On June 20, some of the channels on STAR India network went off-air at some parts of the country. The reason: the transponder on AsiaSat 3s - the satellite that carries STAR India bouquet of channels - was interrupted by an illegal signal.
The illegal transmission caused a break in the broadcast of STAR Plus, STAR Gold and STAR News for several times between 8.40 pm (15.10 GMT) and 10.52 pm (17.22 GMT).
Confirming this development, Yash Khanna, head of corporate affairs, STAR India says, "AsiaSat has assured us that a similar incident wouldn't happen in future. And if at all it happens, the satellite will be able to trace it within seconds."
Unfortunately, this time, AsiaSat was not able to trace the intruder. Khanna explains, "They weren't prepared for any such mishap."
Following the interruption, Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company has increased its tracking capability to protect STAR channels from future loss of service. The company has also assured that it will take appropriate action against any offending transmitter under the law.
Khanna adds, "Such mishaps are seriously condemned as it causes disruptions to viewership. Such intrusions might be an accident. But if this incident was a deliberate attempt, then it seriously violated international telecommunication treaties, contravened international regulations, and was in breach of the normal conduct of satellite operations."
Explaining the situation to agencyfaqs!, an ex-ISRO scientist says, "There could be two reasons behind this disruption. First, some unknown satellite may have come between the frequency of the AsiaSat 3s satellite with a difference of less than three degrees."
"At times, the dish antenna at the cable operators' end drifts slightly. In this case, the receivers needs to be reset. But as a cable operator generally doesn't sit in front of the monitor 24X7, such kind of problems get unnoticed. This could be another reason for the loss of service," he explained.
A couple of days ago, a few TV channels had gone off-air in Delhi due to a heavy dust storm, but that happened only for a few seconds. © 2005 agencyfaqs!