Dish Launches ‘Sports Bar Mode’

Timed with the start of the NCAA March Madness men’s college basketball tournament, Dish Network has launched “Sports Bar Mode,” a multiview option for the pay TV provider’s new 4K-capable Hopper 3 DVR.

The feature, which is compatible with both 4K and HD TVs connected to the Hopper 3, divides the screen into quadrants, with each displaying a different live TV program. The feature essentially decodes four streams and stitches them together and shows them simultaneously. The feature takes advantage of the tuner-rich Hopper 3, which sports 16 of them.

The new multiview mode supports linear TV channels, VOD and recorded programming. Users can also use the option to place two cahnnels side-by-side, and a setting that overlays a second channel in the upper right hand corner of the TV screen.

Dish said Sports Bar mode was included in a new software update pushed to Hopper 3 boxes last night.

Dish introduced the Hopper 3 in January at CES, and opened access to the new product in February. Dish ended 2015 with 13.9 million video subs, but has not announced how many are on the new platform.

“This technology replicates the fan experience of catching several games at once, now from the comfort of your home instead of heading to a local pub,” Vivek Khemka, Dish’s EVP and CTO, said in a statement. “Sports Bar Mode is an especially useful tool throughout the month of March, as the tournament airs across four different channels. Not to mention, it’s great for households who don’t want to miss their favorite drama or sitcom, but also want to keep tabs on any live basketball games.”