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Cable Technology Feature Article

June 16, 2011

EchoStar to Debut Three New HD Set-Top-Box Device at 2011 NCTA Cable Show

By Jayashree Adkoli, TMCnet Contributor

In an effort to deliver competitive edge to mid-sized and independent cable operators, EchoStar has announced three new high definition (HD) set-top-boxes (STBs), which support deployment of cloud-based TV applications for enhanced video services.

Yet to be introduced at the 2011 NCTA Cable Show to be held from June 14 to 16 in Chicago, EchoStar's new HD STBS (News - Alert) include HC-620DRS, HC-410D and HX-410. Tailored to provide mid-sized and independent cable operators to economically leverage their interactive advantage in delivering enhanced video applications, the new HD STBs features company’s Graphical User Interface (GUI) with operator-specific branding.

As an Internet-connected HD DVR STB, the new SlingLoaded HC-620DRS delivers a true TV Everywhere experience. This facilitates subscribers to access linear programming and recorded content both inside and outside the home on the connected device of their choice. In addition, this STB also supports over-the-top content streaming, TV apps, and remote DVR controls.

The HC-410D is EchoStar's new single-tuner HD STB featuring the company’s DVR Conversion technology. With the help of this technology, the device can be converted to a DVR by connecting an off-the-shelf USB 2.0 external hard drive and receiving a remote authorization code from the operator.

As a full digital IP thin client, the new HX-410 STB device supports multimedia services over IP-based networks. In addition, it can provide Whole Home DVR functionality when networked with an HC-620DRS, in the home.

Loaded with IP-based content management features, all the three new HD STB devices are optimized to support EchoStar's new Aria (News - Alert) 'ecosystem' of hosted TV services and features universal content search capability.

EchoStar's Aria is the recently launched 'ecosystem' of hosted TV services that facilitates resource-constrained cable operators to deploy enhanced video applications hosted at EchoStar's data centers directly to the new HC-620DRS, HC-410D and HX-410 set-tops.

With the help of new Aria 'ecosystem' of hosted TV services, operators can expand their video offerings efficiently along with the growing list of cloud-based services such as remote DVR programming, interactivity and TV Everywhere.

"The attractive on-board functionalities and place-shifting features of EchoStar's new set-tops will make any service bundle more compelling," said Michael Hawkey, vice president of sales and marketing, EchoStar Technologies L.L.C., in a statement. "But when paired with EchoStar's new Aria hosted video services, small and mid-sized operators can pick the enhancements they need to create feature-rich bundles on par with those offered by larger telecommunications providers."

Providing access to hosted VOD libraries, all the three new HD STBs support EchoStar's Universal RF remote control with IR learning, continually updated device code database and 2-way receiver communication, said officials with EchoStar in a press release.

As a provider of satellite operations and digital TV solutions, EchoStar is continually developing new applications to improve the subscriber viewing experience. In addition, it is also providing regular updates for its STBs with remote software upgrades and new features throughout the life of the box.

Jayashree Adkoli is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jayashree's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves