DIRECTV gives further boost to 4KTV with new satellite launch

DetailsEditor | 08 December 2014

Hot on the heels of making 4K/UltraHD programmes available on a VOD basis, DIRECTV has launched a new satellite to deliver such content direct to homes in the US.

The company confirmed the launch on 6 December of a near seven ton spacecraft, designed and built by Space Systems/Loral, 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.

The satellite will begin operations early in the second quarter of 2015 and 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/UltraHD programming and other advanced services to DIRECTV customers across America including Alaska and Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

The DIRECTV 14 craft is the 12th owned-and-operated satellite in the DIRECTV fleet will be positioned at 99° West longitude and is designed to provide service for 15 years or more.

"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."