Somebody is finally taking on the righteous task of bringing faster internet to those in rural areas and that somebody is DISH Network.
DISH Network announced a partnership with ViaSat Inc. at CES today to bring next-generation satellite broadband to homes across America bundled with their satellite television service. The company also announced a new DVR system that will bring impressive storage and recording abilities to their service.
The new satellite broadband service, called DISH Broadband, is the most appealing new option just because it’s the fastest satellite offered yet in the United States and it’s squarely aimed at rural Americans who can’t get access to broadband Internet.
“This is one more example of DISH meeting the needs of consumers,” DISH CEO Joe Clayton said. “The market potential for this new Internet service is substantial given the nearly eight million to 10 million mostly rural American households that are unserved and millions more left with slower broadband alternatives.”
The service will cost $79.98 per month with an installation starting at $99. ViaSat will handle the satellite delivery services while DISH will handle the billing and tech support.
During the same conference, DISH also took out time to announce their new set-top boxes Hopper and Joey. The Kangaroo names are intentional as that is the mascot for their new devices.
The Hopper is the main unit DVR that features three satellite TV tuners, a 2TB hard drive that can store up to 2,000 hours of video content, bluetooth for linking to devices like wireless headphones and picture-in-picture for watching any two channels at the same time.
The Joey is the smaller set-top box that connects to the Hopper unit. This allows for the most interesting feature of the new set-top box in that it can deliver up to four different on-demand or recorded shows to four rooms in the house. This essentially allows every member of the family to watch something different any time they please.
The other big feature of Hopper is PrimeTime Anytime which records every PrimeTime television show on every major network. This also means that the Hopper DVR can record up to six shows at once.
The Hopper will also offer the usual plethora of TV apps like Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, photo sharing and games.
While the new Internet service is definitely appealing, especially to those in rural communities, it’s the new DVR and set-top boxes that create the most excitement. It’s hard not to be in love with a system that can record and play back that many programs simultaneously throughout a household.