DirecTV to launch 4 gen next satellites

MUMBAI: US-based DirecTV has announced its plans for the launch of four next-generation satellites, on Wednesday.

The first two satellites, Spaceway 1 and Spaceway 2, will launch in 2005 and will deliver programming to consumers by the middle of the year. The Ka-Band satellites will have capacity for more than 500 local HD channels.

The satellites are will help with the launch of local high definition (HD) channels as well as increasing national HD programming and capacity for new interactive and standard-definition content, says a company release.

With help of the satellites, DirecTV have the ability to bring local HD programming to most of the US population as well as help with the continuing expansion of local TV in standard-definition and other enhancements. The satellites were recently converted to allow for the offering of both video and broadband Internet, release adds.

Spaceway was initially designed as a broadband offering for enterprise users.

Two other kA-Band satellites, DirecTV 10 and DirecTV 11, will launch in early 2007, the company said. These satellites will have capacity for more than 1,000 additional local HD channels, more than 150 national HD channels, and other new programming offerings.

DirecTV said consumers will receive the expanded services as well as existing programming with a single dish.

"We have led the TV industry in choice, quality and service and we are now positioned to lead the industry in bringing new advanced television programming to consumers nationwide," said DirecTV Group president and CEO Chase Carey.

"Only DirecTV, not cable or other competitors, will have the capability to bring hundreds of high-definition channels and other enhancements to consumers across the entire country with the consistency, reliability and quality that they demand and deserve," he added.

While Spaceway 1 and Spaceway 2 are nearing completion, Boeing is constructing a third Spaceway satellite and will also build a satellite that will serve as a ground spare.

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