History of Sweden Calling DXers

Sweden Calling DXers #2302


NOKIA MEDIAMASTER-Reactions to our review of the Nokia Mediamaster digital satellite receiver continue. Michael Hoover writes

“Enjoyed reading of Dave Small’s experiences with the Nokia receiver. Have the following comments”:

Crashes: Don’t try and store more than 300 TV and 50 radio channels. If you do the chance of a crash or a “chunk” of 50 or so channels disappearing is very likely. It sometimes “locks up” going into search menu, the menu appears, there’s no red signal strength bar and it won’t respond to the remote control commands. In this case, leave it alone for a minute or so — don’t touch any remote button and it comes back to normal, normally the front panel goes blank as well just to add to the confusion. Any remote button touched during this “snooze” (as opposed to crash) is remembered once it “wakes up”, hence don’t touch the remote.

The lack of red signal display gives indication of this condition.

Very rarely it will switch itself off in the middle of a programme and reboot itself with the “selftest” message on the front panel at switch on.

Keep the Nokia cool, it runs quite warm and make sure it’s not on top of a hot video and has plenty of free airspace above it.

The dreaded clock: When in channel search mode the clock loses a lot of time. Best ignored totally.

The overflow software as mentioned in the DVB 98 website is no doubt great — however from the indications I’ve seen it’s not really compatible for CAM/Access module and viewing card operation. Best for use with the Nokia 9200 or 9500 possibly? (Michael Hoover)


SWEDISH ELECTIONS-Today’s edition of MediaScan focused on different aspects of how public broadcasters Swedish Television and the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation (radio) are covering this Sunday’s general elections here.

We talked to Willi Silberstein, head of domestic news for the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation about how they’ve covered the campaign, and what they’ll be doing on election night.

We also talked to Pernilla Åström, Project Manager for the Swedish Television Web site, about how they are using the Internet in connection with the election.

Here at Radio Sweden, we’ll be sharing transmitters with our Swedish service, which will have extra broadcasts for Swedes abroad, mostly on 6065 kHz, along with new broadcasts to Asia on 11640 kHz at 20:30 hrs, and to North America on 13780 kHz at 21:00 hrs. Our satellite channels will be used exclusively to relay the election coverage on the domestic P1 network at 18:00-23:30 hrs.

We also have a special Election 98 Web page, where you will be able to find the results on election night. Right now you can find the results of the latest polls, as well as RealAudio of our two election specials, covering the political situation and the issues.

Otherwise the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation will generally be using the Internet for internal purposes on election night, and not for returns.

SIRIUS-Travel has left 11.862 GHz in D2-MAC, and is now only on 12.015 GHz. Star TV has ceased on 12.437 GHz. (SATCO DX and Richard Karlsson in “Aftonbladet”)

Tha analog (D2-MAC) launch of Hallmark on Sirius on 11.900 GHz has been delayed. It was supposed to start on September 7. (“Transponder News” and Richard Karlsson”)

THOR-Kanal 5 on 11.341 GHz and TV Norge on 11.421 have switched from PAL to clear D2-MAC. Beginning October 19 they will be joining Kinnevik’s Viasat package (and encoding in Eurocrypt). (SATCO DX and Richard Karlsson in “Aftonbladet”)

Sky News and National Geographic has ceased on 11.773 GHz, and is now on Thor 3 on 11.727 GHz. TV 1000 Cinema/History Channel has left 11.888 GHz on TV-Sat 2 and is now only on Thor 3. Denmark’s 3+ has left 11.977 GHz on TV-Sat and is now only on Thor 3 on 11.747 GHz. Sky Entertainment (Video Zone, Granada Breeze, and Grenada Men and Motors) has left Intelsat 707 11.667 (D2-MAC) and is now only on Thor 3 on 12.054 GHz (D2-MAC). (SATCO DX and Richard Karlsson in “Aftonbladet”)

BBC World, Nickelodeon, Sci-Fi Channel, and Norway’s TV2 have started on Thor 3 on 12.456 GHz in clear MPEG-2. They will be encoding in Conax soon. (SATCO DX and Richard Karlsson in “Aftonbladet”)

NRK 2 is broadcasting in MPEG-2 on 11.246 GHz on Thor 2. (Richard Karlsson in “Aftonbladet”)

NORDIC CHILDREN’S CHANNEL-The public TV broadcasters of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland have shelved plans for a digital joint Nordic children’s TV channel. Following a study in co-operation with the European Broadcasting Union, the price tag for the effort has been set at USD 50 million a year, which seems to be more than the broadcasters want to pay to compete with Disney. (“Dagens Nyheter”)

NORWAY-According to reports, Norway’s NRK is planning to pull the plug on the once-a-week half hour in English from Radio Norway International. The service’s broadcasts in Norwegian would also be largely replaced with relays from the domestic service. (“Radiotidningen”)

FINLAND-During the upcoming Winter season (which presumeably begins on October 25), YLE Radio Finland will be broadcasting in English at 20:00, 03:30, 05:30 (domestic only), 07:30-10:00, and 13:30 hrs. German will be at 20:30, 06:30-06:45, and 10:00 hrs. French will be at 06:45-07:00 and 10:30-10:45 hrs. Russian will be at 06:15-06:30, 09:30, 14:30, 17:00, and 21:00 hrs. (Thirty minutes unless otherwise indicated.) (Juhani Niinistoe, YLE Radio Finland)


MURDOCH KICKS OFF FOOTIE MADNESS-Following Rupert Murdoch’s purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team and other American sports interests (in the footsteps of Ted Turner and Disney), Britain’s most successful soccer club Manchester United has accepted a GBP 625 takeover offer from Murdoch’s British Sky Broadcasting. (Reuters) Man United is a team people either love or hate, and fans have loudly protested the Murdoch take-over. BSkyB already holds the rights to broadcast the English and Scotish Premier Leagues, and is seeking to talk the leagues into approving pay-per-view. Man United is in the midst of starting MUTV, which is to be part of Murdoch’s Sky Digital.

This has led to a a series of media take-over moves on what are perceived as undervalued British soccer properties. Rival Carlton Communications, about to launch the ONdigital DTT service, has announced plans to buy defending champions Arsenal.

There’s speculation Scottish Media could benefit from a pact with either Scotland’s Celtics or Rangers. Japan’s Sony Corp has denied a newspaper report it has offered GBP 200 million to buy Newcastle United, and the Ashton Villa club has denied a report it has been in talks with an undisclosed communications company. (Reuters)

ASTRA-Astra 2A is now in orbit at 27.5 degrees East, and is conducting analog test transmissions. When the tests are over, it will move into its permanent position at 28.2 degrees East. Very strong test signals have been seen on 12.129, 12.148, 12.226, 12.304, and 12.382 GHz. According to a reliable source, Astra 2A will take over all services from Astra 1D on September 26, some days before the launch of Sky Digital. In a statement, SES says Astra 1D will be brought back to 19.2 degrees East. (“Transponder News”)

Back at 19 degrees East, UK Horizons has moved from 10.818 (transponder 56) to 10.832 GHz (transponder 57), in Videocrypt-encoded PAL. UK Style has started on transponder 56 in soft-encrypted Videocrypt PAL. Bloomberg TV Germany is sharing transponder 56 with UK Style 06:00-19:00 hrs CET.

AS we reported last time, Animal Planet has started on 10.744 GHz (transponder 51) at 13:00-01:00 hrs CET in Videocrypt-encoded PAL. Bloomberg TV UK has moved from 11.362 GHz (transponder 11) to transponder 51 and is sharing with Animal Planet at 07:00-13:00 hrs CET. (SATCO DX and “Transponder News”)

Sky Movies Screen 1 is turning into Sky Moviemax. Sky Movies Screen 2 is turning into Sky Premier, Sky Movies Gold is turning into Sky Cinema. (“Transponder News”)

RTP Internacional has started on 12.363 GHz in clear MPEG-2. (SATCO DX)

EUTELSAT-The National Geographic Channel and CNBC have already left 10.987 GHz on Eutelsat II-F1 (not waiting until October 1, as previously reported). (SATCO DX) Radio Sweden and WRN2 remain on audio subcarriers as we negotiate for our new homes at 13 degrees East. (Stay tuned for the announcement!)

RAISat per Venezia replaced Fashion TV Hommes on Hot Bird 2 in clear PAL on 11.766 GHz, until September 12. (SATCO DX) Eros TV is on Eutelsat II-F1 on 11.658 GHz in Eurocrypt D2-MAC. (“Transponder News”) Fashion TV seems to be sharing this service in some way, with the Eros TV logo remaining on the screen, along with advertising for telephone services involving friendly ladies.

Peru’s Cadena Sur has started on Hot Bird 2 on 12.092 GHz in clear MPEG-2. (SATCO DX) Sur Argentina is also reported on this transponder. (“Transponder News”) Or is this the same station reported under two names?

British Telecom has switched from Hot Bird 3 to Hot Bird 4 on 10.722 GHz for its digital package with Apna TV, Travel TV, Quantum 24, and CMR. (Richard Karlsson in “Aftonbladet”)

Polish public broadcaster TVP, the country’s largest commercial TV network Polsat, Canal Plus Polska, and telecommunciations operator TPSA have agreed to develop a digital platform to Poland via Eutelsat. (Eutelsat)

COMPUTER PROGRAMS-Has anyone noticed the recent disappearance of TV (and radio) programs in Europe for people interested in computers and the Internet? The first to vanish was “The Site” on MSNBC, pre-empted from schedules when Princess Diana died a year ago, and then cancelled. It’s been replaced with ZDTV, but hardly any cable networks are carrying that channel in North America, let along Europe.

Recently the Sci-Fi Channel seems to have quietly dropped its programs from C-Net: “C-Net Central”, “The Web”, and the “New Edge”. CNN International used to have a weekly computer program as well, hosted from San Francisco, but that seems to be gone from its schedule. Finally, with the recent subsuming of NBC Europe into National Geographic, the Saturday morning ghetto of programs from PCTV, such as “Computer Chronicles” and “Internet Cafe” is likewise gone.

On the radio side, the BBC’s Radio 5 Live first reduced the length of its outstanding “The Big Byte” from 45 minutes to less than half a hour, then started moving it around the Sunday schedule. A few weeks ago the program disappeared completely, replaced at a different time by a general science program presented by the same host, Quentin Cooper. But that program has either been taken off the air, or is in a permanent pre-emption for soccer commentary.

On the plus side, Sky’s Computer Channel has turned into Dot TV, but remains on the air. Does that make up for the overall loss of these other programs? Will we ever see ZDTV in Europe? (And why is “Babylon 5” only carried on the Sci-Fi Channel UK and not the Nordic version?)


NILESAT-The Iraq Satellite Channel has left 11.823 GHz on Nilesat 101 (7 degrees West). (SATCO DX)


COMMONWEALTH GAMES-The BBC is using PAS-4 (68.5 degrees East) for a feed from the Commonwealth Games in Malaysia, on 4.175 GHz in clear PAL. Another feed from the Commonwealth Games is on Intelsat 704 (66 degrees East) on 3.820 GHz. (Rudi Puhar in “Transponder News”)

TAIWAN/CHINA-A Taiwanese company has sought to ease concerns that its new ST-1 satellite will suffer interference from a nearby Chinese satellite. ST-1, owned jointly by Chunghwa Telecom and Singapore Telecom, is being placed at 88 degrees East. Beijing’s ChinaStar-1 is at 87.5 degrees East. Chunghwa says its partner in Singapore negotiated with China as part of the ITU registration process, and there will be no interference. There have been reports China demanded that Taiwan’s defence ministry be barred from using the satellite as the price of an agreement. (Reuters)

NORTH KOREA-The United States State Department now admits that North Korea tried to launch a very small satellite, when it fired a missile over Japan on August 31. Originally the US accused the North Koreans of testing a guided missile. The Koreans have maintained the satellite is in orbit broadcasting patriotic songs, but State Department spokesman James Rubin says “We have also concluded the satellite failed to achieve orbit”. (AP, Reuters)


MORE MURDOCH-A few years ago, after winning the bid to launch an American DBS service (to be called American Sky Broadcasting), Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and partner TCI sold their interests (such as satellite slots) to Primestar, the DBS preemptive strike/alternative owned by the giants of the American cable industry, Time-Warner and others. Now News Corp and TCI have reached a tentative deal to acquire control of Primestar from the cable companies. The “Wall Street Journal” reports that News Corp and TCI’s United Video Satellite Group have offered more than USD 600 million for the cable companies’ 60 percent stake in Primestar. (AP)


MURDOCH TAKES OVER THE MULTIVERSE-News Corp said on September 14 that it is close to reaching 75 percent of the world’s population as it set itself the aim of becoming a fully global company. Rupert Murdoch, writing in the company’s annual report, says News Corp “can and will” become wholly international, establishing itself outside the English-speaking world.

“With our launch of satellite platforms in Latin America and Japan, we are close to attaining global reach approaching 75 percent of the world’s population,” Murdoch writes. In the coming year, he says, News Corp will greatly expand its DTH TV service with its partners in Japan, and hopefully India. (Reuters)

(Time to take a new look at the recent James Bond movie “Tomorrow Never Dies”? The villain is sometimes said to be based on Mr Murdoch.)