Dish Network just made its satellite TV service far more attractive to consumers with the debut of a new Joey set-top box at CES 2015 in Las Vegas today.
The new box will give you access to 4K-quality (aka “Ultra HD”) video content, the ability to control music in multiple rooms (sort of like Sonos), and integration with lots of third-party content services like music video-focused Vevo. The multi-room music streaming happens through a separate mobile app available on iOS and Android, with support for Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn.
The box also features an updated “Carbon” user interface and a remote that steals more than a few ideas from competitors — specifically, a voice control feature and a touch screen. Those with an older Dish box will eventually be able to upgrade to the new UI, and will have the option to purchase the new smart remote (for Joey and Dish’s line of Hopper set-top boxes) separately.
The new additions to the set-top box — as well as the debut of its OTT Sling TV service — should give Dish a leg up on competition from cable providers and DirecTV. And Dish needs all the help it can get after a year of tough TV licensing negotiations that in some cases led to a blackout of some of the most popular TV channels.
Dish said the 4K Joey box will be available for order during the second quarter of 2015, while the multi-room music streaming app is expected to launch this summer.