Dish announced in July 2013 it would open up the API for its Hopper multiroom DVR system to select developers of mobile apps. Here at CEDIA Expo 2013, the satellite box manufacturer is demonstrating two-way integration with a Control4 home automation system.
Not being announced this week – but being showcased at the Dish booth– is integration with Crestron and Savant home-control systems.
Dish previously had not allowed two-way integration with third-party systems, so integrators were forced to kludge Dish into their systems using IR. Today’s announcement is exciting news for integrators wishing to harness the full capabilities of the Hopper and integrate its services with a complete home system.
For homes with Control4 systems, the process of integrating Dish Hopper is made even easier for your installer because the solution works with Control4’s SDDP device identification system.
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At CEDIA, you will see how the complete Hopper feature set is available through a Control4 interface, alongside thermostat and lighting controls. Press the blue button on the Control4 touchpad or iPad app and up pops all the apps available through Dish.
Another button press will show you what is playing on any given TV in the house, and quite possibly the status of the lights and temperature in those rooms. Theoretically, you could program a system to close the shades when an “R” rated movie is selected, or react in some other way based on rich data delivered through Dish.
Vivek Khemka, senior VP product management for Dish, tells us it took a while to deploy the two-way IP communications protocol because of potential network security concerns, requirements from content providers and, of course, the API development.
“There was no holding back” on exposing every little bit of the Hopper capabilities in the API. “It’s basically the exact same API as for Dish Explorer,” Khemka says of Dish’s own app.
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Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.