DirecTV is welcoming two new birds to its flock after the successful launch Wednesday afternoon of two satellites — DirecTV-15 and SKYM-1 — from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
The new satellites, expected to begin operation in the third quarter of 2015, will backup DirecTV’s existing fleet while tacking on more capacity for HD and 4K/Ultra HD fare. Watch a replay of the launch here.
DirecTV-15 is an all CONUS (Continental United States, including Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico) beam satellite built by Airbus Defence and Space, and will be the first for the company to operate in all five DirecTV U.S. orbital slots and all frequency bands (Ku, Ka and Reverse Band). It will be used to expand capacity for both HD and 4K channels, and provide backup for existing CONUS transponders, DirecTV said.