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Dish Demos Z-Wave/ZigBee Home Automation via Hopper DVR

Home automation concept shows lights, thermostats, cameras being monitored and controlled via the television through a ZigBee/Z-Wave dongle in a Dish Hopper DVR.


Dish Network blends home entertainment with automation via ZigBee/Z-Wave

Dish Network showed a modest home automation system running on the Hopper DVR at CES 2014, including some useful features that mesh device control with entertainment services.

The demo comes just three months after Dish announced two-way integration with Control4,Crestron, Savant Systems and other established home control systems.

The “system” at CES comprised a ZigBee/Z-Wave USB dongle plugged into the back of the Hopper, although only the Z-Wave radio was being used. The controller integrates into the on-screen display, allowing users to monitor and operate devices such as door locks, lights, thermostats and cameras, as was demonstrated at the booth.

The automation piece of the interface can tap the rich data available through the Dish programming guide so, for example, a program designated as a “movie” can trigger the lights to dim on “play” and brighten on “pause.”

If the doorbell rings, the system will pause the movie and pop the camera image onto the big screen.

Cameras are incorporated into the EPG as channels, so they can be viewed from anywhere in or out of the home that you can view a channel—just as if they were TV stations.

Storage of the video is done on the Hopper DVR and can be based on event (e.g., activity at the front door) or time.

While a person at the booth said the service will be rolled out this fall, a Dish spokesperson was noncommittal, telling CE Pro:

While these are only concepts at this point, DISH believes the Hopper whole-home HD DVR system has future capabilities far beyond its status as the industry’s most widely awarded DVR. Based on feedback from CES attendees, they are carefully considering next steps for extending the Hopper platform to control other devices in the home.

Based on feedback from CES attendees, they are carefully considering next steps for extending the Hopper platform to control other devices in the home.

If you’re keeping score, DirecTV is one of the few entertainment services provider that has not yet announced anything in the home automation space; however, last year the satellite competitor did acquire LifeShield Home Security, a provider of DIY security systems.

Here’s a video from The Satellite Guys

Thanks, Avi and Irv!

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Article Topics

News · Product News · Videos · Home Automation and Control · Control Systems · Lighting · Events · CES · Ces · Dish · Hopper · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson. [More by Julie Jacobson]

4 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Jay Martin  on  01/16  at  03:59 PM

Julie, the article implies it uses a dongle that has both Z-Wave and ZigBee radios in it - is that true? And if so, do you know who makes it?

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  01/16  at  04:02 PM

That’s what they were saying, Jay, but who can say for sure? Only ZigBee was being used. They were probably just telling folks both radios and then they can figure out later which to actually deploy.

Posted by Jay Martin  on  01/16  at  04:15 PM

Ok, thanks. That would be a nice bit of hardware.

Posted by Avi  on  01/16  at  05:55 PM

Jay, actually only Z-Wave was being used, but the Dongle had both.  It was developed by DISH for this specific use.

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