AT&T, EchoStar launch Homezone Internet TV

AT&T plans to launch its new service Homezone next month with a little help from EchoStar's DISH satellite-TV service. Homezone combines DISH's satellite service with Internet-based movies and videos. Users simply download an assortment of videos and movies from the Internet via Movielink at no cost, and watch them on the television set in addition to DISH programming. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, by year's end the service should be available in approximately 80 percent of the markets where AT&T currently offers high-speed Internet service.

The partnership between AT&T and EchoStar would probably expire once AT&T's IPTV service U-verse (code-named LightSpeed currently) launches in a few years, but AT&T won't confirm that, of course, only referring to U-verse as "the primary video solution offered" where it is available. AT&T does concede the partnership is an answer to Time Warner, Comcast and other cable MSOs who have launched triple and quadruple play services. Analysts say the JV is a case of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

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