CES 2014 is in full swing and we went down to the DISH booth to get questions answered. We’ll have a full photo essay later (you all know how hotel internet is) but we did get to ask the questions you really want to know and we’ll answer them here!
The big question with the Super Joey is how those two other tuners are going to be allocated. Will they be for recordings only? Will they be available for live TV? The good news for DISH fans is that those tuners will be available for any task you want. It’s really like an upgrade to the Hopper to give it five full tuners (and remember one of those is a wideband tuner that can pull in all the major networks during Prime Time.) So that means that you can record five things or watch TV on every device you have. (There’s currently a limitation of three Joeys per account but Virtual Joey might give you the ability to use that fifth tuner… that’s still up in the air.)
The big questions you have are “when” and “how” and I got at least one of them answered. DISH is playing the party line here and all they will say as far as availability is “second quarter.” That honestly didn’t even seem to be a firm answer, so it’s possible that it could slip even later.
As for the how, it’s much like DIRECTV’s wireless solution, except the video bridge connects via ethernet straight to the Hopper instead of needing its own coax. The video bridge creates a secure, closed wireless-ac portal so that Wireless Joeys don’t tax your wi-fi. In the limited demo that we got, it worked great.
Both Sony and LG showed off Virtual Joey. LG’s is built into the TV while Sony showed it on a PS4. They say it will also run on PS3 as well. On the PS4 there is a remote that looks just like a Joey remote that does everything you need and it worked very well. Virtual Joeys work just like regular Joeys, you get access to live TV, recordings, on demand, the works. On the LG TV it’s a little bit clumsy to get into, it looks like you have to launch an app to get to the Virtual Joey and that makes it hard to convince non-techies that it’s worth it, when they are used to simply turning on the TV.
There was a lot of excitement at the booth and senior VP Vivek Khemka was seen wandering the booth proudly. This is not the first time that DISH has dominated a home theater show… they tend to show their wares even when DIRECTV is absent.
If you have questions about the DISH booth, we’ll be headed back there so post them here or tweet them and reference @SolidSignalCom — we’ll get your questions answered!