DIRECTV to Offer Free HDTV Upgrade

The switch will likely require a programming commitment. By Phillip Swann

Washington D.C. (September 6, 2005) -- DIRECTV revealed tonight that it will offer a free system upgrade for High-Definition TV owners so they can get local high-def channels later this year.

DIRECTV is expected to begin offering local HD in 12 markets by year's end. However, the channels will only be available on new DIRECTV MPEG-4 receivers and dishes, which have yet to go on sale.

Until now, it was uncertain if current HDTV owners would have to pay up to $300 to buy a new receiver to get the local high-def signals.

However, Robert Mercer, a DIRECTV spokesman, told Tuesday night that current HDTV owners would be offered a free upgrade. An estimated 600,000 DIRECTV subscribers have high-def sets.

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Monty Solomon
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