EchoStar Introduces Off-Air Analog/Digital Tuner Cartridge for High Definition Television

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LITTLETON, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 11, 2000--EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq: DISH, DISHP):

New Tuner Cartridge Offers DISH Network Customers Local Off-Air High Definition Television, Now Available for DISH HD Model 6000 Satellite TV Receiver

EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq: DISH, DISHP) announced today the launch of its optional 8VSB tuner cartridge enabling customers who have the DISH Network(TM) Model 6000 satellite television receiver to receive off-air analog and digital broadcasts such as those in the High Definition Television (HDTV) format (where available).

The cartridge is now available at participating DISH Network retailers for a special introductory price of only $100. After Jan. 1 the cartridge will be available for $149 MSRP.

The 8VSB tuner cartridge uses state-of-the-art 8VSB tuner technology for maximum off-air reception and performance. By upgrading their DISH Network Model 6000 satellite receiver with the 8VSB tuner cartridge, consumers can enjoy the convenience of seamless channel surfing between off-air analog and off-air digital broadcasts (where available) in addition to standard and high definition DISH Network satellite television programming.

The Model 6000 is an integrated HDTV satellite television receiver capable of receiving four channels of DISH Network's HDTV programming in addition to its full complement of standard definition digital satellite channels. DISH Network is proud to offer more HDTV channels than any other direct broadcast satellite television provider. The DISH HD Model 6000 receiver unit is available for an MSRP of $499 (8VSB tuner cartridge sold separately).

The Model 6000 delivers DISH Network's high definition programming with outstanding picture clarity and crystal-clear Dolby Digital™ sound. By offering both component (Y, Pr, Pb) and RGB HDTV video outputs, the model 6000 is compatible with virtually all HDTV sets. The Model 6000 and 8VSB tuner cartridge supports both 1080i and 720p HDTV resolution output formats and complies with standards established by the Advanced Television Standards Committee.

The ability to view high definition programming is not limited to owners of HDTV sets. DISH HD also allows high definition programming to be viewed on today's standard definition television sets by down-converting HDTV programming to the standard definition format. Also included are many of the advanced features found in other premium EchoStar products, such as an Infra-red Blaster for VCR control, UHF/Infra-red remote control, event timers and parental controls.

HDTV offers the highest resolution format of digital television with the best picture clarity available today. The DISH HD receiver turns home entertainment into a movie-theater-like experience with its wide-screen format and superior picture quality.

DISH Network now offers the following high definition channels: HBO-HD, SHOWTIME-HD, DISH-On-Demand pay-per-view HD movies and a 24-hour HDTV demonstration channel.

DISH Network customers will need a second dish pointed at 61.5 degrees West Longitude in order to receive high definition programming. The DISH HD Model 6000 allows customers who own a DISH 500 dish antenna which receives programming from both 119 degrees W.L. and 110 degrees W.L. orbital locations to access DISH Network's standard definition, all-digital programming packages, as well as new movie channels, more pay-per-view channels, more premium movie channels, DISH Latino Spanish-language and bilingual package, plus local channels that are available in 34 U.S. metro areas.

DISH Network offers a convenient HDTV equipment package, which includes the Model 6000 satellite TV receiver and two satellite dishes for $699. The off-air analog/digital tuner cartridge is sold separately.

The DISH HD Model 6000 and the off-air 8VSB tuner cartridges are only available at participating retailers. To find a retailer near you, visit

DISH Network is a trademark of EchoStar Communications Corporation. DISH Network is EchoStar's state-of-the-art direct broadcast satellite TV system that is capable of offering over 500 channels of digital video and CD-quality audio programming, as well as fully MPEG-2/DVB compliant hardware and installation. DISH Network was ranked number one in overall customer satisfaction among cable/satellite TV subscribers by J.D. Power and Associates in 1999 and 2000. EchoStar is included in the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX). DISH Network currently serves over 5 million customers. For more information visit or call 1-800/333-DISH (3474).

CONTACT: EchoStar Communications Corp., Littleton
Marc Lumpkin, 303/723-2020