Here at the 2019 CES, there’s absolutely no mention and no participation from AT&T’s DIRECTV group or from DISH. That didn’t stop DISH from sliding in and stealing some attention.
DISH and Google, sitting in a tree
Google has spent a lot of money here at CES to tell you that they’re here. Frankly I would think if there were one company in the world that didn’t need an introduction it’s Google. But whatever. They’re here in force just like they were last year, putting their name on literally anything that moves and anything that stands still. They’re on monorails, tents, and hundreds of white-overcoated helpful folks who are literally anywhere you look.
And now they’re on DISH. According to a press release today, Google Assistant is coming to Hopper and Joey. Any DISH Hopper or Joey with a voice remote will get the Google Assistant built-in. It’s not clear when the download will happen but it will probably be soon. DISH doesn’t generally issue press releases for vaporware. In fact it’s how we’ve been able to tell what products were vaporware when we’ve seen them in previous years at CES. No press release, no chance it’s seeing the light of day.
The Google Assistant itself hardly needs an introduction. This is the thing that lets you say “OK Google” or “Hey Google” and get any sort of information you need. It’s grown past Siri to become a very capable digital information service, and that’s not all. It competes with Alexa to control smart home devices of all types. All you need to do is connect devices and you can set up complex scenes to control lighting and other devices. Very soon you’ll be able to use it on Hopper as well.
There will be more, it’s just hard to know what.
I reported about six months ago that Hopper was getting Google Assistant, so it’s hard to know what today’s announcement is bringing. From the look of it, it looks like you can now use Google Assistant right in the voice remote instead of needing a separate Google Home device. This implies that you’ll be able to use Hopper to control other devices, instead of using an external device to control Hopper. I guess we’ll have to wait for more information when it’s available.
By the way, DISH isn’t just playing one side of the fence here. It’s also had Alexa integration for close to two years. Again, that was a case where you were controlling the Hopper with an echo device. Now that DISH has a voice remote, you have even more options.
One more thing
As Steve Jobs liked to say, there’s “one more thing” and eagle-eyed readers have already spotted it. DISH has started rolling out a new logo to replace a logo that hadn’t changed much in 20 years.
No, that’s not the new one. That’s the original version, complete with early ’00s-style oval. A few years ago they dropped the oval and the word “Network” but kept the exact same DISH logo. As classic as it was, unfortunately it was time for a change.
This is the new logo. It modernizes the brand, adding a bit of sans-serif modernity. You’ll also notice that the satellite “beams” that make up the “i” have been cleaned up and there are now three “beams” not four. This makes each “beam” stronger.
They’ve spruced up the Sling logo as well with the same “beam” (though it’s horizontal.)
It looks like DISH and Sling are now in a common font as well.