D – Digital
A – Analogue
Asiasat-1 & 3S
D Asiasat-3S was launched successfully aboard a Russian Proton rocket from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on March 21. It will take over duties from Asiasat-1 as soon as in-orbit transponder soak tests are completed. The new satellite carries some 28 C-Band and 16 Ku-Band transponders which cover from south east Asia, India and Pakistan westwards to the Middle East and easternmost parts of Europe.
D This, the second craft in Worldspace’s fleet, lifted off from Kourou on March 21. It will provide over 50 high quality audio streams from its L-Band transponders to listeners throughout Asia, including those in China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines and Thailand.
PAS-4 & 7
A Transponder 16 has undergone some configuration changes. Music Asia occupies Tp.16U at 4185 MHz vertical where the power has been increased allowing much better reception in the UK with a dish size of two metres plus. However, as a consequence the power output from India’s Doordarshan TV which uses the lower portion of Tp.16, centred on 4155 MHz, has been dropped making reception in western Europe very difficult. The Iranian opposition TV channel, Sima-yeh Moghavemat, continues to provide daily programming on 11168 MHz horizontal in clear Pal from 1830-2030.
A Analogue C-Band feeds continue to appear here on a fairly regular basis. On March 23 at 1930 a feed from the EU leaders’ summit being held in Lisbon was fed over 4188 MHz RHCP in free-to-air Pal. Iran’s IRIB TV4 has left 10964 MHz vertical in Pal and has been replaced by the Sahar Universal Network. A live report in clear NTSC for NHK Tokyo courtesy of KBS Seoul was fed over 4166 MHz RHCP on March 25 at 1050. At the same time the other feed transponder, 4188 MHz RHCP, was carrying a piece in Pal from Pakistan on the visit to the country by President Clinton. Two days later, on the 27th, MBC used 4166 MHz RHCP for a feed from Baghdad at 1520. Daily news bulletins for TV Mauritius can often be found on 4166 MHz in clear Secam, usually at around 1700. On the 28th an interesting feed appeared on 4188 MHz RHCP at 1730. Colour bars overlaid with “UZB-1A E/S” occupied the frequency for a while before the transponder cut to a report on the visit by the Turkish premier to Turkmenistan, one of the former Soviet Asiatic republics, in clear Pal. Curiously the uplink was provided by neighbouring Uzbekistan.
D Eutelsat’s most easterly bird has started to provide regular signals. Sicilia International has launched on 11111 MHz horizontal, SR 2293, FEC 2/3, VPID 4194, APID 4195 in clear MPEG-2. The EPG data is incorrect though, reading “Euro Mediterraneo”. This satellite, which started life at 13 degrees East, is inclined by 1 degree with best reception in the UK around 1300. Sardegna Uno has left Eutelsat-II-F3 at 36 degrees East and moved to 11104 MHz horizontal, SR 2196, FEC 2/3, VPID 4194, APID 4195 in clear MPEG-2 at this orbital slot.
D The German music channel Viva launched on 11469 MHz vertical, VPID 1536, APID 1537 replacing the Germany’s Sat 1 last week but was promptly replaced by Star Spor from Turkey.
A Radyo Kent is new in the audio baseband of Cine 5 at 11006 MHz vertical via the 8.10/8.28 MHz subcarriers.
Gals-1/2, Most-1, Eutelsat-II-F3
D Following its recent reinstatement on Arabsat the Iraq Satellite Channel has left 11013 MHz vertical where they had been broadcasting in free-to-air MPEG-2. Now that Sicilia International has started on Eutelsat-II-F1 at 48 degrees East, the channel has left 12560 MHz horizontal at this orbital slot. A live feed for GMTV with reporter John Stapleton from outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead was fed over 11071 MHz horizontal, SR 5630, FEC 3/4 on March 21 from 0600-0900. The uplink was provided by SISLink-38. Occasional Dutch feed traffic uses 11021 MHz horizontal, SR 5206, FEC 5/6, VPID 33, APID 34 in free-to-air MPEG-2. When the stream is not in use an Intrax caption is shown with a still of one of their dishes. The EPG data reads “TIERNAN 1”. 11588 MHz horizontal, SR 5630, FEC 3/4 was active at 1335 on March 25 with colour bars overlaid with; “NF UKI 496 PAL”. The EPG entry was “P.M.”.
A The Iraq Satellite Channel has left 10984 MHz vertical.
D The primary second-hop feed from the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix was fed over 12708 MHz horizontal, SR 6111, FEC 3/4 on March 25/26 in free-to-air MPEG-2 for the German channel Premiere Sport.
Astra-1D & 2A
D To make way for new services the Sky Digital EPG has undergone a major reshuffle. Here is a list of the new channel numbers: MTV – 440, MTV Extra – 441, MTV Base – 442, VH-1 – 443, VH-1 Classic – 444, M2 – 446, The Box – 449, UK Play – 452, Discovery – 551, Discovery +1 Hour – 552, Discovery Travel & Adventures – 553, Discovery Civilisations – 554, Discovery Sci-Trek – 555, National Geographic Channel – 558, National Geographic Channel +1 Hour – 559, Adventure One – 560, History Channel – 561, UK Horizons – 564, .tv – 567, Animal Planet – 570, BBC Knowledge – 573, QVC – 630, TV Travel Shop – 633, Shop! – 636, GOD Channel – 650, Inspiration Network – 653, BBC Choice Scotland – 964, BBC Choice Wales – 965, BBC Choice Northern Ireland – 966, BBC1 Scotland – 967, BBC1 Wales – 968 and BBC1 Northern Ireland – 969. All of these changes took effect on April 3. Soft porn channel Midnight Blue, which occupies Ch.980 in the Sky EPG, is to be renamed Private Blue later this month. The Community Channel is due to launch in September. It will join the Sky Digital line-up and will be free-to-air to Sky subscribers.
Astra 1A-C & E-G
D Canal Assemblee, the French channel which provides live coverage of parliamentary proceedings on 12207 MHz vertical via PIDs V163, A92, has been renamed La Chaine Parlementaire (see also Hotbird 13 degrees East and Sirius 5.2 degrees East). KurdSat started a stream share with Adult X and Quantum 24 on 12012 MHz vertical last week but has since left the frequency. The Kurdish channel aired here from 1600-1900 daily.
D Super Bike motorcycling action from an un-known venue was fed over 12533 MHz vertical, SR 5630, FEC 3/4, VPID 308, APID 256 in clear MPEG-2 during the afternoon of April 2.
A The Bristol based Christian channel for the Middle East and North Africa, Sat 7, which uses 11178 MHz vertical in clear Pal is to extend its output from four days a week to seven days a week from this month. The channel, which broadcasts in the Arabic language via a Cyprus uplink, was launched in 1996. Sat 7 also uses PAS-4 capacity at 68.5 degrees East.
Eutelsat Hotbirds 1/2/3/4/5
D Hotbird 2 underwent a complete failure at 1809 on March 21. Several major multiplexes were lost including the RAI, Mediaset, Arabesque, D+ and Telefonica packages. Also analogue signals from Canal 24 Horas and RTP Internacional went off. No official explanation has been forthcoming from Eutelsat but it seems likely that the craft started to drift slowly eastwards. By 0200 the following morning the satellite had been restored. Ultra Blue, the new hardcore adult channel which was to have launched on or around March 15, is now slated for an April 15 start. The new channel will stream share with Amore TV on 12380 MHz vertical and will be encoded in Irdeto and Viaccess. Canal Assemblee on 10873 MHz vertical, VPID 1020, APID 1030, has been renamed Canal Parlementaire (see also Astra 19.2 degrees East and Sirius 5.2 degrees East). A Cologne Broadcast Centre promo video loop was played out over 11129 MHz horizontal, SR 4339, FEC 3/4, VPID 4194, APID 4195 for several days prior to the launch of Viva Polska on the stream on April 1. The Iraq Satellite Channel has replaced the Dubai Business Channel within the Arabsat digital platform at 12654 MHz horizontal, VPID 1960, APID 1920. Iraq has recently been allowed back into the Arabsat organisation and can now be found on Arabsat at 26 degrees East as well as via Nilesat at 7 degrees West. Four audio streams from Multimusic have joined the Polish Cyfra+ bouquet on 10719 MHz vertical, SR 27500, FEC 3/4. They are Piosenka Polska, Polski Rock, Fiesta Latina and Technomania. All are encoded in Mediaguard. The Discovery Channel is currently free-to-air on 12597 MHz vertical, SR 27500, FEC 3/4, VPID 163, APID 92.
A The Hungarian channel MTV2 on 12130 MHz horizontal is now known as Magyar 2. KurdSat has launched on 10933 MHz horizontal in clear Pal, sharing the transponder with Quantum 24.
D Live coverage of the Spanish soccer game between Malaga and Banlio was fed over 11151 MHz horizontal, SR 5632, FEC 3/4, VPID 773, APID 783 in free-to-air MPEG-2 on March 25. The main second-hop feed for ITV Sport from the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix was carried on 11141 MHz horizontal, SR 6111, FEC 3/4, VPID 5221, APID 5331 over the weekend of 25/26 March. On March 25 at 1355, 10958 MHz vertical, SR 5630, FEC 3/4 carried an encoded feed, probably of Italian soccer, with the EPG ID “TELEO ITA_63”. At the same time 11003 MHz vertical, SR 5630, FEC 3/4, EPG: “ITA 80 SERVICE” was also active with encoded feed traffic and 10994 MHz vertical was in use with the EPG info: “ITA 20 TELESPAZIO”.
AThe Turkish channel InterStar on 11181 MHz vertical suffered an enforced break of 24 hours on March 30 for violating Turkish broadcasting laws.
D The Russian channel ORT1 has launched via an SCPC carrier at 12682 MHz horizontal, SR 3100, FEC 7/8, VPID 70, APID 71 in free-to-air MPEG-2.
A. KurdSat was transponder sharing with Quantum 24 at 12437 MHz vertical in clear Pal for a few days last week but has now left. (See also Astra 19.2 degrees East and Hotbird 13 degrees East).
D Belgacom’s familiar promo video is being played out over 12510 MHz horizontal, SR 6667, FEC 3/4, VPID 528, APID 530 in free-to-air MPEG-2. However reception here is very difficult without elevation control as the satellite is over 4 degrees inclined.
D A very lavish and extravagant promotion called “It’s a MAN’s World” for the launch of a new MAN truck used capacity here at 12555 MHz horizontal, SR 5630, FEC 3/4, VPID 308, APID 256, EPG: UKI 44 COMO NTL” and 12530 MHz horizontal, SR 5630, FEC 3/4, EPG: “NTL UKI 458”, plus Eutelsat-W2 at 16 degrees East and Eutelsat-II-F4 at 10 degrees East on March 23 and 24. On the 23rd rehearsals were fed over the satellite links because the programme carried live inserts from the UK, France, Germany and Italy. The UK contribution was coming from the NEC in Birmingham and was hosted by the BBC’s Grandstand anchor Steve Ryder. Most of the locations used vast studios and full orchestras. All of the satellite links were up and running for several hours on both days.
0.8 degrees/1 degreesW:
Thor 1, 2 & 3 & Intelsat-707
D Two new Slovak TV channels, TV Nasa and TV Global have launched on 11540 MHz vertical, PIDs V513/644, A516/656. Both channels are encoded in Conax. (See Transponder Monitor March 22).
A Occasional programmes from a new religious channel named Per Christian can sometimes be seen on 11555 MHz horizontal in clear Pal. On March 25 the channel was relayed here from around 1710. There are no less than seven active audio subcarriers. These carry English on 6.60 MHz, German 7.02 MHz, Polish 7.20 MHz, Czech 7.38 MHz, Russian 7.74 MHz, Serbo-Croat 7.92 MHz and Hungarian on 8.10 MHz.
D The Horus 2 channel at 11747 MHz vertical, VPID 1012, APID 1212, has been renamed the Nerfertiti Health Channel.
D The Andalucian digital package has left 12521 MHz horizontal and moved to Hispasat at 30 degrees West.
D The mouthpiece of the Mormon church, The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints TV, is using 11580 MHz horizontal, SR 3957, FEC 1/2 in free-to-air MPEG-2 in parallel with its Telstar-11 at 37.5 degrees west outlet. An eastbound relay of CNBC can often be found on11518 MHz horizontal, SR 5348, FEC 3/4, VPID 308, APID 256 in clear MPEG-2/NTSC. Sometimes MSNBC or NBC are fed here too. Occasional Reuters feeds out of the USA can sometimes be found on 11534 MHz horizontal, SR 14996, FEC 3/4, VPID 2460, APID 2420 in clear MPEG-2/NTSC.
21.3 degrees/21.5 degreesW:
NSS-803 & NSS-K
D The regular CNN This Morning Berlin feeds can be found on 11469 MHz horizontal, SR 6109, FEC 3/4, VPID 308, APID 256, EPG: “N-TV BERLIN” in clear MPEG-2. A long feed for a charity named Millenium Dream was carried on 11617 MHz, SR 6097, FEC 3/4, VPID 2160, APID 2120 in clear MPEG-2. The content consisted of a promotional video loop produced by Medialink. Tennis from the Ericsson Open was relayed on 11590 MHz vertical, SR 19995, FEC 3/4, VPID 330, APID 278 in free-to-air MPEG-2 (Globecast Channel 2) on March 30. The EPG data read; “NEWS MUX CHANNEL”. WWF wrestling action from the US was fed over GlobeCast Channel 1 at 11590 MHz vertical in clear MPEG-2/NTSC on April 3 at 0130 for Sky Sports. Coverage of the Bellsouth Classic PGA golf tournament was available on April 1 at 11625 MHz vertical, SR 6109, FEC 3/4, VPID 2160, APID 2120 in clear MPEG-2.
A On March 30 at 1955 colour bars overlaid with “SABC SAT MCR, JOHANNESBURG. Phone: +27 11 714 5082, +27 11 714 5083. Fax: +27 11 714 6487” were spotted in clear Pal on 4166 MHz RHCP.
D The Portuguese digital platform TV Cabo has ceased dual broadcasts on 11612 MHz vertical and 11811 MHz horizontal. It is now on the latter frequency only, which is a Hispasat- 1C transponder. There are two new additions to the package too. These are the two Portuguese domestic channels, TVP1 and TVP2, on PIDs V5136/5137, A5152/5153. As with all of the platform’s occupants, they are encoded in Nagravision except for CNL, the news channel, which remains free-to-air. The Sur Andalucia package was moved here from Eutelsat-II-F2 at 12.5 degrees West last week. It could be found on 11615 MHz vertical, SR 21592, FEC 1/2 with the following line-up: Canal Sur Andalucia (V512, A650), Canal 2 Andalucia (V513, A651), Andalucia TV (V514, A670) and Canal Sur (V515, A680) but now seems to have left the frequency.
D The Nigerian channel AIT, which is owned by DAAR Communications, has returned to 3725 MHz RHCP, SR 4338, FEC 3/4, VPID 33, APID 35 in free-to-air MPEG-2. Also Ray Power 100 FM can be heard via APID 34. This station also broadcasts terrestrially in Lagos on 100.5 MHz. On March 21 colour bars overlaid with “SOLO Satellite Comms. http://www.solosat.com
Bookings +44(0)1484 42418″ were observed from 1835 on 10955 MHz vertical. A news feed for the French channel LCI was relayed on 11007 MHz vertical at 1840 on March 21 in clear MPEG-2. At the same time 11016 MHz vertical was occupied with a live feed from outside a Marseille hospital for one of the French networks. The EPG data read “8 Mbit 3/4”. At 1850 on the 21st this message was displayed on 11502 MHz vertical, “Feed for 2M by Cognacq – Jay Image from EVF Paris”. 2M is a Moroccan commercial TV channel. Live coverage of the Blackburn-vs-Birmingham City soccer match was fed over 10998 MHz vertical by Solo Sat Comms for Sky Sports on March 22 from 1945. Live coverage of the Dubai World Cup horse racing meeting was fed over 11016 MHz vertical, SR 5630, FEC 3/4, VPID 308, APID 256 on March 25 from 1400 in clear MPEG-2. Prior to the feed this caption was displayed; “Sunset & Vine World Feed. Dubai World Cup. Audio 1 – complete programme sound. Audio 2 – clean effects”. An audio loop announced: “This is the World programme feed from the Dubai World Cup horse race”. At 1400 the stream cut to live video interspersed with several inserts for US networks and Channel 4 Racing. Following the breaking up of the Team Philips Challenge catamaran off the Scilly Isles a feed on April 1 at 10977 MHz vertical, SR 5632, FEC 3/4 showed aerial video footage of the damage the one of the hulls.
Telstar-11 & Columbia-515
D LDS – Church of the Latter Day Saints TV – continues to occupy 11667 MHz vertical, SR 3957, FEC 1/2. There are nine audio soundtracks available offering English, German, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Danish, Swedish, Dutch and Norwegian translations.
PAS-3R & PAS-6
D On March 25 at 0745 12729 MHz horizontal, SR 6618, FEC 2/3, VPID 2160, APID 2120, EPG; “Signal 2 Channel 2” was relaying a test card overlaid with “WATERFRONT NY NCC” in free- to-air MPEG-2/NTSC. Coverage of the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix for RTL used two streams here on March 25 (for qualifying practice) and March 26 (for the race itself). 12735 MHz vertical, SR 13842, FEC 3/4, VPID 308, APID 256 carried the main feed with the pre-race caption “RTL Slot 1”, 12710 MHz vertical, SR 19995, FEC 3/4, VPID 36, APID 37 relayed RTL Slot 2, which comprised of the output from a Pit camera.
All times in UTC unless otherwise stated.
SR – Symbol Rate
FEC – Forward Error Correction
VPID – Video Programme Identifier
AIPD – Audio Programme Identifier