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Satellite TV News

December 22, 2010

Sky+ Arrives on iPad

by Brian Turner
Sky today announced its Sky+ App for iPad is available on the App Store. Now, iPad users with a Sky+ or Sky+HD set-top box can search for and record their favourite programmes no matter where they are in the world. The Sky+ App has a number of features, including a highlights showcase section where customers can find the top programmes of ...

December 1, 2010

Sky to broadcast Avatar 3D at Christmas

by Brian Turner
Sky have today confirmed that they will be broadcasting Avatar in 3D on Christmas Day on Sky 3D. Avatar, the biggest grossing film in cinematic history, will be given its 3D TV world premiere this Christmas Eve when it is broadcast on Sky 3D (channel 217) at 8pm. Sky 3D is available to all Sky+ HD customers who have a 3D ...

November 29, 2010

We are stealing from Techwatch.co.uk!

by Brian Turner
We is stealing content from Techwatch.co.uk, adding our own ads, thumbing our noses at Google, Yahoo, and Bing! We think this is a big joke because we can then add our own Adsense around the content we steal. We is bright, this was Stevie's idea, he haz brains! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries! Tum-te-tum, tum-te-tum. Allo, ...

Sky News Arabic to launch in 2012

by Brian Turner
BSkyB will launch a new Arabic language news channel from 2012, it was announced today, under the provisional title of Sky News Arabic. The channel will be free-to-air, available worldwide, and broadcast over the full 24 hours. The new channel will be a join 50-50 venture between BSkyB and Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corp. (ADMIC) which is owned by Sheikh Mansour bin ...

Ofcom takes down Tease Me TV

by Brian Turner
Ofcom has revoked the broadcasting licence for adult channels Tease Me, Tease Me TV and Tease Me 2 and 3, taking them off air. The licences were revoked for the channels not being "fit and proper", after displaying inappropriate adult content. According to Ofcom, the channels had more than 60 rule breaches were recorded over the past 18 months, rules which are ...

November 24, 2010

Avanti to launch broadband satellite on Friday

by Darren Allan
Avanti is all set to launch its broadband satellite Hylas 1 at the end of the week. Hylas 1 will provide broadband coverage across Europe, and will be able to reach users in more remote areas, or so-called broadband not-spots where cable and ADSL aren't workable or economically viable. The satellite will orbit at a height of around 36,000 kilometers, ...

November 22, 2010

Eutelsat’s KA-SAT ready for December launch

by Janet Harris
Paris-based Eutelsat Communications has announced that its KA-SAT satellite has been flown to the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and is on track for a 20 December launch. The Astrium-built satellite will serve over one million users across Europe and the Mediterranean basin, via 80 spotbeams and ten gateways connected to the Internet via a fibre backbone. With a ...

November 18, 2010

Murdoch threatens to take his ball and go home

by Janet Harris
James Murdoch told delegates at the Morgan Stanley TMT conference in Barcelona that News Corp might pull out of its £7.8bn bid for BSkyB and invest overseas instead. Mr Murdoch’s impatience stems from UK Business Secretary Vince Cable’s decision to refer the bid to Ofcom because of fears it could threaten media plurality in the UK. Mr Cable's move ...

November 12, 2010

Avanti secures funding for Hylas 2

by Janet Harris
Avanti Communications Group has secured a $328 million ECA debt package to procure and launch its Hylas 2 satellite. The funding comprises a $216 million loan from US Ex-Im, and a $112 million loan from Barclays Capital. The HYLAS 2 broadcasting satellite is scheduled to launch in early 2012. It will provide direct-to-home (DTH) and digital broadcasting ...

November 9, 2010

Sky achieves 10 million customers target

by Janet Harris
BSkyB has now gained 10 million customers for its satellite TV platform, becoming the first pay-TV operator in Europe to do so. The satellite broadcaster has now achieved the target it set for itself back in August 2004 with two months to spare, having gained 2.4 million more customers since that date. Sky said it has no plans ...

November 8, 2010

Britain’s space industry achieves 10% growth

by Janet Harris
While most industries are struggling to cope with the effects of the recession, a new report from Oxford Economics shows that Britain’s space industry is growth by 10 per cent a year. The industry now has an annual turnover of around £7.5 billion, with growth in all areas, but particularly in satellite broadcasting and telecommunications. As a result, jobs opportunities in ...

November 1, 2010

Eutelsat W3B satellite fails to enter orbit

by Janet Harris
Despite being released successfully by the Ariane 5 rocket on Friday, Eutelsat’s W3B satellite failed to enter orbit at 16 degrees East as planned. A leak in the W3B platform’s propellant systems meant that the satellite was unable to raise itself to its operational orbit. Eutelsat is still analysing data from the satellite and is working to identify the ...

October 28, 2010

Sky News HD launches on Measat

by Janet Harris
Sky News HD is to be launched on the Measat platform, which will distribute the channel across the Asia Pacific region. A fibre network provided by BT Wholesale will carry the service from the Sky News Headquarters in Osterley, London, to RRsat’s Global Network and teleport facility. It will then be ...

October 25, 2010

Sky strengthens Living channel

by Janet Harris
Sky is making headway with the integration of the channels it recently acquired from Virgin Media, with the news that the Living channel will be rebranded to Sky Living next year. Sky’s acquisition of Living, Bravo and Virgin 1 was approved by the Office of Fair Trading earlier this month. Following the re-brand, Sky Living will occupy channel ...

October 20, 2010

November Launch For HYLAS1: UK ISPs On-Board

by Janet Harris
Avanti’s HYLAS 1 satellite has now arrived at its launch site and is set to be launched in November with on site preparations underway. The satellite will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket provided by Arianespace, from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. It will orbit the earth at a height of around 36,000 kilometers. It has also been ...

October 18, 2010

SSTL to design UK technology demo satellite

by Janet Harris
Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) is to design a satellite which will be used to demonstrate innovative space technologies such as an instrument to measure the state of the sea and one to track ships from orbit. SSTL is to receive a grant of £770,000 from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board and the South East England Development Agency ...

October 11, 2010

Fowler asks Cable to stop Murdoch acquiring Sky

by Janet Harris
Lord Fowler, the former chairman of the House of Lords select communications committee, has waded into the argument over News Corporation’s ongoing ambition to acquire Sky. Talking to the Guardian, Lord Fowler expressed concern that the plurality of media ownership in the UK would be put at risk by the takeover because of the company’s newspaper interests in ...

October 1, 2010

Sky 3D channel launched, but parade is rained on

by Darren Allan
Today Sky officially switched on its new 3D channel, which offers a range of programmes in three dimensions, although mostly sports and movies to begin with. To watch the new channel, you need to be a Sky World subscriber, although the good news is it's free of charge otherwise. Of course, you'll also need a 3DTV set and the ...

September 28, 2010

Virgin Media switches on 3D Movies On Demand

by Darren Allan
This weekend, Sky will launch its new 3D channel, but Virgin Media has beaten the company to the punch by getting its own 3D movie service out first. Virgin Media's 3D Movies On Demand will be available to those with V HD or V+ HD set-top boxes, and of course you'll also need a 3DTV and the relevant glasses. However, ...

September 17, 2010

Stephen Fry presents Sky 3DTV guide

by Darren Allan
Stephen Fry has been roped in, sorry, has volunteered himself to present a guide for Sky's new 3D channel, aimed at educating the uninitiated in the wonders of three dimensional television. Fry is a good choice because of his long professed love of all things gadget related, particularly Apple's toys such as ...

September 4, 2010

Sky recommends LG for 3D viewing

by Darren Allan
With Sky set to launch its new 3D channel in Europe at the start of next month, the company is throwing its weight behind a certain brand of TV to enjoy its new three dimensional sport and movie features. And the officially endorsed 3DTV sets for watching Sky 3D are made by LG, in a partnership which will see ...

September 2, 2010

Living becomes Sky’s 50th HD channel

by Janet Harris
BSkyB has announced its three millionth HD subscriber and its 50th HD channel – Living HD – which launches today. Sky’s HD offering is expanding rapidly, with Good Food HD also launched this week and Eden HD, ITV 2 HD, ITV 3 HD and ITV 4 HD to follow before Christmas. Sky acquired the Living channel as part ...

August 9, 2010

Virgin to sell its half of UKTV

by Darren Allan
It seems that Virgin Media is set to sell its 50% stake in UKTV, which it jointly owns with BBC Worldwide. UKTV encompasses channels Dave and Gold, which air comedy re-runs and other classic shows. It boasts ten channels in total, with the others comprising the likes of Alibi, Home, Good Food, Blighty and Yesterday. Virgin is looking to raise ...

July 29, 2010

Sky 3D channel to launch October 1st

by Darren Allan
Sky 3D, Europe's first three dimensional TV channel, is set for blast off on October 1st. And the good news is, it will be automatically available for no extra charge to Sky World subscribers. Providing they have a 3D TV set capable of displaying the images, of course. Sky 3D will mainly carry movies and sport upon its initial unveiling, ...

July 22, 2010

No Ashes for the BBC

by David Allen
It seems that the Ashes cricket tournament will remain on Sky Sports at least until the end of the current contracts. This is bad news for the cricket fans who do not subscribe to Sky Sports. Yet on the other hand, for the governing bodies this means that their multi million pound annual incomes will remain intact, the only ...

July 21, 2010

Sky Arts gets South Bank Show

by David Allen
Digital TV has a lot to answer for, but one thing that it seems to have been good for recently is keeping old shows going, not repeats! However, these are new series of long established shows that the main channels have deemed out of touch or just out of time. This happened with Primeval when ITV cut the show ...

Sky Italia DTT gets EU approval

by David Allen
The digital TV battle has been waging in Italy between Sky Italia and Mediaset. However, it seems that Sky Italia has been given a major boost with its plans to gain a foothold in the Italian digital terrestrial television with the EU accepting the broadcaster’s plans. Initially this means very little for Sky Italia, but in the longer term ...

Broadcom and S3 Group put STBs to test

by David Allen
Set-top boxes built for BSkyB with the help of the S3 Group and Broadcom are being but through their paces. The Amstrad built DRX890 and DRX895 have already been shipped to customers of Sky TV, but testing continues in order to evaluate their performance. The set-top boxes are low power, 1.5 terabyte devices, to which Broadcom contributed the BCM7335 HD ...

July 20, 2010

UK viewers could get the iPlayer with Freesat

by David Allen
At the recent Freesat awards ceremony in London, the US based set top box maker, EchoStar, let it be known that it was looking at the free to view satellite digital TV provider Freesat as a future partner. Further to the news that Freesat is thinking about offering a pay TV option, it seems that the issue with the ...

3D gaming is currently a fad

by David Allen
The gaming guru, Michael Pachter, has gone on the record as saying that 3D gaming is nothing but a fad and will continue to be so until the market for 3D Ready televisions has reached a serious level. It has to be assumed that this level of 3D take up must be in with HD TV sales at ...

Freesat considering pay TV option

by David Allen
The free-to-view satellite digital TV provider, Freesat, is said to be considering something that appears to be against all what the broadcaster stands for, a pay TV option. This follows the Ofcom ruling that satellite rival BSkyB must offer its premium sports channels at reasonable wholesale rate. This means that although Freesat is effectively free-to-view, there could be the option ...

July 19, 2010

Piranha released in 3D

by David Allen
The latest film to be produced in glorious 3D is Piranha. This is no futuristic story of alien worlds, rather a natural phenomenon that sees thousands of the hungry man-eating fish wreak havoc in a small town in the US. Piranha is just one of many films that will make use of the equipment installed last year to show the ...

Sky Sports brings on Eric Cantona

by David Allen
Rivals of BSkyB are now able to offer Sky Sports 1 and 2 to their customers as a reduced cost sports service comprising the two main sports channels. However, it seemed that BSkyB was not going to give up that easily and went ahead and raised it is prices. Further to this action, BSkyB has created a package of five ...

July 15, 2010

Freesat chooses VCCP to raise profile

by David Allen
The free-to-view digital TV satellite service, Freesat has appointed the advertising agency VCCP to handle its account and make it into a household brand in the UK. The account, covering marketing and advertising, was fiercely fought over by several agencies. It brief is to get the Freesat name and product out there and in front of as many consumers ...

Darts goes 3D for the first time

by David Allen
The satellite sports channel Sky Sports will be showing the World Matchplay Darts championships in full 3D later on this month. This is just another sporting event to get the Sky 3D Channel treatment. The action takes place during the 24th and 25th July when the semi finals and final of the competition take place at the Winter Gardens ...

BSkyB negotiating with Arabic news channel

by David Allen
It is reported that BSkyB is currently in talks with an Arabic language news provider with a view to launching the twenty four hour news channel in Arabic under the Sky News banner. The talks are being held with an investor from Abu Dhabi who will run the channel on a 50 – 50 share basis. The channel will ...

July 14, 2010

Sky completes channel deal with VM

by David Allen
The satellite broadcaster BSkyB has part completed a deal with Virgin Media that will see the channels that make up Virgin Media TV become part of the BSkyB network. However, it may not be as straight forward as it seems, because so far the deal has only been given the green light by the regulator in Ireland. The UK ...

Ideal shopping channel may be sold

by David Allen
The popular TV shopping channel, Ideal Shopping Direct could be going up for sale, following an announcement from the channel in the Sunday Times. Although there is nothing set in stone, the management of the business is considering a sale should the right sort of buyer come along with the right sort of offer. The board has decided to review ...

Setanta owed £550 million

by David Allen
When the UK division of the sports broadcaster Setanta collapsed, there were plenty of rumours and reasons as to exactly why this happened, but not many would have predicted that the firm had debts amounting to around £550 million! The debt is made up of money owed to creditors, the Football Association and the Scottish Premier League. According to ...

July 13, 2010

Over 10% of Brits can’t view 3D TV

by Darren Allan
The latest buzz regarding the new televisual fad of viewing in three dimensions is that not everyone can see it. We're not talking about seeing the point of it, but actually being able to view the 3D images properly. There are some six million people in the UK, the Eyecare Trust claims, who have poor binocular vision. This means their eyes ...

Avanti raises £70m for satellite broadband

by David Allen
The satellite broadband provider, Avanti Communications Group, has raised £70 million from investors so it can begin the process of launching its first satellite into orbit. The funds were raised by the sale of shares at 430p each. Not all of the money will go towards the investment in the satellite, as part of the funds have already been ...

July 9, 2010

Broadcasters want compatible 3D TV service

by David Allen
The rollout of 3D TV services has been fast and unrestricted, meaning that the consumer is faced with a choice of formats and equipment. For the consumer this is confusing, with different formats for 3D TV broadcasts as well as different formats provided by various manufacturers of equipment. However, a survey conducted by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has asked ...

Dance TV HD signs with Astra

by David Allen
Holland based Dance TV will begin broadcasting in high definition following an agreement with the satellite service provider SES Astra. This deal means that the channel will be able to be delivered to HD broadcasters throughout Europe. It is currently available free of charge, although that is likely to change to a subscription based arrangement once the channel is ...

Cricket starts on Sky TV 3D Channel

by David Allen
For the first time in the UK, a live cricket match has been broadcast in 3D by Sky Sports. However, as with the football and rugby, the only way that fans were able to view the match was at one of the selected pubs and clubs that have the 3D Ready equipment. The match was the Nat West one ...

July 8, 2010

No health risk from 3D TV

by David Allen
As with many new technologies, the introduction of 3D-Ready televisions came with a health warning from some experts. It is not the transmission or even the television that was the worry; it was the 3D glasses that were a cause for concern. According to some experts, the 3D glasses force the eyes to focus on an image that is ...

Multichoice chooses Pace STB

by David Allen
The UK-based set-top-box maker Pace, has won the contract to supply the African DTH provider, Multichoice, with second generation high definition set-top box equipment for the pay-TV market in Africa. Multichoice is a multi-national pay-TV provider with a current customer base of around 2.4 million, but it has plans to reach out to many more areas to find more ...

July 7, 2010

Two new channels for Freesat

by David Allen
The free view digital satellite television service, Freesat, continues to grow with an announcement that there will be two additional channels joining the line up. Showcase, a new channel owned by Information TV, will be offering the viewer a wide variety of drama, music and science fiction, while True Entertainment, the CSC Media owned channel which used to go ...

The Queen gets 3D demo

by David Allen
Seeing an elderly woman in glasses is nothing unusual but when the glasses turn out to be the latest development in 3D technology and the woman wearing the glasses turns out to be the Queen, then that puts an entirely different perspective on the scene. As part of the Queen's visit to Canada, she visited the Pinewood Studios complex ...

Japan not excited by 3D TV

by David Allen
Despite the investments into 3D technology for televisions and gaming products being made by Japan-based Sony and Panasonic, it seems that the Japanese consumer is not too impressed just yet. In a recent survey it was found that almost sixty seven per cent of the Japanese consumer market is not ready to take the leap onto the 3D bandwagon, ...