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Satellite TV News / UPC DTH adds Animal Planet HD
« Last post by GM on December 07, 2012, 07:32:12 pm »
UPC DTH is to add Animal Planet HD to the channel line-ups of its platforms in Central and Eastern Europe.
Starting on December 17, subscribers of UPC Direct in Hungary, freeSAT in the Czech Republic and Slovakia and Focus Sat in Romania will be able to watch the service, which is produced by Discovery Networks CEEMEA.

Following the launch, UPC DTH will become the largest satellite provider of Discovery Networks content in the four countries.

Commenting on the move, Magnus Ternsj?, Managing Director of UPC DTH S.? r.l, said: “Besides being the largest satellite provider of Discovery Networks content in our Central European countries we are pleased to strengthening our UPC DTH HD line-ups with a another high quality localized channel with the addition of Animal Planet HD”.

He added: “We are proud that no other satellite provider or competitor of has as comprehensive HD line-up as we have in Hungary and in Romania. In our other markets this addition will solidify our position as a top quality provider of HD content and in all these countries we are pleased to be able to work with Discovery to be in the unique position of the satellite provider of the most Discovery Networks channels.”

Satellite TV News / Tricolor TV looks to the future
« Last post by GM on December 07, 2012, 07:25:40 pm »
Digital TV Summit 2012 – LONDON. The leading Russian DTH platform Tricolor TV plans to shortly include a number of advanced services, including VOD, in its offer.

However, speaking in an keynote presentation at this year’s Digital TV Summit, Alexandr Nikiforov, the company’s head of external relations, said that it remains committed to offering a free basic package and will at the same time aim to raise ARPU through new packages.

Asked about the possibility of teaming up with a partner to offer VOD services, he added that the platform may seek a HbbTV solution but could not provide any more details at this stage.

Nikiforov also said that he believed Tricolor TV has now overtaken NTV-Plus in terms of the quantity and quality of its content.

Commenting on future targets, he added that it aims to have 16 million subscribers by the end of 2015, while the take-up of its HD offer, introduced only this summer, should reach 7 million by the end of 2014.
Tricolor TV had 11.5 million subscribers as of the beginning of November.

Satellite TV News / Sea Launch orbits Eutelsat 70B
« Last post by GM on December 07, 2012, 07:23:16 pm »
Eutelsat has announced that its Eutelsat 70B satellite has been successfully delivered into orbit by a Zenit-3SL rocket operated by Sea Launch AG from the ocean-based Odyssey Launch Platform in international waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Lift-off of the rocket carrying the 5.2 tonne satellite took place on Monday 3 December at 20.44 GMT/UTC. After a 1-hour 6-minute flight, the Zenit-3SL booster released Eutelsat 70B into geosynchronous transfer orbit. Partial deployment of the solar array was carried out successfully approximately two hours after spacecraft separation.
Following early orbit operations managed by Eutelsat and Astrium engineers and which include circularising the satellite’s orbit, fully extending the solar arrays and deploying the antennas, EUTELSAT 70B will undergo a full series of in-orbit tests. The latest satellite to Eutelsat’s fleet is expected to enter full commercial service in mid-January 2013.
Commenting after launch and the first manoeuvres, Eutelsat CEO, Michel de Rosen said: “We are delighted to announce that Eutelsat 70B is on its way to 70.5 degrees East and thank Sea Launch, Energia Logistics and RSC Energia for this flawless launch. With a footprint connecting Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, Eutelsat 70B will be a powerful asset to our in-orbit resources. Its reach into Asia will also be a strong complement to the Eutelsat 172A satellite integrated into our fleet in September following the acquisition of this satellite from GE Capital.”
Built for Eutelsat by Astrium using its E3000 platform, Eutelsat 70B is designed to optimise resources from the 70.5° East orbital slot. With high frequency reuse, four powerful regional beams connected to 48 Ku-band transponders are located on a single platform, more than doubling current capacity at 70.5° East for data and government services, broadband access, GSM backhauling and professional video exchanges.
Its four high-performance fixed beams focus over a zone which covers: Europe, Africa, Central Asia and South-East Asia reaching as far as Australia. Through a high degree of on-board connectivity, clients will be able to use the beams either for regional coverage or to interconnect continents.
Eutelsat 70B will replace the Eutelsat 70A satellite which will subsequently be redeployed to another location for continued commercial service.

Satellite TV News / Discovery responds to RCS&RDS move
« Last post by GM on December 01, 2012, 07:21:15 pm »
Discovery has issued a response to the criticism levelled against it by RCS&RDS, Romania’s leading cable and DTH operator.

Provided to and published by Mediafax, it says that the asking price made to RCS&RDS for distribution of its channels was competitive and reasonable in relation to the quality of TV programmes broadcast by Discovery.

It also expresses concern at the actions of RCS&RDS, which will deprive its subscribers of six services, including Discovery Channel, the most documentary channel in Romania.

Earlier this week RCS&RDS announced that it had decided to withdraw the channels from its offer. Discovery says it is still open to negotiate with RCS&RDS.

Satellite TV News / UPC DTH enhances offer
« Last post by GM on December 01, 2012, 07:19:09 pm »
UPC DTH has introduced new contact features for subscribers to its freeSAT platforms in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

They allow them from today (November 26) to reach customer care representatives easily and for free using the Skype feature.

UPC Direct subscribers in Hungary also have access to this feature, which follows on from the earlier introduction of a managed Facebook site.
Luxembourg-based UPC DTH had a total of 675,000 subscribers to its DTH services in Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia as of the end of the third quarter.

Satellite TV News / Sundance debuts in Turkey
« Last post by GM on December 01, 2012, 07:16:08 pm »
Sundance Channel is launching on Digiturk in Turkey, as well as Cyfrowy Polsat and Toya in Poland.
In Turkey, Sundance Channel will launch on Digiturk, Turkey’s largest DTH platform, as a locally versioned 24/7 linear offering, accompanied by a VOD offering.

In Poland, the channel will launch on Cyfrowy Polsat, the country’s largest DTH platform, as a locally versioned 24/7 linear channel, and on the cable operator Toya as a locally versioned 24/7 linear channel, accompanied by a VOD service.
“Our partnership with these major platforms is a significant achievement in expanding Sundance Channel’s presence and audience throughout the globe,” said Bruce Tuchman, president of AMC/Sundance Channel Global, in a statement.
“We continue to experience strong demand for Sundance Channel’s distinctive HD film and TV programming and are confident these new audiences will respond enthusiastically to our award-winning, globally renowned entertainment.”

Satellite TV News / Cyfrowy Polsat starts revolution
« Last post by GM on November 25, 2012, 08:25:32 pm »
The leading Polish DTH platform Cyfrowy Polsat has launched what it describes as a “programming revolution.”

Starting from November 22, its offer has been supplemented by 19 new channels, four of which are in HD, among them services from the BBC (four), Viasat (three), Sundance (two), Filmbox and MTV (one each).

A 20th – CBS Action – will be added on December 3 and its own portfolio will itself be increased to 20 channels from the beginning of next year following the launch of three produced jointly with Viasat, Polsat Film HD and Polsat Food.

Cyfrowy Polsat has also introduced new programme packages and added the online services HBO Go and ipla, as well as a new proprietary decoder (HD 6000), to its offer.

The latter is supplied by Cyfrowy Polsat Technology, which in the last few days, according to Cyfrowy Polsat produced its 4 millionth decoder.

Cyfrowy Polsat currently has 3.56 million subscribers and is gearing up for strong competition from the merged Cyfra+/n operation, which should finally make its debut in early 2013.

Satellite TV News / Astra 2F ready for disputed orbital slot
« Last post by GM on November 25, 2012, 08:23:16 pm »
Astra 2F, the satellite that has lead to a dispute with rival operator Eutelsat, has entered commercial service.
The SES-operated satellite has now completed its in-orbit testing and is fully operational within the 28.2/28.5 degrees East neighbourhood. The 52nd SES satellite was successfully launched on board an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, on September 28, 2012.
The Astrium-built Eurostar E3000 is the first of three satellites, the so-called 2R replacement series, which will provide replacement satellites to serve the UK & Ireland. The spot beam will provide improved reception in the North of the UK and Scotland, though still clipping the top of France. In addition to 48 Ku-band frequencies used by direct-to-home broadcasts in Europe, Astra 2F also sports 12 Ku-band transponders dedicated to sub-Saharan Africa, while 3 Ka-band transponders will allow SES Broadband Services to support download speeds of up to 20 Mbps.
Astra 2E and Astra 2G, also under construction with Astrium, are scheduled for launch in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
The frequency dispute with Eutelsat remains unresolved with SES adamant it has been granted the rights to use the German orbital frequencies at 28.5 degrees East from October 4, 2013 under a 2005 agreement with German media services provider Media Broadcast, the TDF-owned business that acquired Telekom’s T-Services division. Media Broadcast holds the licence for the frequencies issued by the Bundesnetzagentur under the auspices of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
Currently Astra 2A, Astra 2B and Astra 1N carry signals on behalf of SES at the position, while Eutelsat 28A (the former Eurobird 1) offers broadcasters an alternative operator. The dispute covers two blocks of frequencies, 11.45 GHz to 11.70 GHz and 12.50 GHz to 12.75 GHz that between them represent 500 MHz of capacity.
Viewers are unlikely to notice any change in content, but there remains a threat both to Eutelsat’s satellite portfolio, and its revenues from the UK market.
Eutelsat argues that the agreement with SES is open-ended, pointing to a 1999 joint statement that also created an “interference-free orbital arc” between 16 degrees and 21.5 degrees East.

Satellite TV News / Six new DTT HD channels launch on Fransat
« Last post by GM on November 25, 2012, 08:21:46 pm »
Eutelsat’s subscription-free Fransat platform will start to carry six new HD channels on December 12.
These six new DTT channels broadcast in HD will launch in France on December 12: Chйrie 25, HD1, L’Йquipe 21, Numйro 23, RMC Dйcouverte and 6Ter.

However, only 25% of French homes in mainland France will be able to receive the new channels at launch through terrestrial reception. Terrestrial reach will be progressively expanded until full coverage is achieved in mid-2015.

All French homes will however be able to receive these new HD channels by satellite from day one.
Homes already equipped with a Fransat HD box will automatically receive the new channels using the channel numbering fixed by France’s national broadcasting authority (the CSA).

Homes with a Fransat SD box can upgrade to an HD box to get the full line-up of content. For the 75% of French homes equipped for terrestrial reception, access to the expanded line-up will be possible with a satellite dish and a Fransat HD box, available in over 8,000 retail outlets across metropolitan France.
Jean-Luc Deroudilhe, CEO of Eutelsat’s Fransat affiliate said in a statement: “We are delighted to provide nationwide coverage of these six new national channels from day one and to increase the HD offer to 10 subscription-free channels. The signal quality and digital choice available through Fransat continues to attract viewers, with almost two million TV sets now connected to our platform.”
The Fransat platform is broadcast via the Eutelsat 5 West A satellite at 5 degrees West. It is expected that the alternative TNTSat platform from the Canal+ Group on Astra will also offer the six new HD channels.

Satellite TV News / More HD for Unitymedia
« Last post by GM on November 18, 2012, 08:59:12 pm »
Liberty Global’s German cabler Unitymedia is expanding the number of HD channels on its net to 45.
Starting today, Tuesday November 13, the operator is adding Planet HD, RTL Living HD and Passion HD, as well as nine new HD channels from Sky Deutschland.
The cabler is also adding two new channels, and Penthouse TV, as well as bringing back the DeLuxe Music channel.
With the addition of Sky Sport HD Extra, Sky Hits HD, Disney Cinemagic HD, Disney Channel HD, Fox HD, TNT Serie HD, Discovery HD, National Geographic HD and Nat Geo Wild HD, Sky D subscribers can now receive a total of 14 HD channels.
Unitymedia serves customers in the German states of North Rhine Westphalia and Hesse.

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