updated 01:10 am EST, Tue January 8, 2013
New features allow for internet streaming, in-home iPad transfer
The second generation of Dish Network's whole-home DVR system was announced today at the Consumer Electronics Show -- the Hopper with Sling. The new unit allows customers to watch live and recorded television anywhere on Internet-connected tablets with the newly-integrated Sling technology, and move recorded television to an iPad for viewing without an Internet connection using the free Hopper Transfers app.
Customers can also use the Sling feature to watch DVR recordings stored on Hopper's hard drive, including major network shows recorded using DISH's PrimeTime Anytime feature. Both live and recorded television programs are available for viewing in the home as well as outside of it, with quality depending on receiving downstream bandwidth as well as the DVR's upstream capacity. The feature is compatible with tablets, Windows, and OS X. Sling technology is also available as an add-on to the original Hopper whole-home DVR.
The Hopper Transfers app lets viewers move recorded television programs from their DVR to an iPad and watch those shows on the go for no additional charge. The transfer of these recordings to the iPad occurs via Wi-Fi in the home prior to viewing and is not a streaming feature across the Internet. An hour of video occupies approximately 2GB of space on an iPad. A single recording is DRM-restricted and can be only copied up to five times, but the same program can be re-recorded, resetting the counter. This feature is exclusive to Hopper with Sling.
The new Hopper with Sling is powered by a 1.3GHz Broadcom BCM7425 processor and runs up to three times faster than any other satellite-TV receiver in the US market, the company claims. Hopper with Sling contains a 2TB hard drive, giving viewers up to 500 hours of high-definition or 2,000 hours of standard-definition recordings. DISH's Hopper with Sling includes built-in Wi-Fi for easy networking.
The Hopper with Sling DVR upgrade pricing to existing customers will be available some time in 2013. Retail price of the DVR is $449. New subscribers can obtain the DVR for free with contract. According to the CEO of Dish Network, release is expected within a month.