Dish was quick to take advantage of its Sling Media integration with remote live TV, but it hasn't put as much of an emphasis on what happens when we're still sitting comfortably in our living rooms. It's filling that hole with the launch of its Explorer app for the iPad. Viewers with a Hopper DVR can control their set-top box directly from the tablet, as you'd expect, but they'll also get a companion to whatever they're watching, whether it's live or recorded. Explorer catches the buzz around a show on Facebook and Twitter, including rankings if you'd like to see what shows are the hottest; it also builds in Thuuz sports stats and ratings to identify what's likely to be the big game for the day, even as it's happening. The app doesn't officially reach the App Store until Monday, and there's no word of an Android port, but we'll be sure to share our first-hand experiences as soon as possible.
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DISH Explorer Second-Screen App Enhances TV Viewing Experience on iPad
Discover New Shows – Explorer app recommends programs based on real-time TV viewing and social media trends
Engage with Fans – Within Explorer app, access Twitter and Facebook feeds and participate in social conversations related to live programs
Find Big Games – Explorer shows real-time trends for popular sporting events
Control the Experience – App can serve as remote-control for Hopper HD DVR features, including channel guide, DVR and on-demand video
CES Unveiled 2013
LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, DISH (NASDAQ: DISH) introduced the DISH Explorer™ app for iPad, an intuitive second-screen app for the Hopper™ Whole-Home HD DVR platform that combines program-discovery tools, social media engagement and remote-control capabilities.
"Customers are already using tablets while watching TV but, until Explorer, it had been two separate experiences," said Vivek Khemka, vice president of Product Management at DISH. "What we've done is develop an integrated, seamless experience between the tablet and the television; only the Hopper creates an entirely new viewing dynamic."
Available tomorrow, DISH Explorer expands the functionality of the Hopper by allowing customers to:
Discover popular and trending shows, including sporting events, across hundreds of live-TV channels, DVR recordings and on-demand programs;
Engage with fans of the same show over Twitter and Facebook using the iPad;
Control the Hopper from an iPad, including channel guide navigation and DVR management;
Search live TV, DVR and on-demand programs using iPad's keyboard instead of the remote control.
The new app recommends shows and reveals popular programs by cross-referencing social media television viewing trends and real-time viewership data from DISH's customer base.
DISH Explorer allows customers to connect with the social media community about their favorite shows. Using the app, customers can log in to Twitter and Facebook and, in real-time, comment and track posts from fans of the shows they are watching.
For the sports enthusiast, Explorer incorporates Thuuz™ ratings to identify the hottest games on TV and provides viewers with real-time sports stats when watching live events on the Hopper. The Explorer's view into trending data can signal sporting events that are quickly becoming 'must see' events.
"The Thuuz ratings on Explorer means sports fans can quickly see the potential no-hitters, the shut-outs and the upsets forming live before the sports recap on the evening news," said Khemka. "Seeing the big events live is always better and Explorer helps deliver that experience."
DISH Explorer connects to an Internet-connected Hopper via Wi-Fi and eliminates the need for the remote control. The app makes it easy to navigate all Hopper programming options with the iPad.
DISH Explorer app will be available at no charge in Apple's App Store on January 7.