Did you all read it? I am pasting the interesting part here. I am too
cheap to have cable tv, but if they offer this combo at a reasonable
rate, I sure would be interested.
Internet for Satellite
WebTV Blasts into Orbit!
by Phil Goldman
Vice President of Engineering
Co-Founder, WebTV Networks, Inc.
Welcome back to the Founders' Forum. This month I'd like to tell you
about an exciting announcement from last month's Consumer Electronics
Show. At the show WebTV and EchoStar announced a new product called the
EchoStar Model 7100 Satellite Receiver and a new service to go along
with it called the WebTV Network Plus Service for Satellite.
This product and service combine the best of satellite television and
WebTV-enhanced TV with Internet service. And we've thrown in a few other
goodies that are only available with the combination of the two. All
together this is the very first ever Internet TV satellite product and
Most of you are probably familiar with satellite television. EchoStar
operates a satellite TV service known as The Dish Network?, which is
one of the most popular in the U.S. With The Dish Network, not only do
you have hundreds of channels to choose from, but you'll see them in
crystal-clear digital television format. Because of the way the TV
signal is sent down from the satellite to the dish on top of your house,
you get a picture that's free of the quality problems you might
experience with a regular TV antenna or cable system.
And because the signal is digital, it means that the satellite can not
only transmit video to your home, but can send down all kinds of digital
information, including Web pages, music, games and more. The 7100
receiver will be able to store all of these on its 8.6 Gigabyte (yes,
that's not a misprint!) built-in hard disk. So you'll have lots and lots
of content available to you, without having to connect via the phone
line! I'm especially e***d about the games. The 7100 will ship with
one of the most popular classic 3D PC games, Doom, and a great, funny
quiz show called You Don't Know Jack.
But of all the Echostar 7100's capabilities, the most interesting are
its video recording features. Because the 7100 has such a large disk,
you can store quite a bit of video on it - up to eight hours. This makes
it possible for the 7100 to function as a Digital Video Recorder (DVR).
The 7100 stores video received from the satellite on its disk drive,
which you can play back later. The DVR eliminates many of the problems
you may encounter with a VCR: "Do I have a tape in? Did I set the right
speed? Did I rewind the tape? Am I taping over something else?"
It will also be possible to fast forward, rewind and pause the shows
from the disk with ease. And since the video is digital, it always looks
exactly as good as it did in the original broadcast. I'll cover this all
in***detail in a column later in the year.
The 7100 will be shipping in a few months, thanks to the tremendous
effort of the teams at WebTV and EchoStar working together over the last
many months. It won't have all of the DVR features at launch, but they
will be available later in the year through an automatic upgrade
downloaded from the satellite.
In the meantime it will have what I think is its single most useful
feature, called TV Pause. Imagine you're watching your favorite TV show.
You need to get up to get a drink or go to the bathroom. Just click the
TV Pause button to pause the show, and then start it up when you come
back! It's like magic.
Folks who buy the Model 7100 will be using WebTV for Internet service,
so you'll be seeing these people on WebTV within the next few months.
Please welcome them on. I'm looking forward to hearing about their
experiences via the newsgroups and the New2WebTV chat room. I usually
mention the first person who goes online with each type of WebTV product
in this column, so let me know if you spot any of the "satellite people"
in the near future.