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DirecTV To Add 30 HD Channels

7/28/2008 03:11:00 PM Eastern

El Segundo, Calif. — DirecTV said Monday it will ramp up its HDTV service to 130 channels by adding 30 new channels beginning Aug. 14, and will add movies in 1080p HD format later in the year.

Among the new HD channels will be Showtime Extreme HD, Showtime Showcase HD, Planet Green HD, ABC Family HD, additional HD pay-per-view channels and an additional 23 Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) in HD 24 hours a day.

DirecTV said all of the channels will be broadcast in the MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding standard by the end of this month.

All HD programming will also be available in the Dolby Digital audio format, and later this year, the satellite TV provider said it will begin offering movies in full 1080p resolution.

“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,” stated Derek Chang, DirecTV content strategy and development executive VP. “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.”

DirecTV said it also added 44 new HD local channel markets, and by the end of the year it plans to provide local HD broadcast channels in 121 cities, representing more than 88 percent of U.S. TV households. The new local HD markets will begin to be added in August and will continue through the end of the year.