DirecTV plans Ultra-HD satellite service

Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 20-03-2012

American satellite broadcaster DirecTV is mulling an Ultra HDTV service that improves existing HD resolution by a factor of eight, even though compatible TVs and commercialized standards aren't expected for years.
"4,000 and 8,000-line services are great for the satellite industry, and will ensure that satellite broadcasting continues to distinguish itself for image quality of service," said Philip Goswitz, DirecTV senior vice president of space and communications and research and development, speaking at the Satellite 2012 conference in Washington, D.C. "We see this as a key strategic advantage for us."
Goswitz said DirecTV will leverage its Ka-band satellites to support Ultra HD and is already examining what kind of spectrum profile it will need to deliver it. Specifically, the HD-ready but underused satellite Ka-band is looking likely.
That will dovetail with worldwide Ultra-HD efforts as well. Japan’s NHK is working on an Ultra-HD standard, planned for commercial launch in 2020 using Ka-band. And, the ITU is mulling Ultra-HD specs based on Ka-band development.
"We are also developing the so-called Reverse Band for DBS services, and these are on our roadmap for future international services," said Goswitz. "4000-line is exciting to us because of its image quality, and the potential for glasses-free 3D."