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Sivad 01-11-2005 02:36 AM

DTV Announces 1st 12 Markets to Get Local Channels In HD
DIRECTV Announces First 12 Markets to Receive Local Channels in High-Definition This Year

LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 6, 2005--

New HD Local Markets Mark First Stage in Dramatic Expansion of
HD Programming Over the Next Two Years

DIRECTV, Inc., the nation's leading and fastest-growing digital television service provider, announced today that 12 of the nation's largest designated market areas (DMAs) will be among the first to receive DIRECTV-delivered local channels in high-definition (HD) in the second half of this year. DIRECTV will begin a historic expansion of its capacity with the planned launch of four next-generation satellites that will deliver more than 1,500 local HD and more than 150 national HD channels and other advanced programming services to consumers nationwide by 2007.

The first group of DMAs to receive local HD channels is: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston and Tampa. These markets represent nearly 36 million homes or 32.8 percent of all U.S. TV households. Additional markets to receive local HD programming this year will be announced at a later date. Today, DIRECTV offers local channels in standard definition in 130 markets, including these 12 markets.

"With the launch of the first of our local HD markets, we begin the most dramatic programming expansion in our history and take the first steps toward our goal of offering local HD channels to every household in America," said Mitchell Stern, president and CEO, DIRECTV, Inc. "We believe the addition of HD local channels to our programming lineup will provide new opportunities for growth as demand for HD programming increases, and will enable us to compete even more aggressively with cable."

Local HD programming in the first group of markets will be available mid-year following the successful launch of the Spaceway 1 and Spaceway 2 satellites in the second quarter. The launch of these satellites and two others -- DIRECTV 10 and DIRECTV 11, scheduled to go aloft in early 2007 -- will play a vital role in the dramatic expansion of programming capacity for DIRECTV, announced last September.

The Boeing-built Spaceway 1 and 2 satellites will have the capacity for more than 500 local HD channels, bringing local HD programming to most of the U.S. population, and will enable DIRECTV to continue to expand standard-definition local offerings and other enhancements. DIRECTV 10 and 11 will have the capacity for more than 1,000 additional local HD channels and more than 150 national HD channels and other new programming offerings. All four satellites will use spot-beam technology to deliver local channels.

DIRECTV will transmit all local HD channels and other new services from three Ka-band orbital slots co-located over the center of the country using MPEG-4 AVC, the new standard in digital video compression, and advanced modulation that will more than double the efficiency of DIRECTV's Ka-band capacity.

Initially DIRECTV will carry each of the primary broadcast networks that offer an HD feed in the market and customers who subscribe to a local channel package will receive both the standard and HD signal. HD local programming will be received via a single dish -- slightly larger than the current standard dish -- and customers will require new HD set top boxes due to new compression technology.

DIRECTV is the nation's leading and fastest growing digital multichannel television service provider with more than 13.5 million customers. DIRECTV and the Cyclone Design logo are registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc., a unit of The DIRECTV Group Inc. (NYSE:DTV). The DIRECTV Group is a world-leading provider of digital multichannel television entertainment and broadband satellite networks and services. The DIRECTV Group is 34 percent owned by Fox Entertainment Group, which is approximately 82 percent owned by News Corporation. For more information visit www.directv.com.

Robert Mercer, 310-726-4683


SHOSHOSHO 01-11-2005 09:13 AM

Can anyone explain why DIrectv is so hell bent on providing local HD's?

Why would they not want to add to their pathetic HD lineup first? And why in the heck would anyone pay $10.99 a month for the HD package??????

hdtv4me2 01-11-2005 12:55 PM


Originally Posted by SHOSHOSHO
Can anyone explain why DIrectv is so hell bent on providing local HD's?

Why would they not want to add to their pathetic HD lineup first? And why in the heck would anyone pay $10.99 a month for the HD package??????

D* is/has been competing with the cable companies for many years. They've spent a lot of time and money getting people their locals and are now going to do the same for the local HD's just like cable is. That is where the money is so that is where they are going.

They will eventually improve their non local HD lineup but such a small percentage of their customer base has HD that at this moment they are putting their money into local HD first since that is what most people want first from HD.

I pay the $10.99 a week for D* HD because for less than $3 a week plus my OTA HD I get about 15 HD channels and have access to the NFL Sunday Ticket, which is typically 8 HD football games a week.

calicogang 01-11-2005 01:04 PM

I feel the same way. If you really look at most of the so-called hd channels on Voom, most of them are not 24-7 true HD. The content is still not available. The local Hd channels will compete directly with cable's offers, and at a lower cost. For me, 10.99 a month is a cheap price for the Hd that I get. I have all four nets from both coasts in Hd. Yes, they will turn on ESPN 2 in Hd after testing is done. TNT will not be far behind.

SHOSHOSHO 01-12-2005 09:56 AM


Originally Posted by calicogang
I feel the same way. If you really look at most of the so-called hd channels on Voom, most of them are not 24-7 true HD.


I paid the 10.99 a month for Directv and then swtiched to VOOM.

I dont know what "so called HD" means. I have so much HD with Voom I dont know what to do with it all. All 12 of VOOM HD original channels are true 24/7 HD. That right there alone is more than the entire Directv HD lineup. Plus I get the east and west HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Starz, TMC, Encore in HD (thats twelve more right there). All 24/7 HD, yes a very small amount may be in 4:3 480 or 720 but still much better quality than Directv SD. Check out the Voom HD channel listing for the full list its over 40 channels of HD!!!!!!!!!

I get all this for $79.99/month. Directv cost me $92/month with the HD package. Directv in my opinion was a rip off. The HD was compressed and therefore provided lower picture quality than comparable channels on Voom. And seriously when I had Directv the only HD channels I watched were Discovery, HBO and Showtime that was TREE USEFUL HD CHENNELS ON DIRECTV. And if you are into sports then throw in ESPNHD that makes FOUR USEFUL CHANNELS IN HD!

Also, the OTA tuner with Voom works fine. Never an issue and all my locals are Digital/HD for free!!!! Do you think Directv will add your local HD's for free???? I think not.

One other quick thing. Why not just put an antanae in the attic or on the roof and get all locals using a tuner. Why pay Directv to compress the crap out of your locals and pay them to do it!!!! The picture quality on locals OTA is far superior than what Directv is capable of providing. I challenge any Directv user to watch VOOM or OTA HD and then post your thoughts on the picture quality Directv is throwing at you.

I do understand though that those in areas far from a transmitter would be likely candidates for local HD's bu thats it. Directv is by no means the best bang for the buck. If Voom were to go out of business tomorrow I would switch to cable. WHo by the way offers about three times as many HD as Directv.

hdtv4me2 01-12-2005 10:17 AM

I receive FOX HD via D*and OTA. When I compare the two I see no difference in picture or audio quality. I'm not allowed the DNS feeds for ABC, NBC or CBS so I cannot compare them to the OTA broadcasts I receive.

I wish I could see a Voom broadcast but no retailer one has it set up. I enjoy pay per view, NFL Sunday Ticket, and DVR that Voom doesn't offer. If there is a movie I want to see that is not on D* I will just rent the DVD. It's not HD but DVD's look very good on my set-up.

rbinck 01-12-2005 10:17 AM

Yep when you see comments like that you just have to shake your head. The "so-called" may be due to the content not being to some peoples liking, but there is no doubt that the Voom originals are HD 24/7.

There are a few people that do not consider movie conversion as true HD. They say this based on the difference they see on material that was sourced with HDTV cameras. I'll agree that movie conversions are not as good HD as the live events on RAVE or Equator HD for that matter. But that's a film conversion matter and Voom's movies are every bid as good or better than the networks or HBO, etc. on D*, no doubt about it.

Funny thing is as you browse the various forums it seems as though whever people have is what is the best and anything else is crap. Even though they may not have watched other services for any given period of time, they form opinions usually based not on watching, but what they ahve read that is supportive of their choice. Heck we've had people on this forum that it was obvious that not only did they say they didn't like a given service, but they would just be pleased as punch if the service went out of business. This additude I don't understand. Why deprive others of a viable service? At least viable for them anyway. It is like Republicans and Democrats, Aggies and Longhorns, War Eagles and Elephants, Cowboys and Redskins and on and on. Not only do you want your side to win.... but the others must die!

SHOSHOSHO 01-12-2005 03:38 PM

There is no doubt that HD is superior to film conversion thats for sure. I dont mind the film conversion though it looks just like seeing it at a movie theatre. Also coincidentaly I was at a local retailer today talking about the OTA / Directv Issue. They have the network HD feeds and they also just put an antanae up for locals.

We had an argument going between one rep who sided with me that OTA would look better than DirectvHD and the other who beleived it would look the same. We watched side by side and initially they looked the same but during HD segments especially on motion shots you could see the Directv picture pixelate MUCH more than OTA. Actually OTA did not pixelate at all whereas Directv got VERY blocky. I was actually amazed at the difference between the two. We tried a number of different channels and all results were the same. SO I SAW IT WITH MY OWN EYES!

hdtv4me2 01-13-2005 07:57 AM

Well with MY OWN EYES.....
Well with MY OWN EYES I watched, via D*, a HD film conversion of the movie "Judge Roy Bean" and it was as good, or better, than any of the live FOX-HD or CBS-HD broadcasts, via OTA, I've seen to date.

I've also seen many shows on HDNet and HDNet Movies that also looked better than live OTA HD. So we all have opinions about what looks better and it can depend on a lot of things; and we all know what they say about opinions.

SHOSHOSHO 01-13-2005 09:00 AM

Yes we all have opinions.

On the fact side, if I can, I will dig up an article showing actual bandwidth and bit rates off Directv, OTA, Voom Dish and Cable. I will post it here if I dig it up. Directv was in very last place.

One important thing though. I watched these side by side. I had Directv HD and switched to Voom. hdtv4me2, you have only seen Directv HD. So until you actually see this for yourself it is not as much opinion as you have stated. You can not compare HDNET to a HD movie conversion as most HDnet programming is shot in HD. It will therefore always look better. What I am talking about is Pixelization not picture quality (Pixelization is when things get blocky). One of the things that causes pixelization is compression, more compression means more channels while sacrificing picture detail. Therefore if you froze an image from Voom, Directv or OTA they would most likely be identicle. It is when there are fast motion shots or changes in contrast that you will notice pixelization. The less bandwidth the more pixelization. Most encoding like MPEG-2 works by eliminiting redundant data, this is how they compress the information. Only the data that changes is refreshed. A static shot requires very little bandwidth while a chase seen for ionstance would require more data, the more motion more data. So next time you watch pay close attention to the way the picture pixelizes during motion shots. I know from personal experience that it did not take much for pixelaization to start with D*. I hope this explains things a little better.

Sivad 01-13-2005 09:03 AM

Thats all well and good for you guys but , for people like me who can't get OTA and Direct won't allow us to get the HD feeds through them, it would be nice to get ANY HD network content.

calicogang 01-13-2005 11:12 AM

Here is my two cents. I have had both services in Hidef. DTV and Dish. When I watched both services, same Hidef channel, I saw a less detailed, cooler picture with Dish than with DTV. I also saw more pixelization with Dish than with DTV. As of today, I have the all the HD nets from both coasts. I do not have a OTA. I may or may not get one because at this time, I do not need it. I had DTV from 96-99, and Dish from 99 to 9/04. Now I am very happy with DTV and my HD TIVO unit. I did e-mail DTV for a honest answer to this MPEG 4 concern. Will post the entire reply once I have it.

SHOSHOSHO 01-13-2005 11:26 AM

Wow, more pixelization with dish. And I thought D* was bad.

adamofwales 01-15-2005 01:21 PM

All I am going to say is that DENVER better be on the second wave list for 2005 for the HD local rollout.

kelrhon 01-16-2005 07:25 PM

I have DirecTV because of Sunday Ticket as it is exclusive....and for the $10.99 for HD it allows for great viewing. DirecTV will always be the pioneer and the best...it is a little behind on the HD front, but it will catch up in a very big way.....I am patient......I only get CBS and NBC network and where I live I can only get PBS HD over the air.....I would love to have FOX HD for sports....but I will have to wait until the locals have HD ability for DTV......

DirecTV is the biggest and best......but to each his own....

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