Dish Network’s plans to offer more high-definition (HD) channels received a big boost with the successful launch of the EchoStar XI satellite.
The launch of the satellite, which was built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), took place last night and was followed up by the news that its solar arrays were deployed earlier this morning.
The 20-kW direct broadcast satellite (DBS) is performing post-launch maneuvers on schedule as it continues its progress toward its in-orbit testing location. Its final location in geosynchronous orbit will be 110 degrees West longitude. It is the fourth SS/L-built satellite to be launched this year and the fifth satellite that SS/L has provided to Dish Network.
Dish Network said in January that it would have 100 HD channels before the end of the year, but the company’s HD deployment plans suffered a setback in March when a satellite launched by SES Americom failed.
Dish Network said last week that it was adding 17 additional HD channels and that it would reach its goal of 100 HD channels sooner than it previously projected (story here).
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