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You can even order pay-per-view movies without a phone line connected though the receiver will "fill up" with PPV purchases eventually and no longer allow you to order more until it dials out and reports your PPV purchases.
Some DirecTiVos are said to require a phone line to receive software updates.
( ** need confirmation on this ** )
Dish Network advertises that they will charge an additional $4.95/month for each receiver after the first one. It is waived though if you connect it to a phone line.