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    Lightbulb Latest SATELLITE NEWS/TV LISTING SECTION

    First natural disaster channel to debut next year


    From
    http://www.nhandan.com.vn/english/life/ ... life_f.htm

    The Vietnam Multimedia Corporation (VTC) will officially launch the country’s first television channel dedicated to the environment and helping prevent natural disasters on January 1, 2010.

    New channel VTC 14 is one of the nation’s strategic initiatives to prevent and reduce natural disaster impacts apart from the national sustainable development strategy.

    According to various international organisations’ assessments, damages caused by natural disasters, epidemics, traffic accidents and other environmental impacts account for more than 5.5% of a nation’s GDP each year.

    VTC14 updates weather forecasts and information on environment, transport, healthcare, the Government’s action policy, and documentaries on natural disasters prevention.

    The channel will equip people with necessary knowledge and skills to protect the environment from pollution, enhance their ability to cope in emergency cases, reduce potential accidental risks and prevent epidemics. (VNA)



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    Vietnam PM Approves Plan To Launch Second Telecom Satellite By 2012

    news-story.aspx?storyid=201001040353dowjonesdjonline000 064&title=vietnam-pm-approves-plan-to-launch-second-telecom-satellite-by-2012

    HANOI -(Dow Jones)- Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has agreed in principle to launch the country's second telecommunications satellite by 2012, the government said Monday in a statement.

    The government said Dung has assigned the state-run Vietnam Posts and Telecoms Group to be the sole investor of the satellite called Vinasat-2.

    It said the satellite will cost between $290 million and $350 million.

    "The new satellite is aimed at boosting the development of the country's telecom market," the government said.

    Vietnam launched its first satellite from a space port in South America in April 2008.

    The $300 million Vinasat-1, built by U.S. firm Lockheed Martin, is expected to have a lifespan of between 15 and 20 years.

    Vinasat-1 provides data and broadcast coverage to Southeast Asia, eastern China, India, North Korea, Japan, Australia and Hawaii and is expected to be fully operational this year.

    The satellite is now operating at 70% of its capacity, with the main clients being Vietnam Television, Voice of Vietnam Radio, oil companies, telecom firms Viettel and Gtel and ministries, the government said

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    Post Satellite launch counsel sought

    Satellite launch counsel sought



    The Information and Communications Technology Ministry will this month seek the Office of the Attorney General's interpretation on whether Thaicom Plc's concession allows it to launch a sixth satellite.

    "We're not sure that the two agreements that Thaicom, formerly Shin Satellite, made with the ICT Ministry will cover [or legally allow] the launching of the Thaicom 6 satellite," said ICT permanent secretary Sue Lor-uthai.

    If the OAG advises that the existing agreements do not cover the launch of a sixth satellite, the ICT Ministry and Thaicom may have to draw up a new concessionary agreement under the Public-Private Joint Venture Act.

    The ministry's working committee has considered reviewing Thaicom's concession contract since last month.

    The committee found that the first contract allowed the country's sole satellite-service provider to launch Thaicom 1 as a main satellite with Thaicom 2 as its backup. The second contract allowed the launching of Thaicom 3 satellite with Thaicom 4 (iPSTAR) as a backup.

    Mr Sue said if the ministry had to draw up a new contract to allow for Thaicom 6 to be launched, it would submit the draft for the cabinet's consideration under Section 13 of the Public-Private Joint Venture Act.

    "However, if the [OAG's] interpretation is that the existing contracts show Thaicom has an obligation to launch Thaicom 6, then the company has to do that," he said.

    Thaicom previously told the ministry's working committee that it would launch Thaicom 6 if its concession was extended for another 15 years. Its current satellite concession ends in 2021.

    According to Mr Sue, Thaicom said it would not be worthwhile to put Thaicom 6 into orbit in 2012 as the concession ends in 2021 and the satellite has a service life of just nine years.

    Somprasong Boonyachai, executive chairman of Shin Corporation Plc, said the existing contracts between its subsidiary, Thaicom, and the ministry cover the Thaicom 1, 2, 3 and 4 satellites.

    Thaicom 5 was launched after the two parties reached a mutual agreement relating to Thaicom 3, which suffered problems when being launched.

    "We want to make sure that our concession will be extended before launching any new broadcasting satellite. The concession should be longer than the life span of the new satellite," Mr Somprasong said.

    An industry source said major players in the ICT industry and high-ranking military figures want to operate a new satellite to provide intelligence-related services to government agencies.

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    Post VTC Chooses AsiaSat 5 for New DTH Service in Vietnam

    VTC Chooses AsiaSat 5 for New DTH Service in Vietnam


    From Press Release

    Hong Kong, 30 December 2009 – Asia's leading satellite operator Asia Satellite
    Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat) and Vietnam Multimedia Corporation (VTC),
    Vietnam’s leading national broadcaster and operator in digital broadcasting, todayannounced the
    signing of a lease agreement for the use of multiple Ku-band transponders on AsiaSat 5for a new
    premium Direct-to-Home (DTH) service in Vietnam.

    VTC will use the transponder capacity in early 2010 to provide a brand new DTH televisionservice,
    distributing up to 30 High Definition (HD) and 70 Standard Definition (SD) televisionchannels to
    households in Vietnam. The new VTC's DTH package on AsiaSat 5 will offer a wide varietyof
    premium content ranging from sports, entertainment to technology and lifestyle,addressing the
    interests of the Vietnamese public.

    Dr. Thai Minh Tan, General Director of VTC said, "AsiaSat 5 provides powerful coverage to
    enhance our DTH service to our home market and the transponder capacity to expand ourline-up
    of HD and SD premium television channels to viewers across the country. We are gratefulto
    partner AsiaSat who can support our aggressive plan to further diversify our range ofdigital TV
    services to enhance the viewing experience of the Vietnamese consumers."

    Peter Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of AsiaSat said, "We are very pleased to have VTCas our
    long-term partner for DTH services to Vietnam. AsiaSat 5 is our latest high performance satellite
    launched this year and it will play a significant role in the DTH development of the country. We look
    forward to expanding our services in Vietnam, a fast growing economy of over 80 million people,
    with reliable and high quality satellite television when VTC launches its services on AsiaSat 5."
    # # #

    About VTC

    Vietnam Multimedia Corporation (VTC), under the Ministry of Information and Communications of
    Vietnam, is a large state-owned multimedia corporation in Vietnam. Through VTC Digital Television
    formed in 2004, VTC’s business activities in the TV broadcasting field include producing TV
    programmes and provision of other television-related services as well as buying, selling and
    exchanging programmes with domestic and international partners. VTC Digital Television has many
    self-produced channels including HD channels, and dozens of international channels which are
    transmitted digitally via DVB-C, DVB-T, DVB-H and DVB-S2 standards. For more information, please
    visit
    www.vtc.com.vn

    About AsiaSat 5

    AsiaSat 5 is a Space Systems/Loral’s 1300 satellite launched in August 2009 and replaced AsiaSat 2 at
    the orbital location of 100.5 degrees East. AsiaSat 5 carries 26 C-band and 14 Ku-band transponders,
    and has a design life of 15 years. Its powerful C-band footprint covers over 50 countries and regions
    spanning from Russia to New Zealand and from Japan to the Middle East and parts of Africa. The
    Ku-band coverage consists of two high powered fixed beams serving East Asia and South Asia, as well
    as a steerable beam to satisfy market demands.

    About AsiaSat

    AsiaSat, the leading regional satellite operator in Asia, serves over two-thirds of the world's population
    with its powerful satellite fleet, comprising AsiaSat 3S at 105.5ºE, AsiaSat 4 at 122ºE and AsiaSat 5 at
    100.5ºE. The AsiaSat satellite fleet provides services to both the broadcast and telecommunications
    industries. Over 300 television and radio channels are now delivered by the company's satellites,
    reaching over 96 million households, with more than 360 million viewers across the Asia Pacific region.

    Many telecommunications customers use AsiaSat for services such as public telephone networks,
    private VSAT networks and broadband multimedia services. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Asia
    Satellite Telecommunications Holdings Limited, a company listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong
    Kong Limited (Stock Code: 1135). For more information, please visit
    www.asiasat.com

    Media inquiries:
    VTC
    Nong Thi Hoai An
    Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited
    Sabrina Cubbon, General Manager, Marketing Winnie Pang, Manager, Corporate Affairs

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    Post Free-to-air to cost for some in the bush

    Free-to-air to cost for some in the bush

    EVERY home in the country will be able to get 16 free-to-air television channels under a new publicly-funded satellite service.

    But some regional households will have to pay $350 - or even more - if they want to watch the Wiggles or the cricket.

    Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has announced the Federal Government will spend $40 million a year on the satellite service.

    That means everyone can tune into three ABC channels and two SBS channels, as well as channels 7, 9 and 10 and their offshoots.

    The new service comes as the Government prepares to switch off the analogue TV system by 2013.

    Viewers will have to buy a set-top-box and switch to digital TV to keep the box alive.

    Under the analogue system, some regional households can only get a few free-to-air channels or none at all.
    Senator Conroy said the new deal was a "fantastic outcome'' for regional people.

    "All regional Australians will now receive the same television services as people in the cities,'' he said today.

    "No one is disadvantaged by the switch-over from analogue to digital.''

    As part of the deal, the Government will shut down 500 of the country's 600 locally-run TV transmission towers.

    Everyone affected - believed to be thousands of homes in regional areas - will have to spend $300 on a satellite dish to watch TV.

    The Government pays the other $300.

    Add to that at least $50-$90 for a set-top-box to watch digital TV, which everyone must buy.

    People in remote areas who can't get analogue TV must pay the full $600 for a satellite dish.

    Opposition communications spokesman Tony Smith said the new TV service would be welcomed by some, but cautioned it might just be "yet more Labor pie in the sky''.

    People in regional areas should "hold their champagne corks until they see the actual evidence and delivery'', Mr Smith said.

    Christopher Zinn, spokesman for the consumer group Choice, was concerned some people might not be able to afford to watch TV under the new system.

    He called for more information on what financial support there would be for people on lower incomes.

    "It rather modifies the expression free-to-air because while it is free for some people, there is a capital cost attached for others,'' he said.

    The new system will fill the coffers of the Government - it's going to sell off the wireless spectrum freed up by the end of analogue TV.

    With that spectrum being chased by mobile phone and wireless broadband companies, big dollars are at stake.

    Senator Conroy said it was a "seriously valuable asset'' which would be sold in 2011 or 2012, with the proceeds to go into general government revenue.

    Under the new system, commercial TV companies will pay to upgrade 100 of the 600 locally-run transmission towers.

    The industry says it hopes that 98 per cent of regional homes will be covered under the new system without having to install satellite dishes.

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    Is Digital TV by satellite for rural users just “pie in the sky”?


    Although the Australian Federal Government has announced it is spending tens of millions of dollars to make the newest digital free-to-air TV channels available to those by satellite in rural and regional areas, the Federal Opposition is, as you’d expect, unconvinced.
    When it comes to Governments making promises, there’s one thing the public knows: those promises aren’t always kept, are sometimes delivered in a vastly different form to what was promised – and often at a much higher cost.

    Australia’s left-wing, socialist-leaning Federal Government has made many promises, especially in the area of a national broadband network, but has delivered very little - beyond hundreds of billions of dollars of new debt we didn’t have before they were elected.

    While the conservative, right-wing side of politics isn’t filled with angels either, something that will ultimately lead humans to adopt a libertarian form of Government, Australia’s right-wing Federal Opposition is unsurprisingly filled with doubt over whether the new satellite TV system will ever be delivered, or not.

    The doubt comes from the Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Tony Smith, who in seeming outrage and disbelief has penned the following missive, declaring that “Labor must convert talk into action”.

    Smith says that: “The Federal Coalition hopes the satellite solution for better television access in the bush doesn’t end up as yet more Labor pie in the sky.

    “Whilst people in rural and regional Australia will welcome Senator Conroy’s announcement, they should hold their champagne corks until they see the actual evidence and delivery.

    “They should believe it when they see it – literally see it on their TV screens.”

    Of course, there are undoubtedly many things that the opposition, when it Government, did not deliver, including a proper national broadband network, despite a myriad of broadband initiatives, but now that they’re in opposition, the focus more rightly falls on those in actual power.

    What else in the digital TV satellite announcement does the Shadow Minister cast his shadow over? Please read

    Smith continues, saying that: “Senator Conroy has promised that no one will be worse off under this new scheme. Unfortunately, the Rudd Government has perfected the art of making broad, sweeping policy announcements and spectacularly failing to deliver on them.

    “Rural and regional Australians deserve to have certainty in what television access they will have before the analogue service is switched off.

    “There is not a major policy that this Government has implemented that hasn’t been delayed, abandoned or had a cost-blowout.

    “While it’s possible that this could be the first Rudd Government policy announcement that is actually implemented on time, in full, without delay or chaos and on budget, few in rural and regional Australia would bet on it”, concludes the Smithster.

    So, the focus falls back on the Federal Government to, unsurprisingly, deliver on its promises.

    There remains only a few months before an Australian Federal election, so much hoopla from both sides of politics is yet to emerge.

    However, no matter what is promised, Australians will no doubt be closely watching to see just how much of the current Government’s talk really is translation into quick action, rather than endlessly delayed, or subject to yet another review.

    If political people in Government and in the opposition wonder why there are such low expectations from people like myself, they only have themselves to blame.

    After all, Governments of all stripes keep on forgetting that people should not be afraid of their Governemnts, but that Governments should be afraid of their people.

    The Rudd Labor Government certainly won’t win or lose an election based on whether or not they deliver new TV channels to those in the outback, but at the slovenly rate of sloth our current Government is exhibiting, one can only wonder whether this Government will be a one-term wonder, or not.

    Any electoral revolution one way or the other will surely be televised, but whether rural and regional Australians will be watching it via old-fashioned analog signals or the latest and greatest in digital and satellite retransmission is something we’ll find out in future episodes of Australia’s political reality TV show.

    But don’t hold your breath or the TV remote while waiting.

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    Light shed on digital TV blackspot for 200,000


    More than 200,000 homes in regional Australia who were in danger of missing out on digital television will be able to tap into a new satellite service under a plan expected to be announced today by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

    The satellite service will be available for households in so-called digital blackspot areas, which are mostly in outer suburban and regional areas as well as near hills that block signals.

    It is understood the new plan means local news bulletins will be protected despite earlier reports they could be lost as part of a satellite solution to the blackspot problem because large regions would be served by a single satellite signal.

    Regional programming will be enabled by technology similar to that used by Foxtel with its Sky News channel that allows for multiple programs to be broadcast simultaneously.

    The satellite solution will also lead to regional broadcasters such as the Northern Territory-based Imparja tapping into a much larger nation-wide audience, but encryption restrictions placed on the satellite mean residents outside blackspot areas will not get access.

    This announcement will kick off a significant year for digital television. In the middle of the year Mildura will be the first place in the country to have its analogue signal shut-off, and a smooth implementation is important as the government moves towards larger populations ahead of the final switchoff in big cities in 2013.

    The announcement, expected by Senator Conroy in Canberra this afternoon, comes as the government unveils the white paper into the so-called digital dividend, the spectrum space freed up when analogue signals are switched off.

    The spectrum will be auctioned off to telecommunications companies and broadcasters keen to use it to develop new technologies.

    The equivalent spectrum in the United States was auctioned off for $US19 billion ($A21 billion), a figure which has led some to estimate the Australian spectrum could sell for $2 billion or more if the economy remains buoyant.

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    Thumbs up Digital television Australia-wide

    Digital television Australia-wide


    From Media Release

    Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy
    Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
    Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate

    The Rudd Government will implement a satellite service to provide digital television to viewers in regional blackspot areas.

    "All regional Australians will now receive the same television services as people in the cities," said the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy.

    "This is a fantastic outcome for people in regional Australia, many of whom have received limited television services for many years."

    "This historic decision will dramatically improve the choice and quality of television services for regional Australia as we move towards digital switchover."

    "For the first time all free-to-air digital television services, including the original three commercial and two national channels, as well as new digital services such as ABC2, ABC3, SBS TWO, GO!, 7TWO and ONE HD, will be available to all Australians, no matter where they live."

    "The satellite service will provide regional viewers with access to the local news currently broadcast in their TV licence area via a dedicated local news channel."

    While the final cost of the digital satellite broadcasting service will be determined following negotiations between broadcasters and satellite service providers, the Government is committing $40 million per year over the four-year forward estimates to build and operate the service, for the potential benefit of up to 247,000 households across Australia. This is an ongoing Government commitment.

    Under an agreement reached with all television broadcasters across Australia, broadcasters will upgrade more than 100 existing regional analog ‘self-help’ transmission facilities to operate in digital, while the Government will fully fund and build a new digital satellite broadcasting service for regional viewers who are unable to receive digital television from those facilities.

    The measures are part of Australia’s ongoing switchover to digital-only television and will be in place before analog services are switched off in each regional broadcast license area.

    Viewers who currently rely on ‘self-help’ sites that will be upgraded by broadcasters under this agreement will simply need to install a high definition set-top-box to access a full suite of digital television channels.

    Any regional households not able to receive digital television from the upgraded ‘self-help’ sites will be served by the new satellite, which will also carry the full suite of digital channels. In order to access the new satellite service, these households will need to install a satellite dish.

    "The Government will provide a satellite conversion subsidy to eligible households currently served by ‘self-help’ transmission sites which are not upgraded to digital by the broadcasters," Senator Conroy said.

    "This landmark agreement would not be possible without the cooperation of Australia’s free-to-air broadcasters and I would like to acknowledge their constructive approach to digital switchover."

    Senator Conroy said that the Government will be writing to ‘self-help’ transmission licensees detailing the new measures as well as providing further information to local communities.

    The Government is currently consulting with broadcasters to identify the list of ‘self-help’ sites to be upgraded to digital for announcement in the first half of 2010.

    The list will include new digital terrestrial transmitters at Underbool and Ouyen in the Sunraysia/Mildura region, the first license area to switch to digital-only television. The satellite service for the Sunraysia/Mildura region is expected to commence prior to 30 June 2010, when analog television services are due to be switched off in that licence area.

    More information:
    Online:
    http://www.digitalready.gov.au/
    Freephone: 1800 20 10 13

    Date: 5 January 2010
    Contact: Tim Marshall 0408 258 457




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    Post Platform n posts strong growth

    The Polish new generation DTH platform n ended 2009 on a high note, securing 80,000 new subscribers in December alone to bring the year-end total to 697,000.

    In the year as a whole, it acquired an additional 300,000 new subscribers.

    Its sister pre-pay service TNK meanwhile secured 101,000 new customers in December and 348,000 in the year as a whole, ending 2009 with 440,000.

    Both platforms are owned by TVN, whose other broadcast interests include a national commercial station of the same name and a portfolio of thematic channels, the most popular of which is the news-based TVN24.



    Thanks For Watching My Post

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    Post Ascent quits Chiswick Park

    Ascent quits Chiswick Park




    Playout specialist Ascent Media is selling its purpose-built facility at Chiswick Park, West London, to its Number 1 client Discovery Communications.

    Ascent says it has a binding Letter of Intent with Discovery for the deal, subject to both board’s approval. This shouldn’t create too many headaches as Liberty Media, with one or other hats on is involved closely in both operations. The deal is expected to close within a few weeks.

    Ascent’s facility was built in 2005 at Chiswick Park, now very much a media centre in West London, and handles about 50 channels for Discovery.

    Terms were not revealed. v

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