July 31, 2008
| by Dennis P. Barker
DISH Network is raising the bar for the next-generation HD standard by becoming the first in the pay-TV industry to offer high definition programming in 1080p. This new functionality is part of their latest expansion in HD services, which includes the rollout of a new service called TurboHD. According to DISH, it is the industry’s first 100 percent, all-HD suite of programming packages featuring 1080p resolution (DirectTV rolls out their 1080p programming later this year).
DISH Network’s new “turbo-charged” system upgrade is being rolled out to all MPEG-4 HD and HD DVR receivers on August 1. Current customers with MPEG-4 HD and HD DVR receivers (such as model ViP 722) are being automatically upgraded and can enjoy the 1080p programming for an additional $10 per month (TurboHD programming packages start at $24.99 per month).
Previously, DISH Network had announced that it will also launch 17 more national HD channels on August 1st, which surpasses its goal of reaching 100 national HD channels five months ahead of schedule. DISH now plans to nearly double its national HD channel count in less than one year and offer up to 150 national HD channels by the end of 2008. This is made possible by the recent launch of Echo XI, reportedly the most powerful satellite in the company’s fleet.
According to Charlie Ergen, Chairman, CEO and President of DISH Network, “Over the years, DISH Network has maintained a very competitive HD offering in the marketplace, providing customers with a premium HD product including the best technology, signal and experience – at the best value – that no other pay-TV provider can come close to matching. Our latest system upgrade coupled with the introduction of TurboHD further strengthens our position as the leader in digital television and high definition television, platforms we look forward to enhancing even more with mobile and portable options.”
According to DISH, the latest national HD channels to be added to its programming line-up will include: ActionMax HD (DISH Network Ch. 313), CBS College Sports HD (Ch. 152), Lifetime HD (Ch. 108), Lifetime Movie Network HD (Ch. 109), Planet Green HD (Ch. 194), Encore HD (Ch. 340), HBO 2 HD (Ch. 301), HBO Comedy HD (Ch. 307), HBO Family HD (Ch. 305), HBO Latino HD (Ch. 309), HBO Signature HD (Ch. 302), HBO West HD (Ch. 303), HBO Zone HD (Ch. 308), Starz Comedy HD (Ch. 354), Starz Edge HD (Ch. 352), Starz Kids & Family HD (Ch. 356), Starz West HD (Ch. 351).
Currently, DISH Network Corporation is the third largest pay-TV provider, and has more than 13 million satellite TV customers.
Dennis has been involved with Consumer Electronics forever it seems. His 25+-year career includes a 12-year tour of duty at Consumer Reports magazine, as well as stints as a product reviewer, market analyst, technical editor, and consultant for the electronics industry. He lives in Ossining, NY with his two children, one demanding cat and piles of A/V equipment.