CES2014: DISH shows next-gen Joeys and…

DISH is putting out press releases faster than we can read them. We’ll publish them all here, but here’s the straight dope: DISH is showing extensions to its Hopper Super DVR that add more capabilities to its already impressive system to bring it more in line with the competition.

First off is the SuperJoey which adds two additional network tuners to allow for the ability to record 8 programs at once during prime time (5 programs any time.) It’s not clear if the SuperJoey’s internal tuners can also be used to watch TV locally when the Hopper is serving three other clients. Remember that with Hopper technology you can’t add additional DVRs and receivers like you can with DIRECTV so this is the only way to add recording capacity. SuperJoey is expected later this quarter. Prices are yet to be determined but we’ll let you know when they are available.

The next step in DISH’s evolution is the Wireless Joey which follows DIRECTV’s lead of adding a wireless client to the mix. The Wireless Joey’s details are fairly sketchy at this point but it looks like an access point is used (like DIRECTV’s wireless video bridge) to create a secure network that doesn’t share bandwidth with your home wi-fi. The Wireless Joey will be shown at CES, but isn’t expected until the second quarter at least.

DISH also announced that in addition to its Joey app for LG smart TVs, they are also preparing a Virtual Joey experience for Playstation 3 and Playstation 4.

The real question here is whether DISH’s streaming limitation is still is place here, meaning that if you add additional clients you may not be able to use them all simultanously to watch different programs. It’s possible that the SuperJoey will add more streaming capacity here, we’ll let you know when we get to the DISH booth at CES.

For those who love the press releases…

DISH Energizes Hopper Platform Giving Customers the Ability to Record Industry-Leading Eight Shows Simultaneously; Delivers Whole Hopper to Whole Home

• SuperJoey™: Now record a breakthrough eight shows at once, virtually eliminating channel conflicts
• Wireless Joey: Any TV, anywhere in the home — wirelessly using blazing fast 802.11ac Wi-Fi
• ‘Virtual Joey‘ for Sony PS3™ and PS4™, LG Smart TV: Hopper experience, including DVR control and channel guides, comes to game consoles and smart TVs
• New DISH Anywhere™ App for iOS, Android, Kindle Fire: Now with integrated Hopper Transfers capability, the total ‘TV anywhere’ solution for viewing live, recorded and video-on-demand content
• DISH ExplorerTM App with Voice Search, Control: Use natural language to search and control live, recorded and video-on-demand shows
• Improved User Interface: New Hopper on-screen design is easiest platform for content discovery and navigation

LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Today at the 2014 International CES, DISH Network L.L.C., a subsidiary of DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), unveiled a super-charged slate of enhancements to the award-winning Hopper™ Whole-Home HD DVR platform that extend the reach of the Hopper experience into the home and improve the overall user experience.

“The Hopper continues to break new barriers in terms of accessibility, affordability and mobility,” said Joseph P. Clayton, DISH CEO and president. “You see that in the way in which DISH delivers more content and virtually ends channel conflict with SuperJoey. Our new Wireless Joeys and software-based Virtual Joeys make in-home installation options almost limitless. And, our app strategy continues to lead the way with best and most value-packed mobile entertainment experience in the market.”

First introduced in 2012 and updated with built-in Sling technology last year, the 2013 CES “Best of Show” award-winning Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR and accompanying Joey set-top boxes have established a category-leading entertainment system that gives DISH customers the ability to record, pause, and play back shows from any room in the home and on the go. The Hopper features exclusive DISH innovations, including the PrimeTime Anytime® and AutoHop™ commercial-skipping features.

The Hopper’s Sling technology gives customers the ability to view live and recorded television anywhere on Internet-connected tablets, smartphones and computers at no additional charge using the DISH Anywhere™ app. The app now includes DISH Transfers functionality for remote viewing when no Internet connection is available.

Hopper with SuperJoey gives customers the ability to record more shows; fights channel conflict 
Customers can record up to eight shows simultaneously with Hopper by pairing it with DISH’s new “SuperJoey,” a client that adds two network tuners to the Hopper’s native three tuners.

“With so much to watch on the Hopper, customers have asked for even more recording capability,” said Vivek Khemka, DISH senior vice president of Product Management. “This upgraded ability, combined with the Hopper’s capacity to store 2,000 hours of content, will anchor its place as simply the best DVR available.”

While extending the capabilities of a Hopper to any television in a household, SuperJoey gives users the ability to record up to eight shows simultaneously — any four shows plus the four major broadcast networks. Alternatively, the five network tuners give users the ability to watch and record any five shows from any network.
SuperJoeys are backwards compatible for all models of the Hopper.

Wireless Joey expands installation options

DISH’s new Wireless Joey system similarly opens up installation options where coaxial or Ethernet wiring is difficult to achieve or undesirable. The Wireless Joey installation includes a Wireless Joey Access Point and a Wireless Joey client.

“High on our customers’ wish list is the ability to mount a TV on any wall — they don’t want to be anchored to a coax outlet or by unsightly wire runs,” said Khemka.

The Wireless Joey Access Point can serve two Wireless Joey clients by creating its own dedicated 802.11ac Wi-Fi cloud within the home. This approach ensures that other Wi-Fi devices in a household do not degrade the Hopper’s video quality. The Wireless Joey Access Point connects directly to the Hopper and will work in homes that do not have Internet access.

New Joey apps gives customers the ability to get the Hopper experience on gaming, Smart TV devices

DISH has joined the introduction of the new Sony PlayStation® 4 system with the release of a software app that gives users the ability to access a Virtual Joey, providing a nearly identical experience to the Hopper’s hardware-based Joeys within the PS4™ environment. DISH is also releasing a Joey app for the PlayStation® 3 system.
As announced yesterday, DISH is offering a Virtual Joey client for Smart TVs from LG Electronics.

“These software-based Joey clients give customers the ability to access Hopper in any room, and customers don’t have to add extra components, or even wires, to access all their DISH content,” said Khemka.

As with a hardware-based Joey, the software-based clients provide access to and control of Hopper content, including live TV, recordings, video-on-demand programs and navigation of the electronic program guide.

DISH delivers updated DISH Anywhere app; adds Kindle Fire as a platform

DISH recently released its updated DISH Anywhere app for iOS and Android devices. Among the improvements is the integration of the DISH Transfers™ feature into DISH Anywhere, which gives users the ability to view recorded content where no Internet connection is available.

DISH will be releasing a version of DISH Anywhere for Kindle Fire tablets.
Voice search and control with DISH Explorer App; Updated user interface
DISH has added voice search and Hopper control capabilities to its DISH Explorer second-screen app for iPad.

“We’ve taken voice search for TV to a new level,” said Khemka. “Customers can now perform and build voice-driven searches to find live TV shows, make video-on-demand selections or play back anything they have recorded on their Hopper.”

Customers can use natural language to search by title, actor or genre and can build contextual searches that can narrow results.

In addition to search, customers can use voice commands to control basic functions of the Hopper, including recording and playback.

Finally, DISH has improved Hopper’s user interface making navigation easier and has added a “recommendations” capability to the Hopper’s channel guide. This feature recommends similar shows to those being watched, including TV shows, movies, sporting events or video-on-demand content.

Hopper with Sling is powered by a Broadcom BCM7425 processor and contains a two-terabyte hard drive, giving viewers the ability to record up to 500 hours of high-definition (2,000 hours of standard definition) content. DISH’s Hopper includes built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi for easy connection to customers’ home networks.

SuperJoey is powered by a 1305 MHz, 3000 DMIPS Broadcom BCM7346 processor, features two satellite tuners, remote finder functionality, and supports MoCA and Ethernet connectivity.

Wireless Joey is powered by a 900MHz 2000 DMIPS BCM7418 processor. The wireless performance for both the Wireless Joey and the Wireless Joey Access Point is driven by the Broadcom BCM4360 802.11ac chip operating at the 5Ghz band. The system features 3×3 MIMO with beam forming internal antennas and auto frequency selection.

Availability of SuperJoey, the Virtual Joey apps and the DISH Anywhere for Kindle Fire will be announced in the first quarter of 2014. DISH expects to release the Wireless Joey this spring.

About DISH
DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), through its subsidiary DISH Network L.L.C., provides approximately 14.049 million satellite TV customers, as of Sept. 30, 2013, with the highest quality programming and technology with the most choices at the best value, including HD Free for Life®. Subscribers enjoy the largest high definition line-up with more than 200 national HD channels, the most international channels, and award-winning HD and DVR technology. DISH Network Corporation is a Fortune 200 company. Visit http://www.dish.com.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.