Dish today unveiled a slew of new products prior to the opening of the Consumer Electronics Show, which include separate partnerships with Amazon, and YouTube, Netflix and Google.
For starters, as expected, Dish has launched its AirTV player which will integrate content from Netflix, YouTube, Google Play, and local channels (by connecting an antenna) into the Dish-owned Sling TV interface. This will enable someone to create essentially a cord-cutter’s on-screen guide that would display programming from a variety of streaming sources as well as your local channels.
The AirTV, which starts at $129, is now available at a dedicated web site. Dish is selling a $99 version that does not include a antenna adapter to capture your local channel signals. (Before buying the $129 version, make sure you can get your local channel signals at home with an antenna; not everyone can.)
Sling TV now only offers local channels via streaming in select markets so the AirTV may help it attract new subscribers who currently are clinging to pay TV because they can’t live without network programming.
The AirTV will also be able to display 4K programming from Netflix, YouTube and Google Play.
Dish today also announced that it has partnered with Amazon to allow its Hopper DVR to work in sync with the etailer’s digital assistant, the Echo (voice of “Alexa.”) Hopper users will be able to ‘pair’ the DVR with the Echo and then voice commands such as, “Alexa, go to CNN,” or “Alexa, find me Stanley Kubrick movies.’
The DVR will then display the result on your TV screen as instructed. (Assuming you speak relatively clearly, of course.)
The Alexa-Hopper feature is expected to be available in the first half of this year.
Finally, Dish unveiled Dish Music, a Hopper-driven feature that gives Hopper 2 and Hopper 3 users the ability to sync music throughout their home with one central control. –
– Phillip Swann