Live From CES: Dish Network Intros Industry’s First UHD Set-Top Box
Dish Network will be the first pay-TV provider to launch a 4K Ultra HD set-top box. Named the 4K Joey, the unit is designed to easily integrate with Dish’s Hopper Whole Home HD DVR system. Among its top features? Compatibility with any 4K set, display at 60 frames per second, and even the ability to watch two HD programs side by side.
“Consumers can leverage the extra pixels of 4K to watch both in HD, and that is great for sports fans,” says Vivek Khemka, SVP, product management, Dish Network.
Dish says that, unlike other 4K options, which are confined to an app on selected TVs, the Dish 4K Joey is dedicated hardware that will be compatible with all HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2-compliant televisions. The 4K Joey not only will play back 4K Ultra HD content but will also enhance everyday viewing of television and sports programming by supporting side-by-side display of two programs, each in HD. This picture-in-picture (PiP) capability was not possible previously and is ideal for sports fans who want to watch two games playing at the same time.
Dish will deliver 4K content from several providers. Specific announcements will be made closer to the consumer launch of 4K Joey, which is slated for the second quarter.
“Our new 4K Joey offers the most versatile, future-proofed 4K setup for our customers,” says Khemka. “It’s easy to install and works with the most 4K televisions, so, no matter what brand customers bought over the holiday season, they can enjoy content through Dish.”
The Dish 4K Joey is compatible with all Hopper systems, provides full Joey functionality for standard- and high-definition televisions, and supports playback at 60 fps in 10-bit color. The new set-top box is equipped with a Broadcom dual-core chipset and Broadcom 7448 dual-core ARM processor. It features PiP and Bluetooth and supports Hopper apps Vevo, Netflix, and Game Finder.