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Dish Finally Ships Slingbox-Enabled DVR

Dish Network this week began taking orders for the ViP922 SlingLoaded DVR receiver -- about a year after it originally expected to ship the product -- a key piece of the satellite operator's "TV Everywhere" strategy.

The "SlingLoaded" DVR allows customers to access their TV lineup and DVR recordings over the Internet on a mobile device or laptop. EchoStar Communications acquired Sling Media in late 2007 in a deal worth about $380 million. Sling Media is currently part of EchoStar Technologies, which is a separate company from Dish Network.

Whereas many cable operators are approaching TV Everywhere as network-based services, Dish is taking the Slingbox route, which it argues provides subscribers access to their full live TV lineup and recorded programs. In a sly move to co-opt the industry term, Dish last fall filed to trademark"TV Everywhere."

The ViP922 is a dual-tuner, one-TV receiver with a 1-Terabyte hard drive. The box also features a new user interface with tile-based menus, network logos and poster art for movies and TV shows. A home media option allows users to access supported media, including pictures and music, from equipment on their home network (excluding streaming video).

The ViP922 has a suggested retail price of $699, with additional units costing $649. Existing Dish customers can get the DVR for a lease "upgrade" of $200.

Dish will charge a $10 DVR service fee for the ViP922, instead of the standard $6 per month DVR service fee. The company will charge a $17 fee only if the model ViP922 receiver is in the secondary position on the customer's account.

Details of the ViP922 DVR were previously reported by Engadget.