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Set-top boxes

Dish Delivers New WiFi Set-Tops

Dish Network is claiming a new pay-TV industry first.

Starting today, Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) is shipping its new Wireless Joey set-top, part of the company's Hopper whole-home DVR system and the first box in the industry to include 802.11ac WiFi. Support for the latest WiFi standard comes courtesy of the Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) BCM4360 chipset. The Broadcom chip operates in the 5GHz frequency band and uses 3x3 multi-input/multi-output (MIMO) technology with beam forming and auto frequency selection.

Despite their obvious appeal, wireless set-tops have been slow to take off over the last few years. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) introduced its first wireless client boxes in 2011, but only recently have other service providers followed suit. Notably, DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), which AT&T plans to acquire, has put serious marketing muscle behind its own Wireless Genie Mini set-top, which just launched in April.

Now Dish is looking to get the wireless word out too. The company emphasizes that its new Wireless Joey provides all of the same functionality as its wired Joey model, including trick-play features like pause/rewind/fast forward, PrimeTime Anytime with automatically recorded primetime TV, and AutoHop for commercial-free playback of select shows.

On the silicon front, both AT&T and DirecTV use chipsets from Quantenna Communications Inc. for WiFi delivery. AT&T originally sourced its wireless technology from Broadcom, but switched to Quantenna in 2013. A spokesperson for Quantenna noted that DirecTV's implementation in particular supports up to six client set-tops with the Quantenna chip. Currently, the Dish system supports three wireless boxes. (See Arris, Quantenna Snag U-verse WiFi Deal.)

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

pcharles09 7/22/2014 | 9:03:31 AM
Re: Ohh and ahhhh @nasimson,

Essentially, yes. When one goes, they all go & you're left with no entertainment at all.
nasimson 7/6/2014 | 12:31:10 AM
Re: Ohh and ahhhh > That SOUNDS like a good idea but it seems to me like having
> all those things in one unit may be risky.

@PCharles09:

Why do you say it would be risky? Because of getting to a Single point of failure?
pcharles09 6/30/2014 | 5:54:01 PM
Re: Ohh and ahhhh That SOUNDS like a good idea but it seems to me like having all those things in one unit may be risky. But then again, if you asked the same question 10yrs ago about a phone & "walkman", I'd probably say the same thing.
nasimson 6/29/2014 | 8:20:15 AM
Re: Ohh and ahhhh Just as the cell phone merged alarm, pager, landline, music player into one .. I look forward to the time when the dish, STB, DVD player, gaming station, home theatre, WiFi router, home automation, home security will be a single device.
pcharles09 6/24/2014 | 9:42:55 PM
Re: Ohh and ahhhh I like it too. I look forward to the day when you can screen-mirror from any to any so you don't have to worry about cables, adapters, & wires at all.
Michelle 6/24/2014 | 3:04:48 PM
Ohh and ahhhh This is a nifty concept I welcome. I'm not a Dish subscriber but the wireless box sounds great. Dusting the electronics cabinet just got a little easier! This new wireless box thing gives new meaning to cord cutting...
KBode 6/24/2014 | 10:59:11 AM
Re: Wireless Joey? Yes I'm not sure I quite understand the obsession with kangaroos....
Ariella 6/23/2014 | 5:38:13 PM
Re: Wireless Joey? Perhaps it's time to come up with a new term for going back to take the place of "rewind." There's no actual winding motion involved now that we don't use tapes.  
DanJones 6/23/2014 | 4:39:19 PM
Wireless Joey? Wireless Joey? Really?
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