Dish's 'Virtual Joey' is a streaming app for smart TVs that takes the place of a set-top box (video)

Assuming you're not a home-theater gear head, we'll start this post by giving you a quick history lesson. Back at CES 2012, Dish Network announced a whole-home DVR setup, including the Hopper DVR and a multi-room extender, called the Joey. Then, at last year's CES, Dish introduced a version of the Hopper with Sling built in, allowing you to send both live and recorded shows to a mobile device. This year, Dish is turning its attention back to those Joey boxes except, well, it doesn't necessarily have any hardware to show for it.

The company just announced the "Virtual Joey" a smart TV app that will come built into select LG televisions, and which will take the place of a physical Joey extender. To be clear, you'll still need a Hopper DVR to anchor the whole experience, but this would at least mean you have one less piece of hardware taking up space in your house. According to company reps, the app will come to 2013 and 2014 LG smart TVs, though it's working to ink deals with other manufacturers as well. We hope to get an in-person demo here at CES, so hang tight for some hands-on!