Dish Unveils 2TB Hopper DVR, Satellite Broadband Service
"LAS VEGAS—Dish Network used the Consumer Electronics Show to rebrand itself and embrace a more connected customer base, unveiling a new "Hopper" DVR with a 2TB hard drive and a companion device dubbed Joey.
The company will also partner with ViaSat for satellite broadband service.
Going forward, the pay TV business will be known simply as Dish. CEO Joe Clayton said during a press conference here that Dish wanted a product that people would know by name, like Droid or iPhone. To that end, Dish has adopted the kangaroo as its mascot; hence the Hopper Joey monikers. Clayton actually emerged onstage carting a tiny joey.
The Hopper includes three satellite TV tuners, and a 2TB hard drive that holds up to 2,000 hours of video, up to 250 hours of HD, or up to 1,000 hours of SD user recordings. The device is Bluetooth-equipped for linking to devices like wireless headphones and includes built-in DLNA, as well as picture-in-picture for watching two channels at the same time.
The Hopper can record up to six TV shows at once—four PrimeTime Anytime shows and two live programs. PrimeTime Anytime is a new feature that will allow users, with one click, to record every single primetime show from ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC on a given night and store them for eight days.
"This creates an on-demand library of approximately 100 hours of primetime TV shows, and makes it easy to catch up on episodes from last night and last week's airing," Dish said.
To extend TV viewing to other rooms, Dish is offering the smaller, companion device known as Joey, which runs a 750 MHz Broadcom processor. With a Hoppper and three small Joeys, customers can watch content simultaneously in four separate rooms around the house.
If you've torn apart your living room looking for the remote, the Hopper will include a convenient "locate remote" button; click it and your remote will beep.
Dish did not announce exact release dates; the Hopper is listed as "coming soon" on its Web site.
Dish is part of the TV Everywhere effort, which will allow customers to access content on the Web via www.DishOnline.com
. The Hopper can also be connected to the Sling Adapter for on-the-go access.
To that end, Dish will partner with ViaSat to offer satellite broadband service that boasts up to 12 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds. Bundles will start at $79.98 per month. Clayton pushed the service as a way to get broadband to underserved rural areas; the offering will expand this summer when Dish parent company EchoStar launches a new high-powered satellite, Clayton said.
Dish will include access to several partner services. The $10 Blockbuster at Home service, an extension of the Blockbuster Movie Pass launched in the fall, will include streaming access to more than 10,000 movies and TV shows, including 3,000 kids shows and 20 premium movie and family channels, among other things.
Customers who subscribe to HBO will also get expanded access to the channel's content online. Sirius XM will also be available, as will apps like Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, and The Weather Channel.
For those who are on the fence, Dish is providing 24-hour access to its content via TV Everywhere. Sign up at dish.com/testdrive to try it out."