US satellite pay-TV operator DISH Network is claiming it is the first to launch a 4K ‘Ultra HD’ set-top box. Named the 4K Joey, the unit is designed to integrate easily with DISH’s Hopper Whole Home HD DVR system.
DISH says that unlike other 4K pay-TV options which are confined to an app on select TVs, the DISH 4K Joey is dedicated hardware that will be compatible with all HDMI 2.0/ HDCP 2.2-compliant televisions. The 4K Joey will not only play back 4K ultra HD content, it will also enhance everyday viewing of television and sports programming by supporting side-by-side display of two programmes, each in HD. This picture-in-picture (PiP) capability was not possible previously and is ideal for sports fans who want to watch two games playing at the same time.
DISH will deliver 4K content from several providers. Specific announcements will be made closer to the consumer launch of 4K Joey, which is slated for the second quarter.
“Our new 4K Joey offers the most versatile, future-proofed 4K set-up for our customers,” said Vivek Khemka, senior vice president of Product Management. “It’s easy to install and works with the most 4K televisions, so no matter what brand customers bought over the holiday season, they can enjoy content through DISH.”