KCTV appears on Chinese satellite

Korean Central Television has appeared on a Chinese telecommunications satellite after technical problems hit its existing satellite.

KCTV has been relayed on Chinasat-12 since mid-January, which is about a month after Bangkok-based Thaicom reported a “technical incident” on its Thaicom-5 satellite. Thaicom-5 is one of the most important TV satellites for South East Asia and has been home to Korean Central Television for more than 20 years.

The problem on the satellite didn’t immediately impact TV programming and the broadcast of KCTV and other channels was not affected. But as of mid-January Thaicom had still not been able to fix the issue, which impacts monitoring of the status of the satellite. As a result, while KCTV remains available on Thaicom-5, the operator started duplicating some channels on neighboring satellites as a backup.

Chinasat-12 is located at 87.5 degrees East, which is a little further along the satellite arc from Thaicom-5 at 78.5 degrees East. That means satellite dishes need to be repointed to receive the new signal. The package is identical to that on Thaicom-5, consisting of a high-definition feed of KCTV and the Korean Central Broadcasting Station national radio program and Voice of Korea multi-language shortwave radio station.

The new relay is still in C-band, which requires a roughly 2.4-meter dish for satisfactory reception. That’s significantly larger than the ku-band dishes used on most homes for satellite TV service. Signal coverage is more or less the same and the Chinasat-12 footprint is reproduced below.

KCTV can be received on 4180MHz, vertical polarization, DVB-S2 signal, SR 4187, FEC 3/5. It’s unclear if the Chinasat-12 relay is permanent or a temporary backup.

Chinasat-12 coverage (Source: Chinasat)
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