Apr 20 2016

News - HTR Review DISH Hopper 3

DISH network is one of the few MSOs that pushes the evelope when it comes to home DVR capability. So I always make a point to check out their CES announcements. The devices aren't reviewed that often so it's nice to see a reputable 3rd party take a look.

Jan 12 2015

News - DISH @ CES 2015

Dish Networks always puts on a good show at CES, and this year was no exception. There were dancing kangaroos, the CEO came in playing a drum, and there was plenty of loud music in the intro. Of course none of that would matter if it was all fluff, and Dish didn’t disappoint here either announcing the 4K Joey, a slick looking voice remote, slick “Carbon” UI, whole-house music via the Hopper & Joey, and a new Live TV service called Sling TV.

Jan 15 2014

News - Dish @ CES 2014

Dish Network once again brought their “A game” to CES, and not without the lack of advertising everywhere, they are bring a ton of changes to the Hopper lineup. Currently they have Hopper Dish Logoand Joey with some Slingbox action thrown in. Coming soon in Q2 they will be adding many more features to their device lineup and upgrades to their already stellar devices.

Jan 08 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 01 2012

News - Dish Network to Offer Satellite Internet, Planning New Internet TV Service

Dish Network

Dish Network has been busy looking for ways to monetize the Internet. Earlier this week Dish announced that it would begin offering satellite-based broadband Internet on October 1st. The service, dubbed dishNET, is aimed primarily at rural areas that are not serviced by the telcos or cable companies. With two tiers offering 10 or 20 GB caps, this is definitely only a service intended for data, though urban subscribers in regions where Dish contracts with a local exchange carrier will be able to tap into a more competitive wireline service that will also be available under the dishNET branding.

DishNet will be available nationwide as of October 1st, and will offer two main packages: the $39.99 / month package (plus equipment fees) will offer users 5 Mbps down and 1Mbps up, with a 10GB data cap. Stepping up to the $49.99 plan increases the download speeds to 10 Mbps and bumps the data cap to 20GB. 

The Verge

Satellite Internet is nothing new. Hughes Communications, recently purchased by former Dish parent company Echostar, has been selling satellite-based Internet service for decades, but Dish's efforts to grow into the ISP market become a bit more interesting when combined with reports that Dish has been talking to companies such as Viacom about offering subscription TV service over the Internet. The service would bundle together small collections of channels for less than traditional cable and satellite subscription TV services usually charge. Dish is no stranger to Internet-based subscription TV, having established a strong toehold in international distribution with DISHWorld, but this new service is expected to target domestic markets. If successful, such a move would provide Dish with a low-cost alternative to attack cable competitors and, combined with the recent launch of dishNET, highlights how Dish is looking to the Internet to grow and diversify. 

According to the news agency, Dish is in talks with Viacom, Univision and Scripps. The satellite operator would also bundle broadcast content in with a new Internet-based service, much like Aereo is doing in New York City. There is no word/rumor yet on pricing except that the new offering would be cheaper than a standard pay-TV subscription.

Zatz not Funny

Jul 26 2012

News - Roku Dropping Channels with International Content in Favor of DISHWorld

Part of the appeal of the Roku media streamers over the years has been the openness of the platform. At any given time, there have been dozens of unofficial apps or channels that could be added to one's Roku, and even among the officially supported channels, there were always plenty of off-beat and incredibly niche offerings to explore. The Roku ecosystem has also offered up a surprising amount of international content for those users interested in looking beyond American shores for their entertainment. Unfortunately, those days seem to have come to an end. There may still be plenty of off-beat channels to choose from, but few, if any, that offer international content. 

DISHWorld on Roku

Roku has apparently pulled all or most of the international content channels from their system as part of a deal that the company signed with DISH back in May to bring that company's DISHWorld service to the Roku platform. DISHWorld is DISH's IPTV system for bringing international content to domestic customers, and Roku is the set top box that makes it all possible. Roku has defended the move by pointing out that DISHWorld offers more content than all of the removed channels combined and that DISH properly licenses all of the content thay access, ensuring that foreign content distributors are reimbursed appropriately, a guarantee that not all of the previous Roku channel developers could make. However, given that DISHWorld is a subscription service that starts at $19.99 a month, it is a bit difficult to shake the feeling that the real incentive here might DISH's comparatively deep pockets.

The first live TV feeds on Roku were foreign broadcast transmissions, and numerous companies have used Roku exclusively to reach expat audiences within the U.S. But for many developers, all of this came to a halt this week when Roku removed 25 channels with foreign language content, effectively shutting down the entire international section of its channel store.


May 31 2012

News - Public Knowledge - Tell Old Media to Keep Their Hands Out of Your DVR

Public Knowledge

There's nothing wrong with advertising per se, but I find the broadcaster's posturing around DISH's recent feature enabling automatic commercial skipping for Primetime TV highly objectionable. While DISH has deep pockets, and the pugnacity to put up a good fight, it shouldn't have to go it alone - with Public Knowledge starting up a campaign to lend us a voice against these audacious claims.

May 10 2012

News - DISH Adds Automated Commercial Skipping “Auto Hop” Feature To Hopper DVRs

Dish Network

I'll forgive you if you need a few minutes to check for flying pigs (I certainly did) after discovering that a major MSO has enabled [limited] automatic commercial skipping on their best DVR. Now it's not quite the same as we in the HTPC community have grown accustomed to since it only applies to PrimeTime Anytime content viewed after 1AM ET, but it is a HUGE step towards actually providing useful features to their customers.

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.

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