DISH Revolutionizes TV Viewing with WiFi Set-top Box - Analyst Blog

Yesterday, DISH Network Corp. ( DISH ) announced the commercial launch of the pay-TV industry's first set-top box using wireless connectivity.

Subscribers will now be able to connect to DISH's flagship Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR through a dedicated 802.11ac access point and watch TV shows on any device and in and around the home through a wireless Joey device. A WiFi-enabled set-top box is a significant innovation in the pay-TV industry as it eliminates the need for either coaxial or Ethernet wiring within customer premises.

DISH subscribers have to install a wireless Joey client for $7 per month per device and a wireless Joey 802.11 ac access point for a one-time fee of $50. DISH is using Broadcom Corp. 's ( BRCM ) BCM4360 chipset for the WiFi connectivity which operates in the 5GHz frequency band and uses 3x3 multi-input/multi-output (MIMO) technology with beam forming and auto frequency selection.

The wireless Joey will include all the trick-play features of wired Joey such as pause/rewind/fast forward, PrimeTime Anytime with automatically recorded primetime TV and AutoHop for commercial free playback of select shows.

In early 2012, DISH introduced an innovative HD whole-home DVR called "Hooper" together with a sidekick called "Joey". The device allows the user to watch TV shows and movies in 4 different rooms at the same time and can record 6 HD shows at once. Hooper is developed with an in-build 2-terabyte hard disk that can store 2,000 hours of sports and entertainment content.

Hopper device users can also watch their favorite programs on PlayStation 3 (PS3) and PS4 gaming consoles through a virtual Joey. Moreover, enhancement of the DISH Anywhere mobile app will further improve TV viewing facilities on tablets and smartphones.

The pay-TV industry has been focusing on developing a wireless set-top box for long. In 2011, AT&T Inc. ( T ) introduced its first wireless set-top box. In Apr 2014, DIRECTV ( DTV ) launched its wireless Genie mini set-top box. Both the companies are using Quantenna Communications Inc.'s chipsets.

However, DISH is the first company to start the commercial shipment of WiFi enabled Hopper devices. DISH currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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