XStreamHD Eyes Late Summer Launch For Satellite Movie Service

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XStreamHD has signed a multiyear deal with EchoStar Satellite Services to deliver its 1080p high-definition movie-on-demand service, which the startup anticipates launching later this summer -- about two years later than it anticipated.

McLean, Va.-based XStreamHD, founded in 2002, originally planned to commercially launch in the third quarter of 2008.

To date, privately held XStreamHD hasn't announced any content partners, but claims it will offer "the latest releases, direct from the studios" as well as music and games. According
to the startup's site, its "fast start" hardware bundle is priced at
$399, which includes a media receiver, server and remote control. XStreamHD's service also requires the installation of a dedicated satellite dish.

Under the terms of its agreement with EchoStar, XStreamHD is using satellite capacity from the EchoStar-leased AMC-16 satellite that is located at 85 degrees West longitude. AMC-16 is owned by SES World Skies. XStreamHD and EchoStar said they have been working together for the past two years as
XStreamHD completed operational testing.

The XStreamHD service uses Fixed Service Satellite (FSS) capacity from the AMC-16 satellite to transport multiple streams of "pre-fetched entertainment," which is automatically downloaded to subscribers' media server library based on their preferences and previous title selections.

"EchoStar is pleased to support new HD content services, like XStreamHD, utilizing our available FSS capacity," EchoStar Satellite Services president Dean Olmstead said in a statement. "We look forward to playing a vital role in the launch of XStreamHD's entertainment service."

XStreamHD's media server includes three ATSC tuners, which will provide access to over-the-air broadcasts and let customers record and view up to three separate HDTV programs simultaneously with the additional network video recorder feature.

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