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Dish Converter Box Goes On Sale

Englewood, Colo.— Dish Network said it’s DTV converter box, called DTVPal, is available for purchase nationwide.

The satellite TV company, which has entered the set-top-box space, is selling the device for a $59.99 suggested retail — or $19.95, after the $40 government coupon — through a special Web site or by calling (888) 638-9912. The price is shy of the originally announced goal of offering a box price close to the coupon value.

Dish said it will support the product with a nationwide customer care and service network to facilitate installation.

“The DTVPal is supported by a trusted and respected national brand — Dish Network — and is without question one of the best and most affordable converter boxes on the market today,” stated Tom Stingley, Dish Network sales and distribution executive VP. “As a leader in all-digital television for more than 12 years, we understand the benefits of digital TV, and we are committed to providing solutions for consumers affected by the upcoming transition so they may continue to enjoy their favorite TV programming.”

The DTVPal includes an analog pass-through feature, which means it can take both analog and digital signals, which will enable receiving certain low-power stations that are not required to switch to digital broadcasts by Feb. 17, 2009.

Additional components include a setup wizard, a 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.

In selling the box, Dish, which runs a satellite TV service, is also pointing out that “consumers can also prepare for the digital transition by subscribing to pay television.”

Dish service is available at monthly fees starting at $19.99/month (additional $5 for local channels), for the DishFAMILY package with more than 40 channels, plus free installation and activation.