Tightening its embrace of the OTT video world, Dish Network said it has integrated access to a YouTube app on the Hopper 3, the 4K-capable, IP-connected DVR that was launched earlier this year.
Dish said it’s the first nationwide MVPD to integrate YouTube on a set-top box, noting that it also supports YouTube Red, the recently launched subscription service from the Google-owned division.
The YouTube app was included in a software update that Dish pushed to Hopper 3 set-tops on Thursday night, the company said. The YouTube app on Hopper 3 boxes can be accessed from channel 371 or by selecting the “Apps” button on the remote control. Dish subs can also use the YouTube app on mobile devices to cast videos directly to their Hopper 3.
The addition of YouTube follows earlier integration of OTT apps on the Hopper 3 from Netflix, Pandora, Vevo, and The Weather Channel, among others.
“We designed Hopper 3 to be much more than a conventional set-top box,” said Niraj Desai, DISH vice president of product management. “By aggregating apps like YouTube and Netflix with live linear television, Hopper 3 is capable of serving as a household’s comprehensive entertainment hub.”
Dish has not announced how many of its 13.59 million pay TV customers are on the Hopper 3 platform.
Dish is among a growing group of MVPDs that are integrating OTT services onto their set-top box platforms. Several cable operators, including a group that work with TiVo, have integrated services such as Netflix and/or Hulu.
Comcast, meanwhile, has tied in Internet apps, such as Pandora, to its IP-capable X1 platform, and is currently beta-testing integrated access to Netflix ahead of a commercial launch anticipated for later this year. Liberty Global and Netflix recently inked a deal that paves the way for the MSO to provide set-top-level access to Netflix in systems serving more than 30 countries across Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.