Satellite television provider DIRECTV now offers local HD programming in 82 cities with the additions of the Johnstown-Altoona, Pennsylvania areas. DIRECTV now covers 77-percent of US households, and has set a goal of adding 39 more local HD markets by the end of 2008.
The local channels, WTAJ/CBS and WJAC/NBC, are now available in high-definition in those markets. DIRECTV will add other local HD channels in the area as they become available.
DIRECTV and rival satellite DISH network are now in a race for domination of 1080p broadcasts. Using MPEG-4 technology, a more advanced method of video compression over MPEG-2, broadcasters can squeeze more high-definition content into their bandwidth.
DISH recently charged ahead in the 1080p race when they started broadcasting MPEG-4 to 21 markets in the Eastern half of the US.