CES Report: A New Dawn at Dish

Dish Network today unveiled a completely new strategy and rebranding as President/CEO Joe Clayton introduced new branding, products, and enhancements. “We want our products to be perceived more like the Razr, iPhone, and Droid,” he said, “products that developed a passion for new products from consumers who demand them by name.”

At the center of the rebrand are Hopper and Joey, names for the new set-top-box technology that will drive the consumer experience. Hopper, the main set-top box and DVR in the home, will feature 2 TB of storage, a 750-MHz processor, and features like the ability to record up to six programs at once; Bluetooth capability will enable wireless stereo headphones to be easily connected to the set-top boxes.

The smaller, Joey boxes can be located in other rooms in the house, with up to four boxes able to be used at any one time. They are also small enough that they can be located behind the TV set.

Also new is a service called “Primetime Anytime,” which allows any primetime programming on ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC to be recorded by simply pushing one button on a single tuner.

“It is a unique feature that we are confident will capture the minds of the public,” says Clayton.

In addition, 73 Sirius music channels, including nine Spanish-language channels, can be delivered to all of the Joey boxes in a home, or each box can choose its own channel. Dish SVP of Programming Dave Shull says that the goal is to take advantage of consumers who have their TV sets hooked up to their stereo system.

Another technology change is a new broadband service that will be delivered over satellite by Viasat. “Until now, broadband satellite has overpromised and underdelivered,” adds Clayton. “The market opportunity is substantial.”

The new service will offer 12 MB of speed; a $79 bundle includes both the pay-TV and broadband services.

Says Clayton, “Today is a new dawn for Dish as we basically relaunch the company and re-energize our brand.”