China: Launch of 'Homemade' Satellite to Help Boost DTV

November 1, 2006
China successfully launched a "homemade high-power communications and broadcast satellite" into space last weekend aboard a Long March-3B carrier rocket, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

The new SinoSat-2 satellite, launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, "is designed to serve broadcast TV, digital TV, live broadcast TV and digital broadband multimedia systems" on the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

According to the news agency, "industrial sources" said the launch was a "milestone for the communication sector and would most probably speed up the reform of China's satellite TV service by prompting the abolishment of a 13-year-old regulation banning individuals from setting up dish antennas."

The official Chinese government Web site also said "industry analysts predict that once individuals are allowed to install satellite dishes, up to 100 million households will do so between 2006 and 2010." China has about 1.3 billion population, and an estimated 400 million TV sets in use, nearly all of them still analog. It plans to broadcast the entire 2008 summer Olympics in HD throughout China, although most Chinese homes will not yet have HD sets.

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