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DIRECTV launches MPEG-4 AVC distribution of local NYC, L.A. stations

DIRECTV began offering its customers in New York City and Los Angeles access to their market’s local HD channels via MPEG-4 AVC compression.

New York City and Los Angeles are two of the two-dozen cities to receive local HD broadcast channels via direct-to-home satellite service using the MPEG-4 AVC compression technology.

DIRECTV will carry each of the four primary broadcast networks that offer an HD feed in the New York and Los Angeles markets. Customers in those cities who subscribe to a service plan with local channels will receive both SD and HD versions of the stations at no additional charge.

In New York City, the channels include WABC, WCBS, WNBC and WNYW. The Los Angeles channels include KABC, KCBS, KNBC and KTTV.

To receive the MPEG-4 AVC encoded local channels, DIRECTV customers will receive a new HD receiver and satellite dish that can receive programming from five separate orbital positions. According to DIRECTV, existing HD customers won’t have to upgrade their MPEG-2 receivers initially.

DIRECTV currently offers local HD broadcast channels in 12 cities with plans to launch service in 24 more cities early this year. At that point, DIRECTV will offer local HD channels in more than 57 percent of U.S. television households.

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