Over the past couple of years no service provider has embraced the custom installation with more purpose than Dish Network.
Just prior to the annual CES show in January the company announced its new Hopper 3 and HopperGo products to further aid dealers in providing state-of-the-art entertainment solutions to their clients.
Dish says these next-generation products support the growing dependency homeowners place on their home A/V systems to provide a varied choice of content with anytime access.
“Today we are giving consumers even more choice and control over their viewing experience by introducing the most advanced DVR in the world, while also redefining the mobile viewing experience,” says Vivek Khemka, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Dish Network. “Hopper 3 is more than just a DVR—it's an entertainment hub that supports and centralizes the various content types popular today, like streaming apps and Ultra HD [4K], and it is engineered to adapt with trends on the horizon.”
Among the features built into the company's latest set-top box (STB) are 16 tuners to provide homeowners with the ability to watch multiple shows in multiple rooms, view live programming remotely via the Dish Anywhere app, and record multiple programs all at once. The STB also offers Dish's 4K Sports Bar Mode that tiles a screen with multiple 1080p feeds simultaneously.
Dish has also announced agreements with Sony Pictures, Torchard and Mance Media to deliver content directly to the Hopper 3 and 4K Joey to provide its subscribers a growing choice of 4K content. Some of the titles Dish will make available include “The Amazing Spiderman,” “American Hustle” and “Smurfs 2.”
“The affordability of 4K TVs has increased dramatically and consumers are hungry for content and features that really showcase the picture and put the technology to work,” notes Khemka. “With Sports Bar Mode we wanted to replicate the fan experience of enjoying several games simultaneously for the home, and combining this feature with our new content offerings gives viewers a rich 4K viewing experience unavailable elsewhere.”
Some of the other features built into the Hopper 3 include the inclusion of Netflix and YouTube to provide a wider choice of content to homeowners, and Dish points out that users will be able to universally search broadcast, Netflix and YouTube content to make it easy for users to find their favorite programs.
Supporting dealers' ability to install the STB, the Hopper 3 incorporates MoCA 2.0 and gigabit Ethernet for network flexibility, and a single Hopper 3 supports as many as six Joey simultaneously to power a total of seven televisions at once. Other features include 2TB of internal storage, USB 3.0 connectivity to support the use of external storage devices, and H.264 and H.265 support that is compatible with HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2.
In addition, Dish's newly announced HopperGO offers anywhere access to transfer recorded content to mobile devices. Dish explains HopperGO connects to a Hopper 2 or Hopper 3 STB via USB to charge and transfer content. A fully charged HopperGO offers up to five hours of battery life and the ability to store up to 100 hours of programming on its 64GB of flash memory.
Dish adds HopperGo creates a secure, private Wi-Fi cloud to allow as many as five devices at once to watch their own chosen programming.
“We found that the biggest pain point for consumers in using Hopper Transfers feature was running out of space to store movies and shows on their mobile devices,” explains Khemka. “When taking a trip, [users] often want to have several entertainment options and HopperGO gives customers the ability to transport a variety of content for every member of the family without having to worry about running out of storage.”
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