EchoStar Launches DIY Smart Home Platform

Following a lengthy development phase, EchoStar Technologies has launched a do-it-yourself home security and automation platform that will provide access via the TV as well as mobile apps.

EchoStar, which had once targeted a Q2 2015 retail launch, this week introduced Sage by Hughes, a smart home platform that can be controlled via the TV or through apps for iOS and Android mobile devices.

A key element of the platform, called the Sage Hub, can connect through any video source (via HDMI) to the TV.

Early on, EchoStar is selling Sage by Hughes on the web. The Starter Kit runs $199.99, while larger bundles and product combinations cost a bit more – the Automation Kit runs $229.99, while the Security Kit fetches ($349.99).  EchoStar is also selling add-on devices and accessories on an a la carte basis, including indoor and outdoor cameras, connected thermostats ($130.99), door and window sensors, motion sensors, Sage light switches ($39.99 each), Sage remote ($19.99), a Sage yard sign with post ($16.99), and a weatherproof, flat Ethernet cable ($5.25)

The Sage by Hughes system comes with a free Essential Service package; customers can upgrade to a Premium Service package that includes cloud video storage and the MyLocal911 feature for a monthly fee starting at $9.00.

EchoStar, which has corporate ties to Dish Network, is entering the mix as home security and automation becomes part of the product mix at a growing number of MVPDs, including Rogers Communications, Cox Communications, Suddenlink Communications, Time Warner Cable and Comcast, which has built its own platform and has more than 500,000 Xfinity Home subscribers.

In tandem with the product launch, EchoStar is rolling out Sage’s marketing campaign, with the “Easy is Awesome” tagline. Here’s a video sampling:

"Recent reports indicate that roughly 80 percent of households don't own a home security or automation system, with major reasons being cost and complexity," said Mark Jackson, president of EchoStar Technologies, in a statement. "We built a comprehensive solution to address that market need, with quick emergency responsiveness, super-easy installation and a unique TV interface experience where it makes the most sense―from the center of the home.”