Now that we are fairly certain that DIRECTV
will not ship with Windows 7, the big question remains to be will DISH
Network? Around the time the TV Pack
started beta testing, I did
hear that some testers had been contacted about testing DISH Network Tuners,
and that talk has popped back up in the past few weeks.
Going under my theory that Microsoft has all the plumbing
in-place for DIRECTV support, there is no reason that same framework can’t work
for DISH Network. If DISH Network wants
to make a Media Center tuner, they can using this framework, and they might have already.
Looking around, their are some other hints about the possible DISH Network Tuner. Ben’s photos of the eHome Lab show Windows 7
running with a branded Start Menu saying “TV with DISH Network.” In addition to that, several people, including
Dave Zatz have brought up the possibility that the unmarked white box in the photo below is a DISH Network tuner.
Of course, the tuner being in Microsoft’s Lab means nothing as Microsoft as
evidenced by the suspended DIRECTV HDPC-20 tuners also present.
Back to the framework which I believe is complete to ship
with Windows 7, here is something Microsoft showed at WinHEC. That is premium Pay-Per-View TV being ordered via Media
Center. We know that’s not from
a CableCARD as tru2way tuners don’t have any specs from CableLabs yet. It chould be DIRECTV, but considering that Channel
510 happens to fall in the range of DISH Networks PPV and most PPV content
on DISH Network happens to be $4.99, there is a good possibility you are looking
at working PPV via a native DISH Network Tuner.
So, should you jump and switch to DISH Network because of
this? I wouldn’t suggest it. Should you keep checking back to see when we
get more details? I’d suggest it. I’m a DIRECTV customer, so even if this DISH
Network tuner is real I likely wouldn’t be testing it. That said, I’m looking forward to see what
happen with this. Given DISH Networks TurboHD package for
$24.99 has every channel I’d ever watch, and the fact I can get ATSC HD
using an antenna in Media Center saving me from having to add HD Locals to the
package, DISH Network does look like a good deal if I could get a native Media