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DISH Network Launches Nation's Largest HD Package


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#1 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 01:13 PM

DISH Network Launches Nation's Largest HD Package - DishHD, Featuring Local HD Channels and New VOOM HD Channels

LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 5, 2006--

Most National Content plus World's First MPEG4 HD DVR Establishes
DISH Network as Industry Leader for HDTV
EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) and its DISH Network™ satellite TV service announced today from the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show the rollout of its new high-definition television package, DishHD. By offering the most HD channels in the pay-TV industry and with the introduction of a new line of advanced satellite receivers, DishHD gives its customers more than 1,700 hours a week of HD content from the nation's top programmers.

DISH Network is expanding its HD channel lineup in 2006 by adding five new original VOOM channels -- bringing the total to 15 -- as well as other new HD networks including ESPN2 HD and Universal HD. In addition, DISH Network will launch high-definition local channels through its satellite service in up to 50 markets in 2006, starting with Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York in February, and reaching more than 50 percent of U.S. TV households with local HD channels. The remainder of the country's local HD channels will be offered to DISH Network customers via an off-air antenna solution.

DishHD offers 25 national HD channels plus local broadcast channels where available, providing more than 200 hours of HD programming every day. Cable companies, with a national average of just 10 HD channels, cannot come close to the robust lineup of DishHD.

With up to four different programming packages to choose from, DishHD customers can find an option that best fits their viewing needs. For as little as $54.99 a month, customers can access the entire 25-channel DishHD lineup, and get more than 70 all-digital standard definition channels plus their local channels in standard and high definition.

Current DishHD channels include:

VOOM Networks
Discovery HD -----------------
ESPN HD Animania HD Monsters HD
HBO HD Equator HD Rave HD
HD Net Film Fest HD Rush HD
HD Net Movies Gallery HD Ultra HD
HD Pay-Per-View HD News Kung Fu HD
Showtime HD
TNT HD
On Feb. 1, DISH Network will begin transmitting newly added HD channels in MPEG4, a signal compression standard developed by MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group). MPEG4 allows DISH Network to maximize the bandwidth available on its satellites and offer the most robust lineup of HD channels in the nation.

New DishHD channels available only in MPEG4 include:

VOOM Networks
ESPN2 HD ------------------
Universal HD Family Room HD
HD Locals Gameplay HD
Treasure HD
World Cinema HD
WorldSport HD
DISH Network is also introducing at CES a new series of satellite receivers that combine MPEG4 and MPEG2 signal capability. The cutting-edge ViP Series combines state-of-the-art imaging technology with life-like Dolby® Digital 5.1 surround sound for the best picture and sound quality available. Existing customers with MPEG2 equipment, such as the DISH Player DVR 942, will continue to receive all their current content and will need to upgrade to a ViP Series receiver to receive the new HD channels. DISH Network will offer a convenient upgrade package for existing customers who want to expand their HD lineup to include the new channels.

The ViP211™ HD satellite receiver, the first model in the ViP series that supports both MPEG4 and MPEG2, is available through DISH Network for only $49.99 for new lease customers.

Also included in the ViP series is the ViP622™ DVR, the world's first MPEG4 multi-room high definition and digital video recorder satellite TV receiver with the ability to view independent programs -- one in high definition and one in standard definition programming -- on two televisions at once. No other pay-TV company offers this innovative combination. It features a massive hard drive with a recording capacity of up to 25 hours of high-definition and up to 180 hours of standard-definition content.

The cutting-edge ViP622 DVR also features reverse, fast-forward, and pause as well as a picture-in-picture feature on any TV and the ability to record Dolby Digital® when available. The ViP622 DVR will be available in the first quarter of 2006 for a one-time upgrade price of $299 for new lease customers, which includes a dish antenna and free standard professional installation (monthly DVR fee applies).

The ViP622 DVR also features:

-- Digital/analog off-air tuner

-- Up to 9-day, Picture-In-Guide, Widescreen Electronic
Program Guide (EPG)

-- High-Definition Resolutions: 480p, 720p, 1080i (480i is
up-converted)

-- Records two programs simultaneously in high definition,
but programs can be viewed in standard definition on other
TVs in the home.
The ViP622 DVR offers DISH Network's convenience and features that customers have grown to depend on, including parental controls, electronic program guide, picture in guide and name-based recording.

Consumers can call 1-800-333-DISH (3474) or visit www.DISHNetwork.com for more information.

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#2 OFFLINE   rbird

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 01:25 PM

All right, so this is exciting news. Does anyone have price information for the new HD receivers, and by that I mean purchase/upgrade price for existing customers who don't want to lease? Some specs would be nice as well. Thanks.

Bob

#3 OFFLINE   jwt0001

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 01:26 PM

MPEG-4 only for the new stuff? Who cares unless they're going to announce how current subscribers will be able to upgrade.

#4 OFFLINE   Rob Glasser

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 01:29 PM

Hmm, my understanding was the OTA tuner was going to be digital only on the Vip622, not digital/analog like it is on the 942. I wonder if things have changed or if it was simply a typo in the release.
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#5 OFFLINE   Hound

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 01:53 PM

Sounds like it only sends HD to only one TV. Both of my TV's are HD.

Just Called Dish and CSR says new HD receivers and new HD packages are not
available until March. CSR did not know what a ViP622 was.

#6 OFFLINE   Paradox-sj

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 02:16 PM

Its says that the 622 can "Records two programs simultaneously in high definition"...

This is a step backward as the 942 can record three HD shows simultaneously...

#7 OFFLINE   aussiejohn

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 02:23 PM

And talking to Dish a few moments ago, asking about the new services and as a new customer would I be able to get the new hardware and programming I get:

"We don't know anything about that, you'd pay more and it won't be announced until March."

Nice, where's that DirecTV number.....

#8 OFFLINE   dsanbo

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 02:41 PM

MPEG-4 only for the new stuff? Who cares unless they're going to announce how current subscribers will be able to upgrade.

I just called E*....They tell me I have to go through a local retailer....so I have 2 on the string now, waiting for info on the 211 OR 411 receiver...
It frosts me that NEW customers are getting the 411/211, but we existing customers gotta fight tooth and nail to latch onto one.....:mad:

#9 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 02:42 PM

Its says that the 622 can "Records two programs simultaneously in high definition"...

This is a step backward as the 942 can record three HD shows simultaneously...

Check your information. A DVR cannot record more concurrent programs than it has tuners. The 942 and VIP622 can both record two programs and display a third pre-recorded program concurrently.

#10 OFFLINE   LtMunst

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 02:52 PM

Check your information. A DVR cannot record more concurrent programs than it has tuners. The 942 and VIP622 can both record two programs and display a third pre-recorded program concurrently.



The 942 has THREE tuners (2 Sat + 1 OTA) and yes, it can record 3 programs at one time.

#11 OFFLINE   bobukcat

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 03:04 PM

I think it stinks that they are going to put something as mainstream as ESPN2HD on as MPEG4 only. Since only new subscribers can get it and the DVR probably won't be readily available until most likely late spring it's like their launching it to about .01 percent of their customers! I don't have the VOOM channels because I don't want to add another dish for the 61.5 or 129 spots so I guess if it's on one of those birds I wouldn't be able to get it anyway.

I consider the VOOM channels to be more fluff (please no flames, it's just not content I really care about FTMP) as oppossed to mainstream sports like NCAA BB, which I watch a ton of. (Full Court Subscriber for 4 years). :(

#12 OFFLINE   Paradox-sj

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 03:13 PM

The 942 has THREE tuners (2 Sat + 1 OTA) and yes, it can record 3 programs at one time.



Thank you!

So is that a typo or is the 622 really limited to recording just 2 HD streams at a time?

#13 OFFLINE   BillJ

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 03:16 PM

This is disappointing. The new lineup is fine but I want an HD DVR and it apparently won't be available until March and then apparently only to new customers. I also want my locals (Chicago) in HD, which apparently will be available in Feb. but I won't have an MPEG4 receiver in time for Super Bowl. Maybe I can cancel the Super Bowl party I've had for 24 years and watch it with someone who has DirecTV.

I don't mind the a modest cost increase or paying for a new receiver but I feel like E* totally dropped the ball on this. Not to mention screwing long time customers in favor of new ones. Maybe time for an email to my contact in the CEO's office.

#14 OFFLINE   Rob Glasser

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 03:22 PM

Thank you!

So is that a typo or is the 622 really limited to recording just 2 HD streams at a time?


I'm guessing you'll still be able to record 3 streams. If you look at the product info of the 942 everything about it mentions just 2 streams even though the software allows all 3 tuners to record at once.
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#15 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 03:24 PM

And talking to Dish a few moments ago, asking about the new services and as a new customer would I be able to get the new hardware and programming I get:

"We don't know anything about that, you'd pay more and it won't be announced until March."

Nice, where's that DirecTV number.....

DirecTV will tell you:

1. We hope to release an MPEG4 HD DVR (non-TiVo) in the first half of 2006
2. We don't have any Voom channels yet
3. You'll need to make sure you get a five-satellite dish (diplexing not possible)
4. We hope to offer HD locals in your market (DMA rank 46) "early" 2007

#16 OFFLINE   deuces

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 03:25 PM

Maybe time for an email to my contact in the CEO's office.



Somewhere in DBSTalk I saw an address of CEO@dishnetwork.com or something like that. Seriously who should we contact if we own a 942 and want ESPN2 HD plus DVR capability?

#17 OFFLINE   Rob Glasser

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 03:25 PM

Sounds like it only sends HD to only one TV. Both of my TV's are HD.


It's the same way with the 942. If you want you can always hook up 2 HD TV's to TV1 (one component one HDMI). Downside is they have to watch the same shows since they are both TV1.
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#18 OFFLINE   bthessel

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 03:29 PM

I wonder if the new equipment will be available to new HD subs or only brand new dish subs? I just got an HD TV and am using an OTA antenna for locals right now but I really want more HD content. It addicting.

#19 OFFLINE   deuces

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 03:30 PM

It's the same way with the 942. If you want you can always hook up 2 HD TV's to TV1 (one component one HDMI). Downside is they have to watch the same shows since they are both TV1.



That is what I currently have. Just wife and I, no kids. One TV in basement, one in master bedroom. Works perfect!

#20 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 03:41 PM

The 942 has THREE tuners (2 Sat + 1 OTA) and yes, it can record 3 programs at one time.

I stand corrected. The documentation says two. It also says that you may not be able to record all OTA content. I assume that this means that you cannot record the analog stuff, but I'm surprised that they didn't come out and say it.




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