DIRECTV launches 4K Ultra HD-capable satellite

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

4K Ultra HD Gets a Lift with Successful DIRECTV Satellite Launch
December 5, 2014

  • DIRECTV 14 Begins Operation First Half of Next Year; Strengthens Satellite Fleet and Provides Capacity For More Advanced Services

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — 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, 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 12:38 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 nearly 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 more national HD channels and 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.

Another satellite, DIRECTV 15, is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2015.