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Inside Satellite

Chris Forrester

Chris Forrester is one of the most experienced and highly regarded journalists in the field. His insight and analysis, particularly in the satellite and pay-TV arena, is highly prized. He has written for all the major business journals in the sector as well as several national newspapers.

Thor II goes to graveyard orbit

Telenor’s Thor II has been retired and placed in a graveyard orbit about 350 kms higher than the normal geostationary operational height in a six-day operation which wrapped on January 10th. Thor II was launched on a Delta 11 rocket from Cape Canaveral in May 1997. It was the first satellite actually procured by Telenor […]

January 14, 2013

Momentum building for Ultra-HDTV

On January 8th, Eutelsat launched a demo Ultra-HDTV channel – the first full-time such channel anywhere on the planet. This step is but the first in what Berenberg Bank says represents a growing momentum building in Ultra-HDTV. “2012 was the year when we first heard noise about Super Hi-Vision or Ultra HDTV (UHDTV), the new […]

January 11, 2013

Toyota adds Sirius-XM to entire US range

In a sign that pay-radio is now considered mainstream entertainment as far as North American vehicles are concerned, Toyota has mandated that Sirius-equipped units are now fitted to their entire 2013 range of cars, from ‘basic’ models to up-market models.   SiriusXM will also be standard on all vehicles equipped with Toyota’s popular Entune in-car […]

January 9, 2013

Pro7/Sat 1: What’s next?

It has been a weekend of frenzied activity as Discovery Communications mopped up the SBS broadcasting segment of ProSiebenSat.1 and took a useful slice out of TF1, and meanwhile Liberty Global pitched its offer for Benelux cable MSO Telenet. Full marks to Discovery for further extending its interests outside its pure ‘factual’ entertainment reputation. Indeed, […]

December 18, 2012

Problems with Proton launch rocket system

There have been three failures in the past 16 months of the Proton rocket when fitted with the Briz-M upper stage booster, needed to loft satellites into geostationary orbit. A review board is currently engaged into funding out what went wrong with a December 9th failure which did not correctly orbit its hugely valuable cargo. […]

December 17, 2012

Mexican sat-operator vulnerable to launch failure

This past weekend’s ILS/Proton rocket launch problems have placed Satmex, the next planned launch client, into an extremely dangerous position.  Russia’s Proton Briz-M upper stage failed to reach its intended orbit, and placed its satellite into a lower orbit than intended.  All planned further launches will now be subject to further delays. This will severely […]

December 11, 2012

Eutelsat’s Sea Launch safely away

Eutelsat’s massive 70B craft was successfully orbited from the floating Sea Launch platform overnight on December 3-4. The launch took place at 20.44 GMT on the 3rd. The huge 5.2 tonne satellite is to be placed at 70.5 degrees East. Eutelsat, in a statement, said the craft’s solar panels had been partly deployed some two […]

December 4, 2012

French pay-radio scheme: Full details

One might say “at last”. On November 8th French media regulator le Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel (CSA) licensed Onde Numérique to broadcast by satellite over Europe. Transmissions will be made on the Eutelsat/SES Solaris Mobile payload that’s been in orbit on Eutelsat’s W2A craft since April 2009.  The CSA announced a beauty contest competition for […]

November 26, 2012

Ariane has “no chance” says Musk

Billionaire Elon Musk, who co-founded PayPal, is creating a rival to the world’s established rocket-launch systems, France’s Arianespace and Russia’s Proton. His business is SpaceX and its Falcon rockets are proving to be a very real challenge to the status-quo. Musk has told the BBC that the Ariane 5 rocket system has “no chance” in […]

November 20, 2012By Chris Forrester

AsiaSat throws Iran off its satellites

Iran, for some time a pariah nation, is finally suffering the reality of increasingly tough sanctions. In the past few weeks Eutelsat and Intelsat have taken down Iran’s state-backed channels, including those belonging to Press TV, its English-language propaganda station.  Now Hong Kong-based AsiaSat has removed all Iranian TV and radio channels “in line with […]

November 16, 2012