Dish offers Hopper DVR API access to handful of thirdparty developers

As powerful as the Hopper DVR can be, it largely exists in an app vacuum: to date, only official releases like Dish Explorer and Dish Social have had access. Dish is giving its set-top box some much needed flexibility, however, by offering the Hopper's APIs to third-party developers. The expansion lets non-Dish mobile apps control the Hopper directly, whether it's switching to a live show or scheduling a recording. Thuuz Sports (shown above) is the first app to take advantage of the APIs, although we wouldn't expect a flood of releases afterwards -- Dish is screening developers for privacy issues and "other considerations." Still, the move represents a rare level of openness in an industry that frequently insists on self-branded software.

Show full PR text

DISH Opens Hopper DVR Platform to Select Mobile App Developers

* Industry-leading move gives developers access to program information, channel-changing functionality from mobile devices

* Thuuz Sports is first third-party mobile app to integrate with DISH's Hopper receivers

* Consumers benefit from more choice and greater personalization of TV experience

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a move designed to deliver new customer experiences and to spur innovation among smartphone and tablet app developers, DISH opened its third-party application programming interface (API) to developers. Starting today, trusted partners can access many of the same second-screen APIs that DISH uses for its own DISH Explorer mobile app on its Hopper® Whole-Home HD DVR, a program designed to replace a traditional remote control with a tablet-based device.

"I think it's a great announcement and DISH has taken a step in the right direction," said media strategist Robert Tercek earlier this month at the Second Screen Summit in New York. "In the world of the multichannel video providers, DISH is probably the most innovative company. This is evidence that DISH is focused on reinventing the TV experience for an audience that's already accustomed to manipulating their content, tuning in when they want to, and building their own playlists. Consumers want to exert more control."

With the DISH APIs, developers can offer new ways for customers to discover shows that are available on the program guide, recorded to the DVR and accessible on demand. Their apps will also be able to control the Hopper by changing channels, setting recordings and playing back DVR and on-demand shows.

"DISH wants to evolve the Hopper experience for customers and foster innovation among the developer community," said Vivek Khemka, senior vice president of Product Management for DISH. "DISH already has its own suite of mobile apps designed to work with the Hopper, but we want to see what other experiences trusted partners might create if given the opportunity. By tapping into a deeper well of creativity, I'm confident we will discover ideas we've never dreamed of to improve upon an already unique customer experience."

Third-party Integration Underway

Thuuz Sports is the first developer to incorporate DISH's APIs into their app, enabling DISH customers to control their Hopper receiver directly from Android or iOS smartphones. Thuuz Sports uses real-time analytics and social signaling to alert viewers to exciting sporting events. Fans can customize the app based on their favorite teams and sports leagues, including NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NCAAF and NCAABB.

By pairing the Thuuz app on mobile devices with Hopper, DISH subscribers can automatically jump to the most exciting games on their TV. The Thuuz Sports app also enables one-click recording of live or upcoming matches on the Hopper if a customer is away from their TV.

"Our goal is to make sure sports enthusiasts never miss an exciting game," said Warren Packard, CEO & co-founder of Thuuz. "Our apps already alert users to the best matches in their favorite sports. Integrating with DISH's Hopper receivers lets us take viewers immediately into the live action. For those times when they can't watch the game live, we make sure they can record it to enjoy later."

API Availability

Developers interested in working with DISH will be vetted to ensure that customer privacy and other considerations are met. Requests for the Hopper APIs are being accepted by email to devprogram@dish.com.