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|DIRECTV LAUNCH SUCCESSFUL -- A Russian Proton rocket lifts off Saturday morning from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying the DIRECTV 10 satellite to orbit. The launch was managed by International Launch Services of McLean, Va. (Photo: Business Wire)|
On Friday, DirecTV successfully launched a new satellite, DirecTV 10, which is intended to deliver more HD channels to its subscribers and fulfill DirecTV's promise to provide "up to 100 HD channels" by the end of the year.
DirecTV is planning to have the new satellite fully operational by September, providing both national HD channels and spot-beam local HD channels to select markets.
According to a press release issued by DirecTV, it has agreements in place to roll out multiple HD channels from top content providers such as Disney, Discovery Communications, A&E Television Networks, HBO, Fox, Turner, NBC Universal, Showtime Networks, Starz and Scripps Networks, among others.
Another satellite, aptly named DirecTV 11, is scheduled for launch in early 2008 to support further HD expansion. Between the two satellites, DIRECTV will be capable of delivering more than 1,500 local HD channels and 150 national HD channels, in addition to new advanced programming services for customers.
Bottom line: DirecTV is getting closer to being able to expand its HD offerings and making that extra money we HD DirecTV customers are spending worth a little more in the process. Who knows, maybe they'll back off from their "HD-lite" style of service, so we can get all the resolution and video quality we deserve! (DirecTV's HD service is good, but anyone with an HD DVD player will attest to how much more quality is possible)
Sources: DirecTV Press Release, International Launch Services Press Release
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