Silvercrest SL-65
A little wander over to Hotbird

Welcome to Hotbird...

Hotbird is a satellite cluster at 13°E. It specialises in Italian channels, but you'll also find some Austrian, Polish, and Arab channels; along with a German and a Greek (Cypriot?) channel, along with a couple of Russian channels.

This is my first venture over to Hotbird, at the end of March 2007...


What you'll find

Absolutely the first thing you'll need to do to get the most out of Hotbird is to speak Italiano.
Since I tuned in in the late evening, I was treated to a lot of woman trying to be seductive and quite a line in "hot Arab babes". Unlike the girls you'd see on the British "BabeStation" channels, the Italians look like extras from a Dario Argento movie...
Advertising something...

One of the few English language channels is Dr. Dish TV, which explains dish-related things. I've included the channel details just in case you're interested.

Dr. Dish TV

Another channel is RAI Edu1 which, as I was watching, was teaching Italians some colloquial English.

RAI education - English lessons


One testcard on-screen is intentional...

Test card

The other isn't...
Test bars, oops!


The Sky Italia Digibox

I was wondering if Sky Italia was any relation to our Sky. Well, the design of the remote controller pretty much screams "yes".

It is interesting watching the video loop explaining features of the Italian receiver (note - the following pictures are from a promo video, not receiver screenshots), for the menus are quite stylish, and the example EPG is quite a bit more detailled than ours, as shown in this picture:

Sky Italia - EPG

Like for Britain, Sky Italia offers a choice of Sky Digibox, SkyPlus, and Sky HD.

Perhaps the most interesting thing is the feature that was never implemented within the United Kingdom - namely messages.
Here is the message list:

Sky Italia - message list

Here is an example message:
Sky Italia - message

If we look closer at the message (processed to make it more readable):

Sky Italia - the message closer
We can see it says, in English: Dear Stephania, Sky Italia, for your birthday, makes you a present. All the PPV movies will be free through the weekend."

A horror movie extra?  


I only spent a few hours on Hotbird. I don't think I'll be returning in a hurry as there are precious few English and/or French channels to watch. In the future, if I rig up a multiple satellite system, then I will aim an LNB towards Hotbird. After all, more channels make more choice, even if some of the girls look like horror movie extras... ☺


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Copyright © 2007 Richard Murray