DirecTV To Lift HD Lineup To 130 Next Month


Next month, DirecTV will raise the high-definition ante once again.

Beginning Aug. 14, the nation’s-leading satellite service said it will launch in excess of 30 HD channels, a launch phase that will push its lineup of enhanced services to 130.

DirecTV said it will transmit all of its HD programming in the MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding standard, by the end of this month, making it the first distributor in the industry to do so. All HD programming will be available in the Dolby Digital audio format, and later this year, the DBS giant will begin offering movies in 1080p, the highest resolution format available for HD video enthusiasts and the format used by Blu-Ray HD DVDs.

DirecTV’s announcement came on the same day that Verizon’s FiOS TV said it would offer more than 100 HD channels in the New York area, while incumbent video competition Cablevision Systems Corp. is bolstering its enhanced service roster by 15 to more than 60 HD services.

Among the new HD channel set to launch on DirecTV next month: Showtime Extreme HD, Showtime Showcase HD, Planet Green HD and ABC Family HD. It will also provide additional HD pay-per- view channels, plus 12 more regional sports networks, which will lift its RSN roster to 23.

“Despite all the sound and fury of confusing HD claims from our competitors, our customers understand that DirecTV is the destination for the most compelling and complete lineup of HD content,” said DirecTV executive vice president, content, strategy and development Derek Chang. “Our message is clear – DirecTV is the content leader, and our delivery of the best-quality HD via the most advanced technology is one way we continue to dominate this category and offer our more than 17 million customers nationwide an unparalleled entertainment experience.”