Dish Network Corp. has unveiled a new digital recorder system that can record eight TV shows at once.
The catch is that four of those shows have to be from the broadcast networks ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox. The system involves Dish's Hopper digital video recorder and a new Super Joey add-on box for separate rooms.
Dish also unveiled partnerships with LG Corp. and Sony Corp. so that Hopper users can watch recorded shows in a second room without needing a Joey. Instead, the system uses an app on a smart TV or PlayStation game console.
The announcements Monday at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas come a year after Dish's Hopper with Sling was picked by reviews site CNET as the "Best of CES." The vote was annulled by CNET parent CBS Corp., which has been fighting the Hopper's ability to automatically strip out TV ads. CNET was later dropped as the show's awards picker.
On Monday, Dish also unveiled Joey boxes that can run wirelessly with the help of a router that sits next to the Hopper. Previously, Joey boxes had to be connected by separate coaxial cables. Now they just need power outlets. Improvements in Wi-Fi technology made the new wireless set-up possible.
Dish has been trying to position itself as the TV provider with the best "TV Everywhere" platform available. The concept refers to the ability to watch your TV shows on all your devices whether you're in your home or on the go.
For a $12 monthly fee, TV subscribers can rent Dish's Hopper, which can send all of a subscriber's live and recorded shows to mobile phones and tablets. Joey box rentals for separate TVs cost up to $7 a month.
Compared with Dish, other cable and satellite TV providers offer only a patchwork of channels for live viewing on mobile phones, computers and tablets, and many of those channels can't be viewed outside the home or over cellular data networks.