Dish Unleashes Wireless Joey

Dish Network has launched the Wireless Joey, an HD client video device that uses a dedicated 802.11ac access point to feed off of the customer’s primary Hopper Whole-Home HD-DVR.

Dish, which is joining DirecTV and AT&T with video-optimized, WiFi-based devices that aim to reduce cord clutter, is launching its new wireless wonder about six months after introducing it at the International CES in January.

Dish said installation includes a Wireless Joey client (pictured above) and a Wireless Joey 802.11ac access point that creates a dedicated WiFi network that can serve up to three Wireless Joey clients. By setting up a dedicated Wi-Fi network separate from a home’s existing wireless network, Dish said it ensures the platform maintains the Hopper’s high video quality and can even work in homes without Internet access.

Dish subs can lease Wireless Joeys for $7 per month per device, plus a one-time $50 fee for the wireless access point they’re paired with.

Dish said the new Wireless Joey provides an “identical experience” to the wired version of the Joey,  meaning it supports the Hopper’s PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop features, and the ability to view, record, pause, rewind and fast-forward TV content.

“Wireless Joey expands installation options where coaxial or Ethernet wiring is either difficult or undesirable, eliminating unsightly wire runs,” said Vivek Khemka, Dish’s SVP of product management, in a statement. “You’re no longer forced to position your TV on the same wall or near a room’s coax outlet. Whether you’re in a new house, an older home or on a backyard patio enjoying a family cookout, Wireless Joey delivers television where you want it.”

He said Dish went with 802.11ac, ratified by the IEEE in January and sometimes called “Gigabit WiFi” to reflect the max data throughputs it targets, to ensure that it can deliver HD video wirelessly “in homes of varying size and construction.”

Dish noted that the Wireless Joey and Access Point are powered by a Broadcom BCM4360 802.11ac chip operating in the 5 GHz band, and features 3x3 MIMO with beam-forming internal antennas and auto-frequency selection.