Dish Rolls Out HD VOD, PPV

DBS firm Dish has teamed up with Warner Brothers to carry the studio's titles (old and new) on its VOD platform ("Dish on Demand") and as part of its PPV services in a deal that will include HD content. The move comes at a time of very slow growth for HD VOD on digital cable, which continues to enjoy far more analog and DTV subs than DBS firms.

The satellite service is accessible to subs on several Dish-brand DVR models (DishPlayer 508, 510 and 625, and the ViP622). The DVRs include the typical array of user options such as pause, fast forward and rewind, and provide a brief respite (as do DTV cable and terrestrial HD modes) from having to deal with ongoing next-gen DVD incompatibility issues associated with Blu-ray vs. HD DVD.

HD PPV titles are currently available to Dish subs with HD-capable receivers on channel 9467. Dish said access to movies and other HD/SD content is now possible via three modes: remote control, an 800-number, or online.

Dish could probably use the new HD business. EchoStar Communications, which owns Dish, this week reportedly agreed to pay $100 million to the affiliate groups representing ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC to settle a long legal battle over retransmission of distant signals.