Monday, April 25, 2005

Successful Launch for the First of DirecTV's Next Gen HDTV Satellites

Sea Launch successfully delivered DIRECTV's Spaceway F1 satellite to orbit, completing the launch of the heaviest commercial satellite to date. Spaceway F1 is capable of delivering hundreds of HD signals to DIRECTV customers and the first of four next-generation satellites. Spaceway F1 is the first of two Ka-band satellites in this series. Spaceway F2 is slated to launch in June. The four satellites will provide the capacity to deliver more than 1,500 local HD and more than 150 national HD channels and other advanced programming services to consumers.

Initially, DIRECTV will begin offering digital and HD local channels in 12 markets this fall. The first group of markets to receive local HD channels via Spaceway F1 includes New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston and Tampa. These markets represent nearly 36 million homes or 32.8 percent of all U.S. TV households.

Spaceway 1 is a Boeing 702 model spacecraft with a design life of 12 years. It features a fully steerable downlink antenna that can be reconfigured on orbit to seamlessly address market conditions. The satellite will be positioned in a geosynchronous orbit at 102.8 degree West longitude and a high-point of 34,128 km (21,200 miles) above the equator.

  • DIRECTV is 34% owned by News Corporation.

See also