|Mission duration||15 years|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||March 19, 2008|
DirecTV-11 had originally been scheduled for launch by Sea Launch in November, 2007. Following a launch failure at Sea Launch that resulted in damage to the facility, the expected launch date was changed to March 19, 2008. Launch occurred at 22:47:59 UTC on March 19, 2008 and the spacecraft separated from the carrier rocket 61 minutes later, following a successful ascent.
Boeing handed over the DirecTV-11 satellite to DirecTV on Monday, July 21, 2008 according to a press release on the Boeing website. This means that the satellite is "parked" at or extremely close to its final location of 99.225ºW. Customers with High-Definition receivers or High-Definition DVRs can see new satellite readings under the "Satellite Strength" menu on their receiver. The DirecTV-11 will show up as 99(a) or 99(b) for High-Def receivers and 99(c) and 99(s) for High-Definition DVRs.
Broadcasting to customers
DirecTV-11 began broadcasting High-Definition channels to customers on July 31, 2008. Those first channels were MPEG-4 counterparts of the older MPEG-2 channels DirecTV originally carried in the 70-79 channel range as well as four east coast distant network channels. Since the initial roll out of channels in July, DirecTV has added over 40 more HD channels to DirecTV-11. These channels included converting some part-time regional sports networks to full-time HD channels as well as new national HD channels like ABC Family and Comedy Central, some premium channels, and HD pay-per-view. DirecTV-11 now broadcasts over 50 HD channels, bringing DirecTV's total HD channel count over 130.
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