Dish Boosts Video Quality In 'TV Everywhere' iPad App

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Dish Network released a revamped app iPad app for "TV Everywhere" access that improves video performance -- particularly for the new iPad's higher-resolution screen -- enhances the on-screen guide and also allows access to the operator's Blockbuster on-demand titles.

The satellite TV operator said the enhanced Dish Remote Access app improves on-device video quality, taking advantage of the new iPad's 2048-by-1536 Retina display, with the implementation of Apple's HTTP live streaming (HLS) technology.

In tandem with the launch of the new iPad app, Dish is pushing a free 24-hour trial account to let cable TV and DirecTV subscribers access its "TV Everywhere" features with 15 live channels on PCs, smartphones or tablets, provided using a farm of Slingbox-enabled DVRs.

Dish iPad app with multitasking slider

The channels Dish currently offers through the free trial are: DIY, HGTV, Cooking Channel, GSN, GMC, MavTV, A&E, Bio, History, MavTV, Epix, TBS, TNT, CNN and Cartoon Network. Users can sign up for the free service at www.dish.com/testdrive.

A Dish spokesman noted that service provides a 24-hour test drive, "but you can sign up multiple times if you want to try for more than one day."

The trial service currently does not provide DVR features. Dish originally launched the promotional service at CES in January.

Ordinarily, to watch live or recorded TV on computers, iPads, iPhones and Android devices, Dish subscribers need a Sling Adapter and a compatible broadband-connected HD DVR receiver, such as Dish's Hopper whole-home DVR.

With the new iPad app, customers with Dish's Hopper can access eight days of primetime programming from ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC using the new iPad app. Dish this week announced a new feature of the PrimeTime Anytime service called Auto Hop that lets users skip commercials.

Other new features of the Dish Remote Access iPad app include a multitasking slider that allows users to simultaneously watch a program and browse available video content; and an on-demand tab to access titles from popular networks, including HBO, Cinemax, Epix, Encore, Starz and MoviePlex.

Separately, Dish is in the midst of a fight over its attempt to secure a trademark on the term "TV Everywhere," which it originally applied for in September 2009.

Cable operators, Time Warner Inc. and Hulu have objected to the move, arguing that "TV Everywhere" is a generic industry term, while Dish asserts that it has successfully associated it in consumers' minds with the Slingbox-enabled DVR service.

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