Live Blog: DISH CES News Conference

DISH_CES

Welcome to the DISH news conference! Stay tuned for our announcement of new products, features and services that are driving the future of entertainment. We’ll be live blogging the news here, or follow along at @DISHNews for live tweets.

11:45 a.m. PT – Lynch closes with a video summarizing the Sling TV experience, and hands it back over to Joe Clayton. Clayton ends the news conference by inviting CES attendees to the DISH and Sling TV booth, number 8143 in the Central Hall.

11:40 a.m. PT – “We will continue to operate and grow DishWorld, which will be re-branded as Sling International…For Sling TV, we will continue to add more programming, more product functionality, more social features and more devices.  This is a big launch, but it’s also just the beginning.” – Roger Lynch

11:38 a.m. PT – Lynch says that Sling TV’s journey started with DishWorld, the U.S.-based OTT service with international content, which has grown to stream tens of millions of hours of content every month in languages other than English. DishWorld will soon become Sling International and is currently the largest live OTT service in the U.S., including close to 200 channels in 16 languages.

11:37 a.m. PT – “This is a service informed by and tailored to millennials, cord-cutters, cord-nevers, cord-haters, and of course, entertainment enthusiasts.” – Roger Lynch

11:37 a.m. PT – Sling TV is expected to be available on iOS, Android, PC and Mac, Roku streaming players, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google’s Nexus Player, Xbox One and select Samsung Smart TVs and select LG Smart TVs.

11:35 a.m. PT – Sling TV’s design and programming guide is more visual than traditional pay-TV services, so users can easily navigate between live, on-demand and look-back programming.

11:34 a.m. PT – Viewers will be able to have an enhanced viewing experience through functions like fast-forward, pause and rewind; and, where programming rights permit, viewers can access 3-Day Replay (look-back).

11:34 a.m. PT – “Sling TV’s exclusive live sports, current shows and new movies are a perfect match for the large library of episodic and original content from Netflix and Hulu.” – Roger Lynch

11:30 a.m. PT – Sling TV will carry programming from a mix of traditional TV networks and online video content, including Disney, ESPN, Turner, Scripps, A&E and Maker Studios. Sling TV will also provide Video-On-Demand entertainment, and viewers can tailor their experience through add-on packs such as “Kids Extra,” “News & Information Extra” and soon, a “Sports Extra” pack for $5 per month. Interested customers can experience the service through a free trial.

11:29 a.m. PT – With Sling TV, viewers can watch anytime, anywhere—in and out of their home—on the devices they already own: smart TVs, tablets, phones, computers and game consoles. Sling TV requires no contracts, commitments, credit checks, cable installers, complicated equipment, franchise fees or other hidden fees. The service will be available almost instantly, and consumers can cancel online at any time.

11:28 a.m. PT – Millennials have rejected the current pay-TV model, including contracts, commitments, credit checks, complicated equipment, cable installers, wires, high programming costs, equipment rental costs and fees. Sling TV is the answer to this rejection, providing millennials with TV on their terms. Sling TV will offer live TV including sports from ESPN, the best of live cable channels, and the best of online video for $20 per month.

11:27 a.m. PT – Lynch asserts that TV content availability and quality has grown exponentially, but at a cost to the consumer, leading to a decline in subscribers. “Sling TV, and our new model, will be part of the solution to change this trajectory and get the overall pay-TV market back growing again.” – Roger Lynch

11:26 a.m. PT – Clayton introduces Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch. Lynch introduces Sling TV as a strategic response to the declining pay-TV industry, largely due to millennials’ interest in Internet video services, such as Hulu and YouTube. “This demographic is an underserved audience who increasingly reject the pay-TV model. And so, we created Sling TV with millennials being top of mind.” – Roger Lynch

11:23 a.m. PT – Sling TV will be an over-the-top streaming video service that will deliver live Internet video to tablets, smartphones, PCs and smart TVs. The service will not require contracts and will be aimed at millennial consumers. Initially, Sling TV is expected to be available on devices from Roku, Xbox, Samsung, Amazon and Google, with more to come. The service will be priced below the current linear pay-TV offerings and less than high-priced Internet TV offerings, and will include packages that allow customers to tailor their experience.

11:22 a.m. PT – The new over-the-top Internet video service will be called Sling TV. Sling TV is separate from Sling Media’s Slingbox, the technology found in DISH’s second generation Hopper that allows users to watch TV wherever they have an Internet connection. Slingbox will still be marketed on a stand-alone basis as Slingbox and is a part of the second generation Hopper capabilities.

11:21 a.m. PT – “Our strategy is not to just replicate the existing pay-TV model over the Internet. Our sights are set on giving our customers a superb video experience at an attractive price, and delivering a business model that is great for our programming partners and our advertisers.” – Joe Clayton

11:20 a.m. PT – DISH has been involved in the Internet video business over the last 18 months through DISHWorld, a live, streaming Internet service of international content to American-based multicultural consumers. This model set DISH up for success in the Internet video arena, as the billing, customer service and technical infrastructure are already set up.

11:19 a.m. PT – Clayton details how the Internet video business will have its challenges, but DISH’s technological capabilities provide it a “first mover” advantage. The online video business has a chance to reach consumers that DISH has not previously reached. Millennials especially have not found a pay-TV solution that works for them, creating a unique opportunity with Internet video.

11:17 a.m. PT – Khemka turns the stage back over to Joe Clayton, who says “Throughout its history, DISH has always been a technological innovator that embraces change. We have never, never been satisfied with the ‘status quo’ like some of the other large media companies. We are disruptors and we are pioneers.” – Joe Clayton

11:17 a.m. PT – “We believe that the combination of the Hopper voice remote and the Carbon UI will provide the user with an unparalleled entertainment experience.” – Vivek Khemka

11:17 a.m. PT – The remote reflects a new UI for the Hopper, called Carbon. Carbon is designed to respond to traditional navigation, swipe and voice. The new UI features a new home screen that shows the user’s favorite live channels, DVR and Video-On-Demand content; a more modern design; and improved navigation and simplified controls.

11:16 a.m. PT – The new remote features a dual mode touchpad that supports touch and swipe; an RF4CE, backlight, touchpad, voice; a number pad that only lights up when you need it; a programmable key; universal remote functionality; battery life of 4-6 months with only two AA batteries; and a low price.

11:16 a.m. PT – Khemka introduces a video highlighting updates to the user interface on the Hopper, including a re-imagined remote control. Khemka says the goal was to “create a simple remote that leveraged modern navigation paradigms like touch switch and voice, all while keeping the cost affordable and still providing quick access to commonly used functions.” – Vivek Khemka

11:13 a.m. PT – “With streaming video and music, and also new apps like Lyve, that bring your pictures and life memories from your mobile devices and PCs to to the best screen in the home, the Hopper is becoming a true entertainment platform, that delivers incredible value.” – Vivek Khemka

11:11 a.m. PT – Khemka also introduces DISH’s whole-home music solution, the first from a pay-TV provider. In the new DISH music app for the Hopper, iOS and Android devices, customers can use their mobile devices or their Hopper remote to play music through their Hopper or Joeys. Music played through the DISH music app can come from customers’ personal music collections, or streamed from Pandora, iHeart Radio and TuneIn, with more services to be announced. This app will be available to all Hopper customers through a software updated at no additional cost.

11:10 a.m. PT – DISH recently became the first major pay-TV provider to integrate Netflix seamlessly, without needing to switch inputs. The Hopper will also integrate Vevo, the largest music video streaming service; The Hopper is the first DVR to have this capability.

11:09 a.m. PT – Customers with a 4K Ultra HDTV can connect to the 4K Joey and watch 4K satellite TV. The 4K Joey also allows for side-by-side viewing in HD. The 4K Joey also works on any 4K TV, unlike other 4K services.

11:08 a.m. PT – 4K Ultra HD is the newest innovation for the Hopper; the 4K Joey—first set-top box to have 4K Ultra HD technology. The new 4K Joey will have a powerful dual core arm Broadcom 7448 processor and will play back video in 4K, at 60 FPS, decode HEVC, and support PIP, Bluetooth and all other Hopper functions.

11:07 a.m. PT – Clayton welcomes Vivek Khemka, senior vice president of product management to the stage. Khemka discusses the innovations to the Hopper since its introduction in 2012. The Hopper was the first DVR to record up to 8 shows at once, the first DVR with innovative, consumer-activated features like PrimeTime Anytime, and the first DVR to give viewers the ability to watch live TV anywhere. These innovations have led to 10 million screens being powered by the Hopper.

11:06 a.m. PT – “DISH has been investing in our future; an even better alternative for our stakeholders. And that includes not only our shareholders, but our employees, our customers, our partners and the communities in which we serve.” – Joe Clayton

11:05 a.m. PT – Clayton explains that DISH has added even more functionality and simplicity to the Hopper platform this year, with the introduction of 4K, plus a new user interface and remote; this continuous innovation has led DISH to grow the business by generating over one billion dollars in cash flow each year. The cash flow has allowed DISH to invest in the dishNET broadband satellite business, wireless assets and over-the-top Internet video.

11:02 a.m. PT – DISH CEO Joe Clayton takes the stage, recapping DISH’s product announcements from CES of years past. Introduction of the Hopper DVR in 2012; DISH Anywhere on second generation Hopper in 2013; the addition of the Wireless Joey, Super Joey and Virtual Joey in 2014.

For Sling TV news, follow @Sling on Twitter and use #TakeBackTV to participate in the conversation.

To stay up to date on all of DISH’s CES announcements in real-time, follow @DISHNews.