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Web TV, EchoStar bow vid recording

Service to offer 'Net access, live TV pause, sat TV

Microsoft’s WebTV Networks said Tuesday it will bow its own digital video recorder service, initially only for subscribers of EchoStar’s DishPlayer satellite service.

The WebTV Personal TV service, available now through DishPlayer 500’s set-top box, will digitally record up to 12 hours of television programming, pause live programming and offer Internet access, games and Dish’s digital satellite TV channels.

Cost effective

The service is expected to go up against similar tapeless systems from TiVo and Replay Networks but DishPlayer’s set-top box is being sold for just $299 with WebTV’s digital recorder going for $9.99 per month. (Internet access is available for an additional $24.95 per month.) TiVo retails for $499 plus an additional $10 monthly fee; Replay is $599.

Dish Network gives consumers access to up to 500 digital video and CD-quality audio channels, as well as interactive programming for “The Today Show,” “Judge Judy,” “Jeopardy!” “Wheel of Fortune,” “Dateline NBC” and the Weather Channel.

“Dish Network and WebTV now offer customers four incredible products in one — a satellite TV system, digital video recorder, game player and Internet browser — all in the comfort of their own living rooms for the lowest price in the industry,” said Charlie Ergen, chairman and CEO of EchoStar.

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