EchoStar Debuts Combo Box


EchoStar has introduced the DISH Network PRO 501, a set-top receiver with built-in hard-disk recorder designed to replace the company's existing DISH player product. The PRO 501 box includes a 40-GB hard drive capable of storing about 30 hours of compressed digital programming and has an electronic program guide. The unit will begin selling next month for $299. Unlike the DISHplayer, the new box won't have Microsoft's WebTV software or e-mail functionality. "We did drop out the WebTV portion. It wasn't the sweet spot consumers wanted," says EchoStar Chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen, who is now looking to offer high-speed Internet access.