The 2006 Site News.


This is the news that was on the front page of the site during 2006. Ive shifted it here since it was taking up rather a lot of room.


29th December 2006:    19E radio service SWR3 is closing its analogue service on December 31st....

28th December 2006:    Ive done the annual "end of year snapshots" of the analogue channels. See the complete lists here. I see I neglected to update the Astra 1C movement news - shes now on air at 2E broadcasting extremely strong (digital) test signals. Hotbird 1 appears to have been junked - shes way out over the Atlantic and drifting slowly westwards :-(

22nd December 2006:    Eutelsat have ordered W7, and its provisional details have beeen added to the comparison page.

21st November 2006:    SES have ordered Astra 3B for launch in late 2009. Provisional details have been added to the relevant comparison table.

7th November 2006:    Telecom 2D at 8W has been turned off. She is likely to be disposed of in the near future.

30th October 2006:    Astra 1D rejoins the analogue fleet after an analogue signal appeared a couple of days ago. 10832H has fired up with a test card at 23.5E

21st October 2006:    Astra 1C has left 19E and is drifting westwards. Shes listed as moving 0.5 degrees a day. Its currently unknown if she is off to 5E to run feeds, or has been junked. Further details as they become clear.

19th October 2006:    Eutesat have ordered Hotbird 10 for launch in Q1 2009. She will be going to 13E, and will release Hotbird 7A which will move to 10E. She will be the same design as Hotbirds 8 & 9. Provisional details have been added to the Hotbird comparison page - which has also had the recent changes to 13E updated as well.

16th October 2006:    Ive added a little weather forecast to the front page of the site. Its actually for Edinburgh which is 30  miles north of here, but its the closest site I can get to Galashiels! With winter approaching watch the temperatures plummet..... I may add some other gizmos to the site to liven it up a bit over the next few weeks.

10th October 2006:  Eutelsat W3A at 7E suffered a temporary outage on the 9th October when the satellite lost attitude and went into a "safe mode"  She was off air for about 10 hours.

5th October 2006:    Poor old Hotbird 3 suffered serious damage on the night of 3/4 October.. :-( She suffered an "anomaly at the end of an eclipse period", which seems to have wrecked one of the solar panel arrays. This has led to a considerable reduction in available power. This wont affect the redeployment to 10E and the rename to Eurobird 10, although not all transponders will be available for use at its new home.

4th October 2006:    Hotbird 1 is on the move. Shes being redeployed and is currently moving slowly eastwards.

3rd October 2006:    Hotbird 8 took over all Hotbird 3 frequencies overnight as expected. Shes putting out VERY strong signals. M2 on 12128H is the only analogue channel affected by the swap.

2nd October 2006:    Hotbird 3 is due to end her life at 13E when shes replaced by Hottie 8 tomorrow (3rd October). HB3 is moving to 10E  in the next couple of weeks and has been redesignated "Eurobird 10"
In an update to the Sept 3rd news about Thaicom 3 arriving in European skies, she totally failed at the end of September and was sent to graveyard orbit at 2037UTC on October 1st

16th September 2006:    Hotbird 8 is testing at 3E. Shes putting out phenominally strong signals - Im getting 90%+ digital signals on my 5E dish - without realigning it! Shes due in service at 13E in early October

6th September 2006:    Jed Miller emailed me to point out your local Freecycle Group can be an excellent way of getting hold of old satellite kit. Cheers for that excellent tip Jed!

3rd September 2006:    The partially damaged Thaicom 3 has arrived at 50.5E. The "damaged" designation is because of a report she has a short circuit in the solar array drive mechanisms. Her details have been added to the comparison charts.
XXP has ceased off 11377V on 19E. It has been replaced by DMAX.

2nd September 2006:    Eutelsat have ordered W2A for launch in Q1 2009. Its details have been added to the W series comparison page. The text from the press release can be seen here

30th August 2006:    Hotbird 1 is reported to be runing 0.5 inclined. No wonder Eutelsat wanted her out of front line service at 13E!

20th August 2006:    Hotbird 8 is testing at 1.8E. Its reported as transmitting high power test carriers. Current frequencies here. I'll put a dish round on 2E when I get a dry evening.....

16th August 2006:    Hotbird 1 was turned off yesterday. TVN analogue has moved as expected to Hotbird 7A, and changed frequency to 11509V. Its now only a matter of time before Hotbird 1 is slid out of position and either moved to a new home or sent to junk orbit.

4th August 2006:    Hotbird 8 appears to have made a successful launch from Baikonur.
Hotbird 1 will be turned off on August 15th - TVN analogue (11485V) and the TVN digital feed sharing the tp will be moving over to Hottie 7A on 11509V

4th August 2006:    According to several satellite tracking websites, Astra 1B is now in junk orbit - shes currently over the Pacific, so must have gone a while back.  Farewell old friend you served us well.
New page added - Initial details for the Avanti Digisat 1.

3rd August 2006:    The Astra 1B details have been removed from the SES website. According to info on the Digital Spy website, she was officially condemned on the 13th July.

1st August 2006:    Ive been away on holiday down in rural Gloucestershire for a couple of weeks but now Im back I'll make a start on updating the charts again.
Looks like XXP will be replaced by a channel called DMAX in September.
Astra 1C is now off air - the last 2 channels moved onto other birds - Viva (11147V) onto 1E and Eurosport (11259V) onto 1F

13th July 2006:    More channels swap homes on 19E. Details on the Astra 1 page. Some of the info around about which satellite each service has moved to is contradictory. However its obvious Astra 1C is being run down very fast. The table will be tweaked further once the final switch around is completed and the channels settle down..

11th July 2006:    XXP (11377V) and Nick Germany (11421H) moved 1C to 1F.

10th July 2006:    9Live (10936V) has moved Astra 1C to 1E.
Yesterdays launch of Insat 4C went horribly wrong a few seconds after lift off, and the rocket was blown up after it veered off course. :-(   (It was supposed to be going to 74E)

8th July 2006:    Looks like the beginning of the end for Astra 1C. Various services have been moved over to Astra 1E:
WDR (11053H) Bayern Alpha (11082H ) / Bayerisches Fernsehen (11141H)  are the first to move, with & RTL Shop (11244H) moving 1C to 1F

4th July 2006:    Aaargh - another loss - Cine 5 has gone from 11006V on 42E. So Turksat also falls off the list of orbital slots carrying analogue services.
The former Hotbird 4 has been redesignated again. First it was Nilesat 103, now its name has been changed again - to Atlantic Bird 4.
A new arrival at 31.5E - the 20 year old Optus A3 has parked up and is currently transmitting some digital SES test signals.

3rd July 2006:    Goodbye D2Mac - the final service using it has ceased operations . DR2 left Thor 2 11434V over the weekend. This also marks the end of analogue channels on 1W. If you have a standalone D2Mac decoder lying around you may as well sling it in the recycling bin in the local landfill.......

21st June 2006:    CNN on 11627V becomes the first analogue service to be switched over onto 1KR (from 1E).

20th June 2006: Astra 1KR at 19E was fired up this morning. The digital services on 10921H / 11597V / 11670H & 11686V were the first to be swapped over all off 1E.

16th June 2006:    Confirmation from SES Astra that poor old Astra 1B has reached the end of the road ; "ASTRA 1B has reached the end of its life after 15 years of service and will be deorbited within the coming weeks". Farewell old friend - you served us well for many years. Meanwhile, 1KR is ready to enter service. :-) She will be taking over from 1C in the next few days.

13th June 2006:    Astra 1KR has now been slid into position at 19E. It will be taking over from Astra 1C in the next few days. 1C is likely to be sent to 5E for occasional use.
As a follow up to the note about Telecom 2C from 27th May, Telecom2C ended up at 3E.

5th June 2006:    Megavision appears to have suddenly ceased on 19E. According to the German Transponder News site they are insolvent.
Astra 1KR has left its test slot and is heading towards its new home at 19E. The Astar 1KR at 3.4E web page has been sent to the archive.

4th June 2006:    Reports are circulating that Viva Plus on 19E will be axed at the end of the year. It will be replaced by Paramount Comedy.

31st May 2006:    Two of the D2Mac channels have ceased off 1W. TV3 Denmark has gone from 11341V and 3+ has gone from 11747H Only 1 left now.....

27th May 2006:    Heres a nice little site with some pics from the dying days of D2Mac :-)
Hotbird 4 has been removed from 13E. Its currently slowly drifting towards a new life at 7W.
Telecom 2C has been removed from 5W. Its currently drifting eastwards, although its new home is not currently known.

9th May 2006:    Astra 1KR is on air and broadcasting blank carriers at very high power at 3.4E. (I can get them at 90% strength on my Sirius 5E dish without realigning it!) Current frequencies to try can be found here.  An analogue receiver is quite adequate to receive these transmissions - in fact is better than a digital :-)
Whilst playing with the 1KR signal I fished the old BSB dish out of storage - and managed to get reasonable signals off M2 on Hotbird 3! Not perfect, but certainly watchable.When Ive got a wanrm dry evening,  I will be trying it on some digital signals.

4th May 2006:      Eutelsat have announced that they have ordered Hotbird 9. Its preliminary details have been added to the Hotbird comparison page.

2nd May 2006:      The BBC World info card on 11113V on 13E was removed this morning. The transponder was immediately re-configured to provide a full digital service.

21st April 2006:      Hotbird 7A took over most of Hotbird 1's frequencies in the early hours of yesterday. TV5 Monde moved from Hotbird 1 to Hotbird 7A immediately, although TVN didnt.

18th April 2006:    BBC World ceased off 11113V on 13E at midday today. The channel is now showing a "we have gone digital" info screen. Thanks to "logjam" on the Digital Spy forum who reports:

"The picture went over to a caption just before the 12:00 GMT bulletin after 'World business report'. The sound continued for another 15 minutes. The last picture showed the words 'World Challenge' (part of the Shell commerical)."

17th April 2006:    One of the lads over on the SatObs newslist (visual observers of all sorts of satellites) spotted the derelict Eutelsat 1F5 yesterday ! (Retired to junk orbit 23rd May 2000)

16th April 2006:    Arena on 19E (11436V) has been renamed to MegaStore. This appears to have been due to potential confusion between the shopping channel and the sports rights agency called Arena which holds the rights to the German football league.

15th April 2006:    Ive been away relaxing in Majorca for the last 2 weeks. Whilst Ive been away, EuroNews has ceased off 11363V on Hotbird 1, (sometime around the 2nd although Im not sure of the exact date yet). BBC World is due to cease off 11113V on the 18th April.

29th March 2006:    Heres an analogue satellite blog with info about the Astra & BSB satellite days.

25th March 2006:    Poor old Arabsat 4A - left stranded in low earth orbit after a botched Proton launch at the end of February - was deorbited into the Pacific on the 23rd. :-(

24th March 2006: DR2 on 1W is now unencoded. Its still D2Mac, but the encryption has been turned off! It is likely to stay this way until switch off on 1st July.

18th March 2006:    The test cards on W2 at 16E (11428V) & Atlantic Bird 2 at 12.5W (11348H) have ceased. Pictures of my BSB minidish added to the site

9th March 2006:    The two Eurasiasat promos on 42E have been closed down again. Hotbird 7A is due for launch again tonight - Coverage on 11303H 27500 digital on Hotbird 1 (Business TV)

2nd March 2006:    News from a German website (Digitalfernsehen Forum) suggests that all analogue services on 19E will be shut down at the end of 2008 No definite confirmation yet, I will post any further info here as and when I find it.
New launch date for Hotbird 7A is 9th March.
Arabsat 4A was launched on a Russian Proton on 28th February. Sadly the 4th stage failed to work properly and 4A is now stranded in a low orbit.

28th February 2006:    A new dish joins the collection - its an old (squarish) BSB minidish picked up on ebay for a fiver! No idea if I will ever get anything off it, but it will be fun to experiment with one weekend. Pictures when Ive got a minute :-)

26th February 2006:    An analogue test card has appeared on Atlantic Bird 1 at 12.5W! As far as I am aware this is the first time an analogue transmission has appeared on this bird.

25th February 2006:    A weak analogue test card has appeared on 16E - 11428V

24th February 2006:    Sole occupant of W2 at 16E RTM 1 has finally ceased operations off 10972V. The frequency has been sacrificed for a new Serbian digital package. :-(
It seems to have been confirmed that Viva Plus will become Paramount Comedy Channel later in the year.
Hotbird 7A will be launched tonight. Launch coverage is only in digital on Hotbird 1. (Business TV on 11303V 27500 3/4) - Update - launch scrubbed due to telemetry problems with Hotbird 7A

21st February 2006:    BBC World on 13E now carrying a scrolling ticker confirming analogue closedown on 18th April. Meanwhile Euronews has an English soundtrack on 7.02MHz, although the sound quality leaves something to be desired. The French soundtrack on 7.20MHz has finally been fixed and sound ok.

12th February 2006:       Ive added the text from the BBC World web page that announced the ending of analogue transmissions in Europe. Final closedown now confirmed for 18th April :-(

2 Pace MSS 300's for sale. Contact Stephen Coomber.

"Found your site by chance and realised I still have 2 immaculate Pace MSS300 units with remotes,
of course.
They got taken out when I downgraded to digital.
If anyone wishes to make an offer on them, I would love to see them go to a good home. I am in Kent."

Email address:

5th February 2006: Lunchtime - Woohoo! - We passed 100,000 on the front page counter a few minutes ago!!
Some changes on 19E. XXP has gone full time on the old TV Travel Shop frequency (11377V). This has led to some swap arounds for the other channels on 10744H.
The test card on 11538H seems to have been switched off a few days ago.
Hotbird 7A will be launched by an Ariane 5 on February 21st.
Eutelsat W2M has been ordered by Eutelsat. it added to the W series comparison page. It will be going to 10E to replace the flaky W1.
Goodbye to D2Mac from 1W Had an email from Denmark saying that TV3 & 3+ on 1W will cease 15th March. With the already announced closure of DR2 on 1st July that will see the end of D2Mac broadcasting of Europe.

1st February 2006:    BBC World has confirmed to me they will be closing the 13E analogue signal mid April :-(
We are getting very close to the magic 100,000 visits on the front page counter. Its currently reading 99750! WOW!
TRT 1 reported off the east beam of 42E :-(

29th January 2006:    There are some nasty rumours on the satellite forums that BBC World on 13E may be ceasing in the near future. DR2 on 1W is under sentence of death as well - its likely to close on 1st July.

28th January 2006:    Recent updates delayed a little as Ive spent the last week configuring a new computer.

20th January 2006:    Fantasy is reported to have left Turksat 1C.

14th January 2006:    TV5 on 13E changed names slightly on the 1st January. Its now TV5 Monde Europe.

7th January 2006:    Ive found a copy of the August 1995 "What Satellite TV" magazine lying in a box. How different things were 10 years ago! Heres the main channel and satellite news from those lost days of a decade ago:

- TV3 and TV1000 were on the brink of leaving 19E for a new home on 5E
- ADR (Astra Digital Radio) was going to be the "next big thing" for radio enthusiasts, although a standards war between MCE (Music Choice Europe) and DMX (Digital Musix Express) was also on the cards
- Satellite system prices were expected to plummet to 100
- Granada were looking at launching "Granada Gold"
- TVX the Fantasy Channel had just launched onto the UK Living tp after midnight
- Swiss Broadcasting Corp had announced it was taking a digital tp on Hotbird 3 to rebroadcast its terrestrial services.
- Turner Broadcasting were planning to launch CNN Finance
- French hardcore porn channel Rendez-Vous was having problems getting a licence from the French government
- A major article looked at 13E - the arrival of Hotbird 1 to join Eutelsat 2F1 had increased interest in multi satellite reception, whilst a second article looked at how to choose and fit a dual feed antenna
- NBC wasplanning a HDTV channel for North America that was going on air "Autumn 1997"

2nd January 2006:    Well Im glad to be able to report that we dont seem to have lost any channels as 2005 ended. (Last year we lost 3).




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