Satellite TV provider is introducing the high-def signals of the network O&Os to subs in the two largest markets. Plans call for rolling out local HD to 50% of TV homes by the end of 2006.

Dish satellite TV subscribers in New York and Los Angeles can now watch Desperate Housewives, CSI, American Idol, and the 2006 Winter Olympics in HDTV.

Echostar’s service announced this morning that is adding the HD signals of the Big Four O&Os in the two largest TV markets to its HD package for subscribers in the markets.

Customers in New York and Los Angeles who sign up for any of the new DishHD packages can take advantage of more than 1,700 hours of HD programming every week, including their local HD broadcasts, Echostar said.

Dish is offering four different HD options. For as little as $49.99 a month, customers can access the entire DishHD lineup and get more than 70 standard definition channels and more than 23 HD channels. They can add local channels in both HD and standard definition for just $5 a month.

DISH Network is expanding its HD channel lineup in 2006 by adding five new original VOOM HD channels—bringing the total VOOM channels to 15—as well as other new HD networks including ESPN2 HD and Universal HD. In addition, DISH Network will launch HD local channels in up to 50 markets this year, starting with New York today and reaching more than 50% of U.S. TV households by year’s end.

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