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EchoStar Adds Discovery HDTV Channel To DISH Net

EchoStar added the Discovery HD Theater channel last Monday to its DISH Network programming lineup.

Initially, sneak previews of the channel are being offered to all DISH HDTV subscribers with HDTV capable equipment from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. ET on the programmer’s HD Demo Channel 9443 until Aug. 1.

Eventually, the HDTV channel will be available 24 hours a day and will include a variety of 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.