DirecTV to Launch Satellites to Expand HD Offering

Sep 8, 2004  •  Post A Comment

In an effort to continue beefing up its high-definition television offering DirecTV Group announced Wednesday that it will send four satellites into space over the next three years that will provide the satellite operator with the ability to offer a vastly expanded array of HD channels to customers throughout the United States.

The first two satellites, Spaceway 1 and Spaceway 2, are set to go into space in 2005 with programming beaming down to customers by the middle of the year. DirecTV said the two satellites combined will have the capacity to deliver more than 500 local HD channels, effectively blanketing most of the U.S. population with local HD programming.

The satellites will also expand DirecTV’s offering of standard-definition local offerings and enhancements, and were recently outfitted to provide both video and broadband Internet service.

Meanwhile, the other two satellites, DirecTV 10 and DirecTV 11, are set to launch in early 2007 with the capacity to offer more than 1,000 additional local HD channels, more than 150 national HD channels and other programming.

DirecTV said the second set of satellites will be among the largest Ka-band satellites ever launched and will enable the satellite operator to support spot beams carrying local HD channels in all 50 states.

All four satellites are being built by Boeing, which is also building one more of each brand of satellite to serve as ground spares.