January 7, 2014
CES 2014: DISH Network Announces New Hopper Features
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
On Monday at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas DISH Network made several big announcements, including a number of enhancements to its award-winning Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR platform. This included offering DISH subscribers the ability to record eight shows at once, which would all but eliminate channel conflicts.By pairing the Hopper with the new "SuperJoey," a client that adds two network tuners to the Hopper’s three native tuners, users can record even more programs and share them throughout the house via 801.11ac Wi-Fi. This provides users with the ability record eight shows simultaneously – any four shows plus the four major broadcast networks, or provide users with the option to use the five network tuners to watch and record any five shows from any network at the same time.
"The Hopper continues to break new barriers in terms of accessibility, affordability and mobility," said Joseph P. Clayton, DISH CEO and president. "You see that in the way in which DISH delivers more content and virtually ends channel conflict with SuperJoey. Our new Wireless Joeys and software-based Virtual Joeys make in-home installation options almost limitless. And, our app strategy continues to lead the way with best and most value-packed mobile entertainment experience in the market."
In addition to affordability, DISH operates on three pillars in its strategy: Affordability, available everywhere, and ease of use.
"The American consumer only cares about three basic requirements for their video needs," said Clayton, at a CES press conference.
The Wireless Joey system further provides users with options to stream recorded programming even where coaxial and Ethernet wiring is unavailable. The Wireless Joey installation includes an Access point along with the Wireless Joey Client, which creates its own dedicated 802.11ac Wi-Fi cloud within the home. The company noted that this does not degrade the Hopper’s video quality and will even work in homes that do not have dedicated Internet access.
In addition to going wireless, Joey is also going virtual, as DISH announced that it has developed a "Virtual Joey" software application that integrates the Dish Hopper HD-DVR experience directly on 2013 and 2014 LG Smart TVs. This app can be used in place of hardware-based Joey, which further increases the options where coaxial and Ethernet connectivity is not available. The wireless Joey allows users to install – or bring – their TV to hard-to-reach places such as mounting a set over a fireplace or bringing a TV into the back yard.
This app will provide a nearly identical experience to the Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR system that is currently available to customers.
On Monday DISH also announced an upcoming stream app for Sony PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 video game consoles. This provides users with access to a virtual Joey, which offers nearly an identical experience to the Hopper’s hardware-based Joey but with the PS4’s environment.
"DISH’s ‘Virtual Joey’ brings the industry’s most awarded DVR experience to millions of PS3 and PS4 systems already in American homes," Clayton added. "We strive to provide consumers with the best TV experience and ‘Virtual Joey’ means DISH is delivering even more choices in how and where consumers enjoy their Hopper."
The software-based clients operate on a users’ wireless or wired home network and provide access to and control of the Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR, including live TV as well as recordings on the hard drive. DISH announced on Monday that both the PS3 and PS4 apps will be available later this year.
DISH also announced in advance of CES on Sunday that it has extended and upgraded its DISH Anywhere apps, which will integrate the Hopper Transfers feature to both iOS and Android devices. Previously only available for the Apple iPad this new Dish Anywhere App will offer users the option to view recorded content where no Internet connection is available, and instead can move and thus "pre-load" content in advance when the Internet is available and then watch later – such as on a plane – when there is no online access. This functionality will also be integrated on Kindle Fire tablets later in 2014.