEye+. Russia already operates its own ‘Glonass’ GPS system independently of the West’s sat-nav craft, as do the Chinese.
Major new constellations are being proposed by OneWeb, a 700-satellite scheme backed in part by Sir Richard Branson, and there’s been much talk about systems from Google and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Now it is reported that Russia is looking to cooperate with China to supply a fleet of LEO satellites which will handle broadband capacity as well as providing bandwidth for future Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine connectivity.
The system is called the “Star of Happiness” according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti, and the first pair of meetings have already taken place. Director General of Information Satellite Systems Nikolay Testoedov told RIA Novosti that the proposal is planning “more than one hundred satellites”.
BTRC signs satellite deal
The telecom regulator has signed a Tk2,967 crore agreement with the French company Thales Alenia Space for implementation of the country’s first-ever satellite project Bangabandhu-1.
BTRC Chairman Engineer Shahjahan Mahmud and Thales Chairman Jean-Loïc Galle signed the deal at a hotel in Dhaka on Wednesday afternoon.
Of the amount, Thales Alenia Space will give TK1,652 crore while the rest of the money will be borne by the government.
Once the satellite is launched into orbit, it is expected to help the country save $14m annually. The government can also earn by renting the satellite out.
Meanwhile, the regulatory body has formed an 11-member committee to fix charge of the downlink spectrum use in line with Bangladesh’s telecommunication law. The committee is led by a BTRC commissioner.
Earlier, on October 20, the cabinet committee on public purchase approved tender proposal of Thales, as all other participants were non-responsive during the process.
The French company will have to complete the works in two years as per the government’s decision. If the project missed installation deadline, Thales will have to pay compensation as per a hefty provision. Bangladesh already signed a deal with the Russian Intersputnik for taking lease of an orbital slot worth $28m.
In June, four international companies Great Wall Industry Corporation of China, MDA Corporation of Canada, Thales Alenia Space of France and Orbital ATK of the USA participated in the tender process of installation and post-installation support services for launching the Bangabandhu satellite.
Although the MDA Corporation had the lowest bid of $222.75m, it failed to win the bidding due to some inconsistencies in the tender price as quoted.
Given all these factors, the cabinet committee reportedly selected Thales Alenia Space, the second-lowest bidder of $248m.
First Intelsat EpicNG high-performance satellite will be placed in orbit by Ariane 5
Intelsat Announces January 27, 2016 as Expected Launch Date for Intelsat 29e
Intelsat S.A. announced today that Intelsat 29e, the first of the Intelsat EpicNG high throughput satellites, is scheduled to launch on January 27, 2016, aboard an Arianespace Ariane 5 ECA launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.
Manufactured by Boeing, Intelsat’s EpicNG satellites operate in both C-and Ku-band, and are fully interoperable with the entire Intelsat satellite fleet. The Intelsat EpicNG satellites will operate the most advanced digital payload commercially available, providing commercial and government customers access to high throughput capabilities, which will result in a flexible broadband infrastructure that will scale to meet their needs.
Located at 310° East, Intelsat 29e will replace Intelsat 1R and Intelsat 805. The payload will enable the delivery of enterprise-grade, broadband services to fixed and mobile network operators, aero and maritime mobility service Providers, and to government customers operating throughout the Americas. The satellite will also provide spot beams for mobility customers serving the heavily trafficked North Atlantic region. To date, companies such as Harris CapRock, Panasonic, EMC (formerly MTN), Axesat and leading national telecom operators in Latin America will be among the first to deploy services on the platform.
Intelsat 29e marks the first of Intelsat’s next generation EpicNG satellite fleet that combines wide beams and spot beams with frequency reuse technology to meet customers’ growing demand for broadband connectivity worldwide. Intelsat29e will be the 56th Intelsat satellite orbited by Arianespace and the first dedicated launch aboard an Ariane 5 rocket for Intelsat. Intelsat expects to launch the second Intelsat EpicNG satellite, Intelsat 33e, which will serve Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, in the third quarter of 2016, also aboard an Arianespace launcher.
Russia “eavesdropping” on satellite operations
A mysterious Russian satellite has spent the past few weeks getting altogether much too close to some well-known international satellite operators.
The Russian satellite, called ‘Luch’, launched back in September 2014 and in April popped up within a half-degree of Intelsat 7 and Intelsat 901 satellites orbiting 36,000 kilometres above the Equator.
The US Dept. of Defense on October 15th said that the satellite had moved, this time alongside Intelsat 905 at 24.5 degrees West, and right up against the Intelsat satellite which legitimately occupies the 24.5 slot. One-tenth of a degree of orbital arc is considered extremely dangerous and is within 5 kilometres of the Intelsat craft.
The danger is that Intelsat would have to carry out conventional station keeping operations and would not know the intentions of the Russian-owned satellite.
Intelsat, as well as providing DTH and point-to-point TV transmissions, also frequently carries military and governmental data and communications traffic.
A meeting in Washington DC on November 8th of the Reagan National Defense Forum saw US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter strongly condemn the Russian satellite’s movements. He worried that Russia has become intent on “flouting” the principles that underlie the “principled international order” that has “served the United States, our many friends and allies and yes if you think about it, Russia, China, and many other countries, well for decades.”
“At sea, in the air, in space and in cyberspace, Russian actors have engaged in challenging activities,” and its “nuclear saber-rattling” suggests it is not committed to strategic stability. “We do not seek a cold, much less a hot war with Russia,” but the United States will defend its own interests as well as “our allies, the principled international order, and the positive future it affords us all.”
ABS Details Vision for ‘Ultra-High Throughput’ Satellites
[Via Satellite 11-10-2015] ABS is bringing what could be a step-change to satellite telecommunications by ushering in what it calls Ultra-High Throughput (UTS) capacity with its future satellites. ABS CEO Tom Choi told Via Satellite that the operator’s next satellite, ABS 8, will feature this new technology, and that the company already has customers desiring to use it.
ABS launched its most recent satellite, ABS 3A, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket along with co-passenger Eutelsat 115 West B for Eutelsat on March 1. The all-electric Boeing-built satellite entered service at the end of August with 96 36-MHz Transponder Equivalents (TPEs) of capacity supplied by 48 C- and Ku-band active transponders. ABS is continuing to grow its fleet with plans for several additional satellites, each carrying high-tech payloads.
“Electric propulsion and bulk ordering of satellites from Boeing allowed ABS and Satmex/Eutelsat to significantly lower the cost of transponders delivered into orbit,” said Choi. “Future advances in UTS will reduce the cost of Mbps by another 75 percent.”
Choi described ABS’s UTS satellites as impervious to rain-fade in Ku- and Ka-band thanks to the company’s patented “Rainproof” technology. He said ABS has high expectations this technology will make the operator an even more aggressive competitor.
“All of our future satellites will have some form of the UTS payload, which not only delivers the lowest cost per bit of any geostationary or non-geostationary platform, but it will also guarantee remarkable availability for the end users. ABS’s UTS will make all other Ka-band HTS platforms obsolete and irrelevant because no customer will choose Ka-band when they can have 99.9 percent reliability at the same or lower price from ABS,” said Choi.
Choi said new satellite plans continue to develop despite the setback of not having access to Ex-Im Bank. Though momentum is stirring to restore the U.S. Export Credit Agency (ECA), it still remains unable to finance new projects until reauthorized. Having access to needed financing is a guiding factor in ABS’s cadence for ordering new spacecraft.
“Based on the filings we have made and market demands, we can have more than a dozen new satellite projects. However we need to be fiscally responsible and we can only handle one to two builds at a time,” explained Choi. “Early in 2014, we were paying for ABS 2, ABS 3A and ABS 2A. That build plan was very ambitious for a company of our size. Fortunately two of those satellites have launched successfully and now ABS 2A is completed and waiting to be launched when the Falcon 9 returns to flight. We will continue to focus our energies and CAPEX on the emerging markets as our focus.”
ABS 8, a contract awarded to Boeing prior to the lapse of Ex-Im, was jeopardized once Congress let the ECA’s charter expire. Choi said it is the preference of ABS to stick with U.S. manufacturers Boeing in particular and that the company hopes Ex-Im will be reauthorized soon. In the meantime, he said ABS remains in discussion with Boeing and other vendors on how to proceed with ABS 8.
“Beyond ABS 8, the first UTS satellite for Asia, we are planning another satellite, ABS 9, in the Atlantic Ocean Region (AOR) at 16 degrees west, and we will develop a new satellite, ABS 10 for the Pacific Ocean Region (POR) at 159 degrees east,” added Choi. “We hope to fund those two satellites in the next 24 months. We continue to believe that the emerging markets represent the best market segments for growth. ABS is also heavily involved in launching several DTH platforms in the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent, Indonesia and, in 2016, Africa.”
ABS grew sales and Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) by more than 20 percent during 2015, which represented a slower year for the fast-growing operator. Choi said 2015 fell behind the 35 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) the company has experienced the last decade, but added that he expects to return to this level in the next fiscal year. Not disregarding the capacity glut looming over many regions, Choi said ABS finds the market has lots of room to continue growing, which the operator will target with new satellites.
“There is an over supply of capacity everywhere in the world today. Despite this, there is always growth in the end-user base so we have to be smarter, faster and more responsive in the way we respond to the requirements of our customers,” he said.
Another hold-up for South Africa DSO?
South Africa’s much-promised and long-delayed digital switch over risks being held up again. The problem on this occasion is a Court action by eTV, South Africa’s 5th terrestrial broadcaster.
The Pretoria High Court ruled November 6th that eTV could mount an appeal against the government’s DTT policy. The appeal would be before South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal. eTV says that if the unencrypted digital TV system is implemented, it will not be able to operate properly as it will be unable to protect the content it broadcasts.
The action, which has been running since 2013, sees eTV pitting itself against the country’s Department of Communications and the government’s policy of adopting non-encrypted set-top boxes. The latest thinking is that this further court action could delay implementation by up to a year.
South Africa has already ordered some 1.5 million boxes as part of a government scheme to subsidise viewing costs for about 5 million poorer households.
UK: Only 3% cancelled OTT in past year
Parks Associates research shows only 3 per cent of UK broadband households cancelled a subscription to an OTT video service in the past 12 months, while 33 per cent of UK broadband households currently pay for an OTT subscription.
In the US, approximately 9 per cent of US broadband households have recently cancelled an OTT service subscription, while 59 per cent currently subscribe. The research firm finds that service cancellations and switching are an evolving part of viewer consumption and buying habits in the US market, a trend that is beginning to emerge in Western Europe.
“US consumers who cancel an OTT service often have a subscription to other OTT video services. They also spend an above-average volume of time watching video on a connected device,” Brett Sappington, Director, Research, Parks Associates said. “Their weekly viewing on PCs and mobile devices almost doubles the time spent by average broadband households. Cancellers have a high affinity for video and move among services to find new content sources.”
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ACMA registers new TV code to keep pace with streaming
The media industry regulator has registered a new code governing commercial TV standards in a bid to cover the advent of streaming services and the ability to broadcast across multiple platforms.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced the registration of a new Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice in large part to deal with the impacts of the burgeoning IPTV sector.
The code [PDF], submitted to the ACMA by industry group Free TV Australia, was mainly written in response to how streaming services such as Netflix have affected complaints handling, privacy, advertising, content programming, and classification.
"Since the previous code was registered in late 2009, there have been tremendous shifts in the media landscape. Many of the provisions in the earlier code had been around for 20 years or so -- from an analogue era where viewers could only source content from three commercial free-to-air channels and two national broadcasting channels," said ACMA chairman Chris Chapman.
"The new code reflects the reality that television is operating in a new, digital era in which content can be viewed from a wide variety of sources and on a wide variety of platforms. The digital era has brought many challenges for broadcasters, and there were aspects of the previous code which made it difficult for them to respond and innovate."
The updated code, which had regard to the ACMA's 2013 Contemporary Community Safeguards Inquiry, will allow for increased programming flexibility while maintaining consumer safeguards on classification and regulation, according to the ACMA.
The industry regulator also took into account submissions from affected parties.
"'This code is the product of a robust engagement between the ACMA, the commercial television sector and its audiences, manifest in submissions made by individual viewers and advocacy groups," Chapman said.
According to Free TV chairman Harold Mitchell, the code allows traditional broadcasters more freedom to respond to the digitisation of TV services, particularly the advent of enabling consumers to view broadcasts across multiple digital platforms.
"It has resulted in a code which reflects commercial television's place in Australia's modern, diversified media economy, where viewers can access content at any time on any number of devices and platforms," Mitchell said [PDF].
However, while both Free TV and the ACMA stated that the new code "reflects Australia's contemporary digital media environment and supports a wider range of programming choices for audiences", the code itself makes no explicit mention of streaming, IPTV, or video on demand.
Last week, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) argued that advances in technology such as streaming television have also gone beyond the scope of competition laws, with legal and policy framework needing to catch up to innovation.
"I think our media laws would be an excellent place to start. Flowing from our analysis of the media market in our assessment of the Foxtel/Network Ten transactions, the ACCC is well placed to have views on these issues," said ACCC chairman Rod Sims.
"The 2 out of 3 media ownership rules may be preventing efficient delivery of content over multiple platforms, and should be reviewed to see if they are still relevant for the preservation of diversity. Surely laws that restrict acquisitions need clear justification. Changing technology may have made the initial justification for the 2 out of 3 rule, from 30 years ago, redundant.
"The 75 percent reach rule has been undermined by the ability of commercial free-to-air television to stream their content nationally via the internet. Both the 2 out of 3 rule and the 75 percent reach rule were introduced before the emergence of the internet."
Sims added that the anti-siphoning rule may also need to be revised due to the increasing popularity of streaming, though this would need to be balanced against the risk of pay TV providers acquiring all high-value broadcasts and consequently being able to drive up pricing.
Last month, the ACCC approved an acquisition deal between Ten Network and Foxtel, giving Ten the option to take a 10 percent stake in Australian video-streaming service Presto, while Foxtel acquires 15 percent of Ten.
The ACCC had been initially wary of approving the deal, saying in September that it could reduce competition in the traditional TV broadcasting market, but eventually decided that it was satisfied the deal would not have this effect.
In approving the deal, the ACCC said it also had consideration of encouraging competition among streaming services.
"The ACCC considers the other free-to-air television networks, pay television providers, and online service providers will continue to have sufficient alternatives to allow them to obtain content that is attractive to their viewers," Sims said.
"Foxtel and Ten will continue to face competition from the remaining free-to-air networks, and streaming services are also likely to become increasingly important."
The increasing popularity of streaming services has seen the Australian government recently unveil its draft exposure legislation that will see GST added to all digital products and services purchased online by Australians from mid-2017.
The ACMA's new TV code will come into operation from December 1, 2015.
Foxtel Platinum subscribers get Presto Entertainment bundle
If you’re a Foxtel Platinum subscriber, you’ll now get full access to the Presto Entertainment bundle, but only if you subscribe directly from Foxtel.
Available to Foxtel Platinum customers until 31 January 2017 and only while they remain subscribed to Platinum, these customers are now getting the added bonus of a full Presto Entertainment bundle subscription.
Unfortunately for Platinum customers connected via ‘Foxtel from Telstra’ or ‘Optus TV featuring Foxtel,’ this special deal does not apply to you.
The Presto Entertainment bundle features ad-free movies and TV shows, all streamed to you, which therefore requires that you have a broadband Internet connection.
Foxtel says the move is set to ‘dramatically increase the value of Foxtel’s Platinum package with the addition of thousands of additional hours of premium TV and movie programming from Presto’s vast library of recent hits and classic favourites.’
In addition, Foxtel cunningly notes that ‘Presto’s arrival serves the perfect supplement to Foxtel’s existing line up of the latest on-demand programming available via Foxtel Anytime.’
Ed Smith, Foxtel’s Executive Director of Sales and Marketing, said, “Presto has been rapidly building a leading presence among Australian subscription video on demand (SVOD) providers through great content tie-ups and a library of hit programming that serves as a great addition to the amazing content already available both live and on demand via Anytime on Foxtel.
“As some of our most dedicated customers, we wanted to ensure that our Platinum subscribers weren’t missing out, so we’re thrilled to give them access to Presto’s great SVOD content as part of their existing Platinum subscription.”
Presto offers content from leading TV production companies including HBO, 20th Century Fox, Showtime, CBS Studios International, Viacom International Media Networks, Hasbro Studios as well as top local content from Foxtel itself, the Seven Network and ABC Commercial.
It also includes movie content ‘from major and key independent film studios including MGM, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Roadshow Films, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Entertainment One Films, ICON, Studiocanal and Transmission Films.’
Presto is available on demand across a number of devices, including PCs, Macs, select iPads/ iPhones, select Android tablets/smartphones, select Samsung Smart TVs and via Google Chromecast and AirPlay on Apple TV.
Software upgrade to On Demand will take 'two or three months' says Sky
MySky HDi boxes are being upgraded with software that will let them access programmes over the internet.
Sky Television says it has not begun upgrading its 530,000 MySky HDi set-top boxes with its On Demand feature yet after all, and a software update that appears to have caused a glitch for a few customers was unrelated.
Spokeswoman Leanne Carpenter said the software upgrade to its On Demand service, that will let customers download programmes to their set-top box over the internet, was due to begin later this month.
One customer reported he had received an update on Monday that meant he could not use his Sky box for 30 minutes after he returned home from work.
Another reported on technology site Geekzone that a software download had got stuck part way through, and that Sky was sending around a technician.
Carpenter said the software update was a "background" one that did not deliver new features and was not related to the roll-out of On Demand.
The pay-television company will deliver the On Demand upgrade to MySky HDi customers in batches via satellite. Spokeswoman Kirsty Way had said the goal was to complete the upgrade by Christmas, but Carpenter said it would take "two to three months".
That upgrade would happen in the middle of the night and would take about 10 to15 minutes, Carpenter said. Set-top boxes would still get the upgrade if they were on standby mode.
Sky has begun rolling out On Demand to another 240,000 Sky Digital customers and owners of its first-generation MySky box. They are having their set-top boxes replaced with a new Sky box.
Sky expects that process to take up to 18 months.
Laosat1 launching soon
Launch vehicle:Long March 3B
Launch site:Xichang Satellite Launch Center
Laos is getting close to date of launch of their first satellite. Designed under contract between Laos and China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), LaoSat-1 communications satellite will be put into orbit at 128.5° East. Based on DFH-4 bus, with weight at 5200 kg, operational life of 15 years and 22 transponders (14 for C band and 8 Ku band) will provide communication services for Laos. Designated operator of LaoSAt-1 will be Laos National Authority for Science and Technology (NAST). CGWIC will utilize in this mission Long March 3B rocket.
BRI to Launch Own Satellite Next Year
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta-PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia plans to launch its own satellite in July 2016. BRI Vice CEO Sunarso said the launch of this satellite is in effort to improve service quality and support development and banking technology innovation in the future.
So far, BRI has been renting a satellite owned by PT Telekomuniksasi Indonesia, and its performance is yet satisfying. “Because it does not cover all regions that BRI targets,” Sunarso told Tempo on Monday, November 9.
Sunarso says the launching of this satellite will be much more profitable rather than having to rent it for Rp 500 billion per year. According to Sunarso’s calculation, the satellite can last 15 years. “If it cost Rp 3 trillion and used for 15 years, it could be paid off in six years,” he said.
Its manufacturing process is currently in a 30-day thermal vacuum testing conducted by the Space System Loral (SSL) in Palo Alto, US, and Montreal, Canada. Also in its control center located in Ragunan, Jakarta and Tabanan, Bali.
Its launch schedule will take place at a Launch Site owned by Arianespace in Kourou, French Guyana in mid-2016. However, Sunarso believes that the launch will be ahead of schedule as its assembly is almost completed. “Its scheduled for July 2016, but will be ready for launch in May,” said Sunarso.
Bold move puts Channel 8 on right track
AFTER JUMPING on the terrestrial digital-TV bandwagon almost two years ago, RS's flagship Channel 8 is "right on track".
"We made the right decision to secure only one licence for a terrestrial-based digital channel in the standard-definition category.
"The key to success in the TV broadcasting business is not image quality but the right content for| the targeted audience," Surachai "Here Hor" Chetchotisak, chief executive officer of the music and entertainment conglomerate, said yesterday.
As Channel 8 is the spearhead of RS's future, it continues to put more energy into content development in a bid to broaden its viewer base.
"We are enjoying very good feedback from our fans. Channel 8 is now being watched by about 480,000 people every single minute.
"Next year, we hope for 700,000-800,000 reaches per minute. This will help Channel 8 improve its ratings and advertising revenue," he said.
RS has prepared at least Bt2 billion, mainly for a new programme line-up. The budget will be broken down into Bt1 billion for producing more than 30 dramas, Bt800 million for making variety, sports and news shows and Bt200 million for building brand awareness.
About 70 per cent of its budget is earmarked for Channel 8. The rest will go to its satellite TV outlets - Channel 2, Sabaidee TV and You Channel.
Playing a vital role
The satellite TV business remains important for RS. Though many changes have been made to the multibillion-baht broadcasting industry, satellite TV is still playing a vital role for advertisers and consumers, Surachai said.
"In terms of content production, our satellite stations must provide quality shows that both advertisers and sponsors want to get involved in.
"RS will use its satellite TV channels to compete with low-ranked digital TV channels that broadcast on satellite, as we believe that more than 70 per cent of all households in the country still watch television via satellite receivers," he said.
RS believes that its satellite-TV business will complement its digital-TV business for a long time.
After the liberalisation of the broadcasting business, this was officially a losing game for the establishment, Surachai said.
"The incumbents now have to minimise the possible damage from the arrival of new rivals. The market appears to be not growing as fast as the number of new players.
"The strong players are going to gain bigger shares from those old players. This is the undeniable truth," he said.
The top five players will be a group of survivors with healthy growth, he said. In the near future, that group will monopolise about 70 per cent of total TV ad spending, leaving the other players scrapping with one another for the remaining 30 per cent.
Singapore Airlines to deploy Inmarsat's GX Aviation
Singapore Airlines will deploy Inmarsat's GX Aviation high-speed connectivity service for passengers on-board its long-haul fleet. The services are procured by the airline from Inmarsat's partner Sita OnAir and will be powered by Honeywell's JetWave satellite communications hardware. The first installation is scheduled for the second half of 2016, starting with Singapore Airlines' Boeing B777-300ER aircraft, which will be followed by its Airbus A380-800s and A350-900s.
MENA satellite pay-TV channels now number 280
The four subscription-based satellite TV platforms in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) now broadcast 280 channels according to Arab Advisors Group.
Between them, OSN, beIN Sports, Al Majd and MyHD broadcast the 280 channels via satellite, with beIN Sports providing the most comprehensive sports offering with 21 sports channels, says a new report from the Jordan-based analysts.
"By September 2015, the four pay-TV providers offered 280 channels. OSN had the highest number with 162 channels (including the three pay-per-view channels and two on-demand channels), MyHD came in second with 84 channels. beIN Sports offered 21 channels, while Al Majd TV provided 13 channels," said Hiba Al-Atiyat, senior research analyst, Arab Advisors Group.
Three of the pay-TV platforms OSN, beIN Sports and MyHD also offer HD channels. OSN and MyHD offer 55 and 53 HD channels, respectively, while beIN Sports provided 20 HD channels, according to the new study.
"The total air time per month for the four pay-TV providers reached 201,600 hours. OSN and MyHD had a 57.9% and 30% share of the total airtime, respectively, while beIN Sports' market share of the total airtime reached 7.5%. As for Al Majd, it stood at 4.6% by end of September 2015," added Al-Atiyat.
EBU welcomes WRC-15 support for terrestrial TV
The first week of the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) has given national and regional authorities the opportunity to present their positions on the future allocation of radio spectrum among broadcasting and mobile services. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is encouraged to note that the overwhelming majority of proposals support a ‘No change’ position for the UHF band 470-694/698 MHz. This band is currently allocated to terrestrial TV and the radio microphones that are essential for content production.
Despite calls from a minority of countries to re-allocate the band to mobile telecommunications services, the coordinated regional positions of European and African countries, the Arab States, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the Asia-Pacific Telecommunication Union, as well as a joint proposal from 14 South American countries are all clearly opposed to such a move.
This position is consistent with the views of the EBU and its sister organisations representing more than 630 broadcasters from all parts of the world. They argue that WRC-15 decisions should reflect the reality that more than 95 per cent of audiovisual content is delivered over broadcast networks and Wi-Fi, rather than over mobile networks.
“Contrary to what the mobile lobby would have us believe, terrestrial TV is the most popular TV platform in Europe and in many other regions of the world,” stated Simon Fell, EBU Director of Technology and Innovation. “It also continues to deliver substantial social and economic value, in particular by providing free-to-air services and facilitating innovation.”
According to Fell, it is a positive sign that most national administrations at the WRC-15 recognise this point. “We urge them to hold their ground against a small minority that is looking to impose its views on the rest of the world. Every administration has the responsibility to look after the interests of its own citizens. We encourage the national representatives at the WRC-15 to find a way of accommodating their national spectrum requirements without compromising the future of terrestrial TV. Keeping the frequency band 470-694/698 MHz for broadcasting is the key to this future,” he declared.
Netflix: “Everything new in UHD”
Steven Kang, a senior staffer at Netflix and responsible for Global Originals & Future Technologies, says that all new content on Netflix is to be delivered in Ultra-HD as the means to future proof its output.
Kang is in charge of production and post-production technical guidance and support for all Netflix Original series such as House of Cards, Orange Is The New Black and more, while working directly with technical contacts of the production and post-production teams external to Netflix.
In a dialogue with Large Display Monitor at the recent SMPTE 2015 Fall Conference, Kang says Netflix is not mandating High Dynamic Range (HDR) or Wide Color Gamut (WCG) as part of its UHD specifications, instead it prefers to leave the HDR and WCG decisions to the creatives involved in the production. Nevertheless, it is trying to “nudge” the programme-makers in the direction of HDR and WCG.
Netflix is also testing and comparing/contrasting the various mastering and post-production technologies available with the aim of delivering HDR content now.
Pubs hit with Premier League piracy fines
A range of licensed establishments across the UK and abroad have been hit with fines levied for unauthorised broadcasts of Premier League football using foreign satellite systems. Separately, a supplier of illegal systems to pubs has, following a private prosecution instigated by the Premier League, been ordered to pay £125,000.
The sum will be paid to the UK Treasury who will pass 50 per cent of it onto the police and other statutory bodies involved in the investigation which led to the prosecution.
The pubs ordered to pay a total of £92,603 in costs to the Premier League for breach of copyright are:
•The Victoria, North Shields ordered by the High Court to pay £9,165
•The Wessington, Washington ordered by the High Court to pay £8,901
•Byker and Heaton Union, Newcastle ordered by the High Court to pay £8,942
•T Tonic, Chaplins, Café Purple, Arizona, The Point (five pubs under common ownership, Sunderland) settlement with court order for £10,000 of costs
•Gatsby, Sunderland settlement with court order for pay £7,000 of costs
•The Dog & Gun, Banbury ordered by the High Court to pay £9,825
•The Duke’s Head, Dartford settlement with court order for £5,500 of costs
•Railway Hotel, Manchester settlement with court order for £10,000 of costs
•Carsons Bar, Manchester settlement with court order for £5,000 of costs
•The Woodpecker, Manchester agreed to pay £6,000
•The Roundabout, St Helens settled with court order for £5,500 of costs
•Virtuoso (formerly Ketts Tavern), Norwich settled with court order for £6,770
Several of the pubs in the North East of England were using logo masking technology in an attempt to prevent the Premier League from taking legal action against them. The Premier League warned against being approached by suppliers offering such technology. “These cases provide further evidence for the pub trade that using illegal foreign broadcast systems to show Premier League football is extremely risky. Injunctions and significant costs awards are regularly being made in the Premier League’s favour in the High Court, and two suppliers of systems which facilitated illegal broadcasts being made in pubs have been jailed in the last year. We would advise all publicans to ignore the lies peddled by suppliers who make false claims about the legality of foreign broadcasts of our matches, and to contact Sky Sports and BT Sport as they are both authorised to show live Premier League football in commercial premises in the UK.”
Some Sunday feeds
D1 12430v Sr 7000 NZ vs Australia Test Cricket
D2 12670 V sr 6670 "Globecast oz" Horse racing
D2 12679 V Sr 6670 "Euromedia chain b" Horse track
D2 12321 H Sr 8570 Biss encrypted NZ beam
D2 12339 H Sr 8570 Biss Encrypted NZ beam
IS 19 12615 V Sr 15000 "STS path1,2,3 & 4" V8's in car camera reported FTA
From my Email
From the Dish
Vinasat 2 131.8E 11590 V "GMM Football Extra" has left .
AsiaSat 4 122.2E 4035 H Zee Hiburan, Zee Bioskop, Z Living Asia, Animal Planet South East Asia, DMAX Southeast Asia, Discovery Channel South East Asia, Xing Kong China, Zee Smile, Al Jazeera English, DW, D TV, Channel V International and Zing Asia have left .
Measat 3 91.5E 3760 V "MGM Channel India" has left .
Yamal 401 90.0E 11305 V "RT English" has started on , Fta.
Horizons 2 84.8E 12000 H "Sport 1" has left .
Horizons 2 84.8E 12080 H "Sport" has left .
Horizons 2 84.8E 12120 H "Sport 1 and Boytsovskiy Klub" have left.
Thaicom 5 78.5E 3480 H "Champ Channel" has left.
Thaicom 5 78.5E 3551 H "Fashion Television International" has left .
Thaicom 6 78.5E "GMM Football Extra" has left 4040 H, 12521 V and 12645 V.
Thaicom 6 78.5E "Cinema "has left 4080 H and 12562 V.
Apstar 7 76.5E 3664 H "MNC Channel has replaced MNC International" on, BISS.
Apstar 7 76.5E 3725 V "GMA Pinoy TV Asia-Pacific has replaced GMA Pinoy TV Europe" on , PowerVu.
Apstar 7 76.5E 3780 V "China Movie" has started on , Irdeto.
ABS 2 75.0E 10985 H "Russkiy Bestseller" is now encrypted.
ABS 2 75.0E 11045 H "Russkaya Komediya" has started on , Fta
ABS 2 75.0E 11105 H "TNT Comedy" is encrypted again.
ABS 2 75.0E 11559 V "Shopping Live" has started on , Fta
Intelsat 20 68.5E 3802 H "Magicbricks Now" has started on , Irdeto.
Intelsat 20 68.5E 12562 H Victory TV, Vision 3 TV, Recovery channel and Kuungana Africa TV have started on , Fta.
From asiatvro site
东经122度轨道位置的亚洲4号卫星C频段，Zee Smile（印度）频道新增，设置4035 H 12500参数有条件接收。[11-08]
东经95度轨道位置的SES 8号卫星Ku频段，Movie Hits（IPM）高清频道新增，设置11541 H 45000参数有条件接收。[11-08]
东经95度轨道位置的SES 8号卫星Ku频段，Loca（IPM）高清频道消失，设置11541 H 45000参数无效接收。[11-08]
东经75度轨道位置的ABS-2号卫星Ku频段，Ch-43（测试）频道消失，设置11732 V 43000参数无效接收。[11-08]
东经140度轨道位置的快车AM5号卫星Ku频段，FNS（测试）频道重现，设置11091 H 2380参数免费接收。[11-08]
东经68.5度轨道位置的国际20号卫星C频段，MGK Naaptol替换MGK Telugu（印度）频道，设置3790 H 7200参数免费接收。[11-08]
东经68.5度轨道位置的国际20号卫星C频段，MGK Naaptol替换MGK Telugu（印度）频道，设置3790 H 7200参数免费接收。[11-08]
东经78.5度轨道位置的泰星6号卫星C频段，THV（泰国）频道消失，设置3880 H 30000参数无效接收。[11-08]
东经95度轨道位置的SES 8号卫星Ku频段，MCOT HD、Toonami（高清）等3个频道解密，设置11541 H 45000参数免费接收。[11-08]
东经113度轨道位置的帕拉帕D号卫星C频段，Insan Berniaga（印尼）频道消失，设置4052 H 3333参数无效接收。[11-08]
东经138度轨道位置的亚太5号卫星C频段，AXN HD（高清）频道重现，设置3704 V 4443参数有条件接收。[11-08]
东经113度轨道位置的帕拉帕D号卫星C频段，SCTV、Indosiar、O Channel（印尼）频道重现，设置4000 H 8500参数免费接收。[11-08]
东经122度轨道位置的亚洲4号卫星Ku频段，BBC Erth（DISH HD）频道加密，设置11957 R 27500参数有条件接收。 [11月8日]
东经70.5度轨道位置的欧星70B号卫星Ku频段，Test 2（测试）频道消失，设置11294 V 30000参数无效接收。 [11月8日]
东经113度轨道位置的韩星5号卫星Ku频段，Slate（AFN）频道开播，设置12590 V 28000参数免费接收。 [11月8日]
东经75度轨道位置的ABS-2号卫星C频段，Trace Sport Stars（高清）频道重现，设置3617 V 29000参数有条件接收。 [11月8日]
东经70.5度轨道位置的欧星70B号卫星Ku频段，Test 2（测试）频道新增，设置11294 H 44900参数免费接收。[11-07]
东经70.5度轨道位置的欧星70B号卫星Ku频段，HEVC Test Cisco（4K）频道重现，设置11356 V 44900参数免费接收。[11-07]
东经95度轨道位置的SES 8号卫星Ku频段，Movie Hits替换THV HD（IPM）高清频道，设置11541 H 45000参数有条件接收。[11-07]
东经105.5度轨道位置的亚洲7号卫星C频段，Jan TV替换Jaan（MPEG-4）频道，设置4065 H 4296参数免费接收。[11-07]
东经122度轨道位置的亚洲4号卫星C频段，RT（俄罗斯）频道解密，设置4035 H 12500参数免费接收。[11-06]
东经122度轨道位置的亚洲4号卫星C频段，Al Jazeera、DW（英语）频道加密，设置4035 H 12500参数有条件接收。[11-06]
东经75度轨道位置的ABS-2号卫星Ku频段，Ch-43（测试）频道新增，设置11732 V 43000参数免费接收。 [11月6日]
东经113度轨道位置的帕拉帕D号卫星C频段，Holla替换Starlite（Skynindo）频道，设置4140 V 30000参数免费接收。 [11月6日]
东经140度轨道位置的快车AM5号卫星Ku频段，Boytsovskiy Klub（俄罗斯）频道重现，设置11530 H 22250参数有条件接收。 [11月6日]
东经105.5度轨道位置的亚洲7号卫星C频段，Big Gaurav（MPEG-4）等3个频道重现，设置3891 V 11838参数有条件接收。 [11月6日]
东经96.5度轨道位置的快车AM33号卫星Ku频段，Ugra TV（俄罗斯）频道消失，设置11494 V 4400参数无效接收。 [11月6日]
Foxtel to make anti-siphoning pitch
Foxtel is pitching to trim the anti-siphoning list, and argues that outliers on the list - such as the FA Cup - could be removed without much fuss.
Foxtel is preparing a list of sports for the federal government that it believes should be taken off the anti-siphoning list because they are not of national and cultural significance.
It is understood that Foxtel will bring the list of sports to Communications Minister Mitch Fifield in the coming weeks as the government prepares for changes to media regulation.
If this trend of streaming live sport is replicated in Australia, particularly via paid subscription models, the anti-siphoning regime may need revisiting, but we are not there yet.
Rod Sims, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman
Trimming the anti-siphoning list, which dictates which events free-to-air broadcasters have first rights to bid for, is seen as a key part of getting Foxtel, which is 50 per cent owned by Rupert Murdoch's News
Corporation, on side for media reform.
The pay television provider will not be pushing for events such as National Rugby League, Australian Football League and the Melbourne Cup to be taken off the list. Rather, it will argue that outliers on the list, such as the FA Cup final, could be removed without much fuss.
It is believed the pay TV provider will also highlight that the anti-siphoning list only impacts Foxtel and that the scope of the legislation needs extending beyond traditional broadcast to become platform neutral.
It's a point highlighted by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims last week, noting that Yahoo and America's National Football League in October partnered for the first free global live stream of an NFL match which garnered 15 million users.
"If this trend of streaming live sport is replicated in Australia, particularly via paid subscription models, the anti-siphoning regime may need revisiting, but we are not there yet," Mr Sims said.
Last week, Optus secured broadcast and digital rights to the English Premier League, outbidding Fox Sports, in a deal worth more than $US45 million ($64 million) per season. The deal highlights the growing competition for rights that TV broadcasters face for premium content.
Senator Fifield is receptive to re-examining the anti-siphoning regime, and free-to-air network Nine Entertainment Co is open to some minor events being removed.
Fairfax Media understands that the government is preparing amendments to media regulation and will look to move before Christmas.
There is broad support for the removal of the reach rule preventing TV networks from broadcasting to more than 75 per cent of the population. However, the scrapping of the two out of three rule preventing media companies from owning a newspaper, radio network and television station in one market is not as widely supported.
Labor recommended the abolition of the reach rule while in power but some Opposition MPs are concerned that Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation could be able to buy up more assets and strengthen its grip of local media should the two-out-of-three rule go.
The removal of media ownership rules would spark a flurry of M&A in the sector.
The Save Our Voices campaign, led by regional networks Prime Media, Southern Cross Austereo, WIN Corp and Imparja, has sought to bolster support for the abolition of the reach rule by proposing that any buyer of a regional television network would be required to maintain the station's local news services at existing levels.
The regional broadcasters are supported by Nine and Fairfax Media, publisher of The Australian Financial Review and BusinessDay.
Does Steve Hansen have the answer for Sky TV?
OPINION: Like a gazillion other homes around the country, last Sunday the kids, the wife and I got up early to watch an apocryphal ending to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
From the compelling on-field performance, to Sonny Bill's impromptu saving of a kid from a security guard and a Wallaby captain on the brink of tears, it was an epic ending to a four year journey.
Like many other Kiwis we watched the event on Prime TV, which had been provided with the content by Sky TV.
Sky bought exclusive rights to the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand some time ago. For reasons unconfirmed, it then provided a limited selection of this content some delayed and some live to Prime.
My guess is the two largest factors in this were Rugby World Cup Limited, who during commercial negotiations with Sky would have been pleased to see some mainstream consumption; and SkyTV itself, probably wary of the public relations nightmare that would ensue from being seen to get between Kiwis and their national game.
Sky's had a tough run over the last wee while, with the shareprice dropping from $6.60 a year ago to $4.54 and downgraded profit guidance.
Prior to that it had an absolute blinder of a 20-year run, a run that largely mirrors the reign of its chief pilot John Fellet..
From the mid 90s to 2012 the company seemed to have a license to print money. Fellet the man who lost his job at Arthur Anderson Consulting after putting goldfish in the water cooler seemed to have a gift for negotiating exclusive rights to sporting events, acquiring customers and bundling.
The bundling was a shrewd piece of deal making. Because Sky had great content and a near monopoly on it; they sidled up to the big telcos and locked them into exclusive relationships. For the telcos it was an attractive option, and a way to pick up more customers.
This also meant Sky was able to lock these firms into exclusive relationships, so they weren't able to partner with other movie content providers or do it themselves. Not a problem when a telco was just a phone company, but a major pain as the telcos woke up to the fact they were consumers' digital bridge to the World Wide Web.
Two years ago the unthinkable happened. An unheard of media company, Colliseum Sports Media Management, beat Sky at its own game. In an audacious move, Colliseum signed up the rights to TV coverage of English Premier League football matches and broadcast it online for about $150 a year.
Since then Sky's exclusive telco contracts expired and global online content providers got around to targeting Godzone.
Quickflix was the first global online streaming business to set up a local business, and was followed by Spark's Lightbox and global movie gorilla Netflix.
Then of course there's the vast amount of free content (both legal and otherwise) and the commercially evolving face of Youtube.
Eager to push back, Sky launched its Igloo prepaid service with TVNZ, offering customers free-to-air content via a $200 set-top box and some pay-per-view channels. Igloo failed to hit its customer targets, having a low value menu of content and confused market positioning.
More recently they had a go with Neon Sky's first pure online offering with movies and TV on-demand. But it's far from convincing. The launch was late, delayed several times and still plagued with gremlins.
Meanwhile the price point is twice that of Netflix's basic offering. Like Igloo, Neon has been implemented in a way that isn't going to compromise the old Sky business. This means Neon has a bunch of repeated content and older TV shows, carefully calculated not to cannibalise any of the old Sky customers paying a premium for Soho or Rialto.
Therein lies the problem. Sky is desperately trying to hang onto its old model and the super profits that came with it, while at the same time compete with its online competitors who aren't trying to prop up a legacy business.
They are also trying to exert control over a medium that embodies freedom. Witness here how ViewTVabroad was able to outmanoeuvre Sky's monopoly of rights to World Cup coverage.
Talking a few days after the game All Blacks coach Steven Hansen shocked everyone by stating his intention to move on.
He noted "you can get tricked into making decisions which are right for your survival, as opposed to what is right for the team". I can't help but think the same has happened to Sky.
Maybe it's time for Sky to setup a skunkworks for a whole new service; one that is best for the tomorrow's customer rather than the survival of yesterday's business.
Mike "MOD O'Donnell is a global growth manager and professional director. His Twitter handle is @modsta and his mum love's Sky's Country channel.
Arianespace to launch communication satellites from French Guiana
The European satellite launch company Arianespace will launch two communication satellites this Tuesday from the Guiana Space Centre on Tuesday, making it the company’s 10th launch of the year and the sixth on the Ariane 5 rocket.
The France headquartered company will launch ARABSAT-6B for the operator ARABSAT and GSAT-15 for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
This will be the ninth satellite launched by Arianespace for the Saudi Arabia based operator ARABSAT.
It is the first of the sixth generation of satellites in the Arabsat fleet, and will provide broadcast, broadband and telecommunications services over Middle East, Africa and Central Asia.
GSAT-15 which was built by ISRO, will be the 19th payload launched by Arianespace for the Indian space agency.
GSAT-15, will provide telecommunications services for the entire India sub-continent, along with dedicated navigation-aid and emergency services.
The mission, from liftoff to release of the satellites, will last around 45. The launcher will carry a total payload of 9,810 kg, including approximately 8,962 kg for the two satellites.
China launches Yaogan-28 remote sensing satellite
Taiyuan, China -- China's Yaogan-28 remote sensing satellite was sent into space at 15:06 Beijing Time on Sunday from Taiyuan launch site in Shanxi Province, north China.
The satellite will mainly be used for scientific experiments, land surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster prevention.
Yaogan-28 was carried by a Long March-4B rocket, the 217th mission for the Long March rocket family.
China launched the first "Yaogan" series satellite, Yaogan-1, in 2006.
Study: C-band transfer benefits ‘grossly exaggerated’
As national administrations from across the world prepare to make critical decisions this month regarding global communications spectrum allocations, a report shows that studies suggesting enormous benefits of satellite spectrum for terrestrial wireless contain major flaws in logic, calculation and methodology.
The findings of a study done by economic consultants VVA show that in highlighting the benefits of the so-called ‘C-band’ for mobile terrestrial, cost-benefit studies done for the mobile terrestrial sector completely ignore major negative impacts on satellite communications’ user groups throughout the world. The findings come just before the question of the C-band will be considered during the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), being held in Geneva through November 2015.
Terrestrial mobile stakeholders commissioned studies from Frontier Economics and Plum to highlight the positive economic impact of the C-band for their sector. A closer look at their methodology by VVA shows that these studies ignore the cost of disruption or loss of services for sectors that rely on them today, noting that for some applications, mobile terrestrial cannot provide any replacement. Furthermore, they use incomparable benchmarks; follow an incorrect approach to calculations; overlook alternative bands and technologies; rely on unproven technical concepts and use a multiplier effect of their errors in order to exaggerate the economic benefits.
According to Monica Pesce, Managing Director of VVA, any economic analysis must take full and proper consideration of the costs of and benefits for existing players and users and new players and users. “The studies we have looked at are selective in their approach, drawing on the most favourable elements necessary to conclude a significant, positive economic benefit for the terrestrial mobile sector, even if in reality, they may be far lower when properly balanced against satellite user interests,” she advised.
In a joint statement, Aarti Holla and David Hartshorn, Secretary Generals of ESOA and GVF, non-profit associations representing the international satellite communications sector noted that: “Millions of people throughout the world depend on satellite services delivered via the C-band, and it is imperative that the decisions to be made at WRC are based on the most accurate information currently available. The C-band is used to support a wide range of services, including emergency communications, peacekeeping, distance learning, live broadcasting, tele-medicine, e-government and other vital applications. Taking away and re-allocating the spectrum required to support those services based on inaccurate terrestrial wireless analyses would have a severe impact on consumers, enterprises and governments throughout the world.”
VVA Study Findings
Research conducted by VVA which discovered that claims made recently by Plum and Frontier Economics are based on key methodological flaws, including:
•The impact on existing C-band users and the stakeholders they serve is ignored;
•Economic benefits are overestimated by using auctions on 2.6 GHz a band with different characteristics as a benchmark for spectrum value rather 3.5 GHz auction values;
•Country specific factors, obtained by using an inaccurate calculation approach, further inflate spectrum value for many countries used as case studies. Wrong quantifications are then extrapolated for considered regions. These two errors generate a multiplier effect that leads to further overestimating calculated benefits;
•Efficiency gains deriving from the usage of alternative methods to provide capacity are expressed qualitatively but are not quantified. Alternative options to C-band for spectrum usage are ignored.
MEA piracy: Time to change consumer mindset
With consumers across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) becoming more connected and tech-savvy than ever before, the complex issue of content piracy is showing no sign of letting up, according to the latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC). The global ICT consulting firm asserts that the use of illegal set-top boxes, unauthorised VPN subscriptions, and torrent downloads has become so rife across MEA that they now pose a serious threat to the region’s legitimate ecosystem of production, acquisition, delivery, and commercialisation.
“At IDC, we believe that illegal content transmission within MEA costs the industry in excess of $750 million in lost revenue every single year,” says Tracey Grant, the firm’s programme manager for digital media and broadcasting in MEA. “Sitting at the heart of the problem is the ‘laissez faire’ consumer mindset that characterises much of the region, with large sections of the population viewing content piracy as entirely socially acceptable and as a victimless crime. It is an incredibly ingrained and difficult mindset to overcome, and represents the single biggest challenge facing industry stakeholders looking to bring the practice under control.”
“It is clear then that the consumer mindset toward piracy across the region needs to change,” continues Grant. “This will certainly not be easy to achieve, but there is scope to educate the market in an attempt to alter the region’s prevailing attitudes. A key area of focus for consumer education should be the damage that piracy causes to local industries. In this regard, it is a simple matter of return on investment, because if an industry is not properly protected, growth is inevitably restricted and the cost of innovation and production becomes prohibitively high.”
“There is considerable demand in the region for more localised content, but consumers must understand that such content comes at a price,” concludes Grant. “If the content created by independent production houses is continuously pirated and made available for free via illegitimate channels, those same independent production houses will simply cease to make the content that the region’s consumers have long been crying out for. As such, there is a pressing need to educate consumers on the damage that piracy inflicts on the ability of the region to develop and sustain a truly viable ecosystem of local production.”
Sunday, no update
Saturday, no update
D1 12429 V Sr 6999 DVBS2 HD "1st Cricket Test, Aus v NZ from Brisbane"
D1 12420 V Sr 6111 Ballarat welcome home celebrations for Melb Cup winners
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Intelsat 19 166.0E 12646 H "Ant1 Pacific" is Fta.
Express AM5 140.0E 3675 R "Match TV has replaced Rossiya 2" on , BISS.
Express AM5 140.0E 10981 V "Match TV has replaced Rossiya 2" on , encrypted.
Express AM3103.0E 3675 R "Match TV has replaced Rossiya 2" on ,Fta.
Yamal 401 90.0E 3645 L "Match TV has replaced Rossiya 2" on , BISS.
Yamal 401 90.0E Match TV has replaced Rossiya 2 on 4026 L, 4106 R, 4124 L and 11131 V, Fta.
Intelsat 15 85.2E 12640 V "Match TV has replaced Rossiya 2" on , encrypted.
ABS 2 75.0E 11853 V "Match TV has replaced Rossiya 2" on , encrypted.
ABS 2 75.0E 12153 H Perviy kanal, RTR Planeta, Rossiya 24, Karusel, Dom Kino, Russkiy Illusion and Muzika have started on , Irdeto.
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Optus adds SatSleeve+ and SatSleeve Hotspot to offer
Optus Satellite announced the availability of Thuraya’s new SatSleeve models, the SatSleeve+ and SatSleeve Hotspot to deliver mobile coverage across Australia where line of sight to the satellite exists. SatSleeve+ connects to a range of iOS or Android devices from Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony and Huawei, and enables users to turn their handset into a satellite phone via a SatSleeve app.
The SatSleeve allows calls to a mobile number from end-users' contacts. If end-users are out of mobile range, the call will be diverted to the satellite phone free of charge. The SatSleeve was launched in 2013 and pioneered ‘bring-your-own device’ in the satellite industry. End-users can access voice, SMS and data services with the sleeve, providing there is a direct line of sight to the satellite. The new SatSleeve models use WiFi (rather than Bluetooth) to connect with the smartphone and are controlled through the all new, free SatSleeve Hotspot app. The Thuraya SatSleeve+ and Hotspot are priced at AUD 899 per unit.
Media giant focuses on property listings for future growth in the face of declining revenue.
Murdoch's pay TV service Foxtel has also reported a loss of revenue. Photo: AAP
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is depending on its digital property listings business for future earnings growth, as revenues from its news business continue to slide.
The media giant on Friday reported first quarter earnings had suffered a 15 per cent fall to $US165 million ($A230.91 million), mainly on account of a weak print advertising market in Australia and currency fluctuations from a lower Australian dollar.
Revenues declined four per cent to $US2.01 billion.
• Foxtel ‘clearly under threat’ as it loses EPL broadcast rights
• Foxtel loses Premier League rights to Optus
• Ten Network posts $312.2m loss
Its digital property listings business lifted revenue 71 per cent to $US191 million, helped by the 2014 acquisition of US online real estate group Move Inc.
The division reported flat earnings, although its main Australia-listed business REA Group lifted earnings 30 per cent to $A82 million as a local property boom fuels strong listing volumes.
“We have aggressively shifted focus to the digital real estate business and believe REA Group will be the core pillar of future earnings,” chief financial officer Bedi Singh told analysts.
Newscorp has been expanding the business globally, as a means to offset declining advertising revenue from its newspapers. Earlier this week REA launched a $750 million takeover bid for Southeast Asia-focused rival iProperty.
News Corp’s rival Fairfax has largely been supported by its real estate business Domain. Photo: AAP
The shift mirrors the fortunes of its Australian media rival Fairfax, which on Thursday said revenue at its own real estate advertising business Domain had jumped 68 per cent so far this year, while the print publications had reported a nine per cent slide in revenues.
News Corp’s stable of newspapers, which include The Australian, The Times in Britain and The New York Post, suffered an 11 per cent decline in revenues during the quarter.
“Foreign exchange fluctuations negatively impacted reported results, but this should not obscure the progress at many of our businesses,” chief executive Robert Thomson said.
News Corp said earnings (before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) from its News and Information business fell 21 per cent in the three months to September 30.
Advertising revenue in the segment was down 13 per cent during the quarter, while circulation and subscription revenues declined six per cent.
“We are actively examining cost structures at News Australia and looking at operational efficiencies,” Mr Singh told analysts.
The media company also said pay TV subsidiary Foxtel, which it owns in partnership with Telstra, suffered a 37 per cent slide in US-reported earnings to $US140 million, due to higher programming and marketing costs and a lower Australian dollar.
News Corp’s overall quarterly net profit rose 31 per cent to $US143 million, thanks to a tax benefit on the recent sale of its US digital education business Amplify.
At 1145 AEDT, News Corp shares were trading 1.1 per cent lower at $21.45 each.
Sky On Demand an 'evolution' with potential
Sky has promised to make its new electronic programming guide easier to view from a distance.
REVIEW: Sky On Demand is the biggest change the pay-television company has put in front of its 2 million viewers in almost 10 years.
It is not as much of a revolution as MySky, which debuted in 2006, bringing with it the ability to pause and rewind programmes and to record them to a planner at the touch of a button.
But it is a significant change nonetheless, that is likely to satisfy expectations if not greatly exceed them.
The main idea of On Demand is that instead of waiting for shows and movies to roll-around on satellite channels, viewers can download them to their Sky box over the internet, to watch straight away or later from their planner.
Since Sky generally can't let On Demand content get ahead of its broadcast schedule (just think about the potential for spoilers) "shows" in most cases does mean "repeats".
Head of curation Kathy Wright says exceptions might include pilots for new series that Sky could offer online ahead of their broadcast.
Sky is also offering on-demand some box-sets of shows it has never broadcast, such as comedy Offspring and crime series Person of Interest.
It has promised to upgrade its newer MySky set-top boxes to support Sky On Demand in time for Christmas.
But it is subscribers who are currently using its ancient Sky Digital set-top boxes and owners of Sky's equally antiquated silver "first-generation" MySky boxes who will benefit most.
Yes, they will have to wait up to 18 months to have their set-top boxes replaced with a new Sky Live set-top box able to support On Demand.
But the new box also has other (ahem) modern-day miracles previously denied to them, such as support for HD and an HDMI output.
Customers who have signed up to "premium" entertainment channel Soho will probably be pleased with the number of individual programmes and "box sets" available for download.
On Demand could really come into its own for Soho subscribers who belatedly discover a series worth watching halfway or later through its broadcast season.
There is less available online for Sky "basic" customers; there are some box sets of more edgy shows such as Game of Thrones, Diary of a Call Girl and The Inbetweeners, but it is thin on light family-oriented entertainment at launch.
Sky spokeswoman Kirsty Way promises the amount of programming available on-demand "can only grow", however, and Wright says it will take into account what it seems viewers want to watch when building up its online inventory.
Half-hour shows took about two minutes to fully download to the Sky Live planner via my home wi-fi network, which runs off a 50 megabit per second Vodafone cable connection.
But there should be no need to wait for shows to completely download and they were "ready for viewing" in about 20 seconds.
With the new features comes a little extra complexity. Sky has estimated it may take viewers about a week to get used to its new menu structures and search functions, but most subscribers will probably have it all sussed within half-an-hour.
The upgrade has a couple of drawbacks that aren't related to its internet capabilities as such, but instead to a new electronic programming guide (EPG) which Sky is updating at the same time.
The first is that although the EPG is in high-definition, its font is spider-leg thin.
The result is that unless you happen to be a professional sniper, there is a risk you will have to get up from the couch to see what's on and change channels.
Okay I exaggerate; but you may find, like me, that you need your glasses to view the new EPG from the sofa whereas you didn't before. Way says Sky has received the same gripe from trialists, so a change of typeface is in the wings.
Also, while you are browsing the EPG, it will play the audio from the last channel watched, unless audio is manually muted.
There might be benefits to this if you want to quickly browse the EPG without missing the plot or the sports commentary on a programme you plan to flick back to.
But most times you want to stop watching a programme, you probably want to stop hearing it too.
You can search for shows on the new EPG by starting to type in their names through the alphanumeric keys on the remote; in much the same way as you would type a text message on an older phone.
The feature works surprisingly well, but it does mean Sky will need to stop calling shows things like All New: Downton Abbey to avoid some confused subscribers. Way says it has this one in hand.
A neat feature of the EPG is there is a mode under which it can list only favourite channels that you can preselect. This means you can browse what's on without having scroll through channels no-one is ever going to watch like Fox News.
The biggest issue I expect most households will encounter getting started with On Demand is that customers will need to remember or track down the password to their wi-fi network before being able to access programmes wirelessly over the internet.
Sky Live boxes have a wi-fi receiver built in so connecting them to a wi-fi network is a doddle, and Sky has confirmed it won't charge for the wi-fi dongle that can be used to connect its existing HDi boxes to the Net (contrary to the pricing still posted on its website).
If your home internet connection happens to drop out during a download, the Sky Live box may "freeze" requiring a hard reset (pushing the power button on the front panel for 5 seconds).
But it is too early to comment meaningfully on reliability and my initial impressions were that the platform seemed stable.
Intriguingly there is a tab for "apps" in Sky's new menu that is essentially unused at launch. The company won't say what apps it is planning, but Way says the On Demand upgrade is the start of a change rather than the end of one.
As it becomes more common for people to ignore broadcast schedules and watch more programmes downloaded from the internet at time of their choosing, the challenge of "discovering" programmes working out what best to watch will grow to become I think a big one for many television viewers.
"The whole area of search and recommendations is one we are focused on developing and improving," Way says.
Vodafone consumer director Matt Williams has indicated for the first time that Sky On Demand will come to customers of its Vodafone TV service.
That service is provided through Vodafone's own set-top boxes that connect to its cable networks in Wellington and Christchurch, rather than accessing broadcasts via satellite.
"We are looking forward to bringing Sky On Demand to our customers through our exclusive partnership with Sky, and also to Vodafone TV customers," Williams said. Vodafone TV customers in Wellington and Christchurch will no doubt be looking forward to more details including the timing.
Netflix CEO: “We won’t offer news or sport”
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, speaking at the New York Times DealBook Conference, firmly denied that Netflix would be entering the news business. The denial came about following comments from Netflix’s content chief Ted Sarandos who had seemed to suggest that Netflix would happily compete head-to-head with on-line TV newcomer Vice.
Hastings clarified the position, telling delegates at the conference that “You don’t want to invest in things that are dying”. He said Netflix would be looking closely at creating documentaries but would not be covering live news or reporting. He also confirmed Netflix has no plans to offer sport.
A small update today
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FIRB clears Foxtel's 15 per cent buyout of Ten
The Foreign Investment Review Board has confirmed it will not oppose Foxtel's purchase of a 15 per cent stake in the Ten Network.
The deal will involve a capital raising from the Ten Network of up to $154 million.
Foxtel will take up to $77 million worth of shares at 15 cents, giving them about 15 per cent of the company.
The deal will also see Ten become a 24.99 per cent shareholder in Multi Channel Network, Foxtel's $500 million advertising business.
It will also give Ten the option of becoming a 10 per cent shareholder in Foxtel's subscription streaming service, Presto.
According to a Ten Network statement, the free-to-air network has been notified that the Foreign Investment Review Board will not oppose the proposed transaction between Ten and Foxtel Management Pty Limited, as agent for the Foxtel Partnership, to acquire up to a 15 per cent interest in TEN.
"The proposed transaction still remains subject to satisfaction of certain standard conditions precedent," according to the statement.
Melbourne Cup viewing figures open era of streaming success
The audience for the 2015 Melbourne Cup was up, or down, depending on who you asked the only point of agreement was the audience appeal of the fairytale first win by a female jockey.
In traditional TV audience measurement, the average metro audience of 2.068 million viewers, and 2.931 million nationally (peaking at 3.156 million), was the lowest audience for the race since the advent of Peoplemeter measurements by OzTAM in 2001.
The capital-city audience for the great race won by jockey Michelle Payne on the 100-to-1 longshot Prince Of Penzance was down on last year’s 2.178 million and well down on the 2.741 million viewers who watched Green Moon win the 2012 Melbourne Cup and the 2.704 million for Americain’s 2010 win.
The official broadcaster, the Seven Network, streamed the race for the first time as part of its push to stream all its channels on mobile and other digital devices, and claimed it was the largest live streamed event in this country, with 342,000 concurrent streams during the race (a further 44,000 viewers watched the race on Foxtel’s Sky Racing).
The romance of Payne’s win ensured viewers stayed with the race and its aftermath, though, when the jockey memorably said the chauvinists in the racing industry could “get stuffed”.
The “race presentation” segment after the Cup averaged 2.546 million viewers nationally, peaking at 3.04 million (with an average metro audience of 1.788 million), an abnormally high figure for the wash-up of a sporting event and attributable to the appeal of Payne and her brother, strapper Stevie.
The streaming figures are a fillip for Seven, which is the first commercial network to broadcast its signal in this manner. The Melbourne Cup was not only a strong promotional device for the new service but the mobile audience also exceeded expectations. Ratings agency OzTAM will begin releasing TV ratings with matched audiences from mobile streaming within a month and they are anticipated to help arrest the single-figure percentage decline in TV viewing this year.
If added to the preliminary OzTAM ratings, the streaming figure would have lifted the Melbourne Cup TV audience to beyond 2.4 million viewers, placing the Cup as the seventh biggest audience since 2001.
Entel, O3b launch new Easter Island satellite link
Chilean telecoms operator Entel has announced the launch of a new satellite connection to Easter Island (Rapa Nui) via a partnership with O3b Networks. The remote Pacific island previously relied on a single geostationary satellite but will now connect to O3b’s 12-satellite constellation with a total capacity of over 100 Gbps. The new satellite connection was inaugurated in a traditional Tahu Humu ceremony attended by Pedro Huichalaf, head of Chile's Department of Telecommunications (Subtel).
To coincide with the launch, Entel announced two new tariff plans designed specifically for Easter Island residents, meaning users won’t have to travel to Chile to buy a mobile phone plan for the first time ever. The first plan comes with 500 minutes of calls to all destinations, 500 text messages and 500 MB of data for CLP 12,990, while the second plan includes unlimited minutes, 1,000 text messages and 1GB of mobile data for CLP 19,990.
Russian Space Agency signs contracts for 31 commercial launches in 2015
The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) signed contracts for 31 commercial space launches in 2015, the agency's head Igor Komarov said Tuesday.
A number of these lauches will be carried out from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East, he added.
"We have signed a record number of contracts on commercial services. Contracts on 31 launches have been signed, and the Soyuz launches, a significant part, we plan to carry out in 2018-2019 from Vostochny," Komarov told Rossiya-24.
The total cost of construction of the Vostochny space center in Russia's Far East is estimated at 180 billion rubles ($2.9 billion), the head of Roscosmos said.
"According to experts, the construction of launch facilities at the future Vostochny space center is estimated at 120 billion rubles. However, it is obvious that a cosmodrome is not only launch pads, therefore, in our estimates the total cost could be as much as 180 billion rubles."
SkyPerfect offers UHD-HDR by DTH
Japan’s SkyPerfect JSAT pay-TV operator is to offer Ultra-HD transmissions in High Dynamic Range to its DTH subscribers.
SkyPerfect is already transmitting UHD signals via its JCSAT-3A satellite. The broadcaster will demo the new signals at the Tokyo InterBee Broadcast Equipment event on November 18th 20th.
For the 4K HDR transmission, an uplink using existing facilities at the SKY Perfect JSAT Tokyo Media Center (TMC) will be sent from the JCSAT-3A communication satellite to the Inter BEE venue. Programming will consist of a variety of prerecorded SKY Perfect JSAT HDR video content and live TMC studio programmes. The 4K HDR format itself uses a Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) system, jointly developed by Japan’s public broadcaster NHK and the BBC and standardised by the Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB).
HLG is widely considered to offer a distinct advantage in that it is backwardly compatible with older digital transmission technologies.
Discovery offering OTT in US, expands Eurosport
Discovery is to offer “direct to consumer” programming App to its US viewers. Discovery’s president/CEO David Zaslav told analysts: “We have invested over the last year and a half primarily through our Eurosport partnership and in Northern Europe with the Eurosport app and with Dplay. We’re learning a lot. Both of those platforms are growing meaningfully. We do have a target in place which we’re calling March to a Million. We have 200,000 subscribers right now. And if we can get to a million at the $6 to $8 a month, we could generate close to $100 million in revenue.”
Zaslav said the OTT growth was not coming at the expense of conventional viewing. “In fact the linear channel grew more than 15% in the past quarter. So people are signing up for the U.S. Open and they’re watching maybe a choice of 18 courts. Most of it is when they’re outside the home and then when they’re in the home, they’re watching one of the three Eurosport channels in most cases. So we’re finding that it’s additive.”
He also addressed the prospects for further international expansion. “Right now, we feel very good about the growth characteristics of our International business. We’re growing share. Because we’ve been able to grow share, we feel like we have a real ability and you’re seeing it in our ability to drive price on advertising, and together with Sports in Europe and Kids in Latin America and more scale to drive pricing on distribution and you’ll start to see more of that. Because we’re in 220 countries and we have, on average, 10 channels, we have a fair amount of synergy. And so we’re always looking opportunistically, but we don’t feel like we need to do anything.”
Specifically commenting on Eurosport, Zaslav said that Discovery had discovered that they could grow audiences and ratings without buying big-time football. “The good thing for us is we’ve kind of ducked our heads on that. And because so much economics has gone to soccer and because we’re the only player that can offer a pan-European platform, we’ve been able to sweep in 60-plus deals of very compelling rights, whether it’s speed skating, speed jumping; most of winter sports, summer track and field, more cycling, more tennis at mid-single-digit. And we’re even having discussions with some players that bought soccer that are looking to pick up some extra economics by selling some of these niche sports.”
BBC Store launches
Following advanced-television.com’s revelation that a launch of the BBC Store download-to-own service was imminent, the BBC has confirmed that it will be available from the morning of November 5th, providing what the BBC says offers an easy way for audiences to buy, enjoy and keep their favourite BBC programmes.
Bal Samra, Commercial Director, BBC, described the move as “an opening up of the treasure trove of the BBC Archive,” which was bringing more to people than ever before. “BBC Store, operated by BBC Worldwide, is the result of a fantastic collaboration with the creative industry,” he stated.
For over thirty years, selected BBC programmes have been available to buy first on VHS, then DVD and more recently on digital download platforms such as iTunes. Now with more viewing switching to digital, BBC Store allows audiences to choose from a selection of recently broadcast programmes; television favourites and lost gems from the BBC archive, making it what Marcus Arthur MD, BBC Worldwide and ANZ, described as “the most comprehensive collection of BBC content anywhere, ever”.
“We’ve really tried to make it easy for people to browse, buy and watch the content,” advised Arthur, noting that the service would launch with 7,000 hours of content, with 50 per cent more content being added in the coming year. The collection will continue to build as more programmes are added each day from iPlayer and the BBC archive.
“We want BBC Store to do for digital ownership what iPlayer did for catch-up,” declared Arthur, noting that it would be offering content that had never been available before commercially or had been available in different formats but was now available in VoD. “There has only ever been less than 10 per cent of the BBC’s archives ever available to buy and own,” he advised. “This is just the start of the journey to create now revenue streams,” he added.
Audiences will be able to watch the programmes they’ve bought from BBC Store on BBC iPlayer as their purchases will appear in the new ‘My Programmes’ area of BBC iPlayer to play back in full. They will also be able to access BBC Store directly from iPlayer, to find, buy and watch BBC shows. iPlayer will continue to offer the same range of programmes to watch live, catch up on and download for up the 30 days for free.
Dan Taylor-Watt, Head of BBC iPlayer, said the launch of BBC Store coincided with a significant milestone in the evolution of iPlayer the addition of ‘Places to Buy’ links enabling users to buy and keep and to watch BBC Store purchases back on iPlayer.
The service will only be available in the UK, with audiences being able to buy programmes using a UK-registered credit or debit card. Executives said there are “no plans” to take it overseas, stressing that a mooted US subscription service is “totally different” from BBC Store.
Prices will be similar to other download-to-own services. Prices for a single episode start at £1.89. with the average price for a six-part series is £7.99. Users can also elect to buy programmes in Standard Definition, or, for a little more, in High Definition.
GSAT-15 set to replace dying INSAT-3A and 4B
GSAT-15, the mainly communications satellite being put in space next week, will replace two older spacecraft that will likely expire in the coming months.
Its 24 transponders are solely in the Ku band and will cater to DTH (direct-to-home) television first, besides supporting the thousands of VSAT operators who provide broadband services; and DSNG (digital satellite news gathering) for TV news channels.
GSAT-15 will not add new transponder capacity to the country; it will ‘ensure sustainability of service’for the capacity-hungry DTH sector, according to A.S. Kiran Kumar, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation and Secretary, Department of Space. It will also carry the third GAGAN satellite navigation transponder as a back-up for airlines and other users of augmented GPS-based systems.
Indian DTH broadcasters have been forced to lease 59 transponders on foreign satellites over the region; less than half of that capacity (26) is allotted for DTH on Indian communication satellites, mainly to Doordarshan and Tata Sky.
The immediate focus is on bridging the Ku-band shortage, Mr. Kiran Kumar told The Hindu .
“There is a constraint on spectrum. We want to reduce dependence on external transponders in about two years. We are in the process of finalising a solution for it. But I cannot spell out details.”
The heavyweight 4,000-kg-class GSAT-11 due in a couple of years, would add a significant number of transponders for national users, he said.
GSAT-15, weighing 3,164 kg, will be launched in the wee hours of November 11 (IST) from Kourou in French Guiana (in South America) on the European Arianespace’s Ariane-5 launcher.
The satellite cost and the launch fee are around Rs. 860 crore.
GSAT-15 will be flown along with Saudi Arabia’s Arabsat-6B/Badr-7.
To be stationed over the country at a slot at 93.5 degrees East longitude, the upcoming satellite must quickly replace INSAT-3A and INSAT-4B that are completing their tenure-- one in November and another later next year, Mr. Kiran Kumar said.
INSAT-3A, launched in April 2003, has completed its 12-year life. INSAT-4B, flown in March 2007, got reduced to half its functions in 2010 after one of its two power-generating solar panels developed a snag.
The two Indian rockets -- PSLV and GSLV -- cannot pitch the weight of GSAT-15 to its slot 36,000 km high. Mr. Kiran Kumar said ISRO had signed up Arianespace to launch GSAT-17, GSAT-18 and the heavier GSAT-11.
Its transponders will cater to DTH television, besides supporting VSAT operators who provide broadband services
NEWSFLASH! new satellite planned for 169E slot
"Intelsat and JSAT to Bring High Throughput Capacity to Asia Pacific to Meet Growing Mobility and Broadband Demands "
See NEWS section
New Channel coming on SKY NZ "MTV Music" From December 1. It will replace MTV Hits and MTV Classic
•A brand new music channel, MTV Music, will launch at 6.00am on Tuesday 1 December as part of SKY's Basic package. It is available to all SKY domestic customers at no extra cost on channel 022.
•MTV Music will bring together the best of MTV Hits and MTV Classics, broadcasting fresh new hits from the latest top artists, as well as classic favourites from the 90's to today, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
•As a result MTV Hits and MTV Classics will no longer be available as standalone channels on SKY.
•MTV Music will be programmed exclusively for Kiwis by MTV, and will feature all of the content music fans expect including top 40 countdowns, flashbacks, VJ and special guest hosted shows and more.
•MTV Music will offer audiences the opportunity to create their own video content at mtvbump.com that will bring user generated content from social media on-air and across the MTV platforms with the hashtag #MTVBump.
•MTV Music offers exclusive international content, including access to iconic MTV award shows and global festivals.
•MTV Music is also available on IGLOO.
D2 12547 H Sr 6978 ABC feeding CBS programming from the US (Aus beam)
D2 12358 H Sr 8570 All blacks Auckland (NZ beam)
D2 12447 H Sr 6670 Tv3 allblacks coverage (NZ beam)
From my Email
From the Dish
Intelsat 19 166.0E 12726 H "BBC Arabic" has started on , Fta.
Optus D2 152.0E Kurdistan 24 has started on 12706 V, clear.
Palapa D 113.0E Zhejiang Satellite TV has replaced Zee Hiburan on 3780 V and 12590 H, Irdeto.
AsiaSat 7 105.5E 3696 V "SMNI" has started on , Fta.
AsiaSat 7 105.5E 4065 H "MLQ Movies has replaced Azad Movies" on , Fta.
AsiaSat 7 105.5E 4165 H "Cinema 1, Rhythm TV and Mega Hit" have started on , Fta. Mega Movies, Mega Music and MLQ Movies have left.
Yamal 401 90.0E 11565 V "Studiya Fakt" has left .
From asiatvro site
东经113度轨道位置的帕拉帕D号卫星Ku频段，浙江卫视（MPEG-4）频道新增，设置12590 H 29900参数有条件接收。[11-04]
东经90度轨道位置的雅玛尔401号卫星Ku频段，Russia Today（俄罗斯）频道新增，设置11305 V 30000参数免费接收。[11-04]
东经100.5度轨道位置的亚洲5号卫星C频段，卫视中文电影、卫视中文（MPEG-4）等5个频道加密，设置4040 H 29720参数有条件接收。[11-04]
东经83度轨道位置的印星4A号卫星C频段，Indir 24x7（MPEG-4）频道重现，设置4040 H 7500参数免费接收。[11-04]
东经78.5度轨道位置的泰星5号卫星C频段，Movie Hits（泰国）频道新增，设置3545 V 30000参数有条件接收。[11-04]
东经108.2度轨道位置的新天11号卫星Ku频段，龙祥时代、天映经典（环宇卫视）等频道加密，设置12591 H 30000参数有条件接收。[11-04]
东经75度轨道位置的ABS-2号卫星Ku频段，Shoping Live（俄罗斯）频道新增，设置11560 V 22000参数免费接收。 [11月3日]
东经138度轨道位置的亚太5号卫星Ku频段，公视2台替换彩虹娱乐（数码天空）频道，设置12430 V 22425参数有条件接收。 [11月3日]
东经140度轨道位置的快车AM5号卫星Ku频段，Sport 1（俄罗斯）频道消失，设置10981 V 44948参数无效接收。 [11月3日]
东经138度轨道位置的亚太5号卫星Ku频段，非凡新闻（数码天空）高清频道改格式，设置12430 V 22425参数有条件接收。 [11月3日]
东经95度轨道位置的SES 8号卫星Ku频段，MNS 1、MNS 2（IPM）等4个频道解密，设置11481 H 45000参数免费接收。 [11月3日]
Hands on AerialBox T2200 FreeviewPlus personal video recorder
The AerialBox T2200 taps into the FreeviewPlus onscreen guide to record your favourite shows.
The first recorder to rely on Freeview's onscreen TV guide, the AerialBox T2200 PVR has an impressive trick to help you catch the end of your favourite shows.
The $369 AerialBox T2200 PVR takes the FreeviewPlus EPG to the next level, finally letting you schedule recordings using the onscreen guide. Its recording features are rather limited with one key exception that may win you over.
Under the bonnet
In terms of hardware the AerialBox T2200 PVR covers all the basics, with built-in Ethernet and Wi-Fi. It has a 1TB hard drive and two HD digital tuners, letting you record two channels at once while you watch a third although that third channel must be from the same network as one of the channels you're already recording.
This means you can record Channels 7 and 9 while watching 7TWO or GO, but you can't flick across to watch Channel 10. It's the bare minimum you'd expect from a decent PVR, some competitors are more flexible.
The AerialBox supports the usual PVR tricks like pausing live TV and watching the start of a show while you're still recording the end. It can also automatically buffer whatever you're watching, so you can rewind live TV, although this isn't enabled by default. Perhaps this is because the buffering features are so rough around the edges although I'm told it will improve with a future firmware update..
When you enable automatic buffering an annoying "recording" notification pops up every time you change channel. The buffer cuts out if you're already recording two shows, at which point you see a different annoying message every time you change channel. Enabling the buffer can also play havoc with recordings for some reason recording a show on the channel that's currently buffering can occasionally result in an eight-hour recording. I'm told that the manufacturer is aware of these issues and is working on a fix.
Another frustrating quirk is that if you've paused a live broadcast to make a coffee and then resumed watching on five-minute delay, you're not warned against changing the channel and accidentally deleting that five minutes in the buffer an annoying flaw admittedly found in most PVRs.
On the upside, if you press record during a live broadcast the AerialBox will automatically add everything in the buffer to the start of the recording. Unfortunately the box isn't smart enough to automatically check when the show will end and insists on asking you how long it should keep recording.
Check the guide
The AerialBox's recording features are somewhat convoluted, not helped by the fact that it has access to both the free-to-air Electronic Program Guide embedded in the broadcast signal and the more reliable FreeviewPlus EPG downloaded from the internet. The free-to-air guide is a hotch potch mess, for example it adds "Sneak Peek" details to program titles, which screws up recurring Series Recordings.
To see the FreeviewPlus EPG you need to get into the habit of pressing the green button on the remote to call up the onscreen guide even though it can be slow to load. It's not just FreeviewPlus, the AerialBox generally feels a bit sluggish especially when you've enabled the auto-buffering feature.
FreeviewPlus is a Reverse EPG, so you can scroll back through time to tap into Catch Up TV from all five major networks. Alternatively you can press the red button to call up the Catch Up app for the network you're currently watching.
Access to all five free-to-air Catch Up services is great but sadly these are the T2200's only internet features. There are no rental or subscription services, nor can you use DLNA to stream content around your home. You're also missing out on remote scheduling options to set recordings via your computer, smartphone or tablet.
The FreeviewPlus guide has been around for 12 months, built into a growing range of televisions and set-top boxes, but the AerialBox T2200's claim to fame is the new "Record" option in the onscreen FreeviewPlus guide. You can also create a Series Recording to check the guide for upcoming episodes handy for shows like Gotham which bounce around on Nine.
Unfortunately there's no way to modify Series Recordings you can't specify how many episodes to keep, which channels to monitor or whether to skip repeats (the FreeviewPlus EPG actually fails to mention whether shows are repeats). There are no auto-delete options on the AerialBox either, so you'll need to get into the habit of deleting old shows or risk a failed recording when the hard drive fills up. Again, Freeview tells me this feature in on the roadmap.
The secret ingredient
There are plenty of niggling issues which mean that the AerialBox isn't as user-friendly as a TiVo which I still consider the gold standard when it comes to PVR usability. Local PVR options like FetchTV are also easier to use and offer plenty of extra features TPG has declared a truce with FetchTV so it's easier to buy through an ISP.
The AerialBox T2200's biggest flaw would seem to be the inability to deal with programs which run late, but all is not as it seems.
Dip into the PVR settings and the AerialBox lets you set global pre- and post-padding, to automatically start recording early and then run over in case the show runs late. You can add up to 15 minutes before and after, applied to every recording.
If you're familiar with the contempt that Australia's commercial networks have for their broadcasts schedules then you'll know that 15 minutes of post-padding is woefully inadequate. You need at least 30 minutes for some shows, especially when you're dealing with live broadcasts like sport, or you're likely to miss the end a pain that Australian TV viewers know all too well.
Freeview's claims of a "to-the-minute accurate" EPG won't always save the day when a show unexpectedly runs late, as it's not always updated in time. As a torture test I instructed the AerialBox to record Nine's Gotham on the Sunday night of the NRL Grand Final, when the post-match Footy Show was bound to run late.
Fatty Vautin's antics ensured that Gotham started 27 minutes late but the AerialBox wasn't foiled. It ignored its own post-padding rules and kept recording to ensure it didn't miss the end recording two hours in all.
This impressive trick is thanks to the real-time CRID (Content Reference IDentifier) data which is embedded in the broadcast signal. It's a hidden flag which tells your recorder what's actually screening right now rather than what's supposed to be screening. This way it doesn't matter how late your show runs, the AerialBox should always capture the end. Of course that's assuming that the real-time CRID data is always accurate, but it still has its bad days because the networks don't always keep it up to date.
Freeview's previous attempt at an EPG also tapped into CRID data, but the lack of post-padding meant you could still miss the last 59 seconds of a show. The new FreeviewPlus EPG running on the AerialBox T2200 is much better equipped to ensure this doesn't happen.
To be fair it's not the only device to tap into the hidden CRID data; the FetchTV PVR also uses it to detect when a show is running late, while IceTV had planned CRID support for the Skippa down the track.
So what's the verdict?
The AerialBox T2200 is a basic PVR which might suit homes with basic needs, perhaps those which are still mourning the loss of their old VCR. It offers an easy way to get all five catch up TV services on your television, but competing PVRs can record more programs at once and offer a lot more internet features.
That said, it's hard to ignore its ability to monitor real-time CRID data, which means the AerialBox T2200 should be one of the most reliable PVRs in Australia, at least in theory. If you tend to record shows which are notorious for running late, or the shows which screen after them, then a FreeviewPlus-powered recorder like the AerialBox T2200 might be a good fit for your lounge room.
Intelsat and JSAT to Bring High Throughput Capacity to Asia Pacific to Meet Growing Mobility and Broadband Demands
The fourth joint satellite project of Intelsat and JSAT
Intelsat completes its global High Performance Intelsat EpicNG broadband satellite infrastructure with Horizons 3e to be located at 169 Degrees East
November 04, 2015 02:30 AM Eastern Standard Time
LUXEMBOURG & TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I), the world’s leading provider of satellite services, and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation today announced that the two companies have signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture that will launch a new satellite with optimized C-band and high throughput Ku-band capacity to satisfy the growing mobility and broadband connectivity demands in the Asia-Pacific region. To be known as Horizons 3e, the satellite is based on the Intelsat EpicNG high throughput design which, upon launch, will complete the global footprint of the Intelsat EpicNG next generation platform. The satellite will be stationed at the 169 degrees East orbital location with a launch expected in the second half of 2018.
“Today marks another milestone in our long history of collaboration with JSAT”
Building upon a successful alliance between the two operators, the Horizons 3e satellite marks the fourth satellite to be owned jointly by JSAT and Intelsat, following Horizons-1 (launched in 2003); Horizons-2 (launched in 2007) and Intelsat 15/JCSAT-85 (launched in 2009).
With the most advanced digital payload on a commercial satellite, bandwidth flexibility and power portability, Horizons 3e will bring high performance, improved economics and simple access to the aeronautical and maritime mobility, cellular backhaul, corporate enterprise and government customers operating in the region.
“Today marks another milestone in our long history of collaboration with JSAT,” stated Stephen Spengler, Chief Executive Officer, Intelsat. “With Horizons 3e, we will introduce the Intelsat EpicNG platform to the Asia-Pacific region, completing our global high throughput footprint and enhancing our IntelsatOne® Flex service platform. The scalability, power and flexibility of Intelsat EpicNG will provide commercial and governmental aeronautical and maritime services with unprecedented seamless, contiguous broadband coverage over the most widely trafficked routes from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In addition, the higher performance and improved economics of Intelsat EpicNG will enable fixed and mobile network operators to expand their networks and provide much needed broadband connectivity to the more remote communities of the region.”
“Horizons 3e is a significant project for both Intelsat and JSAT,” stated Shinji Takada, President & Chief Executive Officer, JSAT. “This new state-of-art satellite will lead to the expansion of our next generation business in the Asia and Pacific region utilizing the HTS technology. Satellite communications demands for the region will definitely continue to grow and the project is essential for us to uptake of the growth demand for the region.”
The formation of the JSAT/Intelsat venture features equal ownership of the satellite, which will be constructed over a 2.5 year period. Given the business construct, the program will not be considered part of Intelsat’s capital expenditure program.
Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I) is the world’s leading provider of satellite services, delivering high performance connectivity solutions for media, fixed and mobile broadband infrastructure, enterprise and government and military applications for more than 50 years. Intelsat’s satellite, teleport and fiber infrastructure is unmatched in the industry, setting the standard for transmissions of video and broadband services. From the globalization of content and the proliferation of HD, to the expansion of cellular networks and mobile broadband access, with Intelsat, envision your future network, connect using our leading satellite technology and transform your opportunities. Envision…Connect…Transform…with Intelsat. For more information, visit www.intelsat.com.
About SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation
SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation is a leader in the converging fields of broadcasting and communications. It is Asia’s largest satellite operator with a fleet of 16 satellites, and Japan’s only provider of both multi-channel pay TV broadcasting and satellite communications services. SKY Perfect JSAT delivers a broad range of entertainment through the SKY PerfecTV! platform, the most extensive in Japan with a total of 3.5 million subscribers. In addition, SKY Perfect JSAT’s satellite communications services, which cover Japan and the rest of Asia, as well as Oceania, Russia, Middle East, Hawaii and North America, play a vital role in supporting safety, security and convenience for society as a whole. For more information, please visit www.sptvjsat.com and www.jsat.net.
About Horizons 3e
The Horizons 3e satellite is owned by a new joint venture company, Horizons-3 Satellite LLC, the membership of which will be held by JSAT International Inc., a subsidiary of JSAT and Intelsat Horizons-3 Corporation, a subsidiary of Intelsat, both of which are based in the United States.
Intelsat Safe Harbor Statement:
Statements in this news release constitute "forward-looking statements" that do not directly or exclusively relate to historical facts. When used in this release, the words “may,” “will,” “might,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “project,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “intend,” “potential,” “outlook,” and “continue,” and the negative of these terms, and other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements and information.
The forward-looking statements reflect Intelsat's intentions, plans, expectations, assumptions and beliefs about future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside of Intelsat's control. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements include known and unknown risks. Known risks include, among others, the risks described in Intelsat’s annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2014, and its other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Because actual results could differ materially from Intelsat's intentions, plans, expectations, assumptions and beliefs about the future, you are urged to view all forward-looking statements with caution. Intelsat does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Director, Investor Relations and Communications
Long March 3B launches with Chinasat-2C
China launched a new communications satellite on Tuesday one that may sport military applications. The Zhongxing-2C spacecraft otherwise known as Chinasat-2C was launched at 16:25 UTC, lifting off via a Long March 3B/G2 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
Zhongxing-2C the name cited by Chinese media is possibly the second satellite of the second generation Shentong geostationary military communication satellites.
China uses two types of satellites for secure military communications: the Fenghuo and the Shentong.
The Fenghuo series is used for tactical military communications, providing secured digital data and voice communication to Chinese military forces. The Chinese are currently operating the DFH-4 based Fenghuo-2 second-generation satellite, with the first of the series the Zhongxing-1A (37804 2011-047A) launched at 13:33 UTC on September 18th, 2011, by the Chang Zheng-3B (Y16) rocket.
The Shentong geostationary military communication satellites are operated by the Army and their aim is to provide secure voice and data communications services for ground users using Ku-band.
The first generation Shentong satellites were based on the DFH-3 (Dongfanghong-3) satellite platform that was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), having a heavier payload with better reliability and increased power supply.
The first Shentong satellite was Zhongxing-20 (Chinasat-20) launched on November 14, 2003, using a Long March-3A launch vehicle. Zhongxing-20A was the second first generation Shentong satellite launched on November 24, 2010, also using a Long March-3A.
The Zhongxing-2A (Chinasat-2A) launched on May 26, 2012, using a Long March-3B/G2 was the first of a second generation DFH-4 based Shentong-2 satellite in operation.
DFH-4 is the third generation communications satellite bus in China with high power, strong payload capacity and extended service life. It consists of a propulsion module, service modules and solar arrays. Its dimensions are 2360mm×2100mm×3600mm, with a liftoff mass of 5,200 kg. Solar Array Power is 10.5 kW (EOL) and payload power is 8 kW.
The platform can be equipped with C, Ku, Ka and L transponders. It uses a 3-axis stabilization mode and its station keeping precision is west/east ±0.05° and north/south ±0.05°. Antenna Pointing Precision＜0.1°. Service lifetime in orbit is 15 years.
Launch vehicle and launch site:
To meet the demand of international satellite launch market, especially for high power and heavy communications satellites, the development of Long March-3B (Chang Zheng-3B) launch vehicle was started in 1986 on the basis of the fight proven technology of Long March launch vehicles.
Developed from the Chang Zheng-3A, the Chang Zheng-3B is at the moment the most powerful launch vehicle on the Chinese space launch fleet.
2015-09-12-163133The CZ-3B features enlarged launch propellant tanks, improved computer systems, a larger 4.2 meter diameter payload fairing and the addition of four strap-on boosters in the core stage that provide additional help during the first phase of the launch.
The rocket is capable of launching a 11,200 kg satellite to a low Earth orbit or a 5,100 kg cargo to a geosynchronous transfer orbit.
The CZ-3B/G2 (Enhanced Version) launch vehicle was developed from the CZ-3B with a lengthened first core stage and strap-on boosters, increasing its GTO capacity.
On May 14, 2007, the first flight of CZ-3B/G2 was performed successfully, accurately sending the NigcomSat-1 into pre-determined orbit. With the GTO launch capability of 5,500kg, CZ-3B/G2 is dedicated for launching heavy GEO communications satellite.
The rocket structure also combines all sub-systems together and is composed of four strap-on boosters, a first stage, a second stage, a third stage and payload fairing.
2015-09-12-163210The first two stages as well as the four strap-on boosters use hypergolic (N2O4/UDMH) fuel while the third stage uses cryogenic (LOX/LH2) fuel. The total length of the CZ-3B is 54.838 meters, with a diameter of 3.35 meters on the core stage and 3.00 meters on the third stage.
On the first stage, the CZ-3B uses a YF-21C engine with a 2,961.6 kN thrust and a specific impulse of 2,556.5 Ns/kg. The first stage diameter is 3.35 m and the stage length is 23.272 m.
Each strap-on booster is equipped with a YF-25 engine with a 740.4 kN thrust and a specific impulse of 2,556.2 Ns/kg. The strap-on booster diameter is 2.25 m and the strap-on booster length is 15.326 m.
2015-09-12-164401The second stage is equipped with a YF-24E (main engine 742 kN / 2,922.57 Ns/kg; four vernier engines 47.1 kN / 2,910.5 Ns/kg each). The second stage diameter is 3.35 m and the stage length is 12.920 m.
The third stage is equipped with a YF-75 engine developing 167.17 kN and with a specific impulse of 4,295 Ns/kg. The fairing diameter of the CZ-3B is 4.00 meters and has a length of 9.56 meters.
The CZ-3B can also use the new Yuanzheng-1 (“Expedition-1″) upper stage that uses a small thrust 6.5 kN engine burning UDMH/N2O4 with the specific impulse at 3,092 m/s. The upper stage is able to conduct two burns, having a 6.5 hour lifetime and is capable of achieving a variety of orbits. This upper stage was not used on this launch.
2015-11-03-014940Typical flight sequence for the CZ-3B/G2 sees the launch pitching over 10 seconds after liftoff from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre. Boosters shutdown 2 minutes and 7 seconds after liftoff, separation from the first stage one second later. First stage shutdown takes place at 1 minutes 25 seconds into the flight.
The separation between the first and second stage takes place at 1 minute 26 seconds, following fairing separation at T+3 minutes 35 seconds. Stage 2 main engine shutdown occurs 326 seconds into the flight, following by the shutdown of the vernier engines 15 seconds later.
The separation between the second and the third stage and the ignition of the third stage takes place one second after the shutdown of the vernier engines of the second stage. The first burn of the third stage will last for 4 minutes and 44 seconds.
After the end of the first burn of the third stage follows a coast phase that ends at T+20 minutes and 58 seconds with the third stage initiating its second burn. This will have a 179 seconds duration. After the end of the second burn of the third stage, the launcher initiates a 20 second velocity adjustment maneuver. Spacecraft separation usually takes place at T+25 minutes 38 seconds after launch.
2015-07-25-130117The Xichang Satellite Launch Centre is situated in the Sichuan Province, south-western China and is the country’s launch site for geosynchronous orbital launches.
Equipped with two launch pads (LC2 and LC3), the centre has a dedicated railway and highway lead directly to the launch site.
The Command and Control Centre is located seven kilometers south-west of the launch pad, providing flight and safety control during launch rehearsal and launch.
The CZ-3B launch pad is located at 28.25 deg. N 102.02 deg. E and at an elevation of 1,825 meters.
Other facilities on the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre are the Launch Control Centre, propellant fueling systems, communications systems for launch command, telephone and data communications for users, and support equipment for meteorological monitoring and forecasting.
The first launch from Xichang took place at 12:25UTC on January 29, 1984 when the Chang Zheng-3 (Y-1) was launched the Shiyan Weixing (14670 1984-008A) communications satellite into orbit.
GSMA Report Touts Benefits of Using C-Band Spectrum to Meet Mobile Data Demands
A new GSMA report released to coincide with the start of the World Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva has calculated that $440 million in economic benefits would be generated over the span of ten years by the use of additional C-band spectrum in London and Shenzhen, China.
The study, which focused on the potential use of C-band spectrum in the two cities, found that the use of C-band spectrum would provide large contiguous channels compatible with high data rates to support the massive growth in demand for mobile data traffic. The C-band spectrum reviewed in the study was in the 3400-4200 MHz range. That swath of spectrum is currently inhabited by a number of services, including Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) and Fixed Service (FS).
“C-band spectrum will better enable operators to provide consumers with high-speed mobile broadband in city centers,” said GSMA Asia Head Alasdair Grant. “We urge governments to seize the opportunity at WRC-15 and allocate this critical spectrum to safeguard the future of the mobile internet and deliver its undoubted benefits to citizens worldwide.”
According to the report, a sharing technique would allow mobile services and other users to coexist on the C-band. The report further found that "C-band small cells can successfully co-exist with satellite services, provided that an exclusion zone of a 5-kilometre radius is established around the satellite installations.”
Mobile growth estimates from Ofcom and Plum Consulting put the average annual growth in mobile data traffic in London and Shenzhen at around 35 percent over the next 15 years. Total data traffic in London is currently estimated to be around 7 petabytes per month. Without the use of C-band spectrum, the report estimates that a “capacity crunch” will occur in Shenzhen by 2020 and in London by 2022, if not sooner depending on data traffic growth rates.
Hawaii’s first satellite launch fails shortly after takeoff
The liftoff of the Super Strypi rocket from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai represents Hawaii's first satellite launch.
A 67-foot military-funded rocket that blasted off a rail launcher at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai at 5:45 p.m. today in Hawaii’s first satellite launch failed shortly after takeoff.
The Super Strypi rocket, called mission ORS-4, was shown spiraling upward from a camera mounted on the vehicle in a live feed, but an animation accompanying the launch soon showed the rocket tumbling before the screen went black just two minutes later.
Spaceflight Now, which broadcast the launch live, reported that the Air Force confirmed the failure, with the service saying in a statement:
“The ORS-4 mission on an experimental Super Strypi launch vehicle failed in mid-flight shortly after liftoff at 5:45 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time (7:45 p.m. PST; 10:45 p.m. EST) today from the Pacific Missile Range Facility off Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.”
The Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space office spent more than $45 million on the development of the Super Strypi mission, Spaceflight Now said. The University of Hawaii, a partner in the launch, said it was checking into the rocket’s failure.
Super Strypi, intended as an economical method of delivering payloads of 300 kilograms, or 661 pounds, to low-Earth orbit, was developed in coordination with Sandia National Laboratories, UH’s Space Flight Laboratory, the Pacific Missile Range Facility and Aerojet Rocketdyne.
The three-stage flight carried UH’s HiakaSat satellite and 12 much smaller satellites called “CubeSats.” The maiden flight represented the largest propulsion system ever launched from a rail system, said Aerojet Rocketdyne, which supplied the three-stage solid-rocket motors.
UH was responsible for payload development and project management of the rail launcher and launch pad. UH’s faculty and students built the primary HiakaSat payload. “Hiaka” means “to recite legends or fabulous stories” in Hawaiian.
“The Super Strypi design is projected to reset the bar for low cost small launch below $20 million with a production goal of $15 million,” Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center and Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space, said in a release. “The University of Hawaii has been critical to bringing this capability to fruition.”
The Pentagon has historically relied on medium and heavy launch vehicles to place national security space payloads into orbit, which typically takes two to three years from initial order to launch date, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
“Without a complex and costly guidance system, the (Super Strypi) launch aims to demonstrate a concept that cuts preparation and processing time from months to weeks, thereby slashing the cost of launching small satellites into orbit,” Aerojet Rocketdyne said on its website.
The Pentagon is seeking methods of rapidly replenishing satellites as countries such as China develop anti-satellite weapons systems.
The flight originally was scheduled for October 2013, but was pushed back multiple times due to technology and timing issues. More recently, the satellite launch was set for Thursday, then Friday and Monday before today’s launch.
Super Strypi is a bigger version of a Sandia-developed Strypi suborbital “sounding” rocket design from 1962 used for research and launched from Kauai at least as far back as 1995.
The 121-pound HiakaSat was to demonstrate UH-developed long-wave infrared hyper-spectral imaging. It was outfitted with two color cameras to provide wide- and narrow-view images of Earth. Images could be transmitted back that provide data on global warming, ocean temperatures, coral bleaching, volcanoes and other environmental issues, the university has said.
The Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory was established in 2007 within the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology and the College of Engineering.
Movistar Plus starts 4K transmissions
Responding to recently-launched Netflix’s 4K capabilities, Telefónica’s IPTV platform Movistar Plus is launching 4K transmissions, with the first Ultra HD broadcasts of football matches from La Liga and Formula One races on the channels Canal + Liga and Canal Moto GP.
Telefónica is using a bitrate three times more than in HD, with 30 Mbps under the codec HEVC or H,265. Two different audio tracks are being used, one encrypted on MPEG with a bitrate of 256 Kbps and another on AAC at 128 Kbps with the transmissions labelled as Pruebas UHDTV (Tests UHDTV).
The move comes as Telefónica prepares to distribute Smart TVs free of charge to its new subscribers as part of a Christmas campaign enabling them to watch 4K content and the launch of Movistar Plus apps on Samsung and LG TV sets enabling access to Movistar Plus without an STB.
MultiVirt Launches 70-Channel Free-To-Air (FTA) Solution Using VideoPropulsion’s Transcoder, Encryption, And QAM Technologies
During SCaT India 2015 held in Mumbai, India November 5-7, New Delhi based MultiVirt India Pvt Ltd announces the availability of a low-cost 70-channel Free-To-Air (FTA) headend powered by VideoPropulsion’s high-density Transcoder, Encryption, and QAM technologies. The low-cost headend solution is designed specifically to address the needs of local cable operators.
Mumbai, India (PRWEB) November 04, 2015
Exhibiting at the 24th Annual SCaT India show in Mumbai this week, MultiVirt India Pvt Ltd announces the availability of a new, low-cost Free-To-Air (FTA) headend solution that supports over 70 digital channels. Powered by VideoPropulsion® (OTC:VPTV) high-density transcoders and encrypting QAM technologies, the new low-cost headend represents a significant breakthrough in providing cost-effective solutions designed specifically for local cable operators (LCO) in India.
The MultiVirt FTA headend utilizes reliable Hewlett-Packard (HP) servers and VideoPropulsion MPEG stream processing modules. The FTA headend is capable of selectively receiving over 70 channels of H.264 programming via DVB-S2 satellite, transcoding from H.264 to MPEG2, encrypting the programs, then multiplexes and modulates for output over QAM on a COAX network for delivery to DVB-C standard set top boxes (STB). The appliance uses common, off-the-shelf DVB-S2 receiver cards and VideoPropulsion’s XC10 MPEG transcoder card and the company’s QN12LPe QAM modulator card that is DVB-C (ITU-T J.83 Annex A) compliant. The QAM card also provides encryption/scrambling of all services so they are compatible with the LCO’s chosen DVB-CI. The solution is in compliance with India’s digital television mandates.
“In just a few short months using VideoPropulsion’s technology, we have architected a very reliable and cost-effective FTA headend solution to address the needs of the LCO”, said Rakesh Gupta, Founder & Director at MultiVirt. “Our FTA digital headend enables the LCO to preserve their investment in MPEG2-only set top boxes by transcoding the newer H.264-only satellite programming into MPEG2”.
MultiVirt India Pvt Ltd as a company was established in 1995 to cater to the growing markets of broadcast and multimedia in India. Since then they have become one of the leading pioneers in Digital Media technologies and applications. Their core competency has been consultancy, systems integration and turnkey project execution for broadcast, interactive multimedia, mobile and web-media. The Company also develops content and software applications for broadcast, web and mobile media.
For further information, contact: Rakesh Gupta Founder/Director Multivirt India Private Limited 101 A, Ashram Chowk, 2nd Floor New Delhi 110014 India marketing(at)multivirt.com +91-11-26340035, +91-11-26349290, +91-11-26342708
Now in it’s 40th year, VideoPropulsion has been a world leader in hardware and software for high performance, low cost per stream, digital content manipulation, and has established a reputation for providing unique HDTV, VoD, and IPTV products. The Company offers revolutionary FloodGate satellite and CATV transcryption appliances as well as OEM computer modules for a variety of applications, including streaming, multiplexing, demultiplexing, modulation, demodulation, transcoding, encryption, and splicing MPEG formatted data.
For further information, contact:
Vice President of Sales
255 Info Highway
Slinger, WI 53086
(262) 644-1000 x107
Pakistan bans Islamic extremist broadcasters
Pakistan’s PEMRA regulator has prohibited media coverage of certain broadcasters, and has additionally banned media coverage of proscribed organisations.
Included in the ban are Lashkar-i-Toiba (LeT), Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and the Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF).
The PEMRA notification states: “All satellite television channels/FM licensees are therefore strictly directed not to give any kind of coverage to any proscribed organisation including JuD, FIF and LeT. Moreover, any advertisement or fund collection by proscribed organisations in electronic media shall also constitute a breach of these obligations,” the notification said.
Asiasat 5 4040 h 29720 is / was FTA at the moment
D2 12539 H Sr 6978 ABC at Melbourne Cup
D2 12555 H Sr 6978 ABC at the Melbourne Cup
D2 12679 V Sr 7500. "Globecast OZ" Ch Seven at The Melbourne Cup
D2 12670 V Sr 6669 "gcast 7" at a horse track
From my Email
From the Dish
Intelsat 19 166.0E 12726 H "Rai Italia Australia, La 7, Canale 21, Ant1 Pacific, SportPlus, ERT 1 and 4E" have started on , Fta. Rai News 24, Rai World Premium, Mediaset Italia and Greek Cinema are Fta. Syria Satellite Channel and Al Hayat 2 have left.
Apstar 9 136.5E Apstar 9 has arrived at 136.5 East.
NSS 6 95.0E 11172 H "Gemporia and Prameya News 7" have started on , Conax. Aakaash Aath and Tara Muzik have left.
Yamal 401 90.0E 12718 H "NTV, Yuzhnyy Region Don and TNT" have left .
ABS 2 75.0E 11559 V "Fashion TV Russia and Multimania" have started on , Fta.
ABS 2 75.0E 12524 H "Kids TV" has left .
Insat 4CR 74.0E 11513 H "ORSAC" has left .
Insat 4CR 74.0E 11520 H "RGPEEE" has left .
Insat 4CR 74.0E 11526 H "BISAG 2" has left.
Insat 4CR 74.0E 11578 H "Utkarsh Channel 1-4" have left .
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东经75度轨道位置的ABS-2号卫星Ku频段，TNT Comedy（俄罗斯）频道加密，设置11105 H 43200参数有条件接收。[11-03]
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东经105.5度轨道位置的亚洲7号卫星C频段，Big Gaurav（印度）等3个频道消失，设置3891 V 11838参数无效接收。 [11月2日]
东经100.5度轨道位置的亚洲5号卫星C频段，Luxe TV（高清）频道加密，设置3700 V 30000参数有条件接收。 [11月2日]
东经75度轨道位置的ABS-2号卫星Ku频段，Cartoon（俄罗斯）频道新增，设置11560 V 22000参数有条件接收。 [11月2日]
东经105.5度轨道位置的亚洲7号卫星C频段，Jaan（MPEG-4）频道新增，设置4065 H 4296参数免费接收。 [11月2日]
Foxtel says it is open to ‘partner’ with Optus as it moves to calm Facebook furore over EPL loss
Foxtel has moved to assuage furious fans who have beseiged its Facebook page by telling them it is willing to talk to Optus about buying back the rights to the English Premier League.
Foxtel has copped a hammering from football fans who say the loss of the EPL means they now have little reason to subscribe to the Pay TV service.
Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 12.55.12 PM
But in response to one of them a spokesman replied: “All we can say at this stage (because this has only just happened) is that in coming months we’ll we’ll review all options. We don’t know how Optus plans to broadcast the EPL and we’d be happy to talk to them about whether there is an opportunity for us to partner with them in some way.”
Optus shocked the telco and broadcasting industries yesterday with the revelation it had outbid Fox Sports for the rights to the EPL from August 2016.
The league has been an important marketing tool for Foxtel as it fights the rise of IPTV players in the Australian market.
Optus CEO Allen Lew told Mumbrella the decision to chase the EPL rights was the company’s boldest statement about its intentions to become known as a content platform, but he had not ruled out on-selling part of the rights to another broadcaster.
Regulator to probe Thai TV's satellite operation
THE broadcasting regulator will investigate Thai TV Co's satellite-television operation after the company abruptly pulled the plug on its two terrestrial-based digital TV stations.
At midnight on Saturday, Thai TV Co, led by president Pantipa Sakulchai, stopped airing programmes on Thai TV and MVTV Family at its own volition.
On the same day, the company also sent letters to the Thai Public Broadcasting Service demanding the cancellation of its lease of Thai PBS's digital-transmission network.
Viewers tuning into the channels via the digital-terrestrial system see only coloured stripes. However, the company has continued broadcasting "Thai TV news programmes" on Channel 7 of satellite-TV packages such as those sold by PSI Holdings.
A Thai TV source said the |company's focus had now turned |to its satellite-TV business |andit planned to launch channels on that platform this year.
Sombat Leelapata, acting deputy secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, said his team would see if Thai TV's current operation on the satellite-TV platform ran on terrestrial-based or satellite-based TV licences.
Yesterday, the NBTC suspended Thai TV's licence for 30 days starting today.
It also sent a written demand to Thai TV for the second instalment of its upfront licence fees after the company again failed to pay them by the deadline that had been extended to 4.30pm yesterday.
The company owes the state an estimated Bt288 million for the second instalment, 7.5-per-cent interest for late payment and the annual fee.
Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the NBTC, said a |written notice would also be delivered to Thai PBS informing it |about this decision, which means that Thai PBS can suspend its provisioning of transmission services for both digital channels.
NBCU apps for Apple TV
NBCUniversal has further expanded its TV Everywhere offering on the new Apple TV with the launch of four new apps from the NBCUniversal portfolio: NBC, USA Now, NBC Sports Live Extra and CNBC. Users for the new Apple TV can access content from these networks on demand, as well as live programming from NBC Sports Live Extra and CNBC by logging in with their cable, satellite or telco credentials.
“The launch of NBC, USA Now, NBC Sports Live Extra and CNBC on the all-new Apple TV underlines our commitment to provide exceptional content to loyal fans who want access to their favourite shows anytime and anywhere,” said Alison Moore, GM and EVP, TV Everywhere, NBCUniversal. “The TV landscape is expanding to incorporate a new viewing experience and we are excited to extend our TV Everywhere platforms to reach new audiences and drive further engagement with these networks.”
Hawaii to launch its first satellite into space
HONOLULU (AP) The state’s much-delayed first space launch could finally be set for takeoff Monday, according to the University of Hawaii’s Space Flight Laboratory.
The 55-foot “Super Strypi” rocket will launch from Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. The mission is sponsored by the Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space Office in conjunction with Sandia National Laboratories, the University of Hawaii, the Pacific Missile Range Facility and Aerojet Rocketdyne.
The flight was originally scheduled for October 2013, but has been postponed several times due to technology and timing issues. The ORS-4 mission was most recently scheduled for Thursday, then Friday and now Monday.
A 135-foot rail launcher at the Kauai military base will send the rocket into space. The three-stage flight will carry UH’s HiakaSat satellite and 12 or more much smaller satellites.
“The ORS-4 Super Strypi mission is the first launch of this type of launch vehicle,” a launch representative said Thursday in an email. “As such, and not unexpected, we are working through a few launch processing issues.”
More than $35 million in government funding has gone toward Super Strypi, which is expected to cost about $15 million to $16 million per flight when in production much less than current deliveries.
“Without a complex and costly guidance system, the (Super Strypi) launch aims to demonstrate a concept that cuts preparation and processing time from months to weeks, thereby slashing the cost of launching small satellites into orbit,” Aerojet Rocketdyne said on its website.
UH faculty and students built the 121-pound HiakaSat satellite. “Hiaka” means “to recite legends or fabulous stories” in Hawaiian, the university said.
The satellite will be outfitted with color cameras to capture images of Earth, which will provide data on global warming, ocean temperatures, coral bleaching, volcanoes and other environmental issues, according to the university.
Orbital ATK inks deal with Space Systems/Loral for satellite propellant tanks
Orbital ATK, Inc. (NYSE: OA) said it recently signed a contract with Space Systems/Loral (SSL) to produce flight sets consisting of two propellant tanks for the SSL 1300, a space-proven platform designed to accommodate evolving technology and innovation in satellite services.
The five-year contract continues a 27-year relationship with SSL for satellite fuel tanks produced by Orbital ATK´s Space Components Division in Commerce, California.
The SSL 1300 is a world-leading platform for commercial satellites, which are used for services such as direct-to-home television, video content distribution, broadband internet and mobile communications.
Since the early 1990s, Orbital ATK has supplied all of the flight sets for the SSL 1300.
Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies. The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and merchant supplier. Its main products include launch vehicles and related propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition; satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced aerospace structures. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK employs more than 12,000 people in 18 states across the US and in several international locations.
Arianespace to soon decide on launching Indian GSAT-15
European space agency Arianespace will have its Launch Readiness Review (LRR) this Friday for the November 10 flight of Ariane 5 rocket with Indian communication satellite GSAT-15, the agency said.
In a statement Arianespace said: "The Launch Readiness Review (LRR) will take place on Friday, November 6, 2015 in Kourou, to authorize the start of operations for the final countdown."
As of now the Ariane 5 rocket is scheduled to lift off on November 10 from the space port at Kourou in French Guiana between 6.34 p.m. and 7.17 pm or 3.04 a.m and 3.47 a.m. on November 11.
According to Arianespace, the whole mission is expected to last about 43 minutes. The rocket will carry a total payload of 9,810 kg, including approximately 8,962 kg for the two satellites-GSAT-15 and ARABSAT-6B.
GSAT-15 is the 18th satellite built by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and 19th payload launched by Arianespace, the statement said.
"Since the launch of the experimental satellite Apple on Flight L03 in 1981, Arianespace has orbited 86 percent of the contracts for geostationary launches that India opened to bids by non-Indian launch systems," the European space agency said.
GSAT-15 will provide telecommunications services, as well as dedicated navigation-aid and emergency services for India.
The Indian satellite with a design life of 12 years will have 24 Ku-band transponders (automatic receivers and transmitters of radio signals) and two GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation) transponders.
Read more at http://www.thestatesman.com/news/india/arianespace-to-soon-decide-on-launching-indian-gsat-15/101266.html#dB7wxfUMd1W0t0zl.99
HomeShop18 hops on to DD FreeDish DTH platform
HomeShop18 rides the 4G wave for mobile phone shoppers this festive season!
Tata Sky selects IBM hybrid storage to mitigate data loss risk & swift data access
HomeShop18 launches ‘18 Shringaar’ a revolutionary makeover show
FY-2105: Dish TV in black; adds 1.5 million subscribers
Vserv to offer solutions to telcos & DTH operators
MUMBAI: HomeShop18 has hopped on to Prasar Bharati’s direct to home (DTH) platform DD FreeDish.
With this new e-auction win, the channel will reach out to an additional 18 million subscribers of the Indian free-to-air (FTA) DTH broadcasting platform.
The channel has been made available on DD FreeDish from 1 November, 2015.
HomeShop18 CEO Sanjeev Agrawal said, “As the exposure and aspirations of customers in tier II and III geographies evolve, so does their demand for high-quality products. However, due to the limited internet penetration and lack of presence of modern trade there is a gap in latent demand and supply. We have the advantage to cover this gap and reach out to customers across the country through television shopping and our wide range of products. Our association with DD FreeDish is a step towards our commitment to match the HomeShop18 signals to the country’s television penetration and our strong physical reach.”
The channel has shows like 18 Shringaar, Today’s Special Offer amongst others that will provide shoppers with deals, expert advice, a complete new look to women and an assortment of products.
Foxtel loses the EPL to OPTUS, see news section
Optus D2 12706 V Sr 22500 "K24" Vpid 1760 Apid 1720 has started (Mpeg 2 , FTA) having been up for months showing just an promo info loop
Antenna is FTA Intelsat 19 12646 H Sr 28066 Vpid 372 apid 373 (Mpeg 2)
Intelsat 19 12726 H is still FTA
From my Email
From the Dish
From asiatvro site
东经113度轨道位置的韩星5号卫星Ku频段，LGCC（传送）频道新增，设置12352 H 3332参数有条件接收。[11-02]
东经105.5度轨道位置的亚洲7号卫星C频段，Big Gaurav、Big Magic（MPEG-4）等全组频道解密，设置3891 V 11838参数免费接收。[11-02]
东经105.5度轨道位置的亚洲7号卫星C频段，On TV替换Music Plus（巴基斯坦）频道，设置3913 V 7260参数免费接收。[11-02]
东经105.5度轨道位置的亚洲7号卫星C频段，Big RTL Thrill（MPEG-4）频道解密，设置3898 V 2240参数免费接收。[11-02]
东经76.5度轨道位置的亚太7号卫星Ku频段，Hluttaw Channel（缅甸）频道解密，设置11167 V 45000参数免费接收。[11-01]
东经105.5度轨道位置的亚洲7号卫星Ku频段，好消息二台（台湾）频道重现，设置12583 H 2083参数免费接收。[11-01]
东经105.5度轨道位置的亚洲7号卫星C频段，Star Sports K、TEST（STAR TV）频道消失，设置3920 H 29720参数无效接收。[11-01]
东经105.5度轨道位置的亚洲7号卫星C频段，Cinema 1替换Mega Music（巴基斯坦）频道，设置4165 H 5040参数免费接收。[11-01]
东经105.5度轨道位置的亚洲7号卫星C频段，Rhythm TV替换Mega Movies（巴基斯坦）频道，设置4165 H 5040参数免费接收。[11-01]
东经95度轨道位置的新天6号卫星Ku频段，ETV News Kannada、ETV News Bangla（印度）频道新增，设置12688 H 32700参数免费接收。[10-31]
东经105.5度轨道位置的亚洲7号卫星C频段，Test（测试）频道新增，设置4065 H 4296参数免费接收。[10-31]
东经105.5度轨道位置的亚洲7号卫星C频段，Such TV（巴基斯坦）频道改频率，设置3906 V 2816参数免费接收。[10-31]
东经66度轨道位置的国际17号卫星C频段，Indian Now（MPEG-4）频道新增，设置3932 H 18330参数免费接收。 [10月31日]
东经122度轨道位置的亚洲4号卫星C频段，New Live、Rang（印度）等5个频道新增，设置4015 H 5036参数免费接收。 [10月31日]
东经78.5度轨道位置的泰星5号卫星C频段，Movies Max等替换Nhang Channel（泰国）等4个频道，设置3585 V 30000参数有条件接收。 [10月31日]
东经78.5度轨道位置的泰星5号卫星Ku频段，Real替换Agent live（泰国）频道，设置12604 H 30000参数有条件接收。 [10月31日]
东经66度轨道位置的国际17号卫星C频段，Sahana（MPEG-4）频道新增，设置3966 H 14400参数免费接收。 [10月31日]
7 Action NEWS (USA regional news channel)
Russian IPTV .m3u playlist, some have alt audio track in ENGLISH
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Optus eyes bigger sports prizes after winning EPL rights
Allen Lew says sport is important to Australians after Optus signed the English Premier League broadcast rights.
Singtel-Optus chief executive Allen Lew has flagged the possibility of signing even bigger broadcast deals a day after stunning pay TV group Foxtel by locking in the local rights for the English Premier League.
Optus locked in the Australian broadcast rights for the hugely popular football league over the weekend after several months of talks in a deal that sources have valued at around $US45 million ($63 million) a year over three years.
It is understood the bid was significantly higher than the offer from Fox Sports, the current EPL broadcaster, and also eclipsed interest by Qatar-owned beIN Sports.
Mr Lew's bold move is the clearest sign yet that Optus is willing to bet big in its battle to beat Telstra and become a media giant. It also represents the first time an Australian telco has signed such an expensive and exclusive broadcast deal with a major rights holder rather than a variety of service providers.
"Sport is the main content that Australians like," he told Fairfax Media. "This is iconic it's a major plank in our content strategy but it doesn't live alone.
"I can't tell you in dollar terms whether it's going to be the biggest because there are other things I haven't negotiated yet."
The comments point towards the possibility of Optus bidding hard for the National Rugby League's digital streaming rights, held by its arch-rival Telstra and which are up for renegotiation. Optus has a team looking into all Australian sports and is understood to have expressed an interest in NRL.
Fox Sports is yet to resign the NRL pay-TV rights after being surprised by a free-to-air deal struck between the football code and Nine Entertainment Group in August.
Optus is busily signing a range of sporting and streaming video partnerships with providers such as Cricket Australia and global giant Netflix in a push to be seen as more than a phone and internet provider. Failure to do so will make customers less willing to pay a premium for its services compared with those of cheaper rivals such as TPG Telecom and Dodo.
"We've seen how other providers have used the EPL to their advantage in terms of bringing value to their basic carriage service and we think that we can do the same thing here," he said. "It gives a lot of credibility to our stated strategic objective of wanting to differentiate ourselves through content."
Australian fans of the EPL are restricted to watching it via Fox Sports. But from August 2016 they will able to use Optus' services to get live matches.
Mr Lew said customers would get access to the content through a variety of platforms such as smartphone apps and big-screen TVs. But the company was not ready to release pricing or access conditions for would-be users.
Fetch TV deal
Optus is partnered with Fetch TV for its subscription television services. But both parties are negotiating a new long-term contract and Mr Lew declined state if the EPL would be streamed through the set-top boxes.
"Australians will be able to watch the EPL through all the traditional platforms that they're used to plus a whole slew of new platforms as well," he said. "There are a multitude of options at this stage."
"In Optus it's all about building the brand and making sure we expand the brand beyond just connectivity to content as well so it would mean we will have to build our own app."
The move is bad news for Optus' main rival Telstra, which owns half of Foxtel. It has spent hundreds of millions of dollars signing up the rights to the AFL and is fighting hard to win streaming rights for the NRL, both of which are now in their off-seasons.
But sources with an understanding of the EPL negotiations said Telstra would have been unaware of Optus' relatively strong bid for the rights, given the nature of the "blind auction" process.
Foxtel told Fairfax Media in a statement it was aware Optus had won the rights but said it had been a great supporter of football in Australia.
"Foxtel remains the home of the Hyundai A-League, FA Cup, international friendlies, FFA Cup, AFC Champions League, Socceroos friendlies and World Cup qualifiers, MLS and UEFA Women's Champions League," it said. "Foxtel and in particular Fox Sports remains the only place you can get a truly comprehensive sports offering."
But Citi Research analyst Justin Diddams said it was unclear how Optus would monetise the new deal.
"Optus would need to add an estimated circa 80,000 customers to break-even ... assuming an $80 average revenue per user and 75 per cent drop-thru. This looks achievable," he said.
"This deal is another example of escalating competitive tensions in the mobile/broadband sector in Australia, in particular, the growing cost of acquiring customers with operators providing more inclusions.
"That said, Optus has struggled to deliver any customer adds across mobile/broadband (for a number of years), thus it needs to work harder to re-engage with customers," Mr Diddams said.
Optus's EPL coup: the new player in Australia’s sports media rights battle
Foxtel has lost the rights to broadcast English Premier League matches in Australia to the country’s second biggest telco, Optus. But what will it mean for fans? And how will the games be broadcast?
Foxtel loses English Premier League broadcast rights in Australia to Optus
The Optus bid is rumoured to be more than double the $20-25m paid by Fox Sports currently. This is a significant investment by Optus and gives a clear indication it wishes to be part of media distribution in Australia, particularly sports.
Optus CEO Allen Lew said:
We are dedicated to delivering the best domestic and international entertainment for our customers. With 930 million followers worldwide, the Premier League is one of the most sought after sports properties for content providers.
This is a significant defeat for Fox Sports, which has seen the EPL as a flagship for its programming lineup. It will see an end to Foxtel’s almost 20 year association with the league, which began in 1997. Foxtel is yet to release a statement, although it quickly removed the story discussing the deal from its website after it was posted at foxsports.com.au.
Where will Optus broadcast in Australia?
Much of the discussion about the Optus EPL deal has been on who will broadcast the games, given Optus is not a traditional broadcaster.
There are a few options Optus could take to utilise the EPL media rights. A deal to on-sell them to Foxtel is extremely unlikely. There are other options that Optus could establish, which would see them in a position to compete with Foxtel, in particular FoxSports. These developments could see a shake up for future sports media rights in Australia and also the way in which sports is distributed.
Optus also has the digital rights, an increasingly important part of all sports media rights deals. It could be that the EPL is offered by Optus as an additional subscription channel on FetchTV, its streaming service that competes with Telstra TV and Foxtel streaming services. FetchTV can now be bought outright at many electronics stores, and could see an increase in uptake if Optus were to open the subscription access to all FetchTV customers.
In addition to the streaming of EPL games, Optus could utilise its strength as a telecommunications company and supply a “Live Pass” version of the games. This is comparable to the AFL and NRL Live pass streaming services, where the rights are currently held by Telstra.
Optus may also enable SBS to broadcast some of the games on the free-to-air station, similar to the arrangement between Foxtel and SBS.
Future of sports rights in Australia
“Optus has never been in sports rights and we’re now in the game,” said CEO Allen Lew, not after this latest EPL deal, but one that appears to have passed many without notice.
Last month Cricket Australia announced a three-year deal with Optus as its “Official Mobile Media Partner”. This will not only see Optus customers get free access to Cricket Australia’s Live Pass, but also exclusive content for Optus customers, which includes historic matches.
The next move made by Optus could be associated with the NRL media rights. Both Foxtel and Telstra are yet to agree to a new NRL deal. Optus may secure a deal with the NRL that would see it acquire the rights that both Foxtel and Telstra currently have. This would further entice new subscribers to its Internet Service Provider (ISP) services.
The battle of the ISP and sport
It’s clear that Optus’ intention from these new media deals is to entice new customers to come across to its mobile and broadband services. Part of this may be to counter the recent move by Foxtel to become an ISP with packages that bundle in its pay television services.
Fairfax and Nine's streaming service, Stan, launches ahead of Netflix arrival
With the sports deals Optus has secured it is not only taking on Foxtel, but also Telstra. These deals, particularly the EPL deal, add competition to a market dominated by the latter two interlinked media giants. It could potentially add choice for Australian consumers, or alternatively fragment the sports media landscape in Australia, frustrating consumers further than they already are.
Nearly 1.2m tune in for Rugby World Cup final
Nearly 1.2 million Kiwis tuned in to watch the All Blacks beat Australia during yesterday's Rugby World Cup final, according to Nielsen.
671,000 Kiwis watched the live final on Prime, while a further 495,000 watched the game on Sky Sport 1.
Unsurprisingly, the final was the highest rating game of the tournament, ahead of the quarter final against France on November 18.
Just over a million Kiwis tuned into the quarter-final clash earlier in the month, while the semi-final against South Africa saw an audience of 681,000 across both Sky Sport and Prime.
While the numbers are likely to top this year's list of most-watched programmes, they are well down on 2011 World Cup figures, which saw more than 2.2 million viewers watch the All Blacks beat France in the final.
Sky Television declined to release viewer figures to the Herald or to comment on the ratings.
Last week, the company warned its annual profit would fall by up to 11 per cent as the business deals with rising costs and the challenge of online competition from streaming services such as Netflix and Lightbox.
Meanwhile, a recent survey commissioned by Lightbox found that nearly one in five Sky subscribers were planning to cancel their subscription following the Rugby World Cup.
'Box set experience' key draw card for Sky's mammoth upgrade
Thousands of set-top boxes are being upgraded to offer more programmes to pay-tv customers, writes Tom Pullar-Strecker.
Sky will be fighting to keep subscribers who might be tempted to cancel the service now that the Rugby World Cup is over.
Sky Television expects customers will need about a week to get used to the new "On-Demand" features of its pay-television service which it began rolling out on Thursday.
The pay-TV firm is upgrading 770,000 set-top boxes so they can download programmes over the internet.
Viewers may take a week to get their head around navigating Sky's new electronic programming guide, the broadcaster believes.
Viewers will still be able to watch scheduled programmes delivered by satellite. But they will get the extra option of downloading a wide range of programmes over the internet to their set-top box's hard drive, to watch either immediately or later.
The main draw card is the "box set experience" which is the ability for viewers to binge on favourite shows rather than having to wait for them to come around on broadcast schedules.
The big picture
Sky's silver first-generation MySky boxes (above) and 'Sky digital' boxes will be replaced by devices offering HD capability and an HDMI output option.
Telecommunications Users Association chief executive, Craig Young, believes Sky is in a race to convince subscribers of the merits of On-Demand before significant numbers of wavering customers cancel the service in the wake of the Rugby World Cup.
With a range of competing low-cost and free entertainment services to choose from, such as Netflix, Spark's Lightbox and FreeviewPlus, "they really do need to get this upgrade out there quickly so people get more value from their subscriptions," Young says.
Sky TV spokeswoman Kirsty Way says it is difficult to be exact about what content will be available "On-Demand".
But viewers will often be able to call up programmes that had been broadcast up to a month earlier, as well as all past episodes and seasons of multi-series shows now on air, such as Game of Thrones, Veep, Offspring, The Sopranos and True Detective.
There will be no extra charge for subscribers to watch programmes on-demand that they could have seen as part of their broadcast package.
The upgrade proper kicked off on Thursday when Sky replaced the first of about 240,000 older decoders that aren't capable of making the leap to the internet age.
The swap-out of about 220,000 non-MySky set-top boxes and about another 20,000 "first-generation" silver MySky set-top boxes is expected to take up to 18 months.
They will be replaced by a new HD-capable "Sky Live" box with the built-in facility to connect to the internet via owners' home wi-fi networks.
Sky Live can support MySky, which lets viewers pause, rewind and record broadcast television, but subscribers will have to pay the $15 MySky monthly-fee to enable that option. That is unless they had bought a silver MySky box upfront when it was on sale between 2005 and 2008, in which case Way says there will be no extra charge.
Most to get On-Demand by Christmas
The majority of Sky customers, about 530,000, will instead Sky On-Demand through a software upgrade to their existing MySky HDi and HDi+ set-top box before Christmas. That upgrade will be delivered automatically via satellite.
Way says the software upgrades will be carried out in "batches" starting later in November.
As HDi and HDi+ boxes don't have wi-fi reception built in, customers will need a cable or device to access On-Demand.
Sky is offering three options which in order of desirability are likely to be:
•a free wi-fi dongle, suitable for customers with good enough wi-fi reception in the room where they have their Sky box.
•an ethernet cable costing $5.75 for people who have their Sky box within five metres of their modem and don't mind the extra cabling.
•adapters and cables that will connect a Sky box to a modem via a house's electric cabling, for $63.25.
The hassle factor
The upgrade will provide a souped-up electronic programming guide (EPG) and planner for recorded programmes that will group different episodes of the same programmes together.
Although that and a new search facility should make programmes easier to find, it will mean clicking through more menu layers. Way says trials have shown it can take people up to a week to adjust.
"The remote control is used similarly and the buttons are doing essentially the same things, but there are more menu options."
Net congestion ahead?
A possible downside of On-Demand is greater internet congestion in the evenings as Sky customers start hitting the download button.
When tens of thousands of internet users began switching to streaming television services such as Lightbox, Neon and Netflix in March it caused peak-time congestion on some internet services, triggering a multimillion-dollar upgrade by Vodafone of its cable networks in Wellington and Christchurch.
Way says broadband congestion "is a concern" but should not greatly impact the use of Sky On-Demand itself.
"You can wait a minute or two if your internet connection is struggling while it progressively downloads in the background, and you can 'download to view later'."
Spark spokesman Richard Llewellyn doesn't expect its customers will experience any negative effects from On-Demand or similar services.
"Spark has been investing heavily in its networks ahead of demand so doesn't anticipate any issues with any additional on-demand viewing and live-streaming of video expected over the next few years," he says.
Young hopes all internet providers will stay ahead of the curve and expects any issues to be short lived.
He also hopes On-Demand will encourage more people to ensure they are on the best broadband connection they can get. "A lot of people are sitting on ADSL2 when could be upgrading."
The upgrade will add further impetus to the switch already taking place to uncapped internet plans, he says.
SES: 6 UHD channels contracted
Satellite operator SES says it now has secured contracts for six Ultra-HD channels, five of which are already on air. CEO Karim Michel Sabbagh said: “SES has continued to be productive in Q3. SES has been first out of the starting gate in the commercial introduction of Ultra HD, building on the milestone of Europe’s first commercial UHD channel, pearl.tv and adding further agreements in Europe and North America with Sky Deutschland, NASA TV, Fashion One, High 4K and TERN-Insight.”
The news emerged during SES’s Q3 results announcement which showed SES revenues to be up 6.1 per cent (at €1.492 billion) for the quarter (although at constant exchange rates the positive improvement translates into a decline of 2.9 per cent).
HDTV channels grew y-o-y by 18.6 per cent to 2178, with HD penetration growing from 29.6 per cent to 30.6 per cent of all channels.
Sabbagh also highlighted that O3b, in which it is the largest shareholder, now had 40 clients on board its constellation of 12 satellites.
“SES has exciting opportunities ahead and is well placed to deliver sustained medium to long-term growth. Our relentless execution of a differentiated strategy allows us to capitalise on the strong demand drivers across the four market verticals now defining SES’s business,” added Sabbagh.
Sky (U.K) to unveil 4K STB next month?
Sky is set to unveil its next generation Sky STB on November 18th. A cryptic invite to a product launch invites journalists to “see how we’re changing TV again”, and introduces the hashtag #SetTVFree.
Tentatively dubbed “SkyQ”, the STB is reported to offer multi-screen viewing so family members can each watch different shows on varying screens, allowing up to 4 different channels to be watched (or recorded) simultaneously. The box should also offer live TV and catch-up streaming in the same place so jumping between the two will appear seamless. The box will be 4K ready and will also support HDR and HFR to make it future-proof.
Insight 4K expanding to Russia, and beyond
Netherland’s-based 4K newcomer Insight will launch its all-UHD service in the next few days on Russia’s Tricolor DTH platform. The channel is already broadcasting from SES Astra’s 19.2 degree orbital slot, and will shortly start transmissions over India.
Insight is firmly set on an expansion curve and while CEO Mariam Zamaray says she wants the current service to first settle down, the expansion plan includes boosting the current 200 hours of UHD material to 400 and then 500 hours within the next year or so. She says she is actively looking to acquire UHD programming from independent producers.
Backed financially by Saint Petersburg-based General Satellite Group, which has its core business in the supply and sale of set-top boxes in Russia, Zamaray says that on her longer term radar is the creation and launch (“end of 2016”) of a similar lifestyle channel that appeals to female viewers.
Insight UHD is in active discussions with various platform owners about carriage and programming sales, and this includes BT Sport’s UHD channel. “I have had conversations with all of the UK platforms and am delighted with the way those conversations have gone, and I am confident and happy that we are in the right place for them,” said Zamaray. “I would like to see Insight bundled together with Sky, for example, as part of the future premium offering. Our programming is different and I believe our pool of content would totally complement them, and be a win-win for both of us.”
Chinese satellites prepared for launch
A SERIES of scientific satellites will be launched later this year and next, the National Space Science Center under the Chinese Academy of Sciences said.
The first of the series, a dark matter particle explorer, will be launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at the end of the year, said Wu Ji, the center’s director.
All of the major tests and experiments have been completed, and a mission control center for scientific satellites has been set up in Huairou, a northern suburb of Beijing, he said.
The dark matter probe will observe the direction, energy and charge of high-energy particles in space, said Chang Jin, chief scientist of the project.
It will have the widest observation spectrum of any such probe in the world.
Dark matter is one of the most important mysteries of physics. Scientists believe in its existence based on the law of universal gravitation, but have never directly detected it.
China will launch a satellite for quantum science experiments next year.
“It’s difficult to develop the payload of the satellite. We have overcome many difficulties in making the optical instrument. We are confident of launching it in the first half of next year,” Wu said.
A retrievable scientific research satellite, SJ-10, will also be launched in the first half of 2016. It will carry out research in microgravity and space life science to provide scientific support to manned space missions.
The SJ-10 project is jointly developed by 11 institutes of the CAS and six Chinese universities in cooperation with the ESA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Next year’s launch schedule also includes a hard X-ray telescope, which will observe black holes, neutron stars and other phenomena based on their X-ray and gamma ray emissions.
Wu said that since the space era began in 1957, the United States and the former Soviet Union have made 90 percent of the “firsts.” In recent years, Europe and Japan have also made great progress.
“But we didn’t hear any Chinese voice in those great missions. China is the world’s second-largest economy, and a major player in space. We should not only be the user of space knowledge, we should also be the creator of space knowledge,” Wu said.
beIN shakes up MENA pay-TV sector with advent of entertainment channels
beIN Media hopes to "re-shape the future of pay-TV" in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) after confirming it will launch 24 entertainment channels alongside its already strong sports offer.
English ImageThe Doha-based organisation says it is "democratising" the pay-TV landscape in the region with its All You Want package of films, TV series and sports available in HD and with parental controls, via satellite or on the go.
beIN holds media rights for premium sports competitions such as the English Premier League, FIFA World Cup, Formula 1, and the Olympics. However, its Dubai-based pay-TV competitor OSN currently leads the regional field by some distance in delivering diverse premium entertainment content via multiple platforms to subscribers.
"Our consumer research in the MENA region indicated for quite some time that families expect a leading entertainment provider like beIN to offer a complete range of TV entertainment channels.
Furthermore we identified a sweet-spot in terms of pricing of pay-TV in the region, that has traditionally been over-priced," said Nasser Al Khelaifi, chairman and CEO of beIN Media Group.
"Hence it was natural that beIN offers latest blockbuster movies, great family entertainment in the form of latest series, factual and kids' content along with our premium sports offering. beIN's vision is to reshape the future of pay-TV and family entertainment in MENA through offering premium multi-genre entertainment at affordable prices," he added.
The appearance of test cards for two beIN Movie channels some weeks ahead of this announcement have led analysts to speculate on the content that will be offered and the industry's future landscape.
"The major challenge for beIN now is how to develop its non-sport proposition as OSN and MBC dominate rights to Hollywood content in the region," Constantinos Papavassilopoulos, senior analyst, IHS TV Intelligence, told Rapid TV News.
"And, if it wants to add movies and expand from having two or three million subscriptions in the MENA region, it is important that beIN continues its tougher stance on content piracy," demonstrated by switching to more secure set-top boxes.
Specific details of studio tie-ups are yet to be divulged, however beIN Media says that "latest Hollywood movies" will populate the new channels, which will be characterised by family-friendly content geared to the regional audience. In a statement, the company added it "is determined to keep expanding its sports, movies and entertainment content portfolio".
The entertainment channels are to be offered to existing beIN Sports Arabia subscribers without charge until the end of the year, while new comprehensive subscription packages are also being sold.
This move relates only to MENA, although beIN Media now broadcasts premium sports content across five continents to 33 countries, including France, Spain, USA, Canada, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia. It has also recently acquired the Digiturk pay-TV platform in Turkey.
TRA seeks more frequency bands for mobile communications
Many countries to air the issues at ITU’s Geneva meeting in November
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) is heading to the International Telecommunication Union’s World Radiocommunication Conference, which is to be held in November in Geneva, to seek more spectrum for mobile communications.
Many telecom operators around the world are looking for high efficiency bandwidth due to the upsurge in data demand and to accommodate the rapid growth of wireless mobile services. They are desperate to get more spectrum by 2020 for 5G network to power the Internet of Things (IoT).
IoT is defined as the network of devices that are connected to the Internet and can be controlled remotely.
At the Geneva conference, the GSMA is presenting a case for new bands that include sub-700MHz (470-694MHz), L-Band (1350-1400MHz and 1427-1518MHz) and the C-Band (3.4-4.2GHz) frequencies.
The C-band is used by the satellite industry for a myriad of services and is favoured for its robustness compared to other spectrum.
The GSMA wants 600-800MHz to be allocated by the ITU as around 1,000MHz of spectrum is currently allocated for mobile services.
Hamad Al Mansouri, Director General of the TRA, told Gulf News that the new bands will allocate more communications and will make the network ready for machine-to-machine and internet of things.
IoT is defined as the network of devices that are connected to the internet and can be controlled remotely.
“The agreement should be worldwide. All of the available spectrums are allocated for mobile and satellite communications,” Al Mansouri said.
At present, mobile services are offered in the UAE on 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 1900MHz and 2600MHz.
Al Mansouri said that there is a debate for allocating the 3,00MHz and above spectrum for mobile communications use. Some countries are using the 3,000MHz for other purposes and that country needs to empty that spectrum for mobile communications.
Khaled Biyari, CEO of Saudi Telecom Company, said at the GSMA 360 Series that 600-800MHz of additional spectrum is needed globally by 2020.
“We definitely require more bandwidth and we are using LoRA networks for specific purposes like Smart City initiatives,” said Saleem Al Blooshi, executive vice-president of network development and operation at du.
Du is using 2G on 900MHz, 3G on 1,900MHz and 900MHz, and 4G on 1,800MHz and 800MHz.
According to GSMA, mobile operators across Arab States have spent more than $40 billion (Dh147 billion) on capital investments, or approximately 18 per cent of total revenue over the last four years. There are 23 live 4G networks in ten countries in the region and 4G launches planned in a further eight markets.
Al Blooshi said that du has stopped investment on 2G networks and is slowing down the investment on 3G network, but, at the same time, accelerating investment on 4G network.
“The TRA is working very hard to get the operators in the UAE more bandwidth. The 700MHz will be released from broadcasters and it is almost finalised and will be released next year,” he said.
(Craig's comment, keep your hands off our Cband!)
European Parliament Adopts Resolution In Support Of Satellite-based Global Flight Tracking Primary Spectrum Allocation
European Parliament calls on EU Member States to join ICAO in supporting spectrum protection for satellite-based ADS-B at the upcoming World Radiocommunications Conference
MCLEAN, Virginia, Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Aireon LLC applauds the European Parliament for adopting a resolution to enhance aviation safety and efficiency through global flight tracking systems. The resolution supports the assignment of primary radio spectrum allocation for satellite-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). European Parliament's Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, called on all EU member states to welcome this resolution in order to ensure the objective of global flight tracking is supported in negotiations during the upcoming World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC).
Space-based ADS-B will allow for real-time air traffic monitoring, and provide performance-based enhancements in safety and efficiency, consistent with the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) objectives.
"We are very pleased that the resolution was adopted with overwhelming support from the plenary. It now stands as an official position of the European Parliament and demonstrates broad support for this action," said Roberta Neri, chief executive officer, ENAV. "A primary spectrum allocation will ensure that the world's aviation community has access to the next-generation air traffic surveillance capability of space-based ADS-B to improve global safety and efficiency. It is imperative that we make safety a priority and it is encouraging that Parliament has made this critical issue a key objective during the WRC."
"The Aireon Partners are pleased with the support and commitment from the European Parliament to improve air traffic safety, as stated in the resolution. We see this as a strong endorsement of the need to improve global flight safety and efficiency using investments that are already being made by the airlines," said Eamonn Brennan, chief executive officer, Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).
Members of the European Parliament across the political spectrum were universally supportive of the resolution, including the Chairman of the Transport Committee, Michael Cramer (Green Party, Germany), Marian-Jean Marinescu (PPE, Romania) and Lucy Anderson (S&D, UK) who detailed the importance of a having a global solution given the geographical limitations of existing flight tracking systems and ensuring the ability to help aircraft navigate difficult weather conditions in ways that are challenging with current technology.
"The European Parliament has set the standard in supporting this action and as the Air Navigation Service Provider in Canada, we fully support this initiative from the other side of the Atlantic," said John Crichton, president and chief executive officer, NAV CANADA. "Primary spectrum allocation for space-based global flight tracking is putting safety first. It is our primary goal and main objective in maintaining our airspace."
About Aireon LLC
Aireon is deploying a global, space-based air traffic surveillance system for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipped aircraft over the entire globe. For the first time, Aireon will provide real-time ADS-B surveillance to oceanic, polar and remote regions, as well as augment existing ground-based systems that are limited to terrestrial airspace. Aireon will harness next generation aviation surveillance technologies and extend them globally to significantly improve efficiency, enhance safety, reduce emissions and provide cost savings benefits to all stakeholders. In partnership with leading ANSPs from around the world, NAV CANADA, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), ENAV and Naviair, as well as Iridium Communications, Aireon will have an operational, global, space-based air traffic surveillance system by 2018. For more information about Aireon, visit: www.aireon.com.
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