Dish Releases Software Upgrades For Hopper DVR

‘Denver’ Release Features HDMI-CEC Support, a Revised VOD Interface, And Second-Screen App Enhancements

Dish Network said it has rolled out a software upgrade, code-named  “Denver,” for its Hopper whole-home HD-DVR that supports HDMI-CEC, a freshened up VOD interface, and adds new features to the Dish Explorer second screen application.

With the addition of HDMI-CEC, the television will automatically adjust to the proper viewing input when a customer turns on the Hopper, Dish said. For example, customers who last watched a Blu-ray, no longer have to switch manually back to their TV’s satellite input to view live TV on Dish.  

“With so many devices connected to the TV, we find confusion arises when consumers switch between inputs. Our Hopper’s HDMI-CEC feature helps eliminate that confusion,” said Dish SVP of product management Vivek Khemka, in a statement.

The update, the fifth for the Hopper this year, also adds a feature called “On Demand Shelves” that organize VOD movies and TV show titles horizontally across the screen. Dish said it will make it easier for customers to scroll through the options from Dish’s 20,000-title VOD library. The new design also tacks on a “Free for Kids” shelf that filters on-demand fare tailored for children.

Tied in, the latest round of upgrades also enable the Dish Explorer app (pictured above) to control all televisions in the Hopper ecosystem, and adds a new “See Also” recommendation feature.

Dish has not revealed how many customers are using its Hopper platform. Its latest Hopper generation, announced at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in January, integrates Sling Media’s video place-shifting technology and the ability to “sideload” DVR-recorded content to a tablet for offline viewing.

Dish is also getting ready to release a new version of the Dish Anywhere app for Android devices, iPads and iPhones by the end of 2013 that combines the ability to watch live, recorded and on-demand programs when paired with the Hopper with Sling HD-DVR, along with the video sideloading component.