Media

Dish Network is really ‘hopping’ up its game against cable TV

Dish NetworkSatellite television service provider Dish Network made a handful of big announcements today that the company hopes will give it an advantage over its cable TV and streaming video competitors.

Under the theme of Kangaroos, Dish first unveiled a new Hopper HD DVR system, which includes three satellite TV receivers and a 2TB hard drive capable of storing up to 2,000 hours of HD and SD video programing. The system allows you to record up to six programs at the same time and lets you play four different recorded shows (from four separate locations/TVs) simultaneously.

When the Hopper system is combined with Dish’s new Joey set-top box (another Dish announcement), subscribers can take advantage of a 750MHz Broadcom processor that the company has dubbed the fastest satellite receiver on the market.

The company also announced a new Test Drive service, which lets potential customers try out its new “TV Everywhere” service for 24 hours. The Test Drive allows you to stream select television shows to various internet-connected devices (computers, tablets, smartphones, etc.) at no charge. These streaming features  are already available to current subscribers of its Blockbuster rental service. The Test Drive service will launch in February.

February is also when Dish kicks off its broadband service partnership with ViaStat, as VentureBeat previously reported. The broadband service will have download speeds of up to 12Mbps and upload speeds of 3Mbps. It’s estimated that the service would serve 8 million customers, mostly in overlooked markets currently lacking broadband or fiber optic coverage.