Dish Network announced today its Hopper DVR system will be integrated with media distribution services from the home automation gurus at Control4, opening a virtual Pandora’s box of opportunities for home entertainment control for the Hopper. The integration allows for remote access from Control4 apps to smartphones and tablets, as well as running multiple TVs from a single DVR. The new partnership comes as a result of Dish’s announcement last July that it would open its Hopper DVR platform to select companies. Dish will be unveiling the new service Thursday at the CEDIA 2013 Expo in Denver.
For now, control of the Hopper through the Control4 system will be limited, allowing customers with home automation installations access to basic assets such as channel control and guide information from Control4 remotes and apps. However, Dish’s recent open-platform philosophy, which allows third party services full access to its API, promises to ultimately give Control4’s media hubs complete command over the Hopper, allowing integration of every aspect of the device, including features like “Primetime Anytime”, “AutoHop”, On-Demand, and more, all from a single media center.
The news would seem to position Dish Network on the forefront of the media distribution frontier. Benefits like being able to access a single DVR box from multiple TVs are just the beginning. Using Cat5e/Cat6 cables, systems like Control4 automation give users access to all of their content from any TV, beaming a full gamut of services including internet, streaming devices such as Apple TVs or Roku, Blu-Ray content, audio, and now, Hopper DVR systems, all of which can be controlled by a single remote or app. The system opens a whole new range of cross platform integration that is just beginning to be explored.