You’ve probably already seen our article about DirecTV’s announcement of the Sat-Go. I attended back to back conferences by EchoStar and DirecTV and it seemed that DirecTV one-upped DISH on everything that Dish announced with the exception of the DVR.
For example, EchoStar announced a partnership with Nascar while DirecTV announced the Nascar HotPass where five various drivers have their own channel each week starting at Daytona in a month. Each channel will include 2 announcers and 25-30 cameras so fans can follow their favorite drivers.
EchoStar mentioned that they are the HD leader with the current largest HD lineup of 30 national channels while DirecTV’s HD capacity will reach 150 national channels and 1500 local channels by the end of 2007.
Next, EchoStar announced MobileDISH, which through a partnership with RaySat, provides more than 100 channels through a car roof-mounted DISH antenna. DirecTV of course announced their Sat-Go for a truly portable solution.
The one area where EchoStar clearly has an advantage is through their DVR. For an all inclusive fee of $49.99 DVR users get the DVR service and 200 channels with a standard dual-tuner DVR. The ViP622 DVR is the first HD DVR in the industry offered for free with no rebates, no upgrade fees and no upfront costs. While DISH has better value, they also have a more advanced DVR in the ViP receivers offering HD using MPEG-4 and MPEG-2, iPTV-capable and digital OTA. The EchoStar DVR provides DVR services in two rooms using one receiver which saves money for customers and EchoStar (easier installation) and allows users to share DVR content in other rooms. Additional storage on the DVRs is available through USB.