Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Stan Greene
Observer Staff Writer 

Satellite Failure Causes Directv Outage in Los Angeles County

Subscribers reported losing the signal just after 11 PM PST Saturday Night

 

January 27, 2018

DirecTV Los Angeles County experienced a widespread outage Saturday night, reported subscribers. Photo is of planned satellites for DirecTV

DirecTV Los Angeles County experienced a widespread outage Saturday night, reported subscribers.

The failure of a satellite caused an outage for DirecTV customers in LA, at about 9:10 pm PST on Saturday night, January 27, 2018. The company is probably aware of the problem and working to resolve it. No one returned The Observer's request for comment.

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.

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.

It is uncertain how wide the outage is.

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.

 

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