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EchoStar Debuts DTV Pal Plus

DTV Pal Plus Satellite provider EchoStar has introduced the DTV Pal Plus, a new version of its DTV Pal analog to digital converter box, featuring analog pass-through and an enhanced digital tuner for optimizing weak signal areas.

The box joins the Dish network's DTV Pal lineup of digital to analog converters targeting the DTV transition. Earlier this year, the company released the TR-40, its first D-to-A box, which is eligible for the NTIA's converter box coupons and retails for $60; in August, Dish released a cheaper version, the TR-40 CRA, which retails for $40, essentially making it free to consumers purchasing the box with the $40 NTIA coupon. The TR-40 CRA also included analog pass-through.

The analog pass-through feature in the TR-40 CRA and DTV Pal Plus will allow consumers to continue to receive signals from the more than 2,600 low power TV and Class A stations that will continue to broadcast in analog after February 2009.

In addition to the enhanced tuner and analog pass-through, the DTVPal Plus, which retails for $69.99 and can only be purchased online, also includes a setup wizard, EPG, parental controls, program search, autotune timers for program recording on a connected VCR, support for closed caption, remote control and signal strength popups for troubleshooting lost signals.