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DirecTV Launches HD Satellite

Jul 12, 2007  •  Post A Comment

With the successful launch of a satellite into orbit Friday night, DirecTV is one step closer to meeting its promise of offering 100 high-definition channels by the end of the year.
The satellite, built by Boeing, lifted off from Pad 39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard an International Launch Services Russian Proton Breeze M launch vehicle.
“With the successful launch of our DirecTV 10 satellite, we are, to borrow a phrase, boldly going where no TV service has gone before—a new world of up to 100 HD channels and a viewing experience unmatched in the multichannel video marketplace,” said Derek Chang, DirecTV Executive VP of Content Development and Strategy, in a statement.
DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer said all systems on the satellite are working properly.
“We’ve started to move the satellite to a higher orbit,” Mr. Mercer said. “We’ll begin deployment of the 150-foot solar panels later this month.”
Although everything is going well, the satellite still needs to get into the proper orbit before it will be fully functional. The company will begin testing it around Aug. 1 to ensure it’s working correctly.
The satellite should be completely operational by September, Mr. Mercer said.
In addition to the 100 national HD channels, the satellite’s spot beam capacity will enable DirecTV to expand its local HD channel services to up to 75 markets this year.
The company has agreements in place to roll out multiple channels from content providers including Disney, Discovery Communications, A&E Television Networks, HBO, Fox, Turner, NBC Universal, Showtime Networks, Starz and Scripps Networks.
DirecTV will continue to further expand its HD offerings for 2008 by launching another new satellite, DirecTV 11, early next year. This satellite, combined with DirecTV 10, promises to deliver a total of 1,500 local HD channels and 150 national ones.

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