ASTRA steps up its campaign to raise the profile of satellite HDTV across Europe

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Joined: Mar 7 1999

Missed this one from last week's Mediacast show with all the excitement of the forums going down! BC

High Definition TV Takes Centre Stage on ASTRA Mediacast Stand
High definition television will take centre stage on ASTRA's Mediacast stand (F20) this year as the company steps up its campaign to raise the profile of satellite HDTV across Europe.

Experts will be on hand to discuss the technical and commercial challenges of the transition to HDTV, as well the opportunities and benefits.

Visitors will be able to watch live high definition broadcasts on the stand and there will also be live HDTV broadcasts during the evening reception ASTRA is hosting at the Saatchi Gallery on May 10th (indeed there was - BC).

ASTRA gives broadcasters access to over 102 million households across Europe, enabling roll-out of high-definition services.

The company believes that HDTV will have a similar impact on broadcasting to the introduction of colour television.

BBC2 began Europe's first colour service on 1 July 1967 with the Wimbledon championships, and now it is satellite TV and ASTRA that are leading the way with high definition.
ASTRA is at the forefront of HDTV's introduction to Europe runnning pan-European education and information campaigns, while working closely with the European HDTV Forum.

The company already has a 24-hour demonstration channel and in January 2004 introduced Europe's first full-time HD broadcaster, Euro 1080, which transmits its HD1 channel from ASTRA 19.2 (east).

Several satellite broadcasters are due to launch HD later this year - including Premiere Digital with three channels covering films, documentaries and sport in November, and Canal+ with an HD version of its premium channel in October - while BSKYB is planning to introduce high definition services in 2006.


ASTRA pioneered direct-to-home (DTH) satellite broadcasting in Europe and has rapidly established itself as Europe's leading DTH satellite system.
It is used by a wide range of broadcast and multimedia companies to deliver pay and free-to-air broadcast services and internet broadband to more than 102 million DTH and cable households across Europe.

ASTRA's 13 satellites transmit over 1100 digital and analogue TV and radio channels, as well as multimedia and internet services.

Its two prime DTH orbital positions are 19.2 and 28.2 (east). Professional services such as Satellite News Gathering and Cable Contribution transmit from 25.5/24.2. SES ASTRA -

Key Events

1985 - Société Européenne des Satellites (SES) - operating as ASTRA in the UK and SES ASTRA in Europe - Europe's first private satellite operator, is incorporated in Luxembourg and has its headquarters in Betzdorf.
1988 - ASTRA successfully launches and positions its first satellite, ASTRA 1A.

1989 - ASTRA kick-starts DTH satellite broadcasting and the dawn of a new broadcasting era when ASTRA 1A begins transmitting. Europeans can now receive DTH analogue TV and radio via a small fixed dish.

1991 - ASTRA pioneers co-location - more than one satellite at the same orbital position - for efficient bandwidth use and greater viewing choice.

1996 - ASTRA pioneers digital transmissions with the launch of ASTRA 1E and commercial digital TV.

1997 - ASTRA sets the multimedia standard for Europe with the ASTRA-NET technology platform and creates new possibilities for multimedia satellite services.

1998 - ASTRA opens a second orbital position at 28.2( east for UK digital services and celebrates a successful IPO on the Luxembourg and Frankfurt stock exchanges.

1999 - ASTRA expands into Asia with the acquisition of a 34.13% stake in Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holding.

2000 - ASTRA acquires a 50% stake in Nordic Satellite AB, operator of the Sirius satellite system, and a 19.99% holding in the Embratel Satellite Division, operator of Star One.

2001 - SES GLOBAL is established following the acquisition of SES AMERICOM, creating two new operating companies - SES ASTRA for Europe and SES AMERICOM for the Americas.

SES GLOBAL and its wholly owned operating companies and partners operate a worldwide fleet of 41 active satellites, the largest in the world.

2002 - SATLYNX is formed out of a joint venture between SES GLOBAL, Gilat Satellite Networks and Alcatel Space/Skybridge. It provides two-way satellite broadband communication services to companies, home users and SOHO customers throughout Europe.