EchoStar has launched its long-awaited 8-VSB digital television tuner cartridge, which will allow customers with DISH Network Model 6000 satellite receivers to receive off-air DTV broadcasts as well as the HDTV programming that EchoStar delivers via its DBS service. The 8-VSB tuner cartridge, which uses demodulation technology from chip manufacturer NxtWave Communications, is available at DISH retailers for an introductory price of $100; after Jan. 1, it will sell for $149. The Model 6000 set-top, already capable of receiving four channels of HDTV programming from EchoStar, sells for $499 (without the 8-VSB cartridge). EchoStar currently offers HBO-HD, Showtime-HD, DISH-On-Demand pay-per-view HD movies, and a 24-hour HDTV demonstration channel.
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