9:50am - Just minutes before the EchoStar press conference and we're waiting to see what new HD channels they launch this year, as well as new online features.
10:00am PST - Do these things every start on time?
10:04am PST - Kathy Gonzales takes the stage and introduces Karl Vogal the president. They kick off with 2006 recap, passed 13 million subscribers, 11 owned Satellites and will launch X1 in 2007.
Focus in 2007 is the DVR and HD leadership in programming.
New slogan is "it's about time".
10:09am PST - DishDVR Advantage Package, $49 Dual tuner.
They go to explain how valuable their packages are and that they are the HD leader with 30 national channels.
Dish DVR available free.
10:13am PST DishHD
Top 60 becomes top 100 at the same price, all the packages add channels without raising the cost.
Dish on Demand, HD VOD in 2007.
New iTV features to add to existing features.
10:17am PST - Mark Jackson
New ViP receivers focus on HD and MPEG4, they have ATSC tuners and are IPTV capable.
Existing 622 and 611.
New is the 222 dual user as well as the 612 which is a single user DVR.
Dish is easier to install because it only requires one wire from the dish compared to DIRECTV's 4.
ViP 22-1 will have 500 GB HD and support VC-1 for VOD.
Supports off-the-shelf USB HD for extra storage.
10:22am PST- DishONLINE
ViP series has Ethernet connection and will allow them to connect to Internet video library and access to your DVR, even HD programming. ViP also has HomePlug built in which is PLC, up to 8Mbps using an adapter.
They discuss their relationship with Sling.
They will have a new line of Archos products to replace the current models.
10:27am PST - Charlie Ergen takes the stage and makes jokes because he was in the wrong hall. He opens the floor for questions.
Compatibility of the USB Hard Drives, it has worked with every unit tested, but they plan to test more.
Are there any capacity issues? Currently the 1TB unit doesn't work, but they plan to release updates to support larger units.
Drive will be locked to your system, to protect content. There will be a repair method in the event of a STB failure.
They expect a mid-year release.
Is it possible to deliver local content via IP (ie. ABC)?
They don't believe IP can help on locals because of the demand, it will be used for specialized content.
10:31am PST - Charlie makes jocks about being from Tenn and how they say the word hung, everyone laughs.
Do you believe the ownership change of DIRECTV will impact EchoStar?
He believes is good for the Sat business. He makes jokes about merging with DIRECTV a few times, he can't remember.
Is there a possibility of a merger between Dish and DIRECTV?
It is on the table, but will take all of 2007 to figure out.
Is there any pushback from customers about using their Hard drive for VOD?
Echostar uses the largest Hard drive in the industry and if the consumer wants more space they can buy a USB upgrade.
Charlie went on to say that "Dish ViP is about as future proof as you can get, if you buy alot of the other stuff out there, you will be behind."
10:39am PST - Should the Sat companies get together to team up on HD.
He says if it can save both companies money to not duplicate the same services it makes sense, but the standards are different which makes it more difficult, like the fact that DIRECTV uses K-Band.
Can you explain your relationship with Sling media?
We are a investor and we like the way they protect the content which will help promote that industry.
Will you support Archos branded players or re-branded.
They will support Archos branded products and would like to support PC, but there are content management issues, which requires them to be very very careful.
That's it, were rushing off to the DIRECTV press conference.