Dish to Offer Only MPEG-4

Dish Network, whose subscriber rolls shrunk slightly in the last quarter, needs a boost over DBS rival DirecTV and its cable competition, and it’s ratcheting up its HD services as part of the answer.

Fulfilling earlier promises, Dish said this week it plans to deliver all its HD/SD content in MPEG-4. (The exciting part of this claim, says Dish, is the term “all.” DirecTV currently uses both MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 for delivery.)

MPEG-4 is the next-gen video code standard for MPEG-2, which has been widely used by video service providers globally for several years. The DBS firm’s move to MPEG-4 exclusively comes soon after its announcement this summer that it would begin streaming movie VOD services in 1080p (something the competition has not yet matched).

As part of its short-term HD plans, Dish announced several months ago that it hoped to provide 150 HD channels by the end of this year.

In addition to its high-end HDTV, Dish is continuing its pursuit of over-the-air refugees with $40 converter boxes and basic packages as low as $9.99 a month.