While legacy television services continue to contract, I remain a subscriber (for now) and keep on eye on Dish as one of the most technically progressive service providers (and having personally been acquired, way back when). Now cable and satellite companies don’t iterate at the speed of retail-facing co’s, and generally with less fanfare when they do (not always), but apparently a refresh is upon us as DISH has three new Android-powered devices in the, uh, hopper.
Dish Joey 4
First spotted on the FCC and confirmed by DISH, the DISH Joey 4 (D35) would likely continue to function as a MoCA Hopper client in the hub+spoke model and features both Zigbee and Bluetooth for remote control. As you can see from the photograph above (click to enlarge), Ethernet, HDMI, and USB ports are present. Hopes springs eternal, so I’ll go ahead and assume this isn’t a successor to the non-4k Joey 3 but, rather, a higher-end alternative that replaces the 2015 Joey 4K as it ushers HDR into the mix.
First spotted on the FCC and confirmed by the USPTO, the DISH Hopper Plus (D25) is described as a “whole home DVR accessory.” I’d like to assume ‘accessory’ doesn’t really mean anything and this is truly another Hopper DVR hub. However, the initial filing references Bluetooth as the only wireless frequencies, making me wonder about its capabilities and how it might stack up against the Hopper Duo (non-4k, low tuner count, low storage) and the Hopper 3 (the whole enchilada). As you can see from the pic above (click to enlarge), Dolby Audio is confirmed and optionally delivered via the optical audio output.
Wireless Joey 4
First spotted on DISH and then confirmed by the FCC, the Wireless Joey 4 (D45) presumably shares the same feature set as the DISH Joey 4 … with the obvious addition of wireless capabilities. And, if I’m reading the regulatory reports correctly, we’re looking at WiFi 6, 802.11ax. As with the original wireless Joey, it’s safe to assume the additional networking will allow one to place the client set-top in locations without coax. But the Wireless Joey 4 frequencies exceed those of the Hopper 3 and the Hopper Plus accessory. Given SatelliteGuys Scott G indicates there is no imminent Hopper DVR refresh, this may simply be future proofing. And/or providing additional Internet app experiences.
Originally published 6/4/21. Updated 11/22/21 with photos.