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EchoStar Offers Special Introductory Price for World's First Internet/Satellite TV Receiver: DISHPlayer

LITTLETON, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 21, 1999--

    EchoStar's New DISHPlayer Provides Consumers With Digital Video
    Record and Playback, Internet and E-Mail, Video Games, Enhanced
    Satellite TV Lowest Price in Industry

    EchoStar Communications Corp., is offering a special introductory price of $199 for its newest EchoStar satellite receiver, DISHPlayer™, a savings of $300 from the MSRP of $499.

Developed with Microsoft® WebTV Network™ Plus service for satellite, DISHPlayer offers television viewers the world's first Internet and satellite TV receiver. DISHPlayer is currently being shipped to nearly 20,000 DISH Network™ retail locations nationwide and will be available in stores in June. This introductory offer of $199 is effective May 21 until Sept. 30, 1999, and is not combinable with any other offer from DISH Network or WebTV Networks.

Previously announced as the EchoStar Model 7100, DISHPlayer is a combined service and product that revolutionizes the TV viewing experience by integrating EchoStar's DISH Network digital satellite television programming with the Internet TV experience from WebTV Networks, including a TV pause capability, digital video recording (available later this year), advanced electronic program guide (EPG), broadband data delivery and video games.

"WebTV Networks and EchoStar are leading the charge in bringing truly interactive television to consumers and at the lowest price possible," said Charlie Ergen, CEO and chairman of EchoStar. "DISHPlayer is simple to use and will change the way consumers watch television."

"We are making television history once again," said Steve Perlman, president and co-founder of WebTV Networks. "By combining the high-speed digital video and data capability of DISH Network satellites, the WebTV Networks' Internet service, and a massive disk drive with hours of digital video storage, the DISHPlayer brings an unprecedented level of choice, control, and quality to the TV viewing experience. We believe that history will look back upon this product as the first 21st century television receiver."

New TV Features

DISHPlayer is the world's first satellite receiver with a built-in ultrafast, 8.6 gigabyte hard drive capable of recording and playing back simultaneously full-quality digital video. The disk drive makes possible a number of enhanced digital TV features, including TV Pause ("freezing" a TV show for up to 30 minutes and resuming when the viewer is ready to watch again), digital video recording (automatic recording of several hours of high-quality digital video) and downloadable video games via satellite. The video recording feature is planned to be available later this year as a WebTV™ Plus and EchoStar service upgrade by satellite.

Interactive Television

DISHPlayer offers a rich EPG that provides new features such as the TV Search capability, giving viewers the power to easily find subjects of interest from the detailed TV show listings. This advanced EPG also links Internet content with programming found in TV Listings, providing easily accessible program-related information at the touch of a button. TV Listings provides programming information up to seven days in advance, while the TV Recent feature saves thumbnail pictures of the last six channels viewed. Content creators will be able to design enhanced programming, delivered via satellite to all types of broadcast receivers that comply with a proposed specification by the Advanced Television Enhancement Forum (ATVEF). Broad industry adoption of the ATVEF specification will enable television viewers to enjoy interactive television programming on a wide variety of compliant receivers and accelerate the market for interactive television products and services.

EchoStar's Newest Satellite Receiver

DISHPlayer is a state-of-the-art DISH Network satellite receiver that provides customers with access to over 300 channels, including broadcast networks, sports, international and pay-per-view programming, in crystal-clear digital video and CD-quality audio and with Dolby Digital output included. This set-top box features a printer port for printing out TV Listings of upcoming shows or e-mail messages, and provides parental blocking capabilities, allowing parents to control access to web sites and TV programs. In addition, the picture-in-picture capability lets viewers surf the web and watch TV simultaneously. They can automatically program their video cassette recorder to record any show they choose, up to seven days out, with the press of a button on the remote control. DISHPlayer can also be upgraded by the DISH Network and WebTV Network service at any time via satellite. The DISHPlayer system includes a remote control and wireless keyboard. DISH Network programming begins at $19.99 per month for 40 of the most popular all-digital satellite TV channels.

Internet Experience

The WebTV Plus service for satellite is a broadband-enhanced version of the WebTV Plus service, the leading Internet TV offering worldwide. The WebTV Plus service provides an easy-to-use, robust Internet experience via a 56K modem connection, offering up to six e-mail accounts and child-protection features. The DISHPlayer supports popular multimedia e-mail features in the WebTV Network service, allowing a subscriber to easily plug in a camcorder and send pictures and audio clips through e-mail. The WebTV Plus service for satellite will offer a variety of games such as You Don't Know Jack™, which can be updated weekly by satellite. The WebTV Plus service for satellite will be offered as part of the $199 introductory offer for $24.95 per month.

EchoStar Communications Corp., includes three interrelated business units:

- DISH Network™ is EchoStar's state-of-the-art DBS system that offers customers over 300 channels of digital video and CD-quality audio programming, fully MPEG-2/DVB compliant hardware and installation.

- EchoStar Technologies Corporation (ETC, formerly HTS™-- Houston Tracker Systems, Inc.), designs, manufactures and distributes DBS set-top boxes, antennas and other digital equipment for the DISH Network and various international customers that include ExpressVu Canada and Telefonica's Via Digital system in Spain. ETC also provides uplink center design, construction oversight and project integration services for customers internationally.

- Satellite Services provides the delivery of video, audio and data services to business television customers and other satellite users. These services include satellite uplink, satellite transponder space usage, and other services. Satellite Services also administers SKY VISTA, a direct broadcast satellite service offering up to 27 channels of popular digital satellite television programming to viewers in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories in the Caribbean.

DISH Network currently serves over 2.3 million customers. DISH Network is a trademark of EchoStar Communications Corporation. HTS is a trademark of Houston Tracker Systems, Inc. DISH Network is located on the Internet at:


CONTACT: EchoStar Communications Corp. Judianne Atencio, 303/723-2010 or Marc Lumpkin, 303/723-2020

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