November 2005

Welcome to the November edition of the Satellite Television and Radio pages. Just a reminder, all television and radio mentioned on these pages is received free-to-air in the DVB digital format unless otherwise noted.

This month I was intending the column to included details of the Earth TV global video cams that were expected to commence late October on SBS. Earth TV's press release announcing the deal with SBS has been widely reported, but at the time of writing SBS had not announced their plans for the programming, more details in future months I expect. In the meantime the Earth TV live cams can be seen on Phoenix InfoNet (Asiasat 3) and BBC World (Panamsat 2 & 8 - Foxtel etc). More details can be found at :

AJK TV destroyed?

Since the South Asian earthquake on October 8th, AJK TV has not been on air.  It seems that the television station along with almost everything else in Muzaffarabad, the mountain capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, had been completely destroyed. I was lucky enough to visit Muzaffarabad a few years ago where I presented a biomedical engineering lecture at the Combined Military Hospital. Tragically the hospital is gone as well. It is reported that most of the patients - 100, maybe 200 - had died and that many of the staff and their families, who lived in houses next to the hospital, were also dead.

The AJK TV Station was established at Muzaffarabad, in February 2004 and had been easily received in Australia via Asiasat 2. The station featured one production studio, a continuity studio and master control room for transmission via satellite as well as via a network of various terrestrial transmitters. AJK TV catered for productions of local culture and language. In addition to the satellite service, four terrestrial stations at Muzaffarabad, Kotli, Bagh and Rawalakot were in operation at the time of the earthquake. Future planning had included building additional relay stations at Palandari, Bimber, Neelabut and Mirpur.

Intelsat 701- 180.0 degrees east

Wallis et Futuna Television are now presenting a daily news service around 11PM local Wallis time. The news is first presented in French, followed by a bulletin in Wallisian. The start time of the news program is determined by the finishing time of the preceding program and can vary considerably each day. The station is an easy catch in Eastern Australia on 11174, Horizontal, 23150, 3/4.

Panamsat 2 - 169.0 degrees east

Bloomberg - Bloomberg TV and Bloomberg Radio have left 3901 Horizontal, however both services can be easily received via Asiasat 3 where the Bloomberg signals are free-to-air.

Panamsat 8 - 166.0 degrees east

Eight new radio stations (simply labelled as "Test") have commenced within the already extensive Taiwanese radio services found on 3860, Horizontal, 28000, 5/6.

TVBS Gold - The high-rating Taiwanese general variety channel TVBS Gold is currently (most likely temporarily) free-to-air on 3836, Vertical, 22000, 3/4.

Ishtar TV - A new channel from Erbil, (Kurdistan) in Northern Iraq has joined the Australian beam KU channels on 12575, Horizontal, 13845, 2/3. Ishtar TV is broadcasting in the Syriac, Arabic, and Kurdish languages. Discussions on the internet have raised questions whether Ishtar TV is an true independent media outlet or simply a propaganda machine of the ruling Kurdish parties in the north of Iraq.

Radio Arsenal and Radio Kanal Melodia are new on an Australian KU beam. Both commercial Russian radio channels are on 12726, Horizontal, 3/4.

Optus B3 - 152.0 degrees east

Sun TV from Chennai (formally called Madras), India has been running free-to-air during the lead-up to the India festival of light, Divali. The station broadcasts in Tamil and is a must see for it's regular South Indian song and dance movies! 12525, Vertical, 30000, 2/3.

Apstar 6 - 134.0 degrees east

Dragon TV has commenced transmission on 3808, Vertical, 8800, 3/4.  Also available on Asiasat 3, Dragon TV is the former Shanghai Satellite TV service which launched in October 2003. Dragon's programs are seen throughout China's mainland, Japan and on the Jade TV pay television service in Australia (Panamsat 8). Dragon TV has quickly established itself as China's "unofficial second national broadcast station" with its reach rivalling the CCTV network. Dragon is aggressively increasing their viewer numbers with over 2,000 buses in Shanghai equipped with TV sets broadcasting programs provided by Dragon TV's operator, Shanghai Media and Entertainment Group (SMEG). The Dragon media conglomerate also plans to extend its territory by developing new media and new entertainment services such as mobile TV, interactive TV, mobile phone TV and wide-frequency TV.

ToonMax is also new on 3808, Vertical, 8800, 3/4. ToonMax based in Shanghai is successfully tapping into the growing animation market in China with programming that appeals to both children and adults.  ToonMax has quickly grown to be the fourth highest rating Shanghai based television channel and is currently broadcasting 18 hours each day via Apstar 6.

Qinghai Province Television (China) has commenced transmission on 3868, Horizontal, 8680, 3/4 with two channels. China's Qinghai Province lies on the north-east border of Tibet. For centuries this region was part of the Tibetan world before being incorporated into the Chinese empire in the early 18th century. It wasn't until 1928 that Qinghai was formally established as a Chinese province.  The geography of Qinghai is a contrast between the high grassy plateaus in the eastern region of the province, the barren desert basin in the north-west and the high mountains and plateaus of the south. Southern Qinghai is populated by nomadic Tibetan herders of sheep, yaks and goats. The population of the province is a mixture of Chinese minorities including the Kazakhs, Mongols and Chinese Muslims. Tibetans are found throughout each region of Qinghai; this is reflected in the provincial television and radio broadcasting which includes substantial Tibetan language programming. Qinghai Television offers a mixture of Chinese and Tibetan programming. During the day the station runs many hours of Chinese infomercials promoting growth hormones and fertility potions. Particularly exotic viewing commences around 8 PM AEST (Sydney time) with Tibetan cultural programming followed at 9 PM AEST (Sydney time) with the Tibetan News.

CCTV-1 has also been sighted on 3868, Horizontal, 8680, 3/4, however this may have been just a test for the Qinghai services that have appeared on the same transponder. However CCTV-1 is available at it's regular location on another Apstar 6 transponder - 3840, 27500, 3/4. CCTV-1 is the flagship channel of China Central Television - the Chinese national television broadcaster. CCTV-1 covers the whole landmass of China via satellite and broadcasts an average of 20 hours programming each day. National news bulletins are broadcast 3 times daily with the local 7 PM news being relayed by all local television stations across China. CCTV-1 specialises in news, TV drama and documentary programming.

Two radio channels from the arid north-west of Chinese city of Yinchuan have joined 3886, Vertical, 4800, 3/4. Ningxia Peoples News Radio is broadcasting with the audio PID of 80. Ningxia Peoples Traffic Radio is broadcasting with the audio PID of 84. Ningxia Provincial TV is also found on the same frequency.

Nanhai People's News Radio is new on 3900, Vertical, 4800, 3/4.

Disk Channel, a Chinese channel Asian and western movies is new on 4140, Vertical, 27500, 7/8.

Toy Channel, a Chinese channel featuring children's programming is new on 4140, Vertical, 27500, 7/8.

Asiasat 3 - 105.5 degrees east

A relay of the USA commercial broadcaster Bloomberg 1130 (WBBR-AM) is now available on 3760, 26000, 7/8. WBBR-AM provides 24-hour business news for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. It is also available in the U.S. through XM and Sirius satellite radio and is distributed throughout Asia via the Asiasat 3 service.  The station aims to deliver up-to-the-minute financial, business and general news, with in-depth coverage of international capital markets, insight and analysis on the local, national and international level.

Indus Plus/News from Karachi, Pakistan is new on 3760, Horizontal, 26000, 7/8.

Fashion TV, from Paris, France, has made the move from Asiasat 2 to Asiasat 3 and is found on 3745, Vertical, 2626, 3/4.

Next month

Earth TV, a global network of live remote controlled video cameras is soon to be featured four times each day on SBS in an expanded global weather program. My guess at this stage is that this will be available on the SBS World News Channel (available via satellite, Foxtel, Austar and digital terrestrial), expect a full report in next months Satellite Pages!

AJK TV in happier days - Asiasat 2
Tele Wallis et Futuna - Intelsat 701
Sun TV Chennai India - Optus B3
ToonMax Shanghai China  - Apstar VI
Qinghai Province TV China - Apstar VI
CCTV-1 Beijing China - Apstar VI