Dish Network is planning to launch a broadband satellite service this summer to 8 million people in the U.S. and will debut a three-tuner, multiroom digital video recorder, according to reports that leaked out ahead of the satellite operator's press conference set for next week's Consumer Electronics Show.
A Dish spokesman declined to comment.
In a press advisory last month, Dish said it will announce "new offerings from Dish designed to enhance entertainment throughout the home and on the go" at a Jan. 9 press conference with CEO Joe Clayton at the Venetian Hotel.
The Dish broadband service will focus mainly on "tertiary" markets that are underserved by cable and telco services, according to an article in the January 2012 issue of trade magazine Dealerscope. The article was available on Dealerscope's website Wednesday, but had been removed by Thursday.
EchoStar in February 2011 acquired broadband satellite service provider Hughes Communications for $1.3 billion. EchoStar and Dish are independent companies, but Dish remains EchoStar's largest customer.
Also as CES, Dish will debut the "Hopper," a whole-home DVR with three tuners, a 2-Terabyte hard drive and 750 MHz processor and built-in Slingbox functionality to deliver video to multiple devices, the Dealerscope story said. Accompanying the Hopper DVR will be smaller "Joey" set-top boxes that serve as clients to the main gateway connected over the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) specification, according to the article.
The Hopper also will include a feature called PrimeTime Anytime, which automatically records the primetime lineups of the four biggest broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC) for later playback, the Dealerscope story said.
Dish in September 2011 filed for trademark protection on "Hopper" and "Joey," covering DVRs, set-top boxes, universal remote controls and media-streaming devices.
Details of the Hopper DVR were also outlined in a post by tech blogger Dave Zatz, citing an article that purportedly originated from TWICE magazine.
In addition to the product announcements, Dish will drop "Network" from its name and will introduce a new logo, according to Zatz's post.
Zatz linked to a section of Dish's website, available via www.dish.com/hopper, that includes a placeholder message that says, "A whole new animal in whole-home entertainment. Check back January 9 for more information on the Hopper from Dish."