Dish Network Takes Optical Views Into Apartments

Dish Network announced a “fiber-to-the-home” satellite TV programming solution for multiple dwelling units, a new service aimed at property owners.

With the service -- called the Dish Optical Network -- programming is delivered via satellite to a base system that can support up to 128 subscribers in an MDU. The signals are then sent to an individual apartment over single-mode fiber-optic links, with each subscriber able to use up to six standard single-tuner Dish receivers (or three dual-tuner set-tops).

 Dish is shooting to offer 100 high-definition channels by the end of 2008. The optical system for MDUs has the capacity to deliver up to 400 HD channels to each subscriber over a single strand of fiber-optic cable.

Dish Optical Network will be available in production quantities later in 2008. The company’s current MDU offerings include an L-band solution for “garden-style” communities, and satellite master antenna television  systems for high-rise buildings and universities.

The optical service is best suited for small to midsize properties or MDUs that wish to have multiple video providers and “require an equipment investment model that is based on guaranteed subscribers,” according to Dish vice president of commercial services Brian Yohn.