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10.06.2003
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
PanAmSat and JSAT launch HDTV satellite

Last week PanAmSat and Japan’s JSAT successfully launched the Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 satellite, a space vehicle designed to offer “the first HDTV neighborhood” in the sky.



The power levels and coverage patterns of the newly available Ku-band capacity make Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 extremely valuable for both video, Internet and Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) services.

Launched Oct. 1, the new spacecraft was located at 127 degrees west longitude, a key orbital position in the U.S. cable arc. As part of its additional three-satellite, half-a-billion dollar expansion, PanAmSat said the launch will lead to the first grouping, or neighborhood, of high-definition programs in the United States to be based on a single satellite.

This means cable operators can use a single receiving dish to pull HD programming down from a single satellite. The new satellite will serve content providers who could ultimately provide high-definition television programs to as many as 50 million households, company officials said.

PanAmSat, which already owns 25 satellites, said the new addition also increases Ku-band capacity that is currently needed in the U.S. The power levels and coverage patterns of the newly available Ku-band capacity make Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1 extremely valuable for both video, Internet and Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) services, the company said.

“Galaxy XIII/Horizons-1’s C-band platform will be part of the ‘Power of Five’ antenna program, which provides cable operators with simultaneous access to five Galaxy neighborhood satellites that deliver television programming to over 11,000 cable headends in the U.S.,” said Joe Wright, president and CEO of PanAmSat.

Having already pioneered the HDTV format with such customers as Disney/ESPN and NHK, Wright said 41 million homes are expected to have access to a HD signal in five years. “We will be there with them, providing the biggest names in cable television and the most powerful and reliable satellite transmission available. When combined with our existing video transmission service to cable companies, it has no equal. It is the future for video in the U.S.”

The satellite’s roster of customers already includes Charter Communications, E!, Gospel Music TV, HBO, HDNet, Starz Encore and Turner.

For more information, visit: www.panamsat.com.

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