DIRECTV 14 to Begin Operations in the U.S. In First Half of Next Year; Strengthens Satellite Fleet and Provides Capacity For More Advanced Services
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Dec. 6, 2014 – The future of 4K Ultra HD received a rocket-propelled boost today with the launch of a DIRECTV satellite that will deliver the new standard in TV image quality directly to viewers’ homes in the U.S., along with more HD for local markets and backup for DIRECTV’s existing fleet of six HD satellites.
DIRECTV 14, a nearly seven-ton spacecraft, designed and built by Space Systems/Loral, soared into space following its successful launch today at 12:40 p.m. PT from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle by Arianespace. Controllers at the ground station at Hassan, India made contact with the satellite 28 minutes into the launch and confirmed that all systems are functioning properly.
When the satellite begins operations in early second quarter of next year, it will be the first commercial satellite to use the Reverse Band Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) spectrum, providing additional capacity for the delivery of more 4K Ultra HD programming and other advanced services to DIRECTV customers across America including Alaska and Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
“We congratulate the launch team and our partners, Arianespace and SSL, on a picture-perfect launch,” said Phil Goswitz, senior vice president, Space and Communications, DIRECTV. “Today we achieved a significant milestone in the development and future adoption of 4K Ultra HD and ensured our customers will have an entertainment experience that is second to none for many years to come.”
Last month, DIRECTV became the first multi-channel video provider to offer 4K Ultra HD programming direct to customers’ TVs, offering a variety of new releases, popular films and nature documentaries with four times the resolution of HD. Customers who have DIRECTV’s Genie HD DVR are able to watch 4K programming on supporting 2014 Samsung UHD TVs.
In addition to 4K Ultra HD services, the satellite expands DIRECTV’s capacity for future growth for advanced services via the reverse band spectrum along with spot beam coverage for more local HD.
DIRECTV 14, the 12th owned-and-operated satellite in the DIRECTV fleet, will be positioned at 99 degrees West longitude and is designed to provide service for 15 years or more. Video replays of the DIRECTV 14 launch are available below.
Another satellite, DIRECTV 15, is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2015.
DIRECTV (NASDAQ: DTV) is one of the world’s leading providers of digital television entertainment services delivering a premium video experience through state-of-the-art technology, unmatched programming and industry leading customer service to more than 38 million customers in the U.S. and Latin America. In the U.S., DIRECTV offers its 20 million customers access to more than 195 HD channels and Dolby-Digital® 5.1 theater-quality sound, access to exclusive sports programming such as NFL SUNDAY TICKET™, Emmy-award winning technology and higher customer satisfaction than the leading cable companies for 14 years running. DIRECTV Latin America, through its subsidiaries and affiliated companies in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, and other Latin American countries, leads the pay TV category in technology, programming and service, delivering an unrivaled digital television experience to more than 18 million customers. DIRECTV sports and entertainment properties include two Regional Sports Networks (Rocky Mountain and Pittsburgh), and minority ownership interests in Root Sports Northwest and Game Show Network. For the most up-to-date information on DIRECTV, please visit www.directv.com.