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Buy IRD to get BBC

Buy IRD to get BBC

The Editor,

I have become aware that many of your readers have been very disappointed at the

loss of the BBC's news and information television channel, BBC World, when it left

Asiasat 1 at the beginning of April of this year.

The move was occasioned because of the end of our contract with Star TV with whom

we still have a relationship in terms of selling advertisements although BBC World

is no longer part of the Star TV bouquet.

On the date we left the southern beam of Asiasat 1 we moved to two other satellites

serving Asia - PanAmSat 4 serving South Asia and the Gulf and PanAmSat 2 serving

East Asia, thus fulfilling our pledge to return to East Asia after BBC World left

the northern beam of Asiasat 1 in April 1994. The PanAmSat 2 signal is a digital

one producing very high quality picture and is designed principally for cable or

MMDS operators, none of which, alas, exist in Cambodia.

Our disappearance from Asiasat 1 made us realise quite how many people in IndoChina

were watching our signal from that satelite which we believed not to be visible very

readily in your region.

Many people then attempted to switch their satellite dishes to the analogue signal

on PanAmSat 4 but were disappointed to receive no signal at all or one of very poor

quality. The truth is that although some channels on PanAmSat 4 are visible in Indo-China,

BBC World is not, because it is on a vertically polarised, half-transponder which

does not reach much beyond Burma.

Therefore readers interested in watching the BBC have only one choice and that is

to acquire an Integrated Receiver Decoder (IRD) from the supplier Scientific Atlanta

in Canada. This is a box which sits on top of the television set which converts the

signal from digital to an analogue format which the television set can understand.

The signal is not encrypted.

However, viewers will need a multi-standad format set since the signal is in NTSC

format for our principal cable markets in the region. Full details of how to get

hold of the necessary equipment can be acquired from my office in London (Fax number

44 181 576 2782) or from your local satellite installer who should be well conversant

with these technical matters. (Please insert the name of Phoenix Import/Export if

you feel you can recommend them) - they could make a bulk order for IRDs if people

got in touch with Gordon direct. As you can see, this is not something for amateurs!

I appreciate that this may all appear very complicated for people who used to just

have a dish pointing at Asiasat 1 with an analogue signal going straight through

the receiver and into their television set. It remains a disappointment that the

more easily accessible PanAmSat 4 signal does not reach Cambodia but for the foreseeable

future there is nothing we can do about this.

Many thanks to all those loyal viewers who have written to us and we hope that as

the distribution of the digital receivers becomes more widespread they will be able

to hook up and watch their favourite channel as they have done in the past.
- Alan Macdonald, Head of Business Development, Channels, BBC Worldwide Television.

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