Satellite provider DISH Network is upgrading its TV Everywhere proposition to play outside the home, thanks to the integration of Sling Media’s (News - Alert) placeshifting technology into the Hopper DVR. The company also unveiled the free Hopper Transfers app, which allows subscribers to move recorded television to an iPad for offline viewing anytime.
The Sling feature is enabled through the DISH Anywhere TV Everywhere app. It works by encoding and redirecting a live or recorded TV signal from the Hopper to Internet-connected iOS and Android (News - Alert) tablets and smartphones, PCs and Macs, inside or outside of the home.
DISH has offered a separate Sling Adapter hardware accessory for some time to enable subscribers to access their subscription content outside of the home, but the integration into a TV Everywhere app is a differentiator; typically, thanks to content licensing issues, operators’ TV Everywhere apps are accessible only at home over Wi-Fi.
The restriction has been a weakness that Netflix and other over-the-top (OTT) service, which can run over any broadband connection, have been able to use to their advantage.
“Last year, Hopper delivered the DISH TV experience to multiple rooms. This year, we top that and deliver it anywhere,” said Joe Clayton, DISH president and CEO. “With Hopper, the value equation for pay TV becomes radically different. Customers pay only once for their content and can access it anywhere they choose, in the home, or on the go.”
Customers can also use the Sling feature to watch DVR recordings stored on Hopper’s hard drive, including major network shows recorded using DISH’s PrimeTime Anytime feature.
With the Hopper Transfers app, customers can set up their Hopper with Sling to prepare television recordings for mobile viewing. Recordings are then transferred from Hopper to an iPad via the home’s Wi-Fi connection. Each mobile recording transferred features Digital Rights Management technology and is limited to one mobile transfer per recording. Once a recorded television program is finished encoding for mobile viewing, a 30-minute program takes approximately five minutes to move to an iPad.
“Consumers want to access the shows they pay for on their mobile devices and only the Hopper meets that demand,” said Vivek Khemka, vice president of product management at DISH. “Our new Hopper with Sling simply makes it easier for our subscribers to watch their favorite programs on the go.”
The company also took the wraps off of the DISH Explorer second-screen app for iPad, which combines TV, social media and remote-control capabilities to enhance the viewing experience. DISH Explorer highlights trending TV programs based on real-time TV viewer data and social media measurements.
The free app enables users to engage in conversations relating to the show they are watching on Twitter (News - Alert) and Facebook. Sports enthusiasts can keep up with real-time stats on their favorite teams.
The app can also navigate the Hopper’s channel guide, DVR and on-demand features using the iPad.