At today’s International CES show, Dish Network unveiled some impressive enhancements to its set-top boxes as well as a slew of new apps and features that should make it far more competitive with big cable TV providers.
Last year the company made waves when it debuted its Hopper set-top box with DVR automatic commercial skipping technology. (The Hopper netted Dish several lawsuits with media companies as well as a big controversy at CES 2013 involving CNET.) But this year it’s all about refining what works.
The company is debuting a new faster “Super Joey” set-top box and “Super Hopper” DVR box that can record up to eight show at the same time, which is more than most competing DVR boxes. Dish customers also now have the ability to watch Dish programing anywhere via wi-fi as well as new “Virtual Joey” apps that provide full DVR capability for LG Smart TVs, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4. You’ll also now be able to grab a live broadcast of Dish TV service via mobile apps for Android, iOS, and Kindle Fire.
“The American consumer only cares about three basic needs when it comes to their video needs, said Dish CEO Joe Clayton during the company’s press event. Those three things include affordability, making the experience available anywhere, and making it easy to use.
In addition to the new “watch anywhere” apps, Dish is also launching refreshing its Hopper user interface and adding a new Dish Explorer app that lets you use voice controls rather than a clunky TV remote. From the demo the company did on stage, it looks like the voice search functionality is actually pretty intelligent, too. Customers can search for titles staring specific
Dish is giving demos of the new Super Hopper UI at CES this week, so check back on VentureBeat for a closer look.