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CES: Dish Adds Whole Home DVR

Complete Coverage: CES 2012

Satellite provider Dish used its CES press conference for a "relaunch of the company," that included announcements of a wide variety of new service. In addition to the expected announcement of a new whole home DVR, services, additional music services, DISH Network CEO Joe Clayton used the occasion to unveil expanded streaming video services, corporate logos, mascots and new programming, on demand content and satellite broadband offerings.

As part of the launch of new corporate logos and mascots, Clayton brought a live kangaroo onstage to introduce the new whole home DVR system, which will feature the Hopper HD DVR with a 2 terabyte hard drive that is capable of recording up to six HD signals at a time and playing back up to four live streams.

Smaller Joey boxes deployed in various rooms around the house will allow video to be paused, played back and recorded throughout the home.

The product enhances Dish's TV Everywhere efforts by being capable by automatically recording prime time programming from all four major broadcast networks. This would provide access to programming quicker than the one day window typically available on cable, Clayton argued.

The product was a CES Innovations 2012 Design and Engineering Award honoree at the market. Pricing and packaging will be announced later this quarter.

On the programming side, Dish announced a number of deals for additional programming that would be streamed to the home or delivered to settop boxes via satellite and said it would add 73 music channels from SiriusXM Radio.

As part of those announcements, Dish said it had enhanced its Blockbuster streaming service with the addition of 3,000 episodes of kids and family programming.

Also on the programming side, Dish announced that Univision would supply more than 3,000 episodes of Spanish language content to its Blockbuster streaming service.

Besides offering more titles streamed over the Internet, Dish also announced a revamped Web site and plans to expand the number of titles delivered to the set-top box via satellite, which would provide more content to subs that did not have a broadband connection.

This new content would include programming from HBO Go delivered to the set-top box.

Dish also announced that it would work with ViaSat Inc. to offer a satellite broadband service bundled with its video services. Beginning in February, Dish will offer satellite broadband packages with up to 12 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds bundled with a variety of Dish TV programming packages, with bundles starting at $79.98.

The service would target the 8 to 10 million homes in rural America who do not have access currently to broadband services, Clayton said.