Reliance Dth On Measat-3


Its Finally Official - Anil Ambani's Reliance 'Blue Magic' DTH Platform
Will Launch On The Measat-3 Satellite.

According to the Indian DTH regime, DTH transponders are to be availed of, from the Indian Space Research Organisations (ISRO) that owns and maintains the all the Indian satellites including the INSAT system of communications satellites.
ISRO also manufactures all its satellites and even launches a few of them. Satellites are planed years in advance. ISRO has been caught unprepared by the sudden huge demand for Ku Band DTH transponders for Indian DTH platforms. While ISRO's recent birds have able to provide adequate Ku Band transponders for the new Tata Sky DTH platform, they have been unable to meet the requirement of Reliance's BlueMagic DTH platform.
The Airtel-Bharti DTH platform is also likely to launch next year, and it remains to be seen if ISRO's new bird will be launched in time for Bharti DTH or whether international transponders will have to be subleased for Bharti DTH too.
To meet the required demand of licensed DTH platforms like Reliance, ISRO leases the transponders from international satellite operators and sub-leases them to the DTH platform.
Admitting that ISRO has not been able to keep up with the mushrooming DTH demand, K.R. Sridhara Murthy, Executive Director, Antrix said "Taking into account the increasing demand for transponders in India, ISRO has strived to provide additional capacity both through INSAT satellites and through other satellites. 36 transponders have been added in the last 8 months through INSAT-4B and INSAT-4CR. In order to fill the gap in the demand, ISRO has also been adding transponders to the INSAT system by leasing capacity from other regional partners from time to time."
"We have been working with Antrix over a number of years and are delighted to extend this cooperation supporting Antrix with the provision of capacity on the MEASAT-3 satellite for the development of the Indian DTH market." said Paul Brown-Kenyon, COO, MEASAT. "We look forward to future cooperation with ISRO and Antrix" he added.
Antrix Corporation is ISRO's international marketing wing. Antrix markets satellite capacity from India's INSAT fleet of satellites which represents one of the largest domestic communications satellite systems in the region; and, image data and services from Indian Remote Sensing Satellite constellation, which is supported by a network of 20 international ground stations. In addition to satellite services, Antrix also offers manufacture and launch of complete satellites, at internationally attractive prices.
Measat is part of the Malaysia based ASTRO group which also has its own DTH platform serving Malaysia, Indonesia and neighbouring countries.
The Measat-3 Footprint Also Covers Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal & Parts Of Burma/Myanmar
The Measat=3 satellite is a Boeing 601HP satellite, located at 91.5 degrees East. It has 12 C band and 12 Ku Band transponders of 36 MHz each.
The C Band Transponder footprint is loaclised around Malaysia and Indonesia & does not cover the Indian Subcontinent.
The Measat-3 footprint of its 12 Ku Band transponders sharply focuses on India, but also provides strong signals over Bangladesh, Pakistan & even Afghanistan.
Hence it is not inconceivable that Reliance BlueMagic receivers will find their way (illegally) into Pakistan & Afghanistan, where Indian programs are very popular.
Measat Satellite Systems and ANTRIX Corporation Limited ("Antrix") - the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization ("ISRO"), signed an agreement for leasing Ku-Band transponders on the MEASAT-3 satellite at 91.5 deg East. The agreement was signed on 1st November 2007.
Under the agreement, Antrix will lease 8 Ku-band transponders on MEASAT-3, with an option to increase the number subsequently. The transponders will be used by Antrix to support the launch and development of a commercial new Direct-to-Home (DTH) TV platform in India. While the Antrix-MeaSat press release did not mention the new Indian DTH platform, it is generally accepted that it is the RCom owned Reliance Blue Magic DTH platform.
Reliance's BlueMagic will use MPEG-4 compression, which will allow it to pack twice as many TV channels per transponder, compared to the older MPEG-2 technology deployed by DishTV and TataSky.
As a direct consequence, Blue Magic's 8 Measat, MPEG-4 deployed transponders can carry more channels than the 12 transponders on TataSky.
MeaSat-3 has 12 Ku Band transponders, and the Antrix-Measat agreement includes the option for Antrix to lease additional transponders, if required.
Maran's Sun Direct DTH has also deployed MPEG-4 compression.
MPEG-4 can be deployed on any satellite transponder, but requires MPEG-4 Satellite receivers which are currently not only in short supply globally, but also cost twice as much compared to MPEG-2 transponders. Most MPEG-4 satellite receivers are backward compatible, and can receive MPEG-2 transmissions. As a result, TataSky and DishTV have the option to deploy; in future; MPEG-4 STBs for (Bandwidth hungry) High Definition TV (HDTV) Transmissions, for Premium service customers.
Reliance Blue Magic has announced that it will be deploying Nagravision's Conditional Access Solutions. Nagravision is part of the Switzerland-based Kudelski Group. Nagravision also has taken a small stake in Indian MSO - InCableNet, which deploys Nagravision for their CAS solution.
Bharti-Airtel has announced that it will deploy Murdoch's NDS encryption that is also being used by TataSky and Hathway, both of which have Murdoch's investment.
Subhash Chandra's DishTV and his Zee Group company WWIL (earlier SitiCable) both have deployed Conax for their encryption needs.
The MPEG-4 STBs are being sourced from multiple vendors, with a sizable order going to South Africa based UEC Technologies. UEC had launched its products for the Indian market at the SCaT 2006 show in Mumbai, and had been talking to Reliance since.
BlueMagic is also tying up with US-based OpenTV, the provider of enabling technologies for advanced digital television services. Zee Group's Dish TV has also entered into a multi - year license agreement with OpenTV which enables it to deliver a variety of advanced interactive television services, including PVRs (personal video recorders), to its subscriber base. However, despite the DishTV - OpenTV agreement more than 6 months ago, no DishTV PVRs have been launched for Indian consumers. n