Dish Network has announced a new Sports Bar Mode for its Hopper 3 DVRs, just in time for March Madness.
The new feature, also know as Multiview, allows fans to watch up to four different games at the same time on their 4K or HD televisions. It works by decoding four different feeds simultaneously on-screen. Dish teased the feature at CES this year, and for sports fans, it couldn’t have rolled out at a better time.
Those who already own the Hopper 3 device don’t need to do anything; Sports Bar Mode came as an update over the air last night, and should be instantly available to users who already have their Hopper 3 connected.
The new multi-view mode works with all live linear content, and with DVR and on-demand shows too. Users can easily use their remotes to toggle which of the four broadcasts they wish to have audio, meaning that one could catch up on their favorite new series while keeping tabs on their March Madness bracket. And thanks to Dish’s amped up new DVR that’s claimed to be seven times faster than its predecessor, each of the four feeds will be in full 1080p HD.
“This technology replicates the fan experience of catching several games at once, now from the comfort of your home instead of heading to a local pub,” said Vivek Khemka, the company’s Chief Technology Officer. “Sports Bar Mode is an especially useful tool throughout the month of March, as the tournament airs across four different channels. Not to mention, it’s great for households who don’t want to miss their favorite drama or sitcom, but also want to keep tabs on any live basketball games.”
Dish is currently the only pay-TV provider to offer multi-channel viewing capability to at-home users, but similar features will likely be launched by other television providers soon.