DirecTV logoDirecTV recently launched their ninth satellite, the DIRECTV 9S, with a flawless liftoff from the spaceport in Kouou, French Guinea. Controllers successfully tested the operation of the new high-powered spot-beam satellite, which will provide backup services and local standard-definition local channels throughout the US coverage area -- wait a minute, standard def? Where's the national high-def customers have been waiting on? Let me rescan the news release for more info: okay, four satellites have been launched in the past two years, lots of local channels offered now, details about how the bird was launched and such, ah here it is; DIRECTV10 and DIRECTV11 will be launched in 2007 to offer that long-awaited HD national coverage. Meanwhile, Echostar's Dish Network offers over 30 HD channels right now. While few can doubt the mighty wisdom and weight behind DirecTV and their decision to launch a backup SD sat, its customers only have to wait a mere 14 months maximum (assuming no launch delays or other technical problems) to get more high-definition channels. Here's to you, DTV subscribers! May your wait be short!

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DirecTV launches ninth satellite... for standard-def channels