DIRECTV Satellite Transponder Information

Tom Speer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Original poster
Staff member
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Jul 26, 2016
Adirondack Mtns, NY and Eastern NC
DirecTV Weekly Satellite Transponder/PID Channel Grids

12/6/2023 JMJ

The attached Excel Workbooks are produced by the weekly data capture from the satellites. It follows the work of Sixto, then Doctor J's manual compilation of the National HD transponders. These automated charts have been extended to include all of the DirecTV transponders, both mpeg2 and mpeg4, including all spotbeam transponders. They are created by a Python program that reads the captured data. These files are updated weekly by a member of the DataDigesters team, usually Doctor J, with Tom Speer and others providing backup.


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DirecTV Weekly Transponder PID (Channel) Counts

Updated 12/06/2023 - JMJ

The attached Excel workbook documents the number of PIDs, carried on each of DirecTVs satellite transponders. The data is taken from DataDigesters' weekly data capture. It tabulates the number of HD, SD, 4K, Audio, etc data streams on each transponder, then sums them by Net number on each satellite. Each PID represents a unique video and/or audio data stream. Any two or more guide data records that point to the same NET, TID and PID (and beam for Ku spot beams) are carrying the same program. So this is a count of the number of unique channels carried by DirecTV.


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DirecTV Satellite Transponder Tables
Updated 05/19/2022
Tom Speer

The attached Satellite Transponder Tables are a complement to Gary Toma’s TPN maps. Where Gary’s TPN Maps detail the data for each broadcast channel on DirecTV, these spreadsheets document the multichannel digital streams that carry those signals. They are based primarily on the Schedule S filings (or their earlier equivalents) that DirecTV filed with the FCC, documenting the frequency and uplink facilities for each satellite transponder, the output frequency of each transponder and the beam or beams that the transponder transmits on. The TID and TPN used by the receiver software is shown and corresponds to the same values in Gary Toma’s TPN map, and the beam designations here are used to populate the beams identified in the weekly TPN map.

The FCC data is supplemented by the weekly data collected by our team, and manual entries created by analyzing the Beam Footprint Maps.

All of the DirecTV satellites’ data are presented as an Excel workbook, with tabs for each satellite. On each sheet, the data is color coded to indicate its source, according to the key at the bottom of each sheet. The data will be updated when there are any changes detected in the weekly data.

The transponder map for satellites D12 and later are well documented in the FCC database. It was built as a spare for both D10 and D11. It does contain information on transponders that are only used on D11. There are 13 spot beam transponders that share the same uplinks as another transponder, but are not used on D12. Those transponders, on the other hand, are used on D11.
Some of the data and beams for D10 and D11 are inferred from the detailed filings for D12.

Note that in these tables, the concept of a “transponder” is the device that takes in one digital input stream, converts its frequency and transmits it on one or more output beams. There may be multiple amplifiers and filters on the input, it may be able to select alternate input beams, and it can feed multiple filters and TWTAs to feed the output beams. Each transponder processes one digital stream carrying multiple digitally modulated channels. A prime example is DirecTV 15. To satisfy FCC filing requirements, DirecTV documented 6 transponders for each uplink frequency. Each of these groups of 6 represent only one transponder in the satellite that has two alternate input beams and 3 output beams. I have shown only one transponder. The two alternate uplinks, and three downlink beams are noted for each transponder.

For the Ka band and Reverse Ku band satellites at 99 and 103 West, each transponder has its own TID, and the individual digital streams can have different modulation, encoding and FEC parameters. All transponders with the same TPN number, on a given satellite, use the same downlink frequency and polarity. For the spot beams on the Ku satellites on 101 and 119, all transponders on the same downlink frequency and polarity have the same TID and TPN (TPN=TID+1), and must use the same modulation, encoding and FEC for all transponders on that TPN number.


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DirecTV Band Plans, Frequencies, TIDs and TPNs
Updated 07/25/2021

Tom Speer

The attached Excel workbook shows the four frequency bands used by DirecTV for broadcast. Each band is in a separate tab, with the frequencies arranged in order from top to bottom. The TPN numbers that DirecTV assigns to the 36 MHz (24MHz for Ku band) wide digital channels is shown, as well as the TIDs on each satellite that use that frequency. Each Ka band transponder can carry 6 to 9 HD TV channels through statistical multiplexing of the packetized data stream. The TPN number, used by the Signal Strength display on the receivers, is a reference to a frequency and polarity combination.

The TID number is an index to a table of tuning parameters the STB needs to tune to a transponder. For all but the Ku Band, the TID number corresponds to a physical transponder on the satellite. The Net and TID numbers, taken as a pair, uniquely identify a transponder, its specific orbital position, frequency, polarity, modulation and encoding characteristics, to allow the receivers to tune to it.

The Ku band is where DirecTV started. It presently carries mostly MPEG2 encoded SD channels multiplexed into 24 Mhz wide digital transponder streams. The TID numbers are simply one less than the TPN, and we cannot distinguish physical transponders on the spot beams on the Ku band, except by their beam patterns. The (Net,TID) pair still specifies orbital position, frequency, polarity, modulation and encoding, but there are multiple transponders, with different beam patterns on the same TID number.
The two Ka Bands, and the reverse band are presently where the HD channels are, encoded in MPEG4 format. Some channels on these transponders are MPEG4 encoded, but are only in SD.

The modulation characteristics of each transponder, whether Ka or Ku, is determined by the modulation of the uplink channel. There is no technical reason that the Ku satellites have to stay as MPEG2, except for the population of older SD only receivers with no MPEG4 capabilities. DirecTV has announced that they intend to phase out SD duplicates of HD channels.

In order to reduce maintenance effort for these tables, I am no longer flagging the TIDs that are not carrying any programming. That information is available in the weekly PID count Excel workbook that I am now posting weekly.

Major Changes:
6/22/15 SW2 out of service, D14 TIDs fully defined
6/24/15 More D14 TIDs in service
7/8/15, 7/10/15, 7/15/15, 7/22/15, 7/29/15 More D14 TIDs in service, SW1 losing channels
7/29/15 added tab for RDBS frequencies
8/5/15: Most of the TIDs for SW1 have been removed from the system. The remaining ones were loaded up. Some D14 spots were moved back to SW1
11/08/15 Added TPN and TID for RDBS band.
12/03/15 Corrected a long standing error in the frequency of the transponders on D5 @ 110. The LNB for that orbital position uses a different LOF, so we were miscalculating the actual frequency.
4/12/17 Activated National Transponders on D14
8/8/18 Updated information for Reverse Band transponders and added reconfigured SW2 to the Ka-Hi Band Plan
10/4/18 D15 replaced D8 at 101
01/23/19 Updated Ka-Hi chart at 103
09/19/19 Updated to remove D4S, add T16, and show D15 back at 103, D9S role has changed. Also corrected frequencies on Kalo band (B-band)
11/21/20 substituted D8 for D7S at 119 (Net 3)
07/24/21 Eliminated G3C@95W and D5@110 from active transponders. Showed D15 capable of providing TPNs 1 to 24,and 124 to 137 at 103W


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Direct Uplink Facilities and Earth Stations

Updated 4/27/2023
Doctor J

The attached table summarizes the information from all of the FCC filings for the DirecTV Earth Stations that transmit data and digital streams to the satellites.

Note that the FCC filings, in specifying the receive spot beams of the satellites, only specify "the area around Los Angeles, California" for instance, rather than a specific facility. The beams are not that narrow. So, any receive beam noted in the Satellite Transponder Tables as LABC for instance, would receive from any of the facilities in Southern California transmitting on their designated input frequency and polarity. Likewise the CRBC, SWUF, NEUF, NWUF, and MWUF all have diversity sites within the receive beam patterns, but separated from the primary site.

File From 2016
Will try to update soon


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