The NCAA Tournament tips off on Thursday afternoon, and DISH Network wants to ensure that its customers—specifically those with the Hopper 3 in their possession—are ready to fully immerse themselves in the 67 games that will take place over the next three weeks. To do that, DISH announced on Thursday (the first day of the first round of the tourney) that it launched Sports Bar Mode, also known as MultiView, for the Hopper 3.
Sports Bar Mode is described by DISH as a multi-channel view that divides a 4K or HDTV screen into quadrants, each with the ability to display content from a different channel. The feature works by decoding any four different feeds and displaying them simultaneously. Thus, a viewer will be able to tune into, for example, CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV—all channels that will broadcast NCAA Tournament games this weekend—all at the same time, so they’ll never miss a moment of the action.
According to DISH, Sports Bar Mode was included in the latest software update that was pushed to Hopper 3 set-top boxes on Wednesday night. That update also included a number of performance enhancements and bug fixes, DISH said.
“This technology replicates the fan experience of catching several games at once, now from the comfort of your home instead of heading to a local pub,” Vivek Khemka, DISH Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, said in a statement. “Sports Bar Mode is an especially useful tool throughout the month of March, as the tournament airs across four different channels. Not to mention, it’s great for households who don’t want to miss their favorite drama or sitcom, but also want to keep tabs on any live basketball games.”
When the Madness ends, Hopper 3 users will find that the Sports Bar Mode does function well with all other live, linear channels in DISH’s programming lineup, as well as with on demand content and recorded TV shows and movies. To access Sports Bar Mode, the user can press the “Options” button on the remote, select “Picture In Picture,” then “MultiView.” When the screen is divided into quadrants, the user toggles among the four channels to determine which will have its audio played.
The Hopper 3 does include additional multi-channel configurations, DISH said, including a split-screen feature that places two channels side-by-side, and a setting that overlays a second channel picture-in-picture style in the upper right hand corner of the TV screen.