Welcome to the August edition of the Satellite Television and Radio pages. July has been a busy month in the skies above the Asia-Pacific region with many new stations reported. It was also a very active month for satellite feeds with extensive coverage of the two London bombings, the Shuttle Discovery mission and the death of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. This month we take at look at newcomers to reach our dishes in Australia.
A busy month of live events
NASA Television on Intelsat 701 (3854 RHC 2000 3/4), Optus B1 (New Zealand Footprint 12456 Vertical 22500 3/4) and the Associated Press live event channel on Asiasat 2 (UP4 3706 Horizontal 4167 5/6) have all been compelling viewing with near continuous coverage of the mission of Shuttle Discovery. New cameras mounted on the shuttle fuel tank provided spectacular views of the launch and flight into orbit. The docking with the International Space Station and three spacewalks all provided absorbing viewing.
The Associated Press live event channel on Asiasat 2 (UP4 3706 Horizontal 4167 5/6) provided days of live coverage from London following each bombing with cameras located at each of the crime scenes.
Coverage of the death of King Fahd cancelled regular programming on Saudi Arabian Television on Asiasat 3 (3880 Horizontal 27500 3/4). Special programming included a live broadcast of Fahd's funeral from the Imam Turki bin Abdullah mosque.
Panamsat 8 - 166.0 degrees east
Hero TV (3881, Vertical, 28700, 5/6) a newcomer from the Philippines presents Tagalong-Dubbed Anime animation programming. The station is packaged by a Manila based company, Creative Programs, Inc. who also produce Cinema One, MYX and the Lifestyle Network on Panamsat 8.
Gem TV (4122 Vertical 5555 3/4 ) (Global Expansion Television) is a new service from Iglesia ni Cristo the somewhat controversial Pilipino Christian organization that is noted for it's theologically controversial doctrines. Iglesia ni Cristo also operates the Net 25 Channel (Panamsat 8) from the same studio complex in Manila.
Optus B3 - 152.0 degrees east
Polsat 2 (12425 Horizontal 22500 3/4) has joined the UBI World TV bouquet of channels on Optus B3 and is currently running free-to-air. Polsat 2 is the international feed of the private commercial "Polsat" channel based in Warsaw. The channel presents Polish soap operas, sports, documentaries, sitcoms, game shows and news.
Tapesh TV (12425 Horizontal 22500 3/4) provides an alternative insight into Persian (Iranian) culture when compared to the usual Iranian offerings. Operating from studios in California the Persian Broadcasting Company (PBC)/Tapesh provides 24-hour-per-day Farsi-language programming. Tapesh programming includes a variety of news, entertainment, music, movies, sports, educational, cultural, youth and family oriented programming. The channel broadcasts globally on a number of satellites of and is targeted to Persians, Afghans, Tajikis, Armenians and Iraqis. Don't miss the daily belly-dancing lessons (presented in English) around 1645 AEST (Sydney) time.
Channel One TV (12564 Horizontal 30000 2/3) is another Farsi channel originating in California. Founded by exiled broadcaster Shahram Homayoun (formerly with Azadi TV) the channel presents general variety, discussion and news programming while promoting a pro-monarchist viewpoint.
The Dhamma Channel (12564 Horizontal 30000 2/3) is a Thai Buddhist channel and another newcomer to Optus B3. The station presents Buddhist religious programming that promotes family values and the benefits of meditation.
The Healing Channel (12564 Horizontal 30000 2/3), is a new Arabic language Christian broadcaster. The channel's main target audience located in North Africa, the Middle East and Europe are reached via Hotbird 6. This new outlet on Optus B3 provides programming to Australia's Arabic speaking Christians.
Telstar 18 - 138.0 degrees east
Asia Travel TV (3660 Vertical 30000 3/4) has recently moved transponders on Telstar 18. The channel presents programming that highlights Asian destinations, with a particular focus on touring China's provinces. Asia Travel has fast become one of my favorite channels, and I can see plenty of my adventures in the future being planed around information gleamed from their programs!
Lao National TV & Lao National Radio (3805 Vertical 3032 3/4) have slightly modified their digital broadcast stream in recent weeks. Previously the digital satellite signal seemed to be sourced from a terrestrial receiver which suffered ghosting and other analogue interference. The satellite service now appears to have a direct studio feed resulting in a higher quality image. Lao National Radio opens around 08:30 AM Sydney time on the right-hand audio channel, the television service opens an hour later at 09:30 AM AEST (Sydney) time using the left-hand audio channel. Lao National Television closes in the afternoon, and then reopens some hours later for the evening programs.
Sky TV (3460 Vertical 30000 3/4) is a new 24-hour non-stop Chinese Karaoke channel. Careful the songs are addictive!
The Lottery Channel (3667 Horizontal 4290 3/4) is yes, you guessed it, all day every day Chinese lottery draws, news and lottery strategy programming from Shanghai Interactive Television.
Apstar VI - 138.0 degrees east
Chongging Television (3915 Vertical 4800 5/6) has recently moved transponders on Apstar VI. Chongging city is around the same size as Sydney with a population of around 6 million people. The local television service and a number of the municipal radio stations are available free-to-air. Chongging News Radio is available on audio PID 1810, Chongging Music Radio on audio PID 1830, Chongging Traffic Radio on audio PID 1835 and Chongging Economic Radio on audio PID 1841.
The Travel Channel - Hai TV (3900 Vertical 4800 3/4) has recently moved transponders on Apstar VI. The channel presents a mix of lifestyle, variety and travel television.
Palapa C2 - 113.0 degrees east
Indonesia Television - ITV (4080 Horizontal 28125 3/4) is currently conducting continuous test transmissions on Palapa C2. ITV plans to be the first Indonesian entertainment channel operating solely through satellite. ITV's targeted coverage area includes Indonesia and surrounding region. The channel aims to present movies, music, fashion and business programs.
Bali TV (3926 Horizontal 4208 3/4) have added an English language magazine and "what's on" program in addition to their Balinese and Indonesian language programming. The English language programming is seen Monday to Saturday at midday AEST (Sydney) time. The target audience is tourists holidaying on the island.
Asiasat 3S - 105.5 degrees east
Al-Manar the controversial television station operated by Hezbollah has in recent weeks left Asiasat 3. The station has been banned in many western nations due to a belief that it promotes and supports terrorism including suicide bombers. Regardless of the bans by various national governments (including Australia) the station was free-to-air to viewers in Australia via Asiasat 3. Are you curious to see what the concern was about, a small edited sample of their output is available on the Satdirectory DVD set.
Fashion TV (4088 Horizontal 2626 3/4) the 24 hour fashion channel from Paris has commenced a service on Asiasat 3 running parallel programming to their channel on Asiasat 2. Later this year the station plans for the Asiasat 3 service to convert to their new male targeted service "Fmen" while the channel on Asiasat 2 continues with female focused programming.
World Fashion Channel (3760 Horizontal 26000 7/8) the Italian's have established a new Milano based fashion themed channel to compete with the French based Fashion TV (see above). There must be a strong demand for fashion programming in Asia with now four different fashion channels being seen in the region.
Asiasat 2 - 100.5 degrees east
BYU TV (3767 Vertical 6530 1/2) the Mormon Television service has moved satellites leaving JCSAT2A for the more popular Asiasat 2. BYU TV aims to present content from the BYU University and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to a global audience. The intended audiences of BYU Television are Church members, and others who may be interested in their beliefs and values.
Real Madrid Television (3960 Horizontal 27500 3/4) Real Madrid Club de Fútbol is one of the most instantly recognised football clubs worldwide. Since the middle of the 20th century, Real Madrid has consistently been ranked as one of the top football clubs in Europe. For their European fans the club operates an English 24 hour per day television channel free-to-air on PAS 9 and Hotbird 2. Now the channel has recently appeared on Asiasat 2. At the moment the team is undertaking a promotional tour of Asia, and perhaps Real Madrid channel on Asiasat 2 will be only be a temporary feed, if so you better move fast and tune in now to make the most of the football action!
Azad Jammu and Kashmir Television (3777 Vertical 33333 3/4) are currently testing prior to commencing regular operations. AJK TV is a free to air service, providing Kashmiri news, education and entertainment programming in the Kashmiri and Urdu languages to local and overseas viewers across Asiasat 2's pan-Asian footprint. AJK TV is an independent television channel facilitated by Pakistan Television Corporation.
The new Russian satellite Express AM-3 has arrived at its operational orbit following a successful launch. The satellite will be replacing the old and inclined orbit Gorizont 31 at 145.0 degrees east. It remains to be seen if any activity on beams reaching Australia is planed, our eyes will be glued to 145 east over the coming weeks and any observations will be reported here in September!