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Typical Boeing 702 satellite
More bandwidth could mean better quality

Millions of Americans use DirecTV's satellite network to enjoy digital programming. The shift from Standard Definition to High Definition has boosted demand for more bandwidth, especially for channels in 1080p. More bandwidth also reduces the need for signal compression, mitigating the risk of unsightly artifacts.

The company claims that their new DirecTV 12 satellite will boost their HD capacity by 50 percent and enable them to dish out more than 200 national HD channels and 1,500 local HD channels. DirecTV currently offers around 130 national HD channels.

DirecTV 12 is a model 702 satellite built by Boeing in El Segundo, California. It will join four other DirecTV satellites in broadcasting HD signals to North America, including Hawaii and Alaska. 131 national and spot-beam Ka-band transponders are used, while the payload includes two 9.2-foot reflectors and nine smaller antennas.

"With the successful launch of our DirecTV 12 satellite, we will have the capacity to dramatically expand HD and movie choices for our customers and further extend our content and technology leadership," said Romulo Pontual, DirecTV's Chief Technology Officer.

"With a robust fleet of 11 satellites, including five spacecraft delivering HD programming, advanced transmission and set-top box technology, we are able to provide our customers with an unparalleled viewing experience and maintain a significant competitive advantage for many years to come."

DirecTV 12 is currently being maneuvered into a circular orbit at 102.8 degrees West longitude for testing. It is expected to begin regular broadcast operations in the second quarter of 2010.

Dish Network, DirecTV's primary competitor, recently began broadcast operations on Nimiq 5, a Loral FS1300 satellite that uses 32 Ku-band transponders. That capacity was originally supposed to be used by Canadian satellite TV provider Bell TV, but a last minute deal resulted in Dish Network leasing that capacity instead. Meanwhile, Bell TV has resorted to heavy signal compression as it awaits the launch of a substitute satellite.

There are currently no plans by DirecTV for more satellites, according to a company spokesperson.



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New dish on the roof?
By Mitch101 on 12/30/2009 10:49:44 AM , Rating: 2
Also a 3D channel coming to Direct TV.
http://www.techwatch.co.uk/2009/12/30/3d-hdtv-chan...

Going to have to take a look at the dish on my roof because I'm not sure I have the slimline that should be able to hit the 102.8 degree satellite. I dont believe DirectTV charges to update the dish/lnb but my sub is up on Valentines day and I would like to get some upgrades now that I have a second HDTV in the home. Would like to get HD on the second HDTV and ebay the current standard DVR receiver there.

Pulled from Wikipedia
DirecTV typically uses a fixed 18-inch diameter dish antenna to receive its signals. Traditionally an 18×24-inch elliptical was used; however, most new installations use an 18x20-inch antenna to receive signals from three geostationary satellite positions simultaneously. These systems are becoming more common as DirecTV attempts to squeeze more programming onto its growing systems. DTV is now installing a dish that has five LNBs for HDTV programming and local channels in selected markets. These systems receive signals from up to five separate satellites in both the Ku-band and Ka-band. After the new satellite, DirecTV 11, is fully operational DirecTV will stop supplying Dual, Triple, and 5-LNB dishes to all customers and move to Supplying a three-LNB Ka/Ku dish known as the Slimline3. This dish will see orbital locations 99, 101, and 103 Degrees West. The Slimline3 will be the new standard install dish (for HD and SD programming), while the five-LNB Slimline will be used for installs in areas that receive local or international programming form orbital locations 110 or 119. The Slimline3 looks nearly identical to its predecessor, aside from a smaller LNB.




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