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14 Feb

Dish To Air BBC’s Planet Earth II In 4K Ultra HD

Dish Network Channel Guide
Dish Network Channel Guide

Planet Earth II

Dish Network has announced the live broadcast of the acclaimed BBC Television series Planet Earth II in 4K Ultra High Definition. BBC America will premiere the show on February 18 and Dish Network customers can watch it in the vivid detail of 4K resolution at their homes.

Along with BBC America, other channels such as AMC and Sundance TV are also airing the show, but in a much lesser resolution. Customers can view the premiere of the show in 4K on DISH channel number 540 and in High Definition on BBCA channel number 135. The remaining episodes of the eleven part series along with the 2006 sequel will be aired on BBC America and Dish’s 4K channel on every Saturday night.

Planet Earth is a multinational nature documentary produced by BBC, and it is highly acclaimed with its breathtaking visuals and narration by naturalist Sir David Attenborough. BBC announced that it would be followed by a sequel, titled Planet Earth II. Viewing it in 4K resolution is definitely going to be a visual treat for the customers as the prequels have proven. The high resolution will enable the viewers to enjoy the vivid and crisp detailed images of the planets natural worlds and its inhabiting flora and fauna.

A free preview of BBC America is also offered by Dish starting from today onward and extending to 25 March. Viewing it in 4K, however, requires the customers to use the Hooper 3 DVR or 4K Joey hardware connected to a Hopper 3.

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Dish executive vice president and chief technology officer, Vivek Khemka said in a statement that, “It’s been more than 10 years since the world was first wowed by the original Planet Earth, and the second installment promises to deliver unmatched detail in crystal clear 4K resolution.”

The decision to provide the BBC show in 4K is also elaborated in his statement. “We’ve heard our customers ask for more 4K content, so we’re making every effort to deliver this programming to households as its availability grows,” he said.

BBC America is also excited in Dish’s announcement to air the show in its native 4K Ultra HD resolution. Sarah Barnett, President BBC America said, “The breathtaking visuals in Planet Earth II are nothing short of astounding. We are delighted to partner with Dish in bringing audiences this groundbreaking series in 4K, allowing viewers to get even closer to some of earth’s most incredible creatures and gorgeous landscapes.”

09 Feb

Is T-Mobile Buying Dish Network

Dish Network Channel Guide
Dish Network Channel Guide

T-Mobile Dish Network Merger

Before a few weeks, CEO of T-Mobile, John Legere offered predictions about the Dish Network and their services. “I predict 2017 will mark the end of Dish as we know it,” he wrote in a post. “This time next year, they’ll no longer be a standalone entity.” Experts now think that it might be Legere himself, who is going to snap up the Dish Network.

Dish Network owns unused wireless airwave licenses that are worth billions of dollars. Shares of Dish Network also gained four percent, among the speculations that the Telco might be acquired soon, and the rumored buyer is T-Mobile.

Since the election of Donald Trump as the US President, the telecom sector started expecting many changes with anticipation on what new mergers the regulators of the new President will allow. However, there have been many speculations on which companies will be allowed to merge.

Verizon has been seen as the most likely buyer of the Dish Network, as they experiencing little spectrum crunch and Dish has large batch of airwave licenses that they are not using currently. However, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam recently signaled that he is interested in acquiring the cable TV operator Charter Communications instead, and not Dish Network.

Acquiring Dish Network would cost more than forty million dollars, owing to its debt load and the need to pay a premium to the shareholders. T-Mobile, majority of which is owned by Deutsche Telekom of Germany, has an enterprise value of almost seventy five billion dollars. However, it is reported that nothing much would happen until the end of the ongoing federal spectrum auction.

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T-Mobile Plans

Under the FCC rules for broadcast incentive auction that started on May 31, the competing bidders are not allowed to talk to each other to prevent collision. It is expected that the auction will wrap up any day as it is in the fourth and final stage.

The discussions between Dish Network and T-Mobile have also heated up much but there is no information on a deal being made. The companies cannot be talking formally, as the FCC auction is going one, but analysts like JP Morgan, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs shared about deal possibilities and Wall Street Journal has offered their own analysis.

The swap of assets between EchoStar and Dish Network that was announced recently also fueled talks that Dish Network is cleaning up for the megamerger.

06 Feb

Dish Network Consolidates EchoStar DBS Assets

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Dish Network Assets

Dish Network recently said that they have reached an agreement with the EchoStar Corp. The agreement is made consolidate its Direct Broadcast Satellite operations and assets. Dish Network said that the deal would give them end-to-end control of their OTT service. The agreement will transfer some of the EchoStar assets operations and assets to Dish.

In a statement, Dish Network said that the deal would involve the transfer of some of the assets and operations of EchoStar, which also include the EchoStar Technologies hardware and software development group, its managed fiber network that is spread across the nation, its regional and national uplink business, and its OTT development team to Dish. The transfer will be done in exchange for Dish Network’s 80% economic interest in Hughes Retail Group. Hughes Retail Group houses the satellite broadband business of Dish in the form of a tracking stock.

Dish Network will also get EchoStar’s 10% stake in Sling TV, wireless spectrum licenses that cover 4 markets in 28 GHz and some of the real estate properties. Sling TV was launched by Dish network in 2015 and currently the service has about 900,000 customers. Dish Network will continue to market their satellite broadband services under the dishNET brand to their rural users.

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OTT Development Team

This deal is made eight years after Dish has split itself to two different units, EchoStar for the equipment side and Dish Network for the satellite pay TV service. Recently, EchoStar said that they would stop making standalone Slingboxes. Slingbox was the pioneer in video place shifting device and Sling Media has stopped making Slingbox devices, but they will continue selling the remaining inventory. Users who are interested in getting a Slingbox can buy one before the stocks end or get one from online outlets that still sell them.

“With this transaction we will vertically integrate all the elements that define our customer experience – one team will deliver the full Dish and Sling TV experience end to end,” Dish president Erik Carlson said in a statement. “Not only do we gain full control of product development roadmap for DBS and Sling TV but we also anticipate achieving operational efficiencies.”

It is expected that the transaction will be closed by the first quarter of 2017.

04 Feb

How To Watch Super Bowl 2017 On Your PC

Dish Network Packages
Dish Network Packages

Super Bowl 2017

The Super Bowl is just a few days away and every one of us will be tuning in to watch this amazing showdown between the two popular teams. The New England Patriots will take on the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, February 5 at 6:30 p.m. ET, 3:30 p.m. PT.

The opening game of the 2017 Super Bowl will held at Houston’s NRG Stadium. Country-music star Luke Bryan will make an appearance to sing the National Anthem and the Super Bowl LI halftime show will be headlined by Lady Gaga. The game will be broadcasted on Fox.

If you have a cable subscription, then you will be able to access and watch the game on Fox. However, if you don’t have a cable subscription, then you will be looking for other methods such as live streaming to watch the opening game of the Super Bowl on your PC or laptop. If so, here is how you can watch the live action of Super Bowl on your PC or laptop.

If you are a customer who doesn’t have a cable subscription, then you will be able to watch the live broadcast of Fox Sports 1, NFL Network, and ESPN2 through Dish Network’s online streaming service, Sling TV. This popular online streaming platform offers you access to a number of select channels at an affordable price. Below is how you can sign up to Sling TV for the free 7 day trial.

  • Go to the official website of Sling TV
  • Click on “Watch Now 7 Days Free” option.
  • Create a personal account

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    Dish Network’s Sling TV

  • Select the packages or channel package you need. Sling Orange package offered by the online streaming service offers ESPN2, while the Sling Blue package offers both Fox Sports 1 and NFL Network.
  • Enter the payment information. The cost to sign up for Sling Orange is just $20 a month, whereas the cost for signing up to Sling Blue is $25 a month. However, if you happen to cancel the subscription after the seven-day trial, then the service provider will not charge you anything.
  • Download the Sling app for your PC or laptop and start watching the game and other contents offered by the channels.

If you are a Sling TV subscriber already, then you will be also able to watch the contents offered by ESPN on your smartphone and other compatible devices.

03 Feb

Sling TV Offering Free Trial For NFL Pro Bowl Games

Dish Network
Dish Network

Sling Free Trial

The 2017 NFL Pro Bowl Game is right around the corner and you should not miss the action. Sling TV brings a new free trial that customers can use in order to watch the game and experience the quality services provided by the streaming service. Here are some options to consider for watching the game through this free trial.

Customers living in the United States, who have no access to cable or satellite TV services, can watch the game through Sling TV. It is an online streaming television service that offers access to many channel packages for a small monthly subscription fee. Sling TV’s free 7-day trial enables you to watch the game free on the web or with its app.

Watching The Game On The Web

Go to Sling TV’s official website and sign up for the free trail by following the instructions provided on the webpage. You need to enter your credit card information in the sign up process. However, cancelling the subscription before the trial period ends will have no charges levied on the card for the Sling TV services.

After signing up, you can either watch the game in the free trial or select the Sling Orange package. This package includes many sports channels like ESPN and costs just around $20 a month. There is also the availability to opt for other options like the Sling Blue package, which comes with a monthly subscription fee of $25 and offers around 30 channels. Finally, download the Sling Desktop app and select the ESPN channel to watch the game.

Using The App

Dish Network Channel Guide

NFL Pro Bowl

There is also an option to watch the NFL game on the Sling app. The app will be accessible after signing up for the free trial and can be downloaded via the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. Apart from these two platforms, Sling app is also available for Roku, Xbox One, Chromecast, etc.

Signing up is required for the app also, for using the free trial and for watching the game. The rest of the process is the same as in the case of online viewing. Afterwards, download the Sling mobile app to connect with ESPN and watch the game.

Watching the game free on phones, tablets, and connected TV is also possible with the ESPN app. Select Sling when asked about the TV provider and log in with your username and password to enjoy the game.

30 Jan

Is Dish Paving Way To Cannibalizing Itself

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Dish Network Packages

Dish Network offered AirTV player with integrated OTA streaming, Alexa integration for television services, and Dish-on-a-stick at CES 2017. Dish Network is making bold moves with their latest range of products and services that will obviously cannibalize their traditional television offerings. Let us look into the details of the offering from Dish Network this CES.

AirTV

At the CES 2017, Dish threatened their own traditional pay TV business with the introduction of AirTV. This product from Dish combines their Sling TV service with the native Netflix and OTA channels. “It’s similar to Roku, but it can connect to an off-air antenna and bring in live TV in full HD,” says Drew Mehrmann, who is the partner manager for Sling TV.

AirTV is an Android box, meaning that the device can run any app from Google Play Store. Netflix and Sling TV apps come preloaded on the device. There is also an optional AirTV Adapter, which plugs into a USB port on the box. The Dish interface combines all the television services into a single place and can be accessed with a single remote controller.

Dish on a Stick

This is not the real name for the latest product. The product is basically the Dish Anywhere service, available on a special Amazon Fire TV Stick. Users can take the device with them, plug it into HDMI port of any television, and enjoy Dish Network services on it. This means that anything that is available on the Dish Anywhere service can be accessed on a remote television, irrespective of the location of the user.

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Traditional Television Offerings

Users can also access their local channels and programming guide, DVR recordings, video on demand, live TV, etc. A small remote is also offered with the stick and the user will need the remote to operate the device. This product can also cannibalize the traditional pay TV service of Dish, but the provider believes in the future. This product from Dish Network will not be released until summer.

Voice Control

Dish had announced their plans to integrate with Amazon Alexa for voice control. They have also offered a pre-production version of the voice integration at CES. “The idea is that: If you wanted to watch something, how quickly can you get to the content that you want to watch, without having to pick up the remote and go to the menus and find the content that you’re looking for?” says Dish product manager Sashi Choudhary.

19 Jan

Dish Network Finalizes New Deal With WHSV

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Dish Network Channel List

Deal With WHSV

In recent reports, Dish Network has negotiated a landmark deal with WHSV’s parent company Gray Television. Insiders said that Robert J. Folliard, the current Vice President of Gray Television, finalized the deal a few minutes before the WHSV contract deadline.

This has been the result of an overwhelming response from viewers nationwide asking Dish not to drop broadcasting their local news and weather channels. Dish’s new agreement with the company is similar to the many long-term deals secured by Gray Television, which includes many of Dish’s competitors like Comcast and DirecTV.

Previously, there existed many uncertainties that worried the viewers and broadcasters alike. It even resulted in some of the favored channels among viewers to be taken off the Dish Network channel list. The many thorough negotiations never proved fruitful, as Dish has refused a fair deal with many broadcasters.

Despite the popularity of Gray Television in the WHSV area, Dish refused to enter negotiating terms that it did previously with other broadcasters and cable channels. Jay Webb, news director at the Harrisonburg based station said that, “DISH subscribers in the WHSV viewing area account for less than 13% of the way our viewers get our signal. In fact, many of our viewers get us free over the air with an antenna.”

It is also noted that Dish failed to reach an agreement with more than 250 local stations in the last two years. The reasons for the failure of such deals are due to many issues pertaining to both the parties.

Dish Network Channel Guide

Dish Network Channels

Webb further expressed his optimism in Dish negotiations by stating that, “It is our hope DISH will not leave their viewers of WHSV ABC, CBS ‘The V’ and The Valley’s Fox in the dark.” The new deal reached between Dish Network and WHSV is surely a relief for all the viewers in the region

The effective feedback provided by WHSV viewers about the consequences of the deal is remarkable. This has prompted a renegotiation effort on part of Dish that resulted in finalizing the deal and benefited all the viewers.

Retaining of the local news and weather channels is the most significant feature of this deal. It will make sure that viewers get access to all the channels and packages of their liking. Above all, the efforts of both the broadcasters are highly laudable in securing this deal without affecting the choices of the viewers.

05 Jan

Sling TV Plans To Launch Certification Program For Devices

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Optimized For Sling TV

Sling TV is the online video service from Dish network that is aimed at cord cutters. The service has now introduced a device certification program called as “Optimized for Sling TV,” under which, the “key criteria” are over-the-air content integration, presence of a Sling TV button, and auto launch capabilities.

According to Sling representatives, the program is launching with the support for 2 Android TV powered streaming platforms, namely, Mi Box from Xiaomi and AirTV Player from EchoStar. It is reported that both these products are green signaled to use the “Optimized for Sling TV” logo on their future packaging. These products will also be recognized as “Optimized for Sling TV” on the official website of Sling.

Here is a brief explanation of the key criteria to satisfy the “Optimized for Sling TV” program.

Auto Launch: The device should automatically launch into Sling TV service when it is turned on.

Pre-loaded App: The device manufacturer should preload Sling TV on the device and it should be in a “prominent location.”

Sling TV Button: The remote controller of the device should have a Sling TV button and the button should allow users to access their content in a single step.

Easy Access: Sling TV app should be offered as the default live TV app or it should be given a prominent placement.

Integrated Over-The-Air Content: The device should have over-the-air (OTA) tuners to help integration of over-the-air content directly to the guide of Sling TV.

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Sling TV Plans

TV Content Integration: Live programming from Sling TV should be included in the top content section of the device to offer once click access to users.

Included in Device Setup: Sling TV should be included in the out of the box set up for the device.

Fast Performance: The device should be fast to load Sling TV and its contents.

Latest Sling TV Version: The device should support the latest build of Sling TV, thereby offering users access to the latest features.

Sling TV officials said that their new certification program is capable of accommodating wide range of platform configurations and that they are expecting to add more and more partners to the program. Other devices that currently support Sling TV include Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, and Xbox One consoles.

“We have set a high standard with our device partners to continually improve Sling TV’s performance,” Ben Weinberger, chief product officer of Sling TV, said in a statement. “The ‘Optimized for Sling TV’ program is designed to elevate that standard and highlight our dedication to our device partners, including Xiaomi and AirTV, to develop new paths for improving Sling TV.”

03 Jan

NBC Blackout For Dish Network Users In Salt Lake City

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Dish Network Channel Guide

Dish Network Users

Despite the offer from Dish Network to extend the contract negotiations, Bonneville International Corp. blacked out Dish customers’ access to KSL-TV in Salt Lake City. Dish Network commented in a news release that, “Bonneville’s blackout impacts customers’ access to KSL-TV in the Salt Lake City area only.”

The Salt Lake City media market includes the complete state of Utah and some parts of the neighboring states and accounts for users in Southern Utah and other areas that experience the blackout. Dish Corporate Communications agent, Courtney Culpepper, was not able to offer details on how long the blackout would be in effect or if the areas that are south of Salt Lake would be affected by the blackout.

The press release by Dish said that Bonneville has made use of the move to gain deal leverage as they seek to get above market rate increases, which is about 250 percent the current rate paid by Dish Network. Bonneville has also refused to accept Dish’s offer to match the rates that are paid by the other pay-TV providers.

“With Dish willing to grant an extension and a retroactive true-up on rates, Bonneville had nothing to lose and consumers had everything to gain by leaving the channel up,” said Warren Schlichting, who is the executive vice president of programming in DISH. “Instead, Bonneville chose to turn its back on its public interest obligations and use innocent consumers as bargaining chips.”

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Bonneville International Corp

Bonneville and Dish were making good progress in their negotiations and Dish was much hopeful that they would be able to make a mutual agreement to renew the carriage of KSL-TV. With this in mind, Dish offered a contract extension for a short term to Bonneville, which included a retroactive true up when new rates were agreed upon and would offer the ability to Dish users to watch KSL-TV while the negotiations between the parties are going on. The true up would make sure that Bonneville was made whole at the new rates for the period of extension of the contract.

“We are actively working to negotiate an agreement that promptly returns this content to Dish’s programming lineup,” added Schlichting. “Bonneville’s decision to cut ties with Dish customers is a prime example of why Washington needs to stand up for consumers and end local channel blackouts,” said R. Stanton Dodge, Dish executive vice president and general counsel. “Broadcasters like Bonneville use their in-market monopoly power to put profits ahead of the public interests they are supposed to serve.”

27 Dec

Dish Network Not Planning To Make Any Announcements In Annual CES Presentation

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Dish Network Channel Guide

Dish Network Presentation

It seems as if Dish Network has made CES Las Vegas, a place, where they make their biggest announcements. However, one of the representatives from Dish Network recently told the media that they would not be conducting their annual press conference at CES 2017. When asked about the event being shelved this year, the representative said, “In recent years, CES has been great for us but our timing is on a bit of a different cycle. Hope to see you there!”

In recent years, the presentation of Dish Network has been one of the highlights of the mega show. Dish has used CES to make some of their biggest announcements. For instance, in 2012, Dish introduced the Hopper DVR, signaling the features of the last generation of advanced DVR set top boxes. In 2015, Dish network debuted the Sling TV service, which proved to be the major virtual TV service and the forerunner of all internet based streaming services.

With Sling TV increasing its user base and the satellite-based service of Dish network in full retreat, the decision of Dish Network to shelve presentation for this year might prove costly to the provider. The tech world might be waiting for new and splashy announcements from Dish Network, and millions of promoters would be disappointed with no Dish announcement at the event.

Sling TV service from Dish has been active on announcement front. They are trying to stay relevant, as their competitor AT&T has launched DirecTV Now internet based video service. Earlier this month, Sling TV had announced that they are testing a cloud DVR for selected users who make use of Roku boxes to get the service. Experts say that this significant news could have been held back for CES press release.

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Annual CES Meet

It is to be noted that Dish Network has reported a loss of 116,000 users in the third quarter of 2016. However, analysts speculated that the decline in traditional satellite service users of Dish Network increased much after the number of Sling TV users started to climb.

According to analyst Craig Moffett, “AT&T’s planned $35 DirecTV Now service appears poised to strike right at the heart of Sling TV, which has been the sole glimmer of growth in Dish’s core business. By our estimates, Dish lost 320K traditional satellite subscribers in Q3, and has lost 949K over the past year.

“Their legacy subscriber base has shrunk by 8.1 percent year over year! That decline has been at least partially offset by the growth of Sling TV, which has added an estimated 517K subscribers over the past four quarters, cutting Dish Network’s overall annual decline rate to 3.1%. In Q3, we estimate that they added another 204K,” Moffett added.

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