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Encyclopedia > AlphaStar

AlphaStar was a direct-to-home satellite broadcasting service for the United States market developed by Canadian firm Tee-Comm Electronics. It was the first direct-to-home satellite broadcasting service in the United States to use the internationally-accepted DVB-S broadcasting standard and used 39" satellite dish receivers. AlphaStar service launched in July of 1996 but was discontinued completely by September 1997 with 40,000 subscribers as the company went through bankruptcy proceedings. The American assets of AlphaStar continue to be used under the auspices of the Champion Telecom Platform which also continues to own the AlphaStar brand. AlphaStar would also have alleviated a shortage of Canadian satellite capacity by using foreign (US) satellite capacity to fill Canadian needs--indeed this was a requirement for the Canadian company to obtain its license from Canada to commence broadcasting. Tee-Comm, the parent company of AlphaStar had originally co-founded the partnership that created Bell ExpressVu as technology supplier but later divested all interest in ExpressVu. DVB, short for Digital Video Broadcasting, is a suite of internationally accepted, open standards for digital television maintained by the DVB Project, an industry consortium with more than 300 members, and published by a Joint Technical Committee (JTC) of European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC... Look up July in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... Look up September in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Bell ExpressVu is the division of Bell Canada that sells digital television services in Canada. ...

Contents


History

In March 1995 AlphaStar leases 12 transponders on satellite Telstar 402 for a capacity of 110 video and 20 audio channels. March is the third month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days. ... 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


On 1 July 1996 AlphaStar service launches using 12 transponders on satellite Telstar 402 at 89°W in the Ku-band. July 1 is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 183 days remaining. ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ...


In 1996 AlphaStar obtained $102 million in a dept offering, but analysts claim it could have claimed double that sum. 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ...


In late 1996 AlphaStar's corporate parent Tee-Comm, owned by Alvin Bahnman, divested itself from the partnership it co-founded that created the Canadian Bell ExpressVu DBS service. As a result, Bell ExpressVu obtained equipment and technology from EchoStar. 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... Bell ExpressVu is the division of Bell Canada that sells digital television services in Canada. ... EchoStar Communication Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) is the parent company of DISH Network and the maintainer of the satellite fleet that provides the signal which DISH Network markets. ...


In 1997 AlphaStar was in the process of transitioning to the newly-launched Telstar 5 satellite with the capacity for 200 video channels and 40 audio channels. 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


On 3 March 1997, AlphaStar announced AlphaStar Canada service with 75 channels of service (in reality only 35 were full-time video). The Canadian service never launched as the company went bankrupt and ceased broadcasting operations by September of that same year. March 3 is the 62nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (63rd in leap years). ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In 27 May 1997 the company initiated bankruptcy proceedings. May 27 is the 147th day (148th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 218 days remaining. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In August 1997 the operator of the Telstar 5 satellite, then named Loral Skynet, terminated its contract with AlphaStar after asking to be released from the contract earlier that year. August is the eighth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Loral Skynet is full-service global satellite operator headquartered in Bedminster, New Jersey. ...


At 3:00 AM on 7 August 1997 the company ceased broadcasting operations, stranding 40,000 subscribers. Competitors quickly offered trade-in deals. August 7 is the 219th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (220th in leap years), with 146 days remaining. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In 1998 an Egyptian tycoon named Mahmoud Wahba was reported by the Investors Business Daily to have bought the assets of the failed AlphaStar for $4.65 million. 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ...


Champion Telecom Platform company was launched using the facilities of AlphaStar, providing uplink facilities as well as direct-to-home satellite internet broadband services.


On 19 September 2003 the Telstar 402 satellite, now named Telstar 4, experienced a circuit failure in its primary power bus and was declared a total loss. September 19 is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years). ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Technology

Originally broadcasting on Telstar 402 in the Ku-band, AlphaStar was in the process of transitioning to the newly-launched Telstar 5 satellite and 120 channel service when the company initiated bankruptcy proceedings. This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ...


A satellite uplink facility in Oxford, Connecticut was used to uplink the AlphaStar service. This facility was one of the assets of the company now owned by Champion Telecom Platform. The communications teleport was originally built for the United States government for the Strategic Defense Initiative, according to Champion, and can allegedly withstand nuclear attack. Another uplink facility was in Milton, Ontario, Canada. Oxford is a town located in New Haven County, Connecticut. ... The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), commonly called Star Wars after the popular science fiction movies, was a system proposed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983[1] to use ground-based and space-based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles. ...


Dish receiving equipment for AlphaStar were large, 36-39" elliptical reflectors designed to receive medium-powered, linear-polarized Ku-band signals in the Fixed Service Satellite band in the area of 11.7 GHz from Telstar 402 and, eventually Telstar 5 (now named Intelsat Americas 5). By comparison, direct competitors DirecTV and DISH Network offered 18" dishes. The AlphaStar dishes were originally sold by Canadian firm Tee-Comm, an electronics outfit and builder of satellite dishes that was the parent company of AlphaStar. Fixed Service Satellite (or FSS), is the official classification for geostationary communications satellites used chiefly for broadcast feeds for television and radio stations and networks, as well as for telephony, data communications, and also for direct-to-home (DTH) cable and satellite TV channels (although this role has been somewhat... Intelsat Americas 5 (IA-5) (formerly Telstar 5) is a communications satellite in the Clarke orbit at 97 degrees west, above a point in the Pacific Ocean several hundred miles west of the Galapagos Islands. ... DirecTV is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service that transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in the United States of America. ... DISH Network is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service that broadcasts digital satellite television and audio to households and businesses in the United States, owned by parent company EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH). ...


Set-top boxes for AlphaStar were manufactured by Samsung and Hyundai. The service used DVB-S signalling and MPEG-2 video compression developed by a firm called Compression NetWORKS and was the first United States direct-to-home broadcaster to use DVB-S. While pricey and inconvenient to use these receivers can be used to receive unencrypted satellite transmissions known as FTA. Samsung Group is one of the largest South Korean business groupings. ... The Hyundai Group (meaning modernity in Korean) was founded by Chung Ju-yung in 1947 as a construction company and was once South Koreas biggest conglomerate (chaebol). ... DVB, short for Digital Video Broadcasting, is a suite of internationally accepted, open standards for digital television maintained by the DVB Project, an industry consortium with more than 300 members, and published by a Joint Technical Committee (JTC) of European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC... MPEG-2 (1994) is the designation for a group of coding standards for digital audio and video, agreed upon by MPEG (Moving Pictures Experts Group), and published as the ISO/IEC 13818 international standard. ... FTA may stand for: FTA Free Trade Agreement, see free trade, or Trade bloc for a list of FTAs FTA Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement Free trade area FTAA Free Trade Area of the Americas Failure to appear, legal term Fundamental theorem of algebra, mathematical term Free-to-air...


As AlphaStar liquidated its inventory the expensive AlphaStar dishes were resold to customers who wished to receive ethnic programming. An Egyptian broadcasting service which formerly broadcast several channels on AlphaStar offered assistance in refitting AphaStar systems to receive their channels from another satellite, Intelsat Americas 5, which, ironically, is the new name of the very same Telstar 5 satellite that AlphaStar was in the process of migrating to. Though exceedingly rare, refitted AlphaStar dishes can still be found on rooftops in larger urban ethnic communities and their large size offers great signal quality. Intelsat Americas 5 (IA-5) (formerly Telstar 5) is a communications satellite in the Clarke orbit at 97 degrees west, above a point in the Pacific Ocean several hundred miles west of the Galapagos Islands. ...


See also

  • Bell ExpressVu is a Canadian satellite broadcaster that was co-founded by Tee-Comm.
  • Star Choice is a Canadian competitor that also uses larger dishes.
  • DirecTV is a direct competitor with much smaller dishes.
  • DISH Network is a direct competitor with much smaller dishes.
  • PrimeStar was a direct competitor which used very similar technology and slightly different large dishes.
  • Intelsat Americas 5 has some remnants of AlphaStar's ethnic channel offerings.
  • Loral Skynet operated Telstar 402 and Telstar 5.

Bell ExpressVu is the division of Bell Canada that sells digital television services in Canada. ... StarChoice is Canadas second direct broadcast satellite television distributor, majority owned by cable TV operator Shaw Communications Inc. ... DirecTV is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service that transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in the United States of America. ... DISH Network is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service that broadcasts digital satellite television and audio to households and businesses in the United States, owned by parent company EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH). ... PrimeStar is a now-defunct U.S. direct broadcast satellite organization formed in 1991. ... Intelsat Americas 5 (IA-5) (formerly Telstar 5) is a communications satellite in the Clarke orbit at 97 degrees west, above a point in the Pacific Ocean several hundred miles west of the Galapagos Islands. ... Loral Skynet is full-service global satellite operator headquartered in Bedminster, New Jersey. ...

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