Technology

After much controversy, DISH officially named CES ‘Best of Show’

February 02, 2013

LAS VEGAS, Feb 2 — The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has belatedly named the DISH Hopper with Sling TV set-top box the “Best of Show” at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) almost three weeks after the annual tech event came to a close and the awards were initially presented.

The DISH Hopper with Sling. How can one little black box cause so much trouble? Because it automatically edits commercials from TV recordings. — Picture courtesy of DISHThe DISH Hopper with Sling. How can one little black box cause so much trouble? Because it automatically edits commercials from TV recordings. — Picture courtesy of DISHThe feature-packed HD DVR will share the title with the Razer Edge gaming tablet, the original recipient of the CNET-sponsored and judged award, first announced on January 11. 

Of the award, DISH president and CEO Joseph Clayton said: “We appreciate the International CES’s decision to stand with the consumer in the acknowledgement of this award. With today’s announcement, the Consumer Electronics Association demonstrates the roles innovation and leadership must play in our industry.”

Though clearly of one the most innovative devices at CES 2013, the Hopper with Sling was disqualified from receiving an award as CBS Corp, parent company of technology news site CNET, is currently in litigation with DISH over its ad-skipping technology.

NBC, Fox and ABC have also filed suit against the company as the networks believe this ability to automatically edit out commercials from TV recordings will destroy the current broadcast TV business model. They also claim that DISH does not have the right to remove advertising from broadcast replays for its own financial gain.

However, in a statement, CEA president Gary Shapiro said that “making television easier to watch is not against the law. It is simply pro-innovation and pro-consumer.”

The decision to tamper with the voting process undermined CNET’s editorial independence, leading one of its journalists to resign in protest and prompting competing blog Tech Crunch to offer space on its site for CNET journalists to run stories, anonymously, on products and technologies that CBS wants to veto.

The negative publicity the episode has generated not only led the CEA to reverse the original voting decision but to cut its ties with CNET. It is currently looking for a new partner to run the Best of CES awards programme in the future. 

“CES has enjoyed a long and productive partnership with CNET and the Best of CES awards,” said Karen Chupka, senior vice-president, events and conferences for CEA. “However, we are concerned the new review policy will have a negative impact on our brand should we continue the awards relationship as currently constructed. We look forward to receiving new ideas to recognise the ‘best of the best’ products introduced at the International CES.” — AFP-Relaxnews