Dish Network’s DTVPal DVR, formerly known as the TR-50 and big brother to the DTV Pal digital-to-analog converter, will be available for pre-order beginning next week with initial shipments expected in December. The high definition, over-the-air (OTA) DVR lists for $300, though DISH will offer an early bird instant $50 rebate to sweeten the deal at dtvpal.com. While the unit integrates both an Ethernet and USB jack, these will serve no purpose at launch and guide data will be received over-the-air via local broadcasters.
As I discovered last night at CES Unveiled here in NYC, in the looks department this hardware still has no TV stand appeal. Though the DTVPal DVR runs the solid DISH Network DVR software, discerning customers will want to hide the bulbous matte black plastic enclosure behind closed doors. Aesthetics aside, this launch is notable as it’s been some time since we’ve seen a major player enter the US retail DVR market… and without imposing a monthly service fee. Though I wonder how large the market really is for a purely OTA DVR.