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DISH And Netflix

Do They Play Nice Together?

That, as they say, is a great question! Quite a few people ask about whether they can access Netflix streaming movies and other online content with their DISH system. As near as I’ve been able to figure so far, the answer appears to be “yes.”

With the introduction of new, more advanced and more capable equipment over the last few years, DISH was able to integrate Netflix with their latest DVRs or set-top boxes. It’s not likely that DISH subscribers will be able to access Netflix if they still have older equipment, so an upgrade may be required for people who want to access Netflix through their DISH set-up.

Subscribers with The Hopper whole-home DVR should be able to access Netflix directly if they have that option as part of their subscription package, but those who have standard DVRs, like the Vip922 may not be able to do that. Changes and upgrades to equipment and services do sometimes change available features, so it’s probably best for current subscribers who do not have Netflix access to give DISH a call and ask them whether they have the option of accessing Netflix through their DISH system.

Humble Beginnings

The research I did on this subject indicated that things have definitely improved for DISH customers who would like to access Netflix streaming content, but first let’s talk about how it evolved.

The release of the DISH ViP922 DVR seems to have opened the doors to the possibility of viewing Netflix streaming content on a DISH system. Some more technically-savvy subscribers were able to view Netflix content on their ViP922 by installing special software on a PC that could make Netflix content available to other devices on the same local area network (LAN). They would then access the PC from the DVR and reportedly be able to watch Netflix streaming content.

Not having a ViP922 myself (I had the ViP622), I never indulged in those kinds of experiments. They do, of course, involve a bit more computer know-how than the average consumer, and that was probably not a great solution for most people.

For those that are interested, what I read involved the use of software called “PlayOn” which enabled users to make their PC a DLNA-enabled device, and therefore able to serve up video content for other devices on the network to access, such as the ViP922 DVR in this case.

Whether or not this type of makeshift set-up will still work is something I don’t have the answer to. Those that like experimenting with these kinds of projects may want to give it a try and see if it still works.Alternatively, subscribers could just upgrade to The Hopper DVR with an appropriate programming package to get seamless access to Netflix.

Wouldn’t DISH Be Hurting Their Own Business?

Since DISH is in the business of generating revenue from subscribers who sign up for premium movie packages or rent pay-per-view movies, it might seem like a bad business decision to allow access to Netflix streaming content through a DISH system.

Not being a DISH CEO, executive or even an employee, I cannot speculate a whole lot about what kind of decisions are best for the company. What I do know is that this industry is constantly evolving. While DISH may be enabling access to a competing service like Netflix for now, they may also be preparing a service of their own which will compete and perhaps be even better than Netflix.

Cable TV viewers have had access to a huge library of on-demand content for a while now and that’s surely not something the satellite TV providers like DISH have been ignoring. They have already started offering on-demand content via internet and I think we will see those offerings expand in the future.

To sum up, it appears Netflix is indeed available for DISH subscribers who have the type of equipment that will enable Netflix to be accessed seamlessly through their DISH system. The Hopper whole-home DVR has that capability but subscribers should check with DISH if they have other equipment and want to access Netflix.