Dish Network said it is integrating the Netflix app on its second-generation Hopper set-top boxes, becoming the first major pay TV distributor to do so and opening up the online streaming video service to about 14 million customers across the country.
Dish said the app, which will allow customers to access Netflix with a single touch of the button, to its customers throughout the day.
"Pairing Netflix with Hopper represents the consolidation of two incredible video experiences," said Dish senior vice president of product management Vivek Khemka in a statement. "This app integration eliminates the need to switch television inputs to access content on varying devices. It gives our customers easy access to their favorite shows and movies, on both DISH and Netflix, without ever having to leave their Hopper."
Dish isn’t the first pay TV distributor to integrate a Netflix app in its set-top – smaller cable operators like Cable One, Suddenlink, Atlantic Broadband, RCN, Grande Communications, Midcontinent Communications and GCI have had a Netflix app available on TiVo set-tops for months. But it is the largest distributor to make it easier for customers to access the subscription VOD service, which was thought to be traditional pay TV’s sworn enemy not too long ago.
"As the first major pay-TV provider in the U.S. to add the Netflix app to its set-top box, Dish strengthens an already robust video entertainment experience for its customers," said Netflix global head of business development Bill Holmes in a statement. "Many households subscribe to both Netflix and a traditional pay-TV service. Our vast library of TV shows and movies, combined with Dish's lineup of live television content, gives customers easy access to a wide variety of complementary programming."
Hopper customers will find the same Netflix user interface found on most other platforms. The app is easily accessible from any channel by clicking the blue button on the DISH remote and selecting the Netflix icon, or from the Netflix icon on the Hopper main menu. Those new to Netflix can create an account in the app or by visiting www.netflix.com/dish.
The Netflix app is currently available on all broadband-connected second-generation Hopper set-top boxes. In the coming months, Dish expects the app to rollout to Joey, Super Joey and Wireless Joey clients. Additionally, in the future, titles available on Netflix could be integrated into the search functionality across live, recorded and Video On Demand programs for both the Hopper as well as Dish's forthcoming OTT service.