Dish's new Hopper with Sling pushes DVR content to mobile devices
LAS VEGAS--Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) announced a new service the company said will allow Dish subscribers to view live and recorded DVR programs via their mobile devices, and to move programs they recorded on their DVR onto an iPad for offline viewing. The technology helps to highlight the increasingly innovative ways that TV is migrating into the mobile realm as well as Dish's expanding interest in the wireless industry.
During its press conference here at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, Dish unveiled its new "Hopper with Sling" digital video recorder. The product essentially marries the company's Hopper DVR, which it introduced last year, with the company's 2007 acquisition of Sling Media, which offers technology that allows users to view their DVR and TV content on PCs, smartphones and tablets via the Internet. The result is a DVR that allows users to watch their TVs remotely and also to transfer recorded TV content from their DVR to their iPad.
Dish said the TV recordings can be moved from its Hopper with Sling to an iPad via a user's Wi-Fi connection. The company said the technology's digital rights management limits users to one mobile transfer per recording, and that a 30-minute program takes around five minutes to move to an iPad
TV viewers are moving to mobile "at a full-on sprint," said Dish CEO Joe Clayton. "What they (users) want is choice and control of their content. We're willing to take risks and make changes to our technology."
Dish said it plans to launch the Hopper with Sling, as well as the related Dish Anywhere mobile app, within the next few weeks. The company did not disclose pricing, but said the ability for users to move content to an iPad for later viewing would not cost extra.
Of course, Dish isn't the only company that is working in the area of mobile TV viewing. TiVo, AT&T (NYSE:T) and others offer a range mobile options for DVR users. However, Dish's actions in the space are notable considering both the company's size (Dish counts around 14 million customers) as well as its clear desire to enter the mobile industry. Dish recently received FCC approval to build a nationwide LTE Advanced network with its 40 MHz of AWS-4 spectrum.
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