Satellite TV provider Dish is expanding the number of ways that viewers can gain access to its content at CES this year.
It’s doing that with support for live, recorded, and on-demand video streaming to iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire tablets and mobile devices through a new group of Dish Anywhere apps. It’s also launching a new “troop” of Joey set-top boxes, building new functionality into the next generation of devices and introducing virtual interfaces for PS3, PS4, and LG Smart TVs.
At its presentation ahead of the show, Dish unveiled its most powerful Joey set-top box to date, the SuperJoey. Combined with Dish’s Hopper whole-home DVR, the SuperJoey will allow households to record up to eight shows at once. By adding another couple of tuners, the Hopper and SuperJoey can record four cable TV shows in addition to the four broadcast networks that are automatically recorded.
That should eliminate channel conflicts for most homes… that is, unless they are either really big or really crazy about recording things to their DVR.
Dish is also introducing the Wireless Joey, which provides customers more flexibility in making their live and recorded programs available throughout the house. Previously, subscribers needed their set-top boxes to be connected by coax cable run throughout the house.
But with the Wireless Joey, users can stream their live and recorded TV programs to any TV in the house, thanks to a thin client with an 802.11ac Wi-Fi connection.
Not only will subscribers have more options when it comes to Joey set-top boxes, they can install around the home, but they will also be able to connect virtually through devices they already own. To support this, Dish will have “virtual Joey” clients available for Sony’s PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 devices, as well as LG Smart TVs.
In addition to the new Joey products, Dish has also updated its mobile apps for iOS and Android, and is adding the Kindle Fire into the mix. The new Dish Anywhere apps will have a new feature that allows subscribers to transfer recordings from their Hopper, allowing them to watch their favorite programs on the go.
The new apps also have integrated voice search capabilities, with natural language processing that allows users to find the programs that they want to watch and control their TV. That includes the ability to search content by title, actor, or genre.
For Dish, the announcements are part of a larger strategy by the company to enable subscribers to access the content they want anywhere, at any time. It’s been working toward that goal for years, but the new apps and Joey capabilities get it one step closer to achieving it.
Since this is CES, no launch dates for the products were announced. But the company expects the virtual Joey apps and the new Dish Anywhere for Kindle Fire to be released in the first quarter, with the Wireless Joey becoming available in the spring.