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Cable Bahamas has invested more than $400,000 in a new satellite antenna that enables the company to reduce costs and enhance its REVTV signal quality on all digital and HD signals...
Cable Bahamas has invested more than $400,000 in a new satellite antenna that enables the company to reduce costs and enhance its REVTV signal quality on all digital and HD signals.
The new Simulsat 7 multibeam antenna, recently erected at Cable Bahamas' main technical facility on Robinson Road in Nassau, has the ability to simultaneously receive signals from up to 37 satellite feeds, with an enhancement in performance across the satellites.
With these capabilities, the recently-installed, 42-foot mega dish has replaced as many as 18 parabolic antennae the company previously used to receive over 400 channels from different satellites.
Cable Bahamas Vice-President of Engineering John Gomez noted that since its installation, the Simulsat dish has exceeded the company's expectations. According to Gomez, the company was able to seamlessly transition to the satellite system and this has resulted in further enhancement of the company's advanced digital REVTV television service.
"What we're seeing with the Simulsat antenna is an overall stronger signal. What that means is our customers will see greater detail in their TV image when they're watching television and enhanced HD quality for those with our REVTV HD service," Gomez said. He added that the Simulsat dish allows the company to enhance its TV signal quality throughout the country.
The vice president of engineering also noted that this new single mega satellite dish is the signal source for cable subscribers on New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco and Eleuthera, streamlining engineering overhead and strengthening services for 96 percent of the company's subscribers.
Due to the antenna's capacity to receive multiple signals from 37 different satellites, Gomez said there is great potential for expanding existing REVTV packages.
"Because of our country's geographical position, the Simulsat dish allows us to see almost all of the North American satellites. So, this definitely opens up the possibility for us to offer more channels in the future," Gomez said.
He added that this move is part of the company's ever-evolving strategy to deliver an advanced TV service to its subscribers. "We already bring more than 400 digital channels - with more than 100 in HD - to our cable TV subscribers. With our existing video on demand service, on-screen interactive program guide, premium channel package options and additional HD signals coming in 2015, we have set a high standard for TV services in the country for nearly 20 years."
Gomez believes the new satellite dish upgrade will enable the company to continue to exponentially grow its TV services.
Cable Bahamas Director of Head End Engineering Gary Barrows noted that with the new antenna, the company is also better prepared to adapt in the event that a signal supplier switches satellite feeds.
"Many of our programming partners change satellites for various reasons; some for cost savings, others may be consolidating on one or more satellites," Barrows said. "When this happened in the past, we had to install a new antenna or go out and physically reposition one of the antennae on multiple islands. However, the Simulsat antenna can receive signals from any satellite within that 75-degree arc. If a vendor says they're moving, we are more likely to be able to add that new satellite feed with almost no cost or time delay."
The installation took almost a month to complete. Barrows stated that the company took specific measures to extend the life span of the antenna by building a foundation for the system that would enable it to withstand hurricane force winds of up to 160 miles per hour.
The company said that REVTV subscribers could anticipate similar investments in the future as it continues to expand and extend its cable TV service.
Nassau, Bahamas -
All electronic companies or individuals with antenna(s) on the roof of
the General Post Office, must have their license regularized by
December 31, 2010.
Please contact the Secretary at 322-3025 or 323-3171 for further information.
Reminder to electronic companies with antennas on the Post Office Building
It may be true that no cell phone is perfect, but the handset world isn't taking too kindly to Apple CEO Steve Jobs' public assertion that other smartphones suffer from the same antenna and signal problems that have been widely reported regarding the iPhone 4.
And, in what's turned into an ugly back-and-forth PR mud fight, Apple is firing back by making its internal signal test results public to insist that it's not just pulling rivals' flaws out of thin air.
In 1973, the year of Bahamian independence, the U.S.-based fast-food chain Burger King launched the "Have it your way" advertising campaign. In a famous jingle the chain promised they could: "Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce. Special orders don't upset us. All we ask is that you let us serve it your way!"
The burger house, like others, was spreading its franchise globally, and adding a critical dimension to its marketing strategy. That dimension was giving consumers a customized product with greater choice, a hamburger made to order satisfying a range of tastes.
Burger King's strategy was the opposite of what the automobile pioneer Henry Ford quipped in 1909 about the mass-produced Model T: "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black."
Fast forward many decades. With the introduction of the Sony Walkman in 1979 the audio cassette player went portable. Portability was now taken for granted. Then there was a quick skip from portable CD players to the iPod.
The revolution sparked by the iPod and intensified by smartphones and other mobile smart devices was marrying portability and ubiquity of service to a dazzling array of choices. No matter where we are we can utilize smart devices and a wireless connection to near instantaneously access all manner of content.
We no longer have to purchase an entire CD to get the song we want. Now we can mix Lady Gaga, rake and scrape, and Bach's Piano Concerto in F Minor from the musician of our choice.
With devices like the Kindle and the Nook, we can hit a hyperlink from an article online taking us respectively to our Amazon or Barnes & Noble account downloading a book through a one-step order process all done wirelessly in 30 seconds. This isn't just choice; its choice on steroids meets instant gratification for bibliophiles or those simply interested in a given subject matter.
Today, we enjoy an extraordinary variety of choice in selecting the content of our liking whether in entertainment, news, general information, pornography or whatever peaks our curiosity or suits our fancy.
The reality of this array of choices engenders what might be called the sociology of choice influencing everything from ethics to education to politics. The worlds of advertising and marketing have an in-depth understanding of this new social ecology, applying it to sell every product or service imaginable from soap to sex.
The new mega churches understand the power of choice, while many traditional churches are still scratching their heads and souls wondering what's going on. The latter are often paralyzed by a static approach to new technologies and how to reach and influence current and prospective churchgoers.
The more cutting edge educational institutions understand the importance of integrating choice and various communications technologies to enhance student learning, such as utilizing experiential education methods employed by programs like the International Baccalaureate.
Meanwhile, many schools in The Bahamas, public and private, are lagging behind in approaches to teaching and learning, failing to connect the daily experience of their students with new approaches to learning.
In the political realm, one of the more important marketing features of the Democratic National Alliance was offering voters a different choice. Whether the DNA was a good or sensible choice is another matter. Still, by offering the idea of a different choice, the party attracted a fair number of voters probably costing the FNM a number of seats.
Those who fail to understand this notion of choice, whether religious groups, political parties or businesses, will pay a price in terms of votes, clients and adherents.
For example, the government-operated postal system is a dinosaur with a near fossilized network of branches. Because it was unable to deliver mail to consumers in a timely manner, thousands of Bahamians now utilize private post boxes for international mail and packages.
The lower level of the Main Post Office downtown where parcel posts can be collected resembles a graveyard. Still painted drab green the sign over that section should read: Rest in Peace.
In promoting a new mission for post offices as government information and services centers, former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham was attempting to drag the postal system from the 19th to the 21st century.
What many older folks are still getting used to in terms of the new world of choices galore, is second nature to younger people. Shopping at the Mall at Marathon, a 19-year-old is mesmerized by a love song she is hearing in a store playing a recording through its satellite radio service, Sirius XM, which offers the store owner and clients a plethora of musical choices.
The young lady is so enchanted by the sultry voice she is hearing for the first time that she has to know who is the artist pining, "Black is the color of my true love's hair...".
Our 19-year-old holds her smartphone up to the source of the music, hits the Tag button on her Shazam mobile application to identify Nina Simone singing her 1964 recording of "Black is the Colour".
Later at home, the young lady listens to several of Simone's recordings, and then posts a note on Facebook declaring to her over 1,000 "friends" her infatuation with the artist, 10 of whose songs she's already downloaded.
Inspired by her posting, several of her friends have also downloaded some of Simone's recordings, including a friend living in Seattle, who Skypes her that evening to share that she also has a newfound love of the artist.
All of which speaks to the other critical feature of the new world of technology and choice. The world of one-way communication has passed. Choice has been married to interactivity. What both choice and interactivity appeal to is the desire for agency, the ability to express one's desires.
By tapping into choice, a marketer, salesman or public relations expert taps into something fundamental and powerful in the human psyche, namely, the desire for individuality, with a complex of messages from an individual such as: "I matter!", "I'm important!", "Don't take me for granted!", and related messages of individuation.
Today, choice is not just something we appreciate. We demand and expect to have multiple choices. Yet there are a number of ethical dimensions to so much choice, including maintaining an ethic of a common good, how to choose wisely, and how to cultivate good or ethical decision-making and critical thinking in young people.
In terms of the latter, many of our schools are oblivious to the type of experiential education, critical thinking methods, ethical instruction and media literacy absolutely necessary to prepare our young people for a world quite different from when Bahamians needed an antenna on the roof to pick up one of three stations from Florida.
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RADIO 100 JAMZ and Joy 101.9 went off the air early Thursday morning after a series of power cuts affected the antenna and transmission systems. Engineers were working all day yesterday and late into the night to repair the antenna and restore transmission as quickly as possible.
Just weeks after the Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union (BATCU) ended a work to rule that resulted in severe flight delays, union president Roscoe Perpall yesterday threatened further industrial action.
Perpall claimed that contract negotiations with the government have stalled in the weeks since the protest ended. However, Tourism and Aviation Minister Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that the government is working to resolve all of the outstanding issues and will meet with air traffic controllers today.
The union's previous contract expired in February 2008.
Perpall claimed that the BATCU has a litany of problems in addition to the stalled negotiations, including "unsafe" working conditions and a dangerously dysfunctional radar.
"The union is operating on a wing and a prayer," said Perpall during a press conference at the House of Labour.
"We see that the relationship [with the government] has become strained. We expect to meet with Minister Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, and expect him to deliver on the promises that led to the union standing down on the work to rule."
Air traffic controllers were on work to rule during the busy Christmas season after they felt their concerns were not being addressed. Asked if there would be similar repercussions this time around, Perpall said "we can almost guarantee that".
"If the minister fails to meet the demands of the air traffic controllers, then I think that the Bahamian people will understand that the union will have to consider all of the available recourses," Perpall said.
He also said the government has failed to live up to its commitment to carry out long overdue promotion exercises. He claimed that some people have been due for promotions since 1999. Additionally, Perpall said some vacancies have not been filled for years.
"We are no longer able to tolerate this level of disrespect. We call on the prime minister to immediately have these vacancies filled," Perpall said.
Turning to the issues involving the radar, Perpall said it has had problems for some time, but in recent weeks things have gotten worse.
The radar is used to direct and track aircraft. Perpall said sometimes air traffic controllers have to guess where planes are as they often disappear from the radar.
"We do not know when the radar will fail totally but we anticipate it will be soon," he said.
Perpall said he does not think anything will change unless there is an accident involving one of the international carriers.
"We have been out in the wilderness. We've been asking for years for the government to upgrade the system," he added.
Head of the Civil Aviation Department Captain Patrick Rolle acknowledged that over the past few days there was an alignment problem with the radar's antenna, which caused targets to drop off the radar.
Engineers worked with the FAA over the weekend and resolved the issue, according to Rolle, who also said the FAA and Bahamian engineers are doing further checks on the antenna to prevent it from happening in the future. He stressed that the radar would not be in operation if it were not safe. Rolle added that the radar is in the process of being replaced.