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EchoStar grows HD Services to Taiwan

Dish TV might seem a little bit like the "little engine that could" in its struggle to capture a larger segment of the DBS market away from the larger DirecTV in North America, but it continues to expand to other sectors of the world.

EchoStar said its Dish Network has now begun offering its HD services (dubbed "DishHD") in Taiwan.

Dish started the service with what it's marketing as "a premier package containing more than twice the number of HD channels than any other pay television service in Taiwan." DishHD will air its content in 1080i and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound — although its HD tier for Taiwanese subs will carry noticeably less than the number of HD channels in North America.

For Taiwan, DishHD will begin its new service only with about 30 HD channels originating from Asia, the United States and Europe (notably the BBC). Dish execs said their goal is to expand to at least 50 HD venues by the end of 2010.

DishHD feeds are relayed from the AsiaSat 4 satellite. Its premium set-top-box (model 612t HD DVR) features two tuners, an interactive EPG, and a 500GB DVR.

EchoStar said its introductory fee for the new HD service will run about $32 monthly.