DIRECTV to expand HDTV with new satellites

DIRECTV plans to launch two new satellites early next year, dramatically expanding the direct broadcast satellite service provider’s ability to deliver high-definition programming, including the HD feeds of hundreds of local television stations.

The company plans to offer more than 500 local HD channels to customers from Spaceway 1 and Spaceway 2 by the middle of 2005. In early 2007, DIRECTV will launch two additional satellites, DIRECTV 10 and DIRECTV 11, which will have the capacity for more than 1000 additional local HD channels, 150 national HD channels and other programming.

Boeing is building the satellites. Spaceway 1 and Spaceway 2 are nearing completion. They were recently enhanced to offer video and broadband Internet service.

DIRECTV 10 and DIRECTV 11 will take advantage of DIRECTV 's advanced transmission techniques and video compression technology. They will deliver national HD programming and will be capable of supporting spot beams carrying local HD broadcast channels in all 50 states. Boeing will also build a third satellite for DIRECTV that will serve as a ground spare.

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