DISH takes Hopper app “Social”


Dish NetworkDISH Network has launched “Social,” the latest in a series of new apps for the Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR, allowing viewers to join social conversations about their favorite shows on screen. DISH’s Social app on Hopper is the first set-top box application capable of providing contextually-relevant social feeds. Fans can multitask between watching a show on TV and following social posts about it on the same screen.

The new Social app is accessible via DISH’s “quick launch” bar (to access, press the blue button on remote control) on the Hopper. Customers can link up to four Twitter and four Facebook accounts to the app.

Recently, DISH also announced enhancements to its DISH Anywhere mobile app that give consumers the power to follow and post on Twitter and Facebook about shows they are viewing. Earlier this year, DISH also unveiled the DISH Explorer second-screen app, which includes social features such as the ability for customers to track Twitter posts of fans of programs they are watching, and post directly to their Twitter and Facebook accounts from their iPad.

“Last year, Twitter saw 32 million Americans tweet about TV programming, an incredible display of consumer interest in wanting a more social experience from TV,” said Jimshade Chaudhari, director of product marketing and management at DISH. “Through our Social app, we’ve made it easier for consumers to follow social conversations and post in real-time without leaving their TV screen.”

Viewers have three options for the type of content displayed in the status bar, which is located on the right side of the TV screen when the app is open:

–Now Watching: shows the Twitter feed relevant to the show or channel the user is currently watching.

–My Twitter: displays the user’s personal Twitter feed (if logged-in) and gives them full Twitter functionality, including the ability to “Favorite” a tweet, reply to a tweet, retweet a post and create a new Tweet.

–My Facebook: displays the user’s personal Facebook feed (also requires log-in) and gives users the ability to post a status update, with the option of selecting one of several pre-drafted, easy-to-use updates.

The Social app also contains a data bar at the bottom of the viewer’s TV screen that displays stats and relevant info related to the program being watched. Displayed info includes stats about the top areas in the country where people are Tweeting about the program, the program’s sentiment rating, percentage of Tweeters by gender and frequency of Tweets.

RBR-TVBR observation: Dish is definitely leading the path to multimedia convergence. Here’s a satellite MVPD that is trailblazing TV Everywhere options with The Hopper’s “Dish Anywhere” option; blending social media with live programming; readying a buy of Sprint Nextel to take its services to the next level and (albeit in litigation with the networks) super-serving customers with the ability to skip commercial breaks on broadcast programming. At this point it appears the DISH satellite service is just a platform for much bigger things to come.