Archives For Satellite TV

echostar-sage

After a several years of TV-centric home automation tech demos at CES, Echostar got serious and recently unveiled “Sage” – their “secure” take on the space and presumably targeted to siblings partners like DISH and overseas providers, versus selling direct to consumers à la Staples Connect or Smarthings.

From the Rethink Technology Research newsletter:

EchoStar is planning on expanding its set top range firmly into the smart home with the new Sage home controller and device ecosystem. [...] The box itself contains ZigBee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth Low Energy and WiFi radios. [...] With a single push the UI would pop up onto the screen and shrink the TV picture into the top right quarter. [...] The back end architecture is all based on the existing Sling infrastructure that EchoStar already has in place, and there are plans to add the Sage tag to other Dish products.

Beyond their HDMI-out hub and third party device support, Echostar just passed their own wireless doorbell, light switch module and home automation dongle through the FCC. Continue Reading…

By way of the TiVo Community and an FCC filing, we learn that TiVo has petitioned the powers that be for access to customers of a combined AT&T and DirecTV – should the merger be approved (now with NFL in the bag). And they do make a compelling argument… including drawing a clever parallel to Ma Bell (which is entirely unrelated to the current entity in anything other than name).

Any FCC action approving the merger of the leading DBS MVPD and the leading IPTV MVPD must require that the merged company comply meaningfully and effectively with existing law, including Section 629’s obligation to support commercial competitive devices.

If the merger is allowed, the merged company, in addition to being the largest MVPD, will be the only MVPD to supply programming and services via both direct satellite and wired transmissions. With its national scope, the new AT&T will in certain respects resemble the original AT&T system — a system that was required to open its network to device competition under the Commission

Further, TiVo doesn’t pull any punches in regards to DirecTV, leading us to wonder if their current partnership has soured in some way. TiVo has previously indicated discontent in regards to DTV’s decision to develop and deploy the prior TiVo experience…

TiVo’s experience with DIRECTV has shown that technical access to programming has not been a stumbling block to the use of retail devices. Device competition has been constrained, instead, by DIRECTV’s business objective of controlling the relevant device market, in a manner contrary to the intent of Section 629 and Commission regulations.

DISH Hops onto PS3 with $7/Mo Virtual Joey App

AT&T To Acquire DirecTV

Dave Zatz —  May 19, 2014

As widely rumored, AT&T has formally announced their intention to purchase DirecTV for $95/share.

This purchase price implies a total equity value of $48.5 billion and a total transaction value of $67.1 billion, including DIRECTV’s net debt.

While this transaction, should it be approved, would result in one of the largest pay television providers, I see it largely as a defensive maneuver on AT&T’s part in an industry where they should be on the offensive with more forward thinking plays as linear television looks to contract. Further, it’ll be interesting to see how DirecTV’s negotiations with the NFL evolve given new ownership, with deeper pockets and potentially broader distribution potential … and if they are granted exclusive rights.

There goes the Hopper: Dish agrees to limit ad skipping in Disney deal

wireless-joey-fcc

The DISH Network Wireless Joey, unveiled at CES, is one step closer to release having just passed thru the FCC. The Echostar-produced Hopper extender hums with 802.11/a/n/ac to handle those high def streams of live and recorded content, without requiring a coaxial connection. Those with 802.11g networks need not apply. Via the filing, we also learn the Wireless Joey will ship with an RF remote – meaning a more sprightly response and the ability to hide WJ in a cabinet or behind your television. While I prefer DISH’s whole-home solution over TiVo’s, due to unrestricted placeshifting and Android support, I’m not quite motivated enough to switch providers given an ongoing reliance on Comcast or Verizon for broadband services. And despite TiVo’s recent layoffs and new emphasis on cloud services for cable providers, like Jason Nealis of RCN, I too hope they have a little more hardware left in them and pine for a similarly specced wireless TiVo Mini.

super-wireless-joey

While DISH’s CES press conference remains 24 hours away, the missing pieces have somewhat clarified since we first began tracking a refreshed DISH Hopper and “Super Joey” — which passed through the FCC in November. Of course, the DISH Hopper (with Sling) is the award winning satellite TV DVR, that acts as a hub to Joey extenders. And DISH’s 2014 show message is all about expanding those whole-home Joey capabilities. From recent press outreach:

DISH will be showing new ways for viewers to enjoy their favorite channels with the award-winning Hopper HD DVR, to address family channel conflict, cabling issues, and to control clutter. Continue Reading…