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Cable Technology Feature Article

December 31, 2009

DIRECTV Launches Satellite, Upgrades HD and Movie Selections

By Jyothi Mahalingham, TMCnet Contributor

DIRECTV, a television service provider, has successfully launched its DIRECTV 12 satellite, a boeing 702 replica. The system was carried on the Proton Breeze M satellite launch vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The ground control position in Hartebeesthoek, South Africa, confirmed the effective functioning of the satellite.
According to company officials, DIRECTV 12 is the eleventh satellite owned and operated by the television provider. After the completion of required tests, the satellite will be moved into a circular orbit and stationed at 102.8 degrees West longitude before starting its operations.
The DIRECTV 12 satellite is a part of a fleet of five HD satellites to start functioning from the early quarter of 2010. The five HD satellites of DIRECTV are expected to deliver unique range of programs to the household viewers in USA.
Romulo Pontual, DIRECTV's chief technology officer, said that, with the successful launch of the DIRECTV 12 satellite, the company will have the capacity to dramatically expand HD and movie choices for customers and further extend content and technology leadership.
“With a robust fleet of 11 satellites, including five spacecraft delivering HD programming, advanced transmission and set-top box technology, we are able to provide our customers with an unparalleled viewing experience and maintain a significant competitive advantage for many years to come,” Romulo said.
DIRECTV currently caters to 18.4 million customers in America providing 100 percent digital picture and sound utilizing sophisticated DVR and HD DVR services. Currently, DIRECTV provides 130 plus HD channels and HD quality local programs to 92 percent of U.S. homes by catering to 138 markets across the United States.
The launch of satellite is expected to increase the number of HD channels available with DIRECTV to 200 and improve the telecast capability of DIRECTV by 50 percent. The satellite will allow DIRECTV to increase its choice of offerings to DIRECTV Cinema and DIRECTV on Demand clients.

Jyothi Mahalingham is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jyothi's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire