Dish Network said today that it will begin transmitting in MPEG-4 in 21 additional markets in the eastern half of the United States, bringing the total number of markets served with MPEG-4 to 52.

Dish started broadcasts in MPEG-4 in its first 21 markets in August (story here) and plans to roll it out across its entire footprint. Additional markets will be announced at a later date.

Dish has three tiers of TurboHD, packages in which all programming is in HD; the lowest-priced tier among them is $24.99 per month.

The newly added 21 markets include: Abilene-Sweetwater, Texas; Atlanta; Birmingham (Anniston and Tuscaloosa), Ala.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Columbia-Jefferson City, Mo.; Des Moines-Ames, Iowa; Florence-Myrtle-Beach, S.C.; Ft. Myers-Naples, Fla.; Huntsville-Decatur (Florence), Ala.; Jackson, Miss.; Joplin-Pittsburg, Mo.; Lincoln and Hastings-Kearney, Neb.; Memphis, Tenn.; Mobile-Pensacola (Ft. Walton Beach), Fla.; Omaha, Neb.; Quincy-Hannibal-Keokuk, Ill.; Sherman, Texas/Ada, Okla.; South Bend-Elkhart, Ind.; St. Louis; Topeka, Kan.; and Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas.

MPEG-4 offers a 50 percent bit-rate reduction over MPEG-2.

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