Alphastar was an early digital satellite service launched in 1996. IT was the first DBS platform to use DVB-S, compared to Directv that used DSS and Primestar that use Digicipher.
The receiver used was the Star Trax 1000, which supported a 7 day EPG, parental control for rating and spending limits and favorite channels. A integrated modem allows PPV events to be purchased through the box.
One of the first providers to use DVB-S in North America, Alphastar platform was designed by TV COM and had use the COMPRESSION networks system, which provided the conditional access (Irdeto based) and DVB-SI (Signal Information). From the look of the press releases at the time, the Compression networks standard was promoted as having an open standard with the belief this would allow cheaper receivers to come to market, allowing Alphastar to complete with Dish and Directv on receiver price. Whether they allowed receivers from third party manufactures would enable this, there was a press release announcing Samsung and Hyundai as suppliers, the latter who purchased a stake in TV COM.
Left: Head Office, Right: Uplink Center