DirecTV (stylized as DIRECTV) is an American direct broadcast satellite service provider and broadcaster based in El Segundo, California. As of July 2015, it is a subsidiary of AT&T. Its satellite service, launched on June 17, 1994, transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. Its primary competitors are Dish Network and cable television providers. After receiving approval from the United States Federal Communications Commission and United States Department of Justice, AT&T's acquisition of DirecTV in a transaction valued at $48.5 billion was completed on July 24, 2015.
DirecTV provides television and audio services to subscribers through satellite transmissions. Services include the equivalent of many local television stations, broadcast television networks, subscription television services, satellite radio services, and private video services. Subscribers have access to hundreds of channels, so its competitors are cable television service and other satellite-based services.
Most subscribers use reception antennas which are much smaller than the first generation antennas, which were typically a few yards (meters) across. Advances in antenna technology, including fractal antennas, have allowed a general reduction in antenna size across all industries and applications. Receiving equipment includes a satellite dish, an integrated receiver/decoder and a DirecTV access card, which is necessary to operate the receiver/decoder.
Consumers who purchase DirecTV subscribe to various packages of DirecTV programming for which the subscriber pays a monthly fee. Additional monthly fees may include a protection plan (which provides for repair or replacement of consumer-leased equipment from damages caused by lightning, power surges, floods, etc.), DVR, additional receivers, HD channels, and other premium channel packages. A subscriber also can order pay-per-view and video on demand events and movies. DirecTV contracts with and pays program providers such as cable networks, motion picture distributors, sports leagues, event promoters, and other programming rights holders, for the right to distribute their programming to its subscribers. All programming distributed by DirecTV is delivered to its broadcast centers in Castle Rock, Colorado, and Los Angeles, where it is then digitized and compressed. The resulting signal is encrypted by DirecTV to prevent its unauthorized reception. DirecTV then transmits these signals to several satellites located in geostationary orbit.
As of the quarter (Q3) ended September 30, 2012, DirecTV U.S. had 19.981 million subscribers and revenues for the quarter of US$5.769 billion. For the same period, DirecTV Latin America ended with 9.666 million subscribers and revenues of US$1.577 billion.
In addition to serving residences, DirecTV offers service to bars, restaurants, hotels, dorms, and hospitals through their DirecTV for business service. The company also offered mobile service for cars, boats, and RVs (DirecTV Mobile) as well as aircraft (DirecTV Airborne) in cooperation with Connexion by Boeing.
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