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DISH Network (DISH) Enhances Hopper Set-top Box with Alexa


Satellite TV service provider DISH Network Corp. DISH, has sped-up the integration process of its Hopper DVRs with the Alexa voice-control technology developed by Amazon.Com Inc. (AMZN). The Alexa platform has given DISH Network the opportunity to enable voice control for its video systems with a simple integration deal and software update.

Since 2013, DISH Network has been introducing its Hopper series of innovative DVR systematically. Initially, the HD whole-home Hopper DVR was introduced together with a sidekick called “Joey”. Later on, DISH introduced a new feature called AUTO HOP, which enabled any DISH Network subscriber to record prime time TV programming from major networks.

In CES 2013, the company introduced a more powerful Hopper DVR, which enabled remote viewing of TV shows on subscribers’ mobile devices (smartphone or tablet) using DISH Network’s proprietary Sling transmission technology.

Remote voice control technology for set-top box is not a new one. The largest pay-TV operator Comcast Corp. CMCSA, is using its proprietary technology for X1 video platform user over the last couple of years. Importantly, the Canadian telecom and pay-TV duo, Rogers Communications Inc. RCI and Shaw Communications Inc. SJR are using Comcast’s innovative voice-controlled X1 technology as well.

Notably, just a few days ago, The Wall Street Journal reported that DISH Network is considering a joint venture (JV) with online retailing giant Amazon. With the JV, DISH Network aims to install an Internet-of-Thing (IoT) centric wireless network. However, the news magazine has cautioned that no agreement is imminent. Also, neither side has confirmed the news.

Over the last one decade, DISH Network has developed an extremely strong portfolio of lucrative wireless spectrums which are still unutilized. The company spent nearly $21 billion to build this spectrum portfolio, which, according to some estimates, is currently valued at no less than $45 billion. In Mar 2017, the company announced plans to build a narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network to meet the FCC’s (Federal Communications Commission) buildout requirements.

Price Performance of DISH Network

The past six months have brought mixed fortune to DISH Network’s investors. During that period, the stock returned 11%, slightly below the Zacks categorized Cable TV industry’s gain of 11.34%. Moreover, cable TV industry is facing a massive cord-cutting threat from low-cost online streaming service providers. We believe that these are the primary reasons for the stock currently carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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