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September 24, 2008

DTV2009: A Looming National Crisis, Battery Power, And The DTVPal Plus

tvsnow.gifAs the February 17, 2009 digital TV transition date draws closer it seems mass panic is ensuing...among regulatory bigwigs anyway. Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye is calling for the feds to step up their efforts in preparation for the big day, especially as it'll occur less than one month into the next Presidential Administration.

The DTV transition has the potential to cause serious disruption not just to consumers, but to a new President who will just be getting his feet wet

Meanwhile FCC Chairman Kevin Martin continues to push for more battery-powered DTV converter boxes and battery packs that would allow converter boxes to operate with battery-powered TV's. This is important, he says, in case of public emergencies-kind of ironic given that the spectrum opened up by ridding the America's of analog signals is supposed to be used for a public emergency system.

If you're not looking for a battery-powered box, but are needing something with analog pass-through, DISH Network's DTVPal Plus is now available. NTIA-certified, the DTVPal Plus can be ordered with your $40 converter box coupon bringing the $69.99 MSRP down to only a penny less than $30. Pretty reasonable and you can get yours at http://www.dtv2009.gov.

DTVPal_productShot(2).jpgIn addition to the usual converter box functionality, the DTVPal Plus has an enhanced tuner that allows consumers in weaker signal areas to maximize the number of over-the-air channels they receive. Plus it has analog pass-through, so those in low-power areas that won't be converting next year can still receive unconverted analog signals. For all the details check out the full release after the jump.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- DISH Network
Corporation (Nasdaq: DISH), the digital transition leader, today announced
the availability of the DTVPal(TM) Plus, its next generation
digital-to-analog converter box. The DTVPal(TM) Plus offers all the
features of the industry favorite DTVPal(TM), plus an enhanced digital
tuner for optimizing weak signal areas.

The DTVPal(TM) Plus joins DISH Network's suite of converter boxes that
qualify for the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration's TV Converter Box Coupon Program; coupons may be ordered by
visiting http://www.dtv2009.gov. The DTVPal(TM) Plus costs $29.99 with a
government coupon; MSRP is $69.99*.

"The DTVPal(TM) Plus carries all the popular features of our top-rated
DTVPal(TM), plus a tuner that can help consumers living in weak signal
areas maximize the number of over-the-air channels they receive," said Tom
Stingley, executive vice president of Sales and Distribution for DISH
Network. "With the introduction of the DTVPal(TM) Plus, DISH Network truly
has solutions for every consumer in the country."

In addition to the enhanced digital tuner, DTVPal(TM) Plus includes a
unique analog pass-through feature, which means it can take both analog and
digital signals -- ideal for all consumers affected by the transition, as
many stations are low-power and are not required to switch to digital
broadcasts by 2009.

Additional components include an easy-to-follow setup wizard, an
electronic program guide with up to seven days of program listings,
parental controls, program search, auto tune timers for program recording
on a connected VCR, closed caption support, a remote control, and signal
strength screen pop-ups that can troubleshoot lost signals.

Consumers can also prepare for the digital transition by subscribing to
pay television. DISH Network offers the best value in entertainment with
the lowest all-digital price every day, along with unmatched technology and
award-winning customer service that has surpassed major cable TV providers
for the past eight years. The recently introduced DISH Network American and
Latino Welcome Packs feature 20 popular channels for less than $10 per
month. Or for as little as $19.99 per month (additional $5 for local
channels), DISH Network customers can subscribe to the DishFAMILY package
and receive over 40 popular channels, plus free installation and
activation.

For more information about DISH Network, visit
http://www.dishnetwork.com or call 1-800-333-DISH (3474). To learn more
about the DTVPal(TM) Plus, or to order a converter box, visit
http://www.dtvpal.com or call 1-888-638-9912.

Read More in: Digital TV Transition 2009

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Posted by Justin Davey at September 24, 2008 9:49 PM

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