DISH Network Adds to Hopper HD DVR Family

The new SuperJoey, the Wireless Joey, and the Virtual Joey will debut this year.

The SuperJoey (bottom) and Wireless Joey (top).

DISH Network isn’t giving up on its award-winning Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR platform — and that’s a good thing. The company is out at CES, showing off a trio of new products that will be available to DISH Network subscribers sometime this year.

The first is the SuperJoey, a new client that can add two network tuners into any Hopper setup. In case you aren’t familiar, the current Hopper HD DVR already has three tuners built-in. The SuperJoey’s two additional tuners will allow users to record up to eight shows at once. Here’s the math: One Hopper box and one SuperJoey equals a total of five network tuners. That means that users can watch and record any five shows from any network. However, it can also be used to watch and record any four shows plus whatever is airing on the four major broadcast networks (which uses just one of those tuners).

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SuperJoeys are backwards compatible for all models of the Hopper. The most recent Hopper box is the Hopper with Sling, which was introduced at last year’s CES.

If you’re having a hard time getting any of the Joeys into your setup, DISH Network will have the Wireless Joey available this year. This new option allows subscribers to install a Joey where coaxial and Ethernet wiring doesn’t exist. The Wireless Joey includes one Wireless Joey Access Point and one Wireless Joey client. Each of those access points can serve up to two Wireless Joey clients, by creating a dedicated 802.11ac Wi-Fi cloud within the home.

However, it looks like you won’t really need any Joey boxes soon, depending on your setup. The company just unveiled Virtual Joey, a software app that puts everything the Joey offers on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and LG’s Smart TVs. Once the app is installed, users can tap into one of those devices (or all of them!) for live TV, recordings, video-on-demand and navigation of the electronic program guide.

The SuperJoey and Virtual Joey will be available in the first quarter of this year, with the Wireless Joey coming in the spring.

DISH Network also recently released upgrades to its DISH Explorer and DISH Anywhere apps. The latter is also expected to be available to Kindle Fire users sometime in Q1.

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