September 2005

Welcome to the September edition of the Satellite Television and Radio pages. The latest news is that the new Russian satellite "Express AM-3" has been testing after arriving at its operational orbit late July. The satellite will be replacing the old and inclined orbit Gorizont 31 at 145.0 degrees east. To date the tests have only been observed in the northern hemisphere and it remains to be seen if any test activity on beams reaching Australia is planed.

Intelsat 701 - 180.0 degrees east

In early August the Space Shuttle Discovery made it back home after a 14-day, 5.8 million-mile journey. The STS-114 mission marked one of the largest satellite television events in recent years with blanket coverage of the mission on the various news feeds as well as 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). The C-Band NASA TV broadcast from Intelsat 701 requires a modification of the feedhorn to receive circularly polarized signals, this has generated substantial technical discussion in the various Australian satellite forums regarding the various techniques used to shape and bend the received microwave signal.

Apstar 6 - 134.0 degrees east

China's CETV (China Entertainment Television) Channel 1 (3740, Vertical, 27500, 3/4) has joined Apstar 6 in digital format which is in parallel to their analogue service (also on Apstar 6) at 3980 Vertical.

Asiasat 4 - 122.0 degrees east

Henan TV from Zhengzhou China have added their DTV drama channel (4100, Vertical, 27500, 3/4) to the CDM Bouquet on Asiasat 4. The channel features contemporary and classic Chinese drama and opera. The Henan comprehensive provincial channel and six radio channels from Henan Peoples Radio continues on Asiasat 3 - 4166V 4420 3/4.

UNITV Youth Campus TV (4100, Vertical, 27500, 3/4) is a new Chinese educational advice and support channel within the CDM Bouquet on Asiasat 4

Asiasat 3 - 105.5 degrees east

TV One (3739, Vertical, 2893, 3/4) is a new Pakistani music video channel featuring a wide range of Pakistani rock, pop and folk music is currently testing on Asiasat 3.

Palestine Television (3880, Horizontal, 27500, 3/4) based in Gaza have joined the Arab Broadcasting Union Bouquet on Asiasat 3. The station recently featured continuous live coverage of the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

Asiasat 2 - 100.5 degrees east

Real Madrid Television (3960 Horizontal 27500 3/4) has commenced regular free-to-air operation after a brief testing period. Real Madrid Club de Fútbol is one of the most instantly recognized European football clubs and now offers their fan channel free-to-air across the worldwide.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir Television (3777 Vertical 33333 3/4) have commenced regular operations from Muzaffarabad on the Pakistani side of the line of control in Kashmir. 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.

Inner Mongolia - Satellite TV & Radio via Apstar VI

The name Xanadu will most likely bring back memories of a much hyped 1980's movie staring Olivia Newton-John on roller-skates, or perhaps you think of  the Xanadu Project which was the foundation for hypertext and the world wide web. For many the word Xanadu conveys a sense of mystery, adventure and discovery. It is in remote Inner Mongolia that you will find the true Xanadu. Xanadu (Yuanshangdu) is the legendary palace of the great Mongol emperor Kublai Khan which is now just a deserted ruin over three hundred kilometres to the north of Beijing.

The Mongol Empire ruled by Genghis Khan, and later by his grandson Kublai Khan conquered most of the known world. The empire stretched an inconceivable distance from what is now Hungary, all the way to Vietnam. The Chinese built the Great Wall of China to hold back the Mongol invaders, but even the wall couldn't halt the Mongol advancement and in 1215 they rode their horses in Beijing to take control of China. The tables have turned and a sizable section of the Mongol homeland is now an autonomous region of China known as Inner Mongolia. Inner Mongolia should not be confused with the independent country of Mongolia which lies to the north. The Mongolians themselves usually refer to the Chinese controlled region as Southern Mongolia.

Inner Mongolia brings to mind images of vast grasslands and horses being ridden by herders living in yurts. In these modern times even a simple yurt has access to digital television and radio, and in Australia and New Zealand we too can experience Mongolian life by tuning in to Apstar VI.

Two channels of Nei Monggol (Inner Mongolia) Television can be received with a 2 meter or larger C-Band dish in our region. Both channels also carry a number of Inner Mongolian radio services on their alternative language streams.

Nei Monggol Chinese Television

The Chinese language channel presents programming for the Han Chinese who now form the majority ethnic group (85% of the total population) in Inner Mongolia.

Programming on the Chinese Channel is similar to other Chinese provincial broadcasters with many hours of Chinese infomercials promoting growth hormones and fertility potions during the day. The station also presents the usual mix of economic programming; Chinese soap operas and the evening relay of the CCTV1 national news live from CCTV studios in Beijing.

Nei Monggol Mongolian Language Channel

The Mongolian language channel of Nei Mongol TV provides a fascinating insight into Inner Mongolia with a large proportion of the day devoted to locally produced programming. The Mongolians make up only 15% of the total population of Inner Mongolia but fiercely promote and defend their language and vertical written script, both of which dominate the channel.

Viewing the channel in the Australian morning provides a wealth of fascinating programming with the station opening at 9:28 AM Australian Eastern Standard Time (Sydney time). A Mongolian maiden backed by a graphic of the regions famous grasslands runs down the day's viewing schedule before handing over to a Mongolian dubbed version of the CCTV-1 National News from the previous evening. Local Mongolian News follows at around 09:50 AM AEST which includes coverage of local festivals and events. A whole series of morning Mongolian information and entertainment follows with children's programming commencing just after 10 AM Sydney time. At 10:30 AM AEST English language lessons are presented, I guess you could take the lessons in reverse and use them to lean how to speak Mongolian.

Just before the hour, small "filler" segments are often presented featuring Mongolian pop and rock music. One memorable clip featured a Mongolian punk band with the lead singer singing in the haunting traditional "throat singing" delivery.

The daily programming features colourful historical dramas reliving the glory days of Genghis Khan and his army of horsemen.

What do you expect to watch in your nightly sports television coverage - football, cricket, tennis? Well now imagine a sports news program that doesn't even acknowledge the existence of rugby or AFL! Sports news on Nei Monggol TV's Mongolian Channel follows a very different programming formula to satisfy the fans.

Archery, Mongolian wrestling, camel and horse racing are the most popular sports in Inner Mongolia. The daily sports news coverage features both athletes and spectators in colourful outfits on barren sports fields which appear to simply roped off areas of the vast grazing lands. Yurts (Mongolian houses - a blend of igloo and tepee) scatted around the playing fields add to the exotic feel of the television coverage.

The largest sporting event of the year is the games of the Naadam summer festival held in Inner Mongolia's capital Hohhot. The dates that Naadam is held each year is dependent on when the grass is at its greenest, though the festival is typically held between mid-July and mid-August.

Nei Monggol TV Sports News can be seen each weekday on the Mongolian language channel around 09:30 AM Australian Eastern Standard Time

The Mongolian Language Channel broadcasts for around 20 hours each day. The channel opens for its daily broadcast at 9:28 AM Australian Eastern Standard Time.

Nei Monggol Peoples Radio

Apstar VI also offers both the Chinese and Mongolian language services of Nei Monggol People's Radio.

The Chinese language radio channel can be found on the right hand audio channel of the second language stream on Nei Monggol Chinese Television. Nei Monggol Mongolian language radio is found on the left audio channel of the same second language stream. 

Mongolian language radio is a delight to listen to, with a wide variety of traditional musical programming. Both stations also broadcast on AM, FM and shortwave, opening just before 8 AM AEST (Sydney) time each morning.

Tuning Information

Nei Monggol TV
Satellite : Apstar VI
Orbit Location : 134 East
Frequency : 3758
Polarity : Horizontal
Symbol Rate : 8400
FEC: 3/4

Next month

There are no new Asia-Pacific satellite launches or major satellite events are expected in September; however an unexpected global event or even a satellite failure can occur at any time. At the moment new stations are springing up every week, so you can be assured there will be some satellite news to report next month, in the meantime happy viewing!

NASA TV - Intelsat 701
CETV1 - Apstar VI
Nei Monggol TV - Apstar VI
Palestinian Television  - Asiasat 3S
TV One Pakistan - Asiasat 3S