Dish alters AutoHop structure

Dish Network is altering its embedded software on its EchoStar receiver set-top boxes, and this is creating speculation that Dish is modifying how the software works and thus avoid costly – and long-lasting – litigation from the USA’s major network broadcasters.

Dish’s ‘Hopper’ technology was designed to allow viewers to skip over the advertising breaks. The technology was enabled in May which prompted a series of lawsuits from the likes of NBC, Fox and others.

The changes are said to now enable viewers to choose which of the ‘big four’ networks can be specified as to whether they are automatically recorded.  Perhaps the most important change is to prompt viewers with a default question of ‘No’ (which can be switched to ‘Yes’) when asked whether they want the AutoHop feature to be enabled.

The changes, while modest, could appear to shift the burden of responsibility for the unit’s functionality from Dish themselves to users at home.

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