Dish Super-Sizes The DVR As Part Of Turnaround Effort

Family Watching TV

Struggling satellite TV carrier Dish Network (NSDQ: DISH) christened what it called a company “relaunch” with a new digital video recorder that can record 2,000 hours of content and record up to six shows in once. If that doesn’t cover your time-shifting needs, and your last name isn’t Duggar, you might be watching too much television.

Announced during an afternoon press conference at CES, the company’s spiffy new “Hopper” DVR was the highlight among numerous Dish Network announcements, as the Englewood, Colo-based satellite TV carrier looks to recover from several tough years filled with subscriber losses. In fact, appearing at the Las Vegas press conference alongside a live kangaroo — the new Dish mascot — CEO Joe Clayton even rolled out a new logo, terming the press conference a “relaunch of the company,” according to published reports.

Coupled with a sidekick box called the “Joey” – subscribers can put up to four of those in places like bedrooms and bathrooms — the Hopper is part of a new service Dish calls Prime Time (NYSE: TWX) Anytime. Up to six live programming signals can be recorded at once and up to four can be played back at one time. Among the other news from Dish Monday:

>> Dish will begin bundling broadband with its video services this summer (base bundle price: $79.99 per month). The company is partnering with satellite communications company ViaSat Inc. to provide up to 12 Mbps of data transfer.

>> Dish will expand its Blockbuster Home package by adding 3,000 kid-friendly titles to the library. Titles available for streaming on demand include Veggie Tales, Inspector Gadget, Goosebumps, Heathcliff, I Spy and Strawberry Shortcake.

>> Dish is also expanding the amount of Latino-targeted programming available through Blockbuster home, adding more than 3,000 episodes of telenovellas.

>> The company touted a new adapter that lets subscribers watch live programming on devices including tablets.

In November, Dish reported that it had lost an additional 111,000 subscribers in the third quarter, bringing its total customer count below 13 million. Through September 30, Dish’s subscribers were down nearly 20 percent for 2011.

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