Dish network

Sep 27 2013

News - DISH Hopper gets Control4 integration for smart home

Control 4 recently went public, and I'm sure this deal can only help their stock price. While it's a bit odd, given the cost of a Control 4 system, and that Dish is the low cost satellite solution, it's a good way for them to get their name across and possibly gain future customers.

DISH and Control4 have teamed up to integrate the Hopper HD DRV into the Control4 home automation system, spreading control of the digital video recorder across any in-wall touchscreen, remote, tablet, or smartphone used in the home. Building on DISH’s API, which the company launched back in July, the integration means that those living in a Control4-enabled smart home will be able to manage setting and playing back their recordings from third-party devices, as well as have EPG information fed into the system and displayed on other screens.

Slashgear

Jan 07 2013

News - DISH Network Press Conference

The thing I like most about DISH Networks events is how they announce features that we HTPC enthusiasts have enjoyed for years. Things like commercial skipping, connected and disconnected place shifting are nothing new to us, but of course they are major innovations to mainstream users, especially to those where the DVR is a new innovation. DISH adding these features not only serves to validate the use cases (not that this is necessary) and shows that they aren't afraid to add value to their ecosystem, even if it causes them some grief.

DISH was up front about their goal - how to top the Hopper. While it took them longer than it should have to announce how they did it, I do think they did it by adding Sling (server) to the hopper and Dish Transfers providing disconnected place shifting (i.e. old school transcode the file and take it with you). Enabling a realistic model where it is possible to actually view all of your TV content anywhere - either via IP or some foresight.

Click through for the PR shots.

Oct 06 2012

News - Dish Backs Off Plans for Blockbuster vs. Netflix Brawl

Many folks were left scratching their heads when Dish Network bought up the crumbled shell of Blockbuster. The once mighty movie rental chain had been felled in large part by Netflix's DVD-by-mail rental service, with Netflix's streaming service and Redbox's kiosk rental model swooping in for the final kill. Not that Blockbuster didn't try to fight back. It was in Blockbuster's own DVD-by-mail rental service, brand recognition, and retail footprint that Dish thought it saw an opportunity to turn Blockbuster into a Netflix-killer and enter a new market competing with the likes of Verizon and AT&T. The retail locations, once trimmed of unprofitable locations, would become the retail outlets for new Dish devices that would tap into special sections of Dish's satellite spectrum for an LTE service for data and video streaming. Alas, that plan is unlikely to pass FCC muster, so Dish is scaling back its plans for Blockbuster, at least in the short-term. These details do go a long way toward explaining the limited roll-out of the Dish-exclusive Blockbuster Movie Pass streaming service. Without FCC approval for Dish's new devices and spectrum usage, there wasn't much reason for announcing the big picture plans that would bring Blockbuster Movie Pass to everyone. There do not seem to be any immediate plans for changes in what Blockbuster is doing or the services it's offering right now, though the Dish-specific Blockbuster services are being rebranded to Blockbuster@Home. The most interesting details revolve around how Dish's approach to handling Blockbuster has left Dish confident that the company will, at worst, break even on the purchase. 

Blockbuster and Dish

Dish planned to entice consumers to buy its wireless services by streaming Blockbuster movies on mobile devices. Without the wireless network, a nationwide streaming service would function a lot like Netflix, except Blockbuster would be starting from scratch against a big incumbent, Ergen said. Netflix has 24 million U.S. streaming-video customers.

Bloomberg

May 25 2012

News - Fox files suit against Dish for AutoHop

So if your first thought was: "How can they get away with that?" when you saw the Dish commercial skip announcement, it seems the answer is going to be: "Not easily".

We were given no choice but to file suit against one of our largest distributors, Dish Network, because of their surprising move to market a product with the clear goal of violating copyrights and destroying the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem.

The LA Times

Perhaps all the Comskip developers will soon need to sublease some office space from Slysoft.  Smile

Apr 30 2012

News - Dish Hopper/Joey Reviewed at Engadget

Dish NetworkI wasn't expecting much when sitting down for Dish Network's CES 2012 press event, but that skepticism was amply dispelled after the Hopper/Joey whole home DVR system was announced. Obviously, Dish wouldn't be the first company to say one thing, and release something bearing only a cursory resemblance to the initial promise so it was critical to wait until someone had a chance to really put the devices through the wringer before celebrating the first whole home, fully integrated MSO provided DVR system. With Ben only hesitating to recommend it to those with full-on HTPC (e.g. Windows Media Center) systems or TiVO the first in-depth review (that I've seen anyway) casts it a winner. Of course there's always more nuance to any product than can be summed up in a single sentence; so make sure to head over to Engadget for the full writeup.

Overall, the Hopper is exactly what you'd expect a DVR to be: about the same size and weight, and adorned with a glossy finish that will easily blend into your home theater setup. On one end there's a USB port (with two more 'round back) and on the other is a door, behind which you'll find a smart card slot and a few essential buttons like power and reset. Finally, two LEDs sit in the center to indicate when the box is on or if it's recording. Thankfully, neither of these is distracting or crazy bright. There are still a few hardware features yet to be explored, like Bluetooth for headphones and Zigbee for remote control (currently that feature only works with the included remote). There's an IR input for legacy programmable remotes, but no HDMI-CEC to simplify setup or IP control to integrate with home automation controllers. The other hardware feature coming soon is an optional over-the-air tuner, which we consider a requirement for anyone who watches PBS (Dish doesn't carry PBS HD, don'tcha know).

Engadget

Feb 23 2012

News - Blockbuster Streaming Service Reportedly Coming to Samsung Devices

Blockbuster and Samsung

Blockbuster caused quite a stir last September when rumors started swirling that the company would soon be launching a streaming service ala Netflix, but the end result was a decidedly more tepid offering limited to Dish Network subscribers. This wasn't necessarily a huge surprise given that Dish Network spent a couple hundred million dollars buying up the former industry giant, but there was definitely some disappointment that Blockbuster and Dish did not give any indication that the service would be more widely available at some point. That may be about to change as Samsung and Blockbuster have reportedly signed a deal to bring the Blockbuster streaming service to Samsung devices this year. The US and Europe are expected to receive access in the first half of 2012 with Australia following before the end of the year. The most interesting tidbit is a rumor that Samsung is in the process of developing a billing system to accompany the service, suggesting that Samsung, not Blockbuster, will be signing up customers. If this is the case, it would position Blockbuster to act more as a distribution middle-man than a service provider, a move that might, in the long-term, incentivize device manufacturers to promote their own Blockbuster-backed, revenue-generating app/service over competitors such as Hulu or Netlfix. 

Samsung has reportedly signed a new deal with Blockbuster that will see the company deliver thousands of movies to the Korean electronics giant’s Galaxy smartphone and tablet range, Blu-ray players and new connected Smart TVs.

The Next Web

Jan 09 2012

News - Dish Networks - CES 2012

Hopper + Joey = Whole Home blissOddly enough the most interesting thing I saw today was Dish Networks announcement of their new whole home DVR set top box (STB) the Hopper, alongside a "extender" called the Joey. Details were a bit sparse, but it looks like the solution works over MoCA and actually offers a real whole home solution HTPC style. Check out the pictures and a more complete list of features after the break.

Jan 06 2012

News - DISH Network Prepped to Launch Hopper Multi-Room DVR System?

It appears that DISH Network is getting ready to launch their multi-room DVR system at CES 2012. That DISH has been working on such a system is not a secret, but more complete details may have recently leaked. If the leaked info is correct, DISH Network's new XiP 813 DVR tuner will be branded as the DISH Network Hopper. It will sport three tuners and 2TB of storage and then serve live and recorded television to extender units called Joeys in manner similar to the multi-room system that Verizon recently previewed for its FiOS service. The most interesting part of the announcement, should it all pan out as anticipated, would be a service called Primetime Anytime in which a tuner would be set to automatically record primetime recording and make the recording available for a limited time as a "catch-up service". It would seem that 2012 is shaping up to be the year of ubiquitous whole-home DVRs.

DISH Hopper

As anyone who follows the tech industry knows, the annual Consumer Electronics Show is nearly upon us. And, with it, bazillions of new product announcements. Some of which aren’t always revealed exactly as or when a vendor had intended… and such may be the case with DISH Network’s upcoming “Hopper” whole-home DVR solution that was supposedly covered by TWICE prematurely (and then yanked).

Zatz not Funny

Sep 23 2011

News - Dish Reveals Some of its Blockbuster Plan

We've all been wondering what Dish Network's plans were for Blockbuster ever since the acquisition earlier this year. Just a few minutes ago, details were unveiled for the Blockbuster Movie Pass subscription which will include DVD, Blu-ray, Games, in-store exchanges and on-demand streaming for $10 a month. The catch is that this plan is only available to Dish subscribers, some of whom will also receive the service free for one year with certain packages. The company asks non-Dish subscribers to "stay tuned."

With Blockbuster's major competitor, Netflix, losing a bit of its lustre recently, Dish Network's reveal certainly seems timely. While the impact will likely be limited so long as the Blockbuster service offering is only available to Dish subscribers, the service could possibly offer a compelling value to non-Dish subscribers if it becomes more widely available. Presumably, subscribing to Dish offers a subsidized pricing scheme and the Blockbuster Movie Pass subscription will either cost more or have fewer features for non-Dish subscribers. For all you Netflix and Qwickster subscribers, is the Blockbuster Movie Pass intriguing you?

At its "a stream come true" event today, Dish Network finally revealed its plans for a subscription video service called Blockbuster Movie Pass. That includes access to discs (movies and games) by mail, streaming video to the TV and PC and linear TV service from Dish, all in one package. Check back for more information "the most comprehensive entertainment package ever" as it becomes available or just peep the live video stream of the announcement embedded after the break.

Engadget HD

Sep 02 2011

News - Dish Network Planning It's Next Blockbuster Move

File this one firmly in the rumor category for now, but with a strong dash of it's only a matter of time. Evidently Dish Network is preparing to unveil a Netflix-style streaming service under the Blockbuster brand.

Dish bought up Blockbuster's assets earlier this year. At the time, I was skeptical about Dish being able to do anything with the Blockbuster brand, and the jury is definitely still out on the financial success of the purchase, but Dish has not let the Blockbuster assets languish. Dish has been changing the layout of the stores to add Dish Network salespeople and demos, pushing hard with the Blockbuster mail-order service to capitalize on the Netflix price increases, and the Blockbuster Blog has dropped some not-too-subtle hints that some sort of streaming service was in the works.

Now rumor has it that Blockbuster's streaming service will be formally announced next month, and to add insult to injury for Netflix, with Starz in tow. Question is, can Dish get the pricing right and get the device adoption that has helped turn Netflix into such a juggernaut?

The new service may also include on-demand Blockbuster movies that Dish satellite customers can watch on television sets, the person said. Blockbuster may offer the streaming service in conjunction with its mail-order and in-store DVD rentals.

 Bloomberg

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