CES2014: DISH integrates Hopper apps and adds Smart TV

DISH kicks off its presence at the International CES with two announcements sure to excite the DISH faithful. First is the Vitrual Joey, which is an app that will run on 2014 LG Smart TVs and allow for a TV with no connected box whatsoever, much like DIRECTV’s RVU-enabled TVs by Sony and Samsung. This means that the user has the option of using LG’s remote, widely regarded as superior to DISH’s, and having a much cleaner installation. The app is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2014.

There is some question in the blogosphere as to whether the Virtual Joey will allow Auto Hop as that could potentially open LG up to lawsuits, but as the app is just a client for the Hopper DVR, that doesn’t seem to be a real stumbling block. We’ll be sure to ask the folks on site at CES about it.

Here’s DISH’s press release:

DISH App Delivers Hopper Experience on LG Smart TVs

Software-based “Virtual Joey” client delivers DISH Hopper experience and control on LG Smart TVs
LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)– DISH Network L.L.C., a subsidiary of DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), today announced that it has developed a “Virtual Joey” software application that delivers the DISH Hopper® HD-DVR experience on 2013 and 2014 LG Smart TVs. The app can be used instead of DISH’s hardware-based Joey, increasing installation options where coaxial or Ethernet wiring may be difficult to access.

Virtual Joey with LG Smart TV

Television placement is so often dictated by where the set-top box can be and where the wires are — this new application literally unleashes the TV,” said Joseph P. Clayton, DISH president and CEO. “Together, we are giving our customers more choice and control over their entire television experience.”

“By offering DVR capability directly through LG’s Smart TV platform, DISH’s Virtual Joey app gives consumers even more options to customize their viewing experience. Our collaboration with DISH is consistent with our philosophy of making Smart TV simple and more intuitive,” said Sam Chang, vice president in charge of the LG Electronics Silicon Valley Lab, which developed LG’s new webOS Smart TV platform.

This new Virtual Joey app provides a nearly identical experience to the Hopper Whole-Home HD DVRs currently available to DISH customers. When loaded on an LG Smart TV, the app offers access to and control of the Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR — including live TV, recordings and navigation of the electronic program guide. The software-based clients operate on users’ wireless or wired home networks.

DISH expects to release the app in the first quarter of 2014.
DISH will provide Virtual Joey demos on LG Smart TVs in the Las Vegas Convention Center in Central Hall at booth #8243.

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.

DISH also wants to remind you of their commitment to unify their Hopper Transfers and DISH Explorer apps into a single mega-app much as DIRECTV has done with its app for iPad. This is something they started talking about a few weeks ago and it looks like the updated app will also be available at CES.

If you’re curious, read more from their press release:

[pressrelease]New DISH Anywhere App Integrates Hopper Transfers for Android, iPad and iPhone; Coming to Kindle Fire

• Now with integrated Hopper Transfers capability, the total ‘TV anywhere’ solution for viewing live, recorded and video-on-demand content
• Transfers capability gives users the ability to watch transferred content even when no Internet connection is available
• DISH Anywhere coming to Kindle Fire in 2014

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Responding to growing consumer demand to watch favorite content on their mobile devices, DISH Network L.L.C., a subsidiary of DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), has upgraded its DISH Anywhere™ app to integrate the Hopper TransfersTM feature to both iOS and Android phones and tablets. The new DISH Anywhere app gives Hopper® with Sling® users the ability to view recorded content where no Internet connection is available. This enhancement is a free update for DISH Anywhere users.

“Subscribers want an easier way to utilize the Hopper with Sling’s remote viewing capabilities, and today we launch the pay-TV industry’s only all-in-one app,” said Vivek Khemka, senior vice president, product management at DISH. “Now, Hopper with Sling users can choose to watch all their live and recorded shows remotely and transfer recorded programs to their iOS and Android devices, all within the new DISH Anywhere app.”

Today, DISH also announced that the integrated DISH Anywhere app will launch on Kindle Fire tablets in the coming months.

The update combines two apps DISH released last year: DISH Anywhere and Hopper TransfersTM. DISH Anywhere gives users the ability to remotely view live TV programs or recorded events when connected to the Internet. It is available on most Internet-connected devices including iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets.
The Hopper Transfers feature, now incorporated into DISH Anywhere, gives users the ability to move recorded programs from a Hopper with Sling to mobile devices for watching programs when an Internet connection is unavailable.

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. [/pressrelease]