DirecTV Launches Second HD Bird

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DirecTV Inc. announced that it successfully launched its “Spaceway F2” satellite, which will help the company to expand its local HD service.

When combined with “Spaceway F1,” the direct-broadcast satellite provider said it will be able to offer local-into-local HD signals in 36 market markets covering 57% of U.S. TV homes early next year. The two birds can offer 500 local HD channels.

The company plans to launch local HD in 12 cities by year’s end, with the other 24 coming online early next year.

Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta and San Francisco will come online in November, with Tampa (Fla.), Dallas, Houston, Boston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C., on tap for next month.

Two more Spaceway satellites will launch in 2007.

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