DirecTV To Use Spaceway Satellite For HDTV
El Segundo, Calif.-based DirecTV Group‘s [DTV] has taken the mystery out of its plans for providing high-definition (HD) satellite-TV services by announcing it will use the Spaceway satellites, now under construction for its Germantown, Md.-based Hughes Network Systems subsidiary by the satellite manufacturing arm of The Boeing Co. [BA], to provide a big part of DirecTV’s HD service.
The Spaceway satellites, originally designed to offer Ka-band satellite broadband services to businesses, were retrofitted to provide video service. DirecTV Group’s focus on satellite TV as its core business has led the company to sell non-core businesses and to change the focus of the Spaceway satellites, at lest near-term, from broadband to HD.
DirecTV is continuing to evaluate whether to deploy a broadband service but the company has made satellite TV its core business since its year-end 2003 acquisition by News Corp [NWS].
In other DirecTV news, the group selected The Boeing Co. [BA] to build three new satellites for its DirecTV constellation. Two of the Boeing 702 models will be named DirecTV 10 and DirecTV 11; the third will be the on-ground spare. DirecTV says the three new birds will allow expansion into HDTV broadcasting and interactive television. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.