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DirecTV is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service that transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in the United States and the rest of the Americas. DirecTV is owned by DirecTV Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation’s Fox Entertainment Group. more...
DirecTV typically uses a fixed 18-inch diameter dish antenna to receive its signals. Slightly larger, 18x24-inch elliptical antennas (which receive signals from 3 geostationary satellite positions simultaneously) are becoming more common as DirecTV (as well as other DBS services) attempt to squeeze more programming onto their growing systems — particularly local television network affiliate stations, as well as HDTV programming. DTV is now installing a dish that has 5-LNBs (receives signals from 5 satellites) for HD programming in select markets.
DirecTV, officially stylized as "DIRECTV," is often abbreviated as "DTV." However, DTV has recently been used to refer to digital television. Due to this conflict, and the fact that EchoStar is often abbreviated "E*" ("E" for Echo, "*" for star), DirecTV is more commonly abbreviated as "D*."
DirecTV receivers (television set-top boxes) originally were referred to as "Digital Satellite Service," or DSS, a blanket term that encompassed services marketed by both DirecTV and USSB. In 1998, after the acquisition of USSB, an American court ruled that the term "DSS" was an already trademarked term that could not be used by DirecTV.
DirecTV offers local channels to 93% of U.S. residents (including Alaska and Hawaii). Local channels are transmitted over terrestrial optical fiber networks to the Castle Rock Broadcast Center, in Castle Rock, Colorado, where they are uplinked.
As of November 30, 2005 DirecTV has over 15 million customers in the U.S. and 1.57 million in Latin America. 2005 revenues are $3.15 billion.
DirecTV was launched in 1994 by General Motors subsidiary Hughes Electronics. It was the first high-powered DBS service in the world.
In 1998 DirecTV acquired its partner, USSB for $1.3 billion. In 1999 DirecTV acquired PrimeStar for $1.83 billion. In 2003, a merger with EchoStar, owner of Dish Network, fell through.
On December 22, 2003, General Motors sold controlling interest in Hughes Electronics to News Corporation.
On November 15, 2005, DirecTV stopped carrying Music Choice audio-only channels, replacing it with 72 channels of XM Satellite Radio.
Number of subscribers by year
Rupert Murdoch, Chairman
Chase Carey, President and Chief Executive Officer
Bruce B. Churchill, Executive Vice President
Larry D. Hunter, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Michael W. Palkovic, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Romulo G. Pontua, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
Patrick T. Doyle, Senior Vice President, Treasurer, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer