Archives For Satellite TV

dish-anywhere

DISH Anywhere Android and iOS apps have both been updated to expand their Sling Hopper capabilities from mere streaming to also include DVR recording downloads. Now the functionality isn’t new, but consolidating down from three apps to two is a good move – and one we’ve seen from a variety of service providers (like Verizon) who have finally realized less is more. By comparison, TiVo provides remote control, guide, streaming, and offloading in a single (iOS) app. Also worth mentioning, unlike retail Slingboxes, DISH Hopper apps are provided free of charge. And, despite upcoming service fee increases, the DISH Hopper, with integrated placeshifting and commercial skip, remains one of the most compelling set-tops on the market.

Sirius XM Raising Rates In 2014

Dave Zatz —  December 18, 2013

sirius-online-rates

It’s that time of year. No, not holiday shopping. Rather, annual rate increase notices. And, next up is Sirius XM, who just hit me with a letter that indicates my online streaming add-on will increase from $3.50/mo to $4/mo. A fifty cent increase is pretty insignificant, yet these sorts of notifications may motivate folks such as myself to examine our usage scenarios and competing offerings. As it turns out, I mostly listen to Sirius XM in the car and would probably get more phone, tablet, Sonos enjoyment by re-upping with a more customizable Internet Radio service like Slacker… for the same $4. (It also looks like my satellite rate will eventually go up, but not quite yet as I agreed to an annual package.)

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  July 27, 2013

A periodic roundup of relevant news… via our writings elsewhere:

sticknfind-sensor-with-radar-application

Sign of the Future: Sensors that Stick Everywhere
Lose your keys? Your cat? The TV remote? StickNFind has an app for that. Better yet, StickNFind has colorful sensors the size of a quarter, its own Bluetooth software stack, and a developer platform that could turn this crowd-funded Indiegogo product into a foundation piece for the coming “Internet of Things” revolution.

Comments on FCC Proceeding 13-177
Unlike recent TiVo and Samsung waiver requests, the EchoStar Channel Master K77 isn’t a CableCARD/cable device ­and isn’t saddled with the additional baggage of legacy MSO analog broadcasts and newly introduced market uncertainty due to recent Court and Commission rulings.

DISH Cuts NimbleTV to the Quick
NimbleTV is one of several startups trying to speed the progress of TV Everywhere. But Dish Network Corp. dealt a blow to the company earlier this month when it cut subscribers off from the TV source feeding the multi-screen video service.

Comcast Spreads Wi-Fi through Neighborhood Hotspots
Sitting dormant like sleeper cells, wireless routers in Comcast homes around the country will soon by recruited to activate a new Wi-Fi network. With the recent announcement of its neighborhood hotspot initiative, Comcast is preparing to split the wireless signal from home routers to create two parallel Wi-Fi access routes.

Fox Loses Appeal Asking for Injunction Against Dish's 'Hopper' Ad-Skipper

DISH_southwest

No Southwest Airlines seat-back displays? No problem. Bring your own device (laptop, tablet, or smartphone) and enjoy free access to 13 channels of live television on board Southwest’s 400 WiFi-enabled aircraft in exchange for sitting through a mere 30 seconds of pre-roll advertising. Beyond mile high video streaming, DISH and Southwest are further collaborating on the marketing front with a nationwide push – new DISH Hopper subscribers will receive 12,500 Rapid Reward points and an iPad 2.

(Sadly, Southwest retired their non-stop IAD-LAS route and we rarely have reason to fly them these days.)

directv-geniego-android

geniegoDirecTV’s placeshifting Nomad has been rebranded as the GenieGo. Further, the satcaster has dropped the price from $150 to a more compelling $99. The device initially only transcoded and transferred DVR recordings, but has since expanded its capabilities by also providing (almost) live television in-home streaming – comparable to the competing TiVo Stream and DISH Sling Hopper. However, unlike the TiVo Stream, DirecTV has just released an Android app (which isn’t receiving the greatest of reviews) to go along with their longstanding iPhone support. However, for pure streaming, the Sling Hopper remains best-in-class as Slingbox functionality is baked directly into STB hardware, without requiring a separate box, and content can be beamed both within the home and beyond. But for those with limited or no bandwidth whilst on the move, both the GenieGo and TiVo Stream conveniently provide video offloading functionality… although preparing and transferring the content can be a bit kludgy.

DISH Hopper Gets Social

Dave Zatz —  May 29, 2013

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DISH ups the ante on “social” television today with the introduction of Hopper functionality that wraps video within Twitter stats and social feeds:

The new Social app is accessible via DISH’s “quick launch” bar (to access, press the blue button on remote control) on the Hopper. Customers can link up to four Twitter and four Facebook accounts to the app. Viewers have three options for the type of content displayed in the status bar, which is located on the right side of the TV screen when the app is open:

  • Now Watching: shows the Twitter feed relevant to the show or channel the user is currently watching.
  • My Twitter: displays the user’s personal Twitter feed (if logged-in) and gives them full Twitter functionality, including the ability to “Favorite” a tweet, reply to a tweet, retweet a post and create a new Tweet.
  • My Facebook: displays the user’s personal Facebook feed (also requires log-in) and gives users the ability to post a status update, with the option of selecting one of several pre-drafted, easy-to-use updates.

While I still find myself somewhat lukewarm on in the idea of polluting populating my screen with Facebook or Twitter updates, DISH’s approach appears far more customizable and sophisticated then the competition. Not to mention the stats from The Collective are fascinating – especially should the app extend beyond live television and into DVR recordings.