Littleton, Colo. - EchoStar added the Discovery HD Theater channel to its DISH Network programming lineup June 17.
Initially, sneak previews of the channel will be available to any Dish HDTV subscriber with HDTV capable equipment from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. ET on the DISH Network HD Demo Channel 9443 during a free trial lasting until August 1.
Eventually, the HDTV channel will be available 24 hours a day, and will include a variety programs in HDTV format from Discoveries' family of channels including The Learning Channel, Animal Planet, Travel Planet and Discovery Health Channel. The service is assigned to Channel 9420, which is delivered from a satellite at the 61.5 orbital position.
Discovery Channel also announced that cable operators AT&T Broadband of Chicago, Charter Communications Inc. and Cox Communications Inc. have agreed to eventually add Discovery HD Theater to their lineups.
Discovery is the first basic-cable programmer to launch an HDTV feed. It will join premium-movie services Home Box Office and Showtime Networks in offering HDTV programming to cable and satellite subscribers..
Beginning July 1, the 24-hour Discovery HD Theater service will be viewable from channel 9420, using an EchoStar model 6000 HDTV receiver with an add-on Enhanced HD module. Owners of the previous model 5000 receiver and HDTV adapter will not be able to receive the Discovery HD service transmitted from Channel 9420.
To view the channel, subscribers will have to update to the model 6000 and the Enhanced HD adapter, which will be available July 1 for $49. Shipping charges on the adapter will be waived for customers who subscribe monthly to Discovery HD Theater. Customers will need to call 888-220-3474 to order the module and the Discovery HD Theater programming.