August & September 2006
In the past few months plenty of interesting new stations are finding their way to backyard satellite dishes in Australia and New Zealand, here Satdirectory presents the highlights. Just a reminder, all television and radio mentioned on these pages is received free-to-air in the DVB digital format unless otherwise noted.
Azad Jammu & Kashmir Television
Azad Kashmir's regional television station, which was destroyed by a massive earthquake last year, has returned to providing regular daily programming. The Azad Jammu Kashmir channel has been relaunched from a makeshift tin shelter built on the ruins of its former office in the regional capital Muzaffarabad under the direction of the station's general manager Ijaz Ahmed Niazi. Nizi explains that AJK TV is initially broadcasting programmes for a few hours each evening "to boost the morale of quake affectees and provide information about rebuilding process". AJK TV can be seen daily (late evening viewing in Australia and New Zealand) via Asiasat 2, 3778, Vertical, 3333, 3/4.
Many of us in the western world are familiar with the concept of what is often called the two Korea's; The Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the isolated and secretive People's Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea). What is often not widely acknowledged is the third Korean nation, Yanbian, which today finds itself as an autonomous prefecture within Jilin province, in the northeastern part of the People's Republic of China.
Indeed if you were to visit the Yanbian Choson (Korean) Autonomous Prefecture, you could be forgiven for not even realising you were in China. This is particularly true for the southern part of the prefecture bordering the Korean Peninsula. In Yanji, for instance, more than 60 percent of the 400,000 population are ethnic Koreans ("Chosons" as they are known in Chinese); signposts and billboards appear in both Chinese and Choson, but with the latter predominant; Korean instead of Mandarin is the spoken language.
China Yanbian Satellite Television (CYS) has recently commenced broadcasting on Asiasat 3 within a new channel bouquet along with Jilin Provincial Television.
The CYS-TV programs are currently on-air for 16 hours each day broadcasting in both Korean and Mandarin. The bilingual programs feature news, overseas Korean language programming and domestically-produced soap dramas. Dependent on the audio language of each program, the channel also provides either Korean or Chinese subtitles.
A Yanbian satellite radio service, featuring news, entertainment and interactive programs in Korean, is also being planned for Asiasat 3 and will operate 24 hours per day once on-air.
The Yanbian broadcasting project is intended to develop in three stages. Initially it will cover just the prefecture, then the Korean communities in Liaoning Province, Heilongjiang Province and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and finally encompass the Korean communities in southeast China and in major cities like Beijing and Shanghai.
The Jilin and CYS TV bouquet is being received at good strength in Australia and New Zealand via Asiasat 3, 3671 V, SR 8934, FEC 3/4.
Anhuri Provincial Television
Anhuri Provincial Television has recently changed its Asiasat 3 broadcast stream parameters to 3820, Vertical, 4420, 3/4.
Anhuri lies in the east of China with the Yangzi and Huai rivers dividing the province into three regions; Huaibei, Jianghuai and Jiangnan. Each region has a differing topography, Huaibei being plains, Jianghuai hills and Jiangnan mountainous. Anhuri is a major source of coal for Southern China while farm products from the province include rice, wheat, tea, silkworm cocoons and tobacco. Anhuri is famous for its picturesque mountains and rivers. The Huangshan, Jiuhuashan, Tiazhushan and Qiyunshan mountains are the regions's premier tourist attractions.
Arab States Broadcasting Union
The Arabsat / Arab States Broadcasting Union Bouquet which has been available for some years on Asiasat 3 has completed its move to Asiasat 2. The bouquet now joins the Kuwait, Egyptian, UAE and other Middle Eastern programming already on Asiasat 2. The addition of the new channels allows for a single dish operation for free to air viewing by the vast Arab communities in Asia and Australasia.
This Arabic-language bouquet consists of a group of television and radio services from the ASBU (Arab States Broadcasting Union) members including ten television channels from Abu Dhabi TV, Jamahiriya Satellite Channel, Oman TV, Palestinian TV, Qatar TV, Saudi Arabian TV 1, Sharjah TV, Sudan TV, Syria Satellite Channel, Yemen TV and 13 radio channels. The channels which were originally broadcasting on AsiaSat 3S, are currently dual illuminating on both AsiaSat 2 and AsiaSat 3S satellites untill 1st October when they become exclusively available on AsiaSat 2. This broadcast arrangement is part of the ASBU's global satellite distribution project, in partnership with GlobeCast and Arabsat, initiated for the ASBU members for global programme distribution.
AsiaSat 2 has for some years been seen as a popular source of Middle Eastern community of programming from the Arab States. Moving the Arabsat/ASBU Bouquet to AsiaSat 2 was therefore a natural choice for continuing and expanding Arabic language radio and television into Australasia. Satdirectory has noticed that the Asiasat Arabic services are extremely popular in Australia. Evidence of this is our observation that the majority of Middle Eastern grocery stores in Sydney and Melbourne now appear to feature a 2.4 meter C-Band dish to receive the signals!
The Arabsat ASBU Bouquet can be found on Asiasat 3, 3820, Vertical, 27500, 3/4.
Radio Television Brunei
Radio Television Brunei (RTB), the national broadcaster of Brunei Darussalam has commenced broadcasting on Asiasat 2.
RTB International is broadcasting in Malay and English languages. The programs are broadcast 24 hours a day with a comprehensive range of content including news, current affairs, religious, dramas, musicals, game shows, documentaries, sports, magazines and educational programmes.
RTB has been previously available via Palapa C2, but the signal was on a beam that didn't provide coverage into Eastern Australia or New Zealand. With the Asiasat 2 outlet RTB expands their broadcast service to the whole of Asia, and further to the Middle East and Australasia. RBI has been using AsiaSat 2 for the Asiavision daily television news exchange service with many other Asian broadcasters for the last few years.
RBI's launch of their service on AsiaSat 2 is aimed to enhance their capability to access more viewers across the Asia Pacific region and to introduce to international audiences the socio-economic and cultural development in Brunei Darussalam.
RBI is found on Asiasat 2 on 3786, Horizontal, 6000, 7/8.
SCTV Surya Citra Television Corporation
SCTV (Surya Citra Television Corporation) broadcasting from studios in South Jakarta is now available to backyard dishes in Australia and New Zealand via Palapa C2.
The station has seen rapid growth in the last few years since it began broadcasting in 1990, in Surabaya, East Java. Originally SCTV only provided programing to Surabaya city and surrounding area. In 1991 SCTV Bali was established in Denpasar. At this point the programming was similar to that of RCTI and used some of the RCTI news programs until they could produce their own. In 1993 SCTV was given a national license, and eventually moved its operations to Jakarta with the stations main office in South Jakarta and studios in West Jakarta.
Previously SCTV has only been available on the ASEAN beam from Palapa C2, however a recent transponder change on the Palapa satellite has seen the SCTV signal becoming available to Australia and New Zealand.
SCTV can be received via Palapa C2, 3934, Horizontal, 6620, 3/4.
To close off the month just a reminder that the "MediaExplorer" DVDs remain available at a special price for members of the ARDXC through the club's publications store. By purchasing MediaExplorer through the club you will receive almost 50% off the regular bookshop retail price. MediaExplorer is a full multimedia catalogue of free-to-air signals available from major regional satellites to backyards in Australia and New Zealand. With six DVD video disks and the companion DVD-ROM content, MediaExplorer features over eleven hours of world television and fourteen hours of radio from hundreds of broadcasters around the planet. It's the equivalent of both the "World Radio TV Handbook" and the "Passport" book for satellite dish users. Even if you don't intend to put up a dish it's a great way to glimpse into what the whole digital satellite revolution is about. Further details on MediaExplorer are at www.mediaexplorer.org.
Azad Jammu & Kashmir Television (AJK-TV) back on Asiasat 2
China Yanbian Satellite Television (CYS) new on Asiasat 3
Korean programing on CYS is supplemented with Chinese subtitles
Jilin Provincial Television - Asiasat 3
Anhuri Provincial Television - Asiasat 2
Palestinian Television - Asiasat 2
Radio Television Brunei - Asiasat 2
SCTV (Surya Citra Television Corporation) - Palapa C2