EchoStar Communications, which operates the DISH satellite-TV service, was able to persuade a federal appeals court on Friday to block a district court's ruling that EchoStar must stop selling its digital recorders and turn off DVRs already in subscribers' homes within 30 days. The appeals court made it clear, however, that it wasn't ruling on the merits of EchoStar's arguments in its legal battle with TiVo, saying only that it wanted to have time to determine whether whether the shutdown should be delayed until EchoStar's appeal can be heard. The shutdown would affect more than 3 million users of EchoStar's DVRs who are able to use a feature that allows them to record one program while watching another. TiVo had claimed that the technology infringed on its own patents. Besides ordering EchoStar to turn off the settop units, Judge David Folsom also ordered EchoStar to pay TiVo $89.6 million in damages.