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Cable and satellite services Satellite TV providers DirecTV 

 

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DirecTV

DirecTV is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service provider, based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Launched in 1994 by Hughes Electronics Corporation, it was the very first high-powered (mini-dish) DBS service in the world. The company is owned by DirecTV Group, and controlled by News Corporation's Fox Entertainment Group.

Equipment...

Main components of DirecTV's home satellite system are: (1) mini-dish antenna and (2) receiver. Its standard mini-dish is 18" in diameter, with a single LNB (low-noise block down-converter) unit, capable of covering a single orbital location (satellite). The more advanced 18x24" dish has either 3 or 5 independent LNB units, capable of covering as many orbital locations, for greater programming input.

The receiver also comes in different flavors, from the standard model (Hughes Director), with basic features and no digital recording, to the advanced DVR80 and HD DVR (high-definition digital video recorder) w/TiVo  with many hours of recording and enhanced interactive TV features. A triple LNB dish, along with HD receiver and HDTV set, are needed for high-definition programming reception.

Programming...

DirecTV offers over 250 channels. Basic packages are "Total Choice" (155+ channels), "Total Choice Plus" (185+ channels) and "Total Choice Premier" (250+ channels). While the "Plus" package mainly adds educational/lifestyle and music channels, the "Premier" expands to the premium movie packages, HBO, Starz, Showtime and Cinemax.

Movie packages, as well as specialized sport and adult packages are also available. DirecTV's exclusive is the NFL Sunday Ticket, a must for USA football fans.

Local channels are offered by DirecTV - at least to some extent - to nearly the entire US. Most recent efforts include addition of local HD channels to a number of US cities and metropolitan areas. At present, both DirecTV and Dish Network are rapidly expanding number of local HD channels available. DirecTV plans on offering as many as 15 hundreds local HD channels by the end of next year.

Also, DirecTV offers a number of international packages (Asian, European, Spanish), as well as two international sport channels, for cricket and European soccer. Some channels, international and others, are available "a la carte".

As of early 2006, DirecTV uses 11 TV satellites, serving over 15 million customers in the US and 1.6 million customers in Latin America. In comparison to the other giant provider, Dish Network, DirecTV is more oriented toward serving urban and metropolitan areas.

Installation...

With term commitment, DirecTV system offers free standard equipment installation. Until recently, the equipment was also given away for free, with 1-year warranty. However, since March 1st 2006, DirecTV switched to equipment lease, similar to Dish Network. There is no up front cost for the customer, but a small monthly fee is charged for the use of equipment.

Service includes dedicated around the clock customer support.

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Direct Broadcast Satellite  Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) TV service is a high-powered broadcast service to homes using satellites as the primary form of signal transmission. Its high transmission power makes possible use of relatively small dish antennas for efficient signal reception and utilization. Commercial satellite TV, as we know it, is a DBS service...

Dish Network  Dish Network is the second largest direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service provider in the US. Together with DirecTV, it shares the US home satellite TV market. Dish Network started commercial DBS broadcasting  in 1996, after its first TV satellite - EchoStar I - has been launched in 1995...

DirecTV  DirecTV is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service provider, based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Launched in 1994 by Hughes Electronics Corporation, it was the very first high-powered (mini-dish) DBS service in the world...

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High-definition TV  Are you too mystified and intrigued by this new kid on the TV block: high-definition television. Expectations run high, but so is the uncertainty - what is really different about it, when compared with standard-definition television (SDTV)?...

Satellite Radio  If you like listening to radio programming, satellite radio has some goodies to offer. Great variety of channels, most of them commercial-free, high quality sound when it is needed, possibility to listen to your favored programming wherever you are...

 News Wire  The latest in the satellite/cable industry...

 

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