Friday, June 09, 2006

Dish Network expands HD and deliver high speed internet

And the HD winner, for now, is DISH network.

The sat net announced four new HD channels today -- HGTV HD, NFL Network HD, National Geographic Channel HD and Starz HD. With the additions, DISH now has 29 HD channels, more than any pay-TV provider in the United States.

DISH also announced a price reduction on the MPEG-4 receivers needed to receive the new programming, dropping $100 to $199.

Getting the NFL Network in HD is a huge coup, because live games will be shown on the network next year and some HD fans might switch to DISH instead of waiting for cable or DirecTV to also add NFL HD. That's unless the competition doesn't add it sooner.

DirecTV, for one, says it will be the HD leader in 2007 once newly launched satellites begin to beam down new programming and customers are converted to MPEG-4 receivers from the MPEG-2 models they have now.

With those M-4 receivers, DirecTV will offer local HD channels. Charlotte is slated to get HD locals this summer.

In addition, DISH customers are getting access to a new form of high speed Internet service. Dish's parent company, EchoStar, signed a five-year distribution agreement with WildBlue Communications, a satellite-delivered broadband Internet service.

"DISH High-Speed Internet, powered by WildBlue," will be targeted toward DISH customers located in rural markets starting this fall. As part of the agreement, WildBlue is the only satellite-based Internet solution that EchoStar will offer to its customers for the next five years.

With DISH High-Speed Internet, customers will be able to have access speeds up to 30 times faster than dial-up. The two-way satellite service provides an always on, high-speed data connection. DISH Network customers will need to purchase a separate WildBlue satellite dish to receive the broadband service; however, they do not need an additional phone or cable line. Pricing will be announced later this year.

News n Notes
-- Here's a pretty interesting and original promotional push: Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest videogame publishers, is putting out an ongoing series of videos showcasing useful scientific facts about crazed, out-of-control Bunnies in its upcoming "Rayman Raving Rabbids." Of course, the information provided will be useful in beating the game, out for the holiday season. Click here to get the audio download.

No comments: