DISH's Wireless Joey Provides TV Without Wires

Most consumers with satellite service plan out TV placement in their homes based on where they have the proper hookups, but it's not strictly necessary for DISH subscribers. Thanks to a new device known as the Wireless Joey, DISH users can connect TVs anywhere in their homes via Wi-Fi.

The Wireless Joey, so named for its ability to access DISH's Hopper box (a joey is a juvenile kangaroo), connects to an HDTV via HDMI and receives a TV signal over Wi-Fi. In effect, this means that users can watch TV anywhere in their houses, even in rooms that lack coaxial or Ethernet connections.

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The Joey itself is not new; DISH released a wired version in 2012. The device's functionality is pretty straightforward: DISH broadcasts live TV and DVR content to a central Hopper box in a user's home. Users connect a wired Joey via Ethernet or a Wireless Joey via Wi-Fi to access content from the Hopper remotely.

DISH suggests that the Wireless Joey will be of particular use for consumers who want to install TVs in rooms that lack coaxial or Ethernet ports. The company also cites the Wireless Joey's 802.11ac wireless technology, which it claims can deliver a stronger signal than similar boxes from competitors.

Not every DISH user will need a Wireless Joey; in particular, it does not offer much to users who have already made accommodations for TVs in every desired room, or who have Ethernet ports for the product's wired version. Furthermore, a Hopper has only three tuners, meaning that users who already have three TVs set up in their homes will have to install an additional Hopper before investing in Wireless Joeys.

Still, the box could be a good investment for a child's bedroom, or an impromptu backyard setup. The Wireless Joey is available now, and costs $50 for initial setup plus $7 per month for each box.

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Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.