Tag - EchoStar
Dish Network is reportedly preparing to rollout satellite broadband service to complement its existing television services. The company already offers satellite broadband in a limited number of markets, as part of a collaborative partnership with California-based communications company ViaSat, however the upcoming service is said to utilize EchoStar satellites and coverage across the entire contiguous US.
EchoStar has taken the wraps off what it calls the world's slimmest DVR. The HDT-610R is just over half an inch tall (14mm exactly) and houses a 500GB hard drive along with two tuners, allowing recording one shows while watching another. There is Freeview+ support that gives subscription-free access to 50 SD digital channels and four HD ones.
Early details on Dish Network's planned CES unveiling of a home DVR dubbed Hopper have been revealed. It will be a rebrand of EchoStar's next-generation XiP satellite whole home DVR hardware (XiP 813), which gets extender units called Joeys (XiP 110). It's said to have three tuners and a built-in 2TB hard drive.
Chipmaker Broadcom has made a few significant deals this week, partnering with Sling Media for its EchoStar set-top technology and with Myriad for the Alien Vue solution. The deals could result in a Broadcom system-on-chip that may allow set-top boxes for TVs that run Android apps and aren't limited to home Wi-Fi networks. Thus far, only Dish Network allows place-shifting in Sling's Slingbox set-tops.
Dish Networks is close to reaching an agreement to purchase bankrupt satellite smartphone provider Terrestar Networks for $1.2 to $1.4 billion, according to a Reuters report on Tuesday. Terrestar declared bankruptcy in October of last year and its assets include wireless spectrum.
Dish Network and its parent EchoStar started the month of May by reaching a settlement deal with TiVo. Following the loss of its last appeal in a finding of contempt, Dish and EchoStar said they would pay TiVo a total of $500 million to end all lawsuits and end trade bans on DVRs. About $300 million would be paid up front, while the remaining $200 million would be paid between 2012 and 2017.
EchoStar on Wednesday lost its case in a Federal Court of Appeals to try and overturn a contempt ruling in favor of TiVo. The court upheld a decision that EchoStar's Dish satellite TV DVRs were breaking a permanent ban on violating TiVo patents even after changes were made to the hardware. EchoStar is expected to pay a $300 million fine that it had reversed in May of last year.
As expected, satellite phone maker and carrier TerreStar Networks has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to a Tuesday report. The company and 12 of its affiliates had more than $1 billion of liabilities, with $1.4 billion of assets and $1.64 billion of liabilities as of June 30. TerreStar's largest secured creditor, satellite TV provider EchoStar, will help TerreStar with $75 million of operating capital to keep it working through the bankruptcy.
TiVo today won a potentially final victory in its legal action against EchoStar after the US Patent and Trademark Office ruled that its patents were valid. The decision gives TiVo ownership of the "time warp" feature inherent to its DVRs and can't be appealed by EchoStar, which runs the satellite TV provider Dish Network. The USPTO decision could lead a federal appeals court to enforce a ban against Dish DVRs and a $300 million fine that had been overturned in May.
TiVo suffered a second major setback in its lawsuit against Dish in as many months today as the US Patent and Trademark Office rejected two of the patents behind the complaint. The ruling isn't final but, if upheld, would dismantle the longstanding case TiVo has made against Dish and its former sibling Echostar, which accused both of copying the technology used behind simultaneous recording and playback in TiVo's DVRs.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R