Dish Online used to be the brand name for Dish Network’s service that allowed their Satellite TV subscribers to watch video content using a web browser, or a mobile app available for both the iOS and Android platforms. While the Dish Online brand name is still in use in Asia for a similar web-based and mobile app streaming video service, in the United States that product is now known as Dish Anywhere.
The best thing about Dish Anywhere is that it offers thousands of TV shows and movies available for free, even if you aren’t a Dish Network subscriber. Those who are already customers of the Satellite TV service also get the ability to watch content from premium channels they subscribe to, program their DVR, and watch everything recorded on their DVR provided they also own a unit equipped with Sling or a Sling adapter.
Desktop Features of Dish Anywhere
Dish Anywhere offers a robust collection of free content, including many current TV shows. The free movie collection doesn’t include many first-run blockbusters, but there are still thousands of movies to peruse. The content is mostly ad-supported, with a banner ad appearing above the video in the playback window, and an occasional commercial running before a TV show plays.
Still, Dish Network subscribers are the ones who stand to benefit the most from using Dish Anywhere. As mentioned before, all the subscriber’s premium content from channels like HBO and Showtime is available through Dish Anywhere. Subscribers are prompted to enter their Dish ID and password to gain access to this additional content and features.
To be able to watch the content of their DVR (either equipped with Sling functionality or an adapter), that subscriber’s DVR must be connected to the Internet. Also remember that watching streaming video content counts against your monthly Internet bandwidth limit for those without unlimited accounts.
Subscribers also have the option to set parental controls for certain content available on Dish Anywhere. This prevents children from seeing movies and TV shows whose ratings are marked as restricted unless they enter a passcode.
The technical requirements for the desktop version of Dish Anywhere are straightforward. Windows (Vista and newer) and Mac OS X (10.5 and newer) are both supported and version 11 of the Adobe Flash plugin must be installed. Most popular web browsers are supported (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer), and the Internet downstream bandwidth must be at least 3 Mbps.
Dish Anywhere goes Mobile on the iPad
Dish Anywhere is also available in app format for the iPad as well as the Android platform. Since an iPhone version isn’t available for the app, smartphone users will have the settle for the Android version which is compatible with many of the devices on that platform, although the display is optimized for tablet viewing. No matter iOS or Android, both apps share a similar feature set and are priced right — free!
The basic functionality of the Dish Anywhere mobile echoes that of the desktop version. Dish Network subscribers are able to watch streaming video content, including the premium channels they subscribe to, program their DVR, and view recorded material from their DVR provided it is Sling equipped and connected to the Internet. Since the app is being used on a mobile device, it will use either a WiFi signal or Mobile Internet service, so watch the bandwidth usage if not on an account plan with unlimited Internet.
On Demand content is also available to Dish subscribers using the Dish Anywhere app. The iPad edition of the app requires at least iOS version 6.0, and Dish recently added support for the new iOS 7. The Android version depends on the type of device, so Android users will have to perform the free download first to verify the compatibility of the app. Both apps feature an attractive user interface with an onscreen virtual Dish remote control performing similar functionality as the real remote.
Dish Network subscribers who own either an iPad or Android tablet computer should definitely consider downloading the Dish Anywhere app. The ability to remotely stream recorded material from a DVR in addition to all the available movies and TV shows — even from premium channels — makes the app the best way to get the most out of a Dish Network subscription.
So while the Dish Online brand has gone away in the United States, the new Dish Anywhere service provides a host of streaming video content, in addition to the other functionality suitable for Dish subscribers. The ability to watch video and control a DVR from the iPad or Android tablet is just icing on the cake!