A satellite deemed crucial to DirecTV's (NASDAQ: DTV) further rollout of 4K/Ultra HD services successfully launched Dec. 6 out of the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
The DirecTV-14 satellite was propelled into space by an Ariane 5 rocket, which also took up a separate satellite for space researchers in India.
DirecTV says the new satellite will begin operations in the second quarter of 2015. The company also says its the first commercial satellite to use the Reverse Band Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) spectrum, delivering additional capacity for 4K programming across North America.
The satellite will also be used as "backup" to DirecTV's existing fleet of six birds.
Commenting during DirecTV's third-quarter earnings report in October, company CEO Mike White tied the expansion of the operators' newly christened but limited 4K service to the successful launch of the new satellite.
"We congratulate the launch team and our partners, Arianespace and SSL, on a picture-perfect launch," said Phil Goswitz, senior VP, space and communications, DirecTV. "Today we achieved a significant milestone in the development and future adoption of 4K Ultra HD and ensured our customers will have an entertainment experience that is second to none for many years to come."
DirecTV-14 launches aboard an Ariane 5 rocket. (Source: Arianespace / YouTube)
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