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EchoStar Dishes out 6-in-1 TV format

Tested during the last Olympics, the new feature, called Dish Home, lets users watch six channels at once.

Satellite TV watchers can now get even more multi-tasking in thanks to a new feature that lets users watch six channels at once.

The new service from EchoStar Communications' Dish Network TV, called Dish Home, is based on an interactive TV middleware tool developed by OpenTV. The feature was first demonstrated during the 2004 Olympic Games and the presidential election, the company said on Tuesday.

Choosing from a variety of channels available on Dish Network, including CNN, MSNBC, Weather Channel and E! Entertainment, views can use Dish Home to build a mosaic featuring up to six programs whose video feeds show simultaneously on the screen. Clicking on one of the mosaic's windows adds the related audio and brings the image to full-screen size.

Dish Network subscribers, however, will require an interactive TV-enabled receiver to use the Dish Home service. The service can be accessed by pressing the interactive TV button on the remote, by launching ITV from the network's electronic programming guide or by clicking on a Dish Home advertisement on another channel.