Technology

Dish CEO takes a dig at broadcasters, introduces upgraded DVR service

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MUMBAI: Despite criticism from broadcasters, satellite television service provider Dish Network has gone ahead and upgraded its ad skipping Hopper DVR system.

Unveiling the upgraded Hopper DVR System at the Consumer Electronics Show, Dish CEO Joe Clayton claimed that the new system includes a built-in Slingbox that will allow consumers to view content on mobile devices without any extra cost.

The upgraded version of Hopper includes features such as Sling to compliment AutoHop. Dish subscribers can stream live and recorded shows across other platforms, both in and outside the home.

Justifying the satcaster‘s ad-skipping DVR system which has come under fire from broadcasters, he said skipping television commercials doesn‘t amount to breaking a law as the broadcasters would like people to believe.

"Broadcasters would have you all believe that American consumers are breaking the law," Clayton told reporters at a press meet.

Further taking a jibe at broadcasters, he added, "If bypassing commercials is illegal, I guess we‘re all a nation of outlaws according to the major broadcast networks."

Broadcasters had last year sued Dish for the AutoHop feature of its DVR. The suit is still pending. Notwithstanding the pressure from broadcasters, Clayton encouraged other service providers to follow Dish‘s lead of introducing ad-free service.

He also pointed out that it was important for service providers to keep the programming costs under check as the consumers are still not ready to spend more for accessing video content.

"While unsettling to our customers and employees, this is sometimes necessary to slow the spiraling programming costs," he said. "We, as an industry, are rapidly approaching a tipping point: how many consumers are going to spend $100 per month for video content? I don‘t know, but we‘ll soon see."

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