HDTV transmission on Astra 3A satellite



SES Astra and Alfacam, the Belgian high-definition TV facilities company, are pleased to announce their cooperation in bringing high-definition television - "HDTV", to selected electronic cinemas (e-cinemas) in Denmark and Norway. June 7th, 2003, via the Astra 3A satellite at 23,5E.

Alfacam’s digital HDTV trucks will uplink “HD” signals of the European Championship qualifying match Denmark versus Norway on June 7th, 2003, via the Astra 3A satellite at 23.5° East. The HD transmissions will then be received by a number of targeted e-cinemas in Kopenhagen (DK) and Bergen (N) where the match will be displayed on 12 meter cinema screens using an HD projector.

Comments Ferdinand Kayser, President and CEO of SES Astra:

"While HDTV is already a reality in countries like the US or Japan, where all major programmers offer HDTV channels and more than 7 million HDTV sets have already been sold, there is growing evidence that High Definition Television will become available in Europe as well in the coming years. As satellites are ideally suited to manage the higher bandwidth requirements of HDTV transmissions, SES ASTRA intends to kick start European HDTV distribution with special events like the Denmark-Norway soccer game and proposes to create an “HDTV for Europe” Forum bringing together all players in the television- and hardware industry to promote HDTV, to drive standardization and to prepare for a coordinated and market driven introduction of HDTV in Europe."

Gabriel Fehervari, General Manager of Alfacam, adds:

"The live HD transmission on June 7th to several European e-cinemas is the first official test case for Euro1080, the first European HDTV channel that goes on air on January 1st 2004. This new channel will broadcast exclusively in high definition, and offer high-quality programs on music, sports, shows, cultural events, and documentaries. It actually consists of 2 channels: the Main Channel serving European households, and the Event Channel, providing special event programs, such as the football match in Copenhagen this weekend, to e-cinemas. This formula proves to be a real success: the demand for tickets in the e-cinemas is tenfold of what we have available. We are convinced that Europe is ready for HDTV!"

Source: SES Astra