New satellite TV coming
Pizza dish receivers could threaten cable

by Janet Smellie
Northern News Services

NNSL (Feb 26/97) - Canada's first direct-to-home satellite service will be available to consumers in the Northwest Territories by the end of March.

Star Choice Television Network, a Canadian-owned and operated company, received its federal regulator approval last August. It will broadcast its signal via satellite to 60-centimetre satellite receiver dishes - the size of a large pizza -located at the customers home.

Subscribers, who will also need a special receiver and a universal remote control pad, can purchase the system for a suggested retail price of about $900.

The system will offer a CD-quality sound and video.

Wayne Warner, hardware manager at the Yellowknife direct-charge co-op, says he is setting up a live demonstration system to offer consumers a glimpse of the new system.

"The sound and picture quality is superb. For people who live in rural and outlying areas, this is a major step forward," Warner says.

Program packages, beginning at $19.95, will start with a special "sneak preview" package featuring first-run movies, sports, family entertainment, news, information and continuous commercial-free digital music programming.

"We're delighted that a DTH satellite system is now broadcasting in Canada," Warner said, adding, "Star Choice has achieved in six months what other companies have been unable to do in the last two years. They are the first to the marketplace with a high-quality product, and cutting-edge technology."

Star Choice Television Network is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Star Choice Communications Inc., which is based in Fredericton.