Satellite Gets Serious About HD

Dish ViP622 HD DVR

January 9, 2007 - At consecutive press conferences on Monday, Dish Network announced the first free high-definition DVR and DirecTV promised delivery of 100 national HD channels this year.

Dish Network's ViP622 DVR is the first HD DVR from the satellite industry to be offered with no upfront cost to new subscribers. Features include a 30-second quick-skip button and a 500-gigabyte hard drive, though about half of that capacity is reserved for the satellite operator's version of video-on-demand in which movies are pushed into your home ready to be ordered and viewed. That leaves room for about 30 hours of high-def programs recorded at the viewer's discretion. The ViP622 contains two tuners and can be accessed from a second TV in another room via a coaxial-cable connection and an RF remote control.

DirecTV didn't offer as generous a deal on hardware, but it did promise to launch three times more HD programming this year than any other satellite or cable operator. It said the majority of the new channels would become available in the third quarter.

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