Yesterday, we announced that our latest DVR, the Hopper 3, is available to customers nationwide. With each generation of the Hopper, which we first launched in 2012, our goal has been to deliver the most innovative, user-friendly DVR on the market. We’ve continued to evolve to stay ahead of changes in how customers access and experience entertainment, starting with a true whole-home solution and our “Prime Time Anytime” feature. We quickly added industry-leading innovations such as DISH Anywhere, which allows viewers to access all of their live and recorded content on the go on smartphones and tablets using the DISH Anywhere app, or on their computers using DISHAnywhere.com.
We see Hopper 3 as more than just a DVR; it’s a true entertainment hub designed to support and centralize the various content types popular today, like streaming apps and 4K. DISH was the first major pay-TV provider to integrate Netflix, and soon customers with a Hopper 2 or Hopper 3 will be able to see Netflix titles included in universal search results. This means that when a viewer searches for a TV series, they will see a list that incorporates episodes from Netflix, DVR recordings, on demand options and future airings. Netflix is one of many apps available on the Hopper, which also includes Pandora, Vevo, The Weather Channel and Hopper Arcade, with a YouTube app coming soon.
Hopper 3 has a record-breaking 16 tuners, more than any other DVR in the world. While we recognize most people don’t want to watch 16 shows at once, having this many tuners eliminates recording conflicts and makes it easy to enjoy programs in several rooms, set multiple recordings and enjoy DISH Anywhere while on the go, all at the same time. This number of tuners also helps support the Hopper 3’s upcoming “Sports Bar Mode” for 4K TVs. As ultra-high definition TVs have become more affordable than ever, viewers are hungry for content that puts their technology to work. Sports Bar Mode, which will be available soon, is a multi-channel view that displays four separate programs in HD, a first for any major pay-TV provider.
We first announced the Hopper 3 at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and received an overwhelmingly positive response from the tech experts who cover our products. The Hopper 3 is already the recipient of industry awards, continuing the Hopper’s streak as “the most awarded DVR in the industry.”
During CES we also provided an update on Sling TV, our live, over-the-top TV service designed for cord-cutters, cord-nevers and those who want to supplement their TV experience. Sling is available on more than ten devices, many of which consumers already own, including video players, gaming consoles, phones and tablets. The base package remains $20 with no contracts, cancellation penalties or hidden fees.
While we are proud of the Hopper 3 and pleased by the response it’s received so far, the most important feedback comes from our customers. We remain committed to continued innovation in the products and technology we offer and are always seeking ways to deliver an enhanced customer experience, whether on DISH or Sling TV. We haven’t slowed down since launching the first generation Hopper in 2012, and we can’t wait to share what’s ahead.
Vivek Khemka is Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for DISH. He oversees the development and execution of technology strategy for DISH and Sling TV, and manages DISH’s product roadmaps, video, online and mobile, user experience, broadband and commercial products.