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Dish expands Hopper's reach beyond your living room

Philip Michaels | Jan. 7, 2014
Dish Network moves beyond its traditional channel guide to app-based program selection via its Hopper DVR.

Dish's efforts to stake out a claim beyond your home have been led by its Dish Anywhere mobile app, available for both iOS and Android. Soon, Kindle Fire will be added to the mix, as Dish announced its app would soon be available for Amazon's tablet. Dish Anywhere lets Hopper owners access recorded programs from their mobile device, which they can then view even without benefit of an Internet connection.

iPad users weren't completely left out of Monday's avalanche of Dish announcements. The company plans to add a voice search feature to its Dish Explorer second-screen app, searching for programs with voice commands instead of taps. Saying "Show me movies with Angelina Jolie," for example, will turn up a list of available titles; you can further refine that search by saying something along the lines of "Show me movies without Brad Pitt" If you'd prefer not to entertain the possibility of watching Mr. and Mrs. Smith. (There's no word on whether that feature was designed specifically for Jennifer Aniston, but I have my suspicions.) Dish also plans to expand its marketing efforts with Apple, offering a free iPad mini to customers who sign up for its service; previously, Dish dangled an iPad 2 as an enticement for new subscribers.

It's an extensive array of announcements that certainly signal Dish's hope to have Hooper standout from other set-top boxes as the master and commander of your living room. And Clayton hinted that his company's ambitions may not stop there, raising the specter of adding home automation features down the road.

Until then, Dish customers will have to satisfy themselves with the products promised at this year's CES. The Super Joey and Virtual Joey offerings will arrive between now and March, as will the Kindle Fire version of Dish anywhere. Wireless Joey arrives later in the spring.


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