History of Sweden Calling DXers

Sweden Calling DXers #2280


ARTHUR CUSHEN--A legend in the shortwave listening hobby has passed
away. New Zealand's Arthur Cushen died on September 20th, after
suffering for several years from bone cancer. For many years Arthur
was the voice from the South Pacific on Radio Netherlands DX Jukebox,
and later Media Network. Many listeners probably never guessed Arthur
was blind, as he transcended his handicap to become one of the best
known personalities within the shortwave fraternity.

We've received many messages from media colleagues and hobbyists
expressing their sadness over the loss. To quote just one, from Victor
Goonetilleke in Sri Lanka, a colleague of Arthur's at "Media Network":

"...for those of us with a passionate love for our hobby, Arthur in
many ways was the embodiment of what a very personal hobby meant, and
his leaving removes a link with the pioneering days of SW Radio
listening. As long as Arthur was in the hobby we felt that continuity
even those those early days of radio were romantic tales from a bygone

Certainly this program, and it's predecessor Sweden Calling DXers,
have been greatly enriched by Arthur's contributions over the years.
He will be missed.

DOUG DEMAW--Doug DeMaw, author of "DeMaw's Workbench," world-
renowned amateur radio designer, writer, and personality, died at his
home September 28, 1997, of acute leukemia. Doug joined the ARRL
headquarters staff in 1965, and continued with the ARRL in various
technical and editorial positions for 18 years. In 1983, Doug retired
to the north woods of Michigan, where he formed "Oak Hills Research".
He continued to be prolific in producing books for the ARRL. He was,
in his own words, "recruited by Ike Kerschner" to write for
"Monitoring Times" in 1988, and his straightforward, understandable
writing style has encouraged and inspired potential experimenters ever
since. (Rachel Baughn, Managing Editor, "Monitoring Times")

SPUTNIK--October 4, 1997 is the 40th anniversary of the launch of
Sputnik 1, the world's first artificial satellite. With it, Arthur C.
Clarke's vision of more than a decade before was realized.


NORDEN THIS WEEK--There's a new radio station covering the Nordic
region, which besides Sweden Norway, and Denmark, also includes
Iceland and Finland, and Denmark's former colony Greenland.

Radio Sweden primarily covers Sweden, but also takes up important
stories in the other Nordic countries. Radio Finland does the same
from the Finnish horizon, and both broadcast in English daily. Radio
Norway International, on the other hand, only carries English once a
week. Radio Denmark had an English program last year, when Copenhagen
was the European Cultural Capital.

That was discontinued at the end of the year, but former Radio Denmark
presenter Julian Isherwood started his own weekly program called
"Copenhagen Calling", available not on shortwave, but on satellite and
the Internet via the World Radio Network. Now Julian has done it
again, with a new weekly program called "Norden This Week". "Norden"
is the Scandinavian word for the region. I called up Julian Isherwood
and asked him about the new program, and you can hear the interview in
the October 7 edition of "MediaScan".

"Norden This Week" is carried on the World Radio Network to Europe,
Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and North America Sundays at 17:00 hrs
UTC, which is 12:00 hrs Eastern Time in North America.

More details at:


It's also available in RealAudio at:


PLAYBOY--Updating the report last time, the Playboy TV Network
launched to Scandinavia on October 1. PBTV/S will be on the air
nightly between midnight and 4:00 AM CET to Norway, Sweden, Denmark,
and Finland. (Curt Swinehart) As reported last time, Playboy takes
over from TV6 when it signs off daily on Sirius 1 on 12.015 GHz.

Travel TV has started on Sirius 1 in D2-MAC, sharing the transponder
on 11.862 GHz with Nickelodeon and ZTV daily between 13:00 and 16:00
hrs CET. (Richard Karlsson, "Aftonbladet")

NORWAY--TV Norge ended its transmissions from Intelsat 707 11.016 GHz
on September 30. Transmissions continue via Thor 2 at the same orbital
position on 11.421 GHz. (Richard Karlsson, "Aftonbladet")

TV8--Sweden's new business channel TV8 starts digital transmissions on
Tele-X on 12.676 GHz on October 15. The channel will move to Sirius 2
after that satellite is launched. Contrary to previous reports, TV8
will be MPEG-2 only, becoming Sweden's first completely digital TV
channel. (Richard Karlsson and Frank Oestergren, both at

DIGITAL TV--Nokia's new digital satellite receiver for Scandinavia,
the Mediamaster 9610S is ready to be sold in stores. But as Canal Plus
is delaying the launch of its Canal Digital package to Scandinavia,
Nokia and the shops are reluctant to do any marketing. The Canal
Digital package on 1 degree West on 11.174 GHz carries Norway's NRK 1
and TV Norge, and TV Finland. The package at 11.278 GHz carries the
pan-Nordic Canal Plus service, as well as the separate Canal Plus
channels to Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark, the Hallmark
Channel, and Finland's Nelonen. (Frank Oestergren, "Aftonbladet")

If Canal Plus/Digital is slow off the mark, it may be outpaced by
media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Last time we reported on the first
Scandinavia channels from Murdoch's British Sky Television, Sky News
and National Geographic, and Sky Entertainment, analog channels at 1
degree West. Now BSkyB is considering launching digital channels to
Scandinavia. BSkyB's head of international distribution, Kirsten
McConnell, has been in Scandinavian negotiating with cable companies.
She told "Dagens Nyheter's" Per Luthander:

"If our evaluation next year shows that we have made the right
decision to focus on Scandinavia, we'll concentrate even more here."
("Dagens Nyheter")


IFA--In the last edition of the program, we talked to Swedish Radio's
Christer Grewin about the unveiling of receivers for Digital Audio
Broadcasting at the recent giant IFA Consumer Electronics Show in
Berlin. While DAB was our greatest interest at the show, I also asked
Christer if there was anything else that caught his eye. He mentions
two things, DVD (Digital Versatile Disk, it used to be called Digital
Video Disk until they found new applications for it) and large flat TV

DVD--The DVD Forum held a briefing September 15 on the status of its
standard for rewriteable DVD, known as DVD-RAM, but when the briefing
was over, the prospect of a unifying format did not seem significantly
improved. The DVD Forum, a group of 10 electronics and media
companies, helped establish standards for DVD-Video and DVD-ROM
players, and is seeking to do the same for rewrite-able DVD
technology. ("Wired News" via Pointcast)

ASTRA--The shopping channel QVC UK on transponder 38 has been in
PAL clear since September 15, and will apparently remain so. ("SATCO

Galavision has ceased on transponder 44, and continues only on
Panamsat 1 on 11.515 GHz. (Richard Karlsson, "Aftonbladet"

It is possible (but not confirmed) that the 24 hour BBC News channel
will take over Astra transponder 56, now that DF-1 has moved the
channels there to transponder 104 (12.480 GHz).

Sky has been carrying out test transmissions on this transponder. Sky
News was there in MPEG-2 for 2 weeks, followed by a test of the Adult
Channel code, which was ready for a change of smartcard on October 1.
Three PAL channels from BBC/Flextech are to start on transponder 57 on
November 1: UK Style (with the best of the BBC's travel, lifestyle,
and gardening programs), UK Horizon (with programs about life, nature,
and human interest, and which might be called BBC Horizon), and UK
Arena (arts and entertainment programs, which might be called BBC
Arena). It's uncertain how the three channels will share the

All 4 channels will also initially transmit in encrypted MPEG-2 on
Orion 1 for cable distribution. This will be moved to Astra 2B when
that is launched. UK Gold will relaunched in October with a new logo,
new schedule, and a fresh onscreen identify. UK Living is being given
a facelift in November, when its name will become Living. (James
Robinson and "What Satellite TV" magazine)

Rupert Murdoch's Asian music service Channel V had been reported
expected to launch shortly on transponder 57. ("What Satellite TV")

Sky Box Office 1 has replaced Sky Movies Gold on transponder 60 in PAL
videocrypt. ("SATCO DX") Sky will have a third PPV event on October
11. (James Robinson) Sky has also secured the evening hours of
transponder 59 for Sky Box Office. ("What Satellite TV")

Sci-Channel is joining the DF-1 package on Astra on October 10. (James
Robinson) Sci-Fi says it has postponed plans to launch The Thriller
Channel this Autumn. ("What Satellite TV")

Knowledge TV has started on 12.382 GHz in clear MPEG-2. ("SATCO DX"
and James Robinson)

The Astra-Net Internet/computer service started on transponder 88 on
September 29, replacing the Travel Channel and Pro 7. Travel has moved
to transponder 74 in MPEG-2. (James Robinson)

AB Sat has started on 12.266 GHz with the same channels as on Eutelsat
II-F1 11.678 GHz (in MPEG-2 Viaccess and Mediaguard). ("SATCO DX") As
reported last time, this move is part of the Simulcrypt agreement
signed with CanalSatellite, which allows subscribers to receive both
packages with one set-top box. Until now CanalSatellite subscribers
whose dish was aimed at Astra could not receive the AB Sat signal.

Radio Netherlands' Zomer TV channel, which was due to close in
September, will end on December 31 instead, and has changed its name
to Wereldomroep TV. ("What Satellite TV" and Richard Karlsson,

EUTELSAT--Fashion TV has started on Hot Bird 2 on 11.881 GHz in clear
PAL. ("SATCO DX") Fashion TV is also in MPEG-2 on Astra transponder 90
(12.207 GHz). (James Robinson)

There's now a Polish sound channel to Animal Planet on Eutelsat II-F1
on 11.055 GHz, on 7.20 GHz. Tele-text subtitles in Swedish, Norwegian,
and Danish are coming soon. (Richard Karlsson, "Aftonbladet")

Hot Bird 3 has completed its move from 29 East to 13 East. The first
official transmissions are expected within a few days.




The Hungarian MTV2 is to start transmissions on Hot Bird 3 on 12.130
GHz in clear PAL. (Richard Karlsson, "Aftonbladet")

MANCHESTER UNITED--English soccer champions Manchester United
announced on September 30 that they are teaming up with BSkyB and the
Granada Media Group to launch a television channel devoted to the
club, called MUTV. The new channel will be a subscription service,
distributed by digital satellite and cable, and will launch next
Autumn. MUTV will be a daily service offering six hours of prime-time
programming. It's the first such initiative by an English soccer club.

DIGITAL--Europe's digital broadcasting pioneers have agreed to support
open standards, heralding a potential end to the wars over TV set-top
digital-decoder boxes, and opening the way for standardized
Interactive TV and Internet services. The agreement will encourage
development of a new generation of multimedia digital decoders that
will allow consumers to access all forms of digital services.

Canal Plus of France, British Sky Broadcasting, Kirch Group of Germany
and other key players came to an agreement in Geneva at a meeting of
the steering group of the Digital Video Broadcasting consortium, a
group that combines virtually all players in European television from
broadcasters to regulators to makers of TV sets and set-top boxes.

The consortium virtually controls the digital market in Europe because
it is responsible for recommending technical standards. Although it
has already determined digital-transmission standards and other
essentials, it hadn't yet agreed on standards for set-top boxes.

The lack of a standard has led to market fragmentation, with equipment
manufacturers unable to achieve economies of scale and consumers
having to either stock their homes with a half-dozen set-top boxes or
limit their access to broadcasters. An open standard would change all
that, allowing development of multimedia terminals for consumers that
would permit access to all digital-TV broadcasters as well as to the
Internet. These devices, yet to be developed, would be sold in stores
and compete with network computers and personal computers.

The agreement to support the development of such devices based on an
open standard means that set-top decoder boxes will be able to
communicate and receive content from different digital sources.

At Wednesday's meeting, Canal Plus formally urged the DVB to adopt a
common application-programming interface a language that would allow
set-top boxes to communicate and receive content from different
sources, said Henri Joubaud, Canal Plus's technical director. One
strategy DVB is considering to standardize set-top boxes is to base a
common operating system on Java, a programming language developed by
Sun Microsystems Inc.that runs across platforms on the Internet and on
a whole range of devices.

Canal Plus will be ready to launch such a device by mid-1998, Mr.
Joubaud said. The device would coexist at least initially with the
current devices, which are rented to consumers. People close to the
situation said Kirch stopped short of announcing it is adopting open
standards but agreed that open standards are the right way to go. A
Kirch spokesman said executives couldn't be reached immediately to
comment. ("Wall Street Journal")

We reported last time that German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF
unveiled their digital television plans at the IFA Show. Now they have
begun transmitting 60 digital radio and TV channels on Astra at
12.421, 11.875, and 11.995 GHz. ("What Satellite TV")

ARD and ZDF are offering digital programming free of charge. They hope
that their huge libraries of films, documentaries and popular
children's programs will rival the films and sports events from DF-1
and Premiere.

The public stations have been unable to gain access to Germany's cable
networks, which have far more viewers than satellite TV, because of a
technical dispute with the cable operators, who are dominated by
Deutsche Telekom. In late September ZDF reached agreement with
Deutsche Telekom, Bertelsmann, and Kirch on cable access. DT offered
the public broadcasters access to the coming digital network via the
"D- Box" decoder Kirch developed. (AP)

KOPERNIKUS--Almost all of the digital channels have ceased on
Kopernikus 3. There are now colour bars in MPEG-2/clear on all these
11,466 H / 11,500 H / 11,530 H / 11,541 V / 11,573 V / 11,605 V /
11,616 H / 11,650 H / 11,680 H / 12,524 V / 12,559 H / 12,591 V /
12,658 V / 12,692 H.

For the latest information see:



ITALY--There has been a slight change of plans for the launch of RAI's
new thematic satellite channels. Instead of all 3 new channels
starting on September 29, only RaiSat 2, the children's channel
started that day. The educational channel called RaiSat 3 will follow
on October 13th, and finally October 27th will see the launch of the
arts and cultural service RaiSat 1. All three will broadcast as party
of RAI's clear digital package on Hot Bird 2. See:


("Tele-satellite News")

POLAND--The American cable company At Entertainment Inc. plans to
launch Poland's first digital satellite service in April, 1998, on
Astra 1F, pm transponders 79 (11.993 GHz), 95 (12.305 GHz), and 99
(12.383 GHz). Among the offerings will be the existing Atom TV and
Knowledge TV, plus Wizja TV, 12 themed channels, and a film channel.
Altogether they will be 21 all-Polish channels, with 14 carrying
original programming. (Reuters and Richard Karlsson, "Aftonbladet")

RADIO--As reported in edition 2276, Xtra Music plans to launch a pay-
audio Astra Digital Radio service to replaced the failed DMX. Founder
Jerry Rubenstein told "What Satellite TV" that his 92 channel service
is "very likely" to be up and running by the end of October. ("What
Satellite TV")

The Student Radio Network launched on Astra transponder 33 (ZDF) 7.38
MHz Mono B ADR on September 21. This is a sustaining service for
university radio stations in the UK. (James Robinson)

Lithuanian Radio restored broadcasts of its 2nd home service on medium
wave, just a few weeks after it was closed down on September 1,
following complaints from listeners. The channel is now on 612 kHz,
formerly used by the 1st program, which is now only using 666 kHz.
(Sigitas Zilionis)


TURKEY--The Turkish government has decided to broadcast TV programs in
the Kurdish language. Broadcasts in Kurdish are currently illegal in
Turkey, and the government has tried to stop programs from the private
MED-TV, which broadcasts on satellite from London, claiming the
channel is a mouthpiece for the PKK guerillas. According to a
government spokesman, 65 percent of women and 20 percent of men in
Turkish Kurdistan don't speak Turkish. (AP)

EGYPT--Egyptian Moslem militant leader Ayman al-Zawahi will launch a
satellite television channel with Islamic fundamentalist billionaire
Ossama Ben Laden, the Egyptian newspaper "al-Usbua" reported September
22. The channel will broadcast for 10 hours a day beginning in
December, and will be seen in both Europe and the Arab world. (AFP)

UNOFFICIAL--Radio New Nigeria was to broadcast on October 1,
Nigeria's Independence Day, from Germany. The schedule is to Nigeria:

06:00-06:59 hrs on 11995 kHz

Central Europe:

18:00-18:59 hrs on 5890 kHz

North America:

00:00-00:59 hrs on 5900 kHz

For more information:


(Hans Johnson in "Cumbre DX")
AMOS--Sziv TV has started on 11.308 GHz in clear MPEG-2. ("SATCO

ARABSAT--On Arabsat 2B TV de Mauritanie and RTM 1 have swapped
frequencies. The new line-up is 3.876 GHz RTM 1 in SECAM, and 3.918
GHz TV de Mauritanie in PAL. ("SATCO DX")

RASCOM--African state plans to launch a pan-African communications
satellite called Rascom-1 in 2000 or 2001. It will be operated by the
Regional African Satellite Communications Organization, for both the
distribution of TV and radio signals, and telephone communications
across Africa. (Reuters)


INDIA--India's Information and Broadcasting Minister S. Jaipal Reddy
says the ban on direct to home broadcasting is likely to be removed by
the end of the year. On the first day of the Winter session of
parliament, the Joint Parliamentary Committee's report on broadcasting
will be ready, he says, and the Broadcast Bill will be passed. Once
the Bill is passed, Reddy says, the Authority would be constituted
without much delay. ("The Hindu" via Curt Swinehart)

Rupert Murdoch and a senior official from his Star television network
have been summoned by an Indian court for broadcasting four "obscene"
films, the "Statesman" newspaper reported on September 25. It said a
court on Wednesday ordered Murdoch and the chief of Star's operations
in India, Rathikanata Basu, to appear in court on October 27 to answer
the allegations.

Delhi's chief metropolitan magistrate Prem Kumar said complaints about
the four films -- "Dance of the Damned", "Stripped to Kill", "Big Bad
Mama" and "Jigsaw Murders" -- were justified as they were "filthy,
indecent, obscene and show indecent representation of women." (AFP)

NBC Asia announced on September 23 that it had reached more than 3
million homes in India during its first year of broadcasting on the
sub- continent. Besides the information channel NBC Asia, NBC also
broadcasts the business channel CNBC to India. There are plans to
launch several new India-specific shows on both channels next year.
NBC also inaugurated its new studio in Bombay. But there are no plans
to dub American serials into Indian languages, as Rupert Murdoch's
Star-TV has done, as NBC is targeting the "international Indian".

JAPAN--The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications said that the
digital broadcast system committee of its Telecommunications
Technology Council has suggested that more than one method be used for
transmission of digital signals from broadcast satellites.

On Sept. 24 the committee released a list of five tentative
transmission methods, paving the way for digital broadcast satellites
to be used to transmit regular television programming in addition to
high-definition programs. The committee is also looking into
terrestrial digital transmission methods, but it has only put together
an original draft which reflects the current realities of mobile
reception technologies.

The committee expects that each satellite repeater will transmit two
channels of high-definition programming. It listed three possible
transmission bands: 27 MHz (for a data transfer rate of 39 megabits
per second); 33 MHz (50 megabits/sec); and 36 MHz (53 megabits/sec).
It then pointed out that a single channel of high-definition
programming would need 18-22 megabits per second, suggesting that
the 27 MHz bandwidth might not be able to accommodate two channels. It
also noted that use of the 36 MHz band will require international
coordination with neighboring countries. This month the ministry will
petition the ITU to grant Japan a wider frequency band. (Nikkei
English News)

DirecTV has tested several transponders on Superbird C at 144 degrees
East in preparation for the launch of their digital package early in
October. ("SATCO DX")

MEASAT--The ASTRO package is on Measat 2 at 148 degrees East in
addition to Measat 1, frequencies: 11.168, 11.540 and 11.602 GHz. This
version is mainly for West Malaysia and Indonesia due to its different
footprint. ("SATCO DX")

PHILIPPINES--On the new Agila 2 at 144 degrees East CNBC has started
on 4.165 GHz in PAL. ("SATCO DX")

CHINA--On Apstar 1A at 134 degrees East XJTV (Xinjiang TV) on 4.120
GHz has switched from PAL to MPEG-2. ("SATCO DX")

INDONESIA--On Palapa C2 the Indovision package on 11.500 GHz is
identical to what's on 3.500. The content of 3.580 H is also found on
11.645. Since 18 September, Indovision is also 3.460 GHz, in
MPEG-2/NDS, with some more TV channels: TVRI, RCTI, SCTV, IVM, TPI and


MURDOCH--The Fox Group will not share ownership of the Los Angeles
Dodgers with a business partner, assuming Major League Baseball
approve the sale of the team, according to a statement from Fox on
September 30. The "Los Angeles Times" had reported that such a
possibility might exist. (AP)

Some public interest groups want the Federal Communication Commission
to stop Rupert Murdoch from folding his U.S. satellite business into
Primestar Partners. The Media Access Project, the Consumers Union, the
United Church of Christ and others planned to jointly ask the FCC on
September 25 to block the deal on the grounds that it will stifle
competition in the direct-to-home satellite TV business.

"The deal would permit cable companies to absorb what would have been
a significant player in the U.S. DBS business," said Andrew
Schwartzman, president of the Media Access Project, a public interest
law firm. "It will eliminate a DBS competitor," he said.

Primestar Partners was formed by the nation's biggest cable companies
and ranks as America's second-largest direct satellite broadcaster
behind DirecTV. Murdoch had been seeking an established partner for
his nascent American Sky Broadcasting unit since May, when a deal to
merge it with EchoStar Communications fell apart. The deal with
Primestar was announced in June.

Under the deal, Murdoch's ASkyB satellite unit -- 80 percent owned by
News Corp. and 20 percent held by MCI Communications -- will
contribute two satellites under construction as well as the license
for a key orbital slot to a new company called Primestar Inc.

The transfer of control of the satellite license is subject to FCC
approval. The FCC's review of the proposed transaction is to determine
whether it will be in the public interest. The public interest groups'
filing comes as the FCC collects public and industry comments on the
proposed deal. The largest shareholder of Primestar Inc. will be TCI
Satellite Entertainment, a publicly traded spinoff of cable's
Tele-Communications Inc. Murdoch will receive nonvoting convertible
stock and bonds worth USD 1.1 billion, as well as full distribution on
Primestar of Fox Sports Net and the Fox News Channel. (AP)

AFRTS--Television viewers overseas will soon be able to use their
remote control for more than turning their television on and off. More
news, sports and entertainment will soon be available to Department of
Defense personnel assigned overseas. The Armed Forces Radio and
Television Service has already begun transmitting two new television
services overseas, while a third feed started September 26. The two
services already being sent from the AFRTS broadcast center near Los
Angeles are new TV channels called "NewSports" and "Spectrum."

NewSports provides a balance of news and sports while Spectrum
delivers a variety of made-for-TV movies, cartoons, documentaries,
dramas and situation comedies. The third service, a full-service
entertainment channel, is called American Forces Network. The AFN
channel will provide a full day of news, sport adds entertainment

AFRTS uses eight satellites to provide service to more than 450
outlets in more than 150 counties and U.S. territories. Also, more
than 300 U.S. Navy ships receive AFRTS programming. (AFNS)


MEXICO--Mexico has agreed to move its radio and television satellite
from 78 degrees to 77 degrees West to reduce interference with signals
from a Canadian satellite. The Mexican Communications and
Transportation Ministry says the decision came after months of
negotiations between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. (AP)

Presumeably this is about allocations, because no Mexican or Canadian
satellites are near 77 degrees West.

PANAMSAT--There are some new channels in the Net-Sky package on

ch 24: Canal Future (replaced WorldNet)
ch 29: Premiere Preview
ch 33: Sexy Hot
ch 34: Nickelodeon

For the complete package see:



BRAZILSAT--There are no analog transmissions on Brazilsat B2, but
several encrypted digital TV channels. Brazilsat B2 mainly serves as a
backup for Brazilsat B1.

Here is a list of some known TV channels: (all digital):

3.650 H: Rede Globo occasional feeds
3.650 V: Rede Transporte (for truck and bus companies)
3.670 V: TV Alterosa
3.670 H: TV Senac
3.690 H: Rede Vinde
3.690 V: TV Rio