Dish Network will test the DVB-SH (Digital Video Broadcasting – Satellite services to Handhelds) mobile broadcast technology in the U.S. with DVB-SH equipment, test tools and training provided by Alcatel-Lucent.

The information dovetails with Dish’s participation in the recent 700 MHz spectrum auction. Dish Network was the winning bidder for the majority of licenses in the E Block, a swath of spectrum considered most appropriate for one-way services, such as video broadcast to mobile handhelds.

The testing will take place in Dish Network’s laboratories in Atlanta, Ga., from May to August, with the ultimate objective to validate the performance and cost-efficiency of the DVB-SH standard, Dish said.

DVB-SH, an evolution of DVB-H, is a mobile broadcast standard allowing cost-effective mobile TV deployments. It can be used in any frequency spectrum below 3GHz – including UHF, L band and S band – and in terrestrial, satellite or hybrid networks.

"As is our history, Dish Network continues to explore new, cutting-edge technology for consumer applications," said Nolan Daines, SVP of strategic initiatives for Dish Network. "Considering the global momentum of DVB-SH, we decided that performing a critical analysis of this new open standard was the right thing to do for Dish Network. We look forward to working in tandem with Alcatel-Lucent during this testing phase."

"DVB-SH is today the most powerful mobile broadcast open standard leveraging the DVB-H ecosystem and enabling an efficient delivery of TV services to all mobile devices, ranging from handsets to personal multimedia players and in-car units," added Olivier Coste, chairman of Alcatel-Lucent's mobile broadcast activities. "This is why Alcatel-Lucent is committed to the success of Dish Network's DVB-SH tests in the U.S., and, more than ever, to the expansion of the DVB-SH ecosystem worldwide."

Meanwhile, Dish Network has added eight high-definition (HD) local markets to its tally: Burlington/Plattsburgh, Vt.; Greensboro/High Point/Winston Salem, N.C.; Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville/Anderson, S.C.; Huntsville/Decatur, Ala.; Jackson, Miss.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Mobile, Ala. and Pensacola/Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.; and Providence/New Bedford, R.I.

In January, Dish announced plans to enhance its HD programming lineup throughout 2008. The satellite provider again expressed its commitment to reach the year-end goal of 100 local HD markets and 100 national HD channels. It now offers local HD programming in 54 markets, reaching more than 64 percent of U.S. TV households.

In order to view HD programming, Dish customers can upgrade to a dishHD receiver, such as the ViP722. The ViP722 is a dual-tuner HD digital video recorder (DVR) that operates two TVs in separate rooms – one in HD and one in standard-definition (SD). The ViP722 can record up to 55 hours of HD content and up to 350 hours of SD content, and it allows customers to pause, rewind and fast-forward their favorite TV programming.

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