That's actually a good deal, since they were originally going for about $400, & an integrated one goes for about $700!
It's an add-on that you attach to your existing 4DTV to get the 4DTV (digital) channels. You can get one of these if you don't want to spend the $$$ on a complete new 4DTV integrated receiver. The downfalls are:
-You have to juggle 2 remotes to run all your C-band functions, because you still need to use your C-band receiver to move the dish & view analog channels.
-The 4DTV sidecar does NOT give you an S-video out for your digital signals, where the integrated unit does.
-The prog guide can't really be used for point & click, since it can't make the analog receiver change channels or move the dish.
-No timers to switch among channels for VCR recording.
BUT to EricG, if he DID pick up one of those units, he'd get MORE Showtime channels FOR FREE just by buying the sidecar, plus getting ALL the existing analog Showtime/TMC/Flix/Sundance channels digitally, as well as getting Dolby Digital on ALL of them!
You get all these at NO extra charge: (as well as E & W feeds on each)
So, instead of ONLY getting 6 analog channels, he'd get 24 instead for $49 one-time - sounds pretty good to me.