More from the Consumer Electronics Show: Dish soups up ad-skipping Hopper

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Posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 12:00 am | Updated: 11:10 am, Tue Mar 25, 2014.

Dish Network Corp. on Monday introduced a new version of its ad-skipping set-top box, seeking to lure satellite-TV subscribers by letting them record more shows simultaneously and beam programs to screens throughout the home.

Dish unveiled the revamped Hopper device at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, equipping it with a set of add-on gadgets called Joeys.

Dish is racing against traditional competitors such as DirecTV and newer rivals like Netflix Inc. to develop ways to deliver shows and movies to phones, tablets and Internet- connected TVs. The Englewood, Colo.-based carrier has raised the ire of broadcasters with AutoHop, the Hopper feature that lets users leave out ads on recorded shows.

The new Super Joey device connects to a TV in a separate room and expands the number of channels the Hopper can record to eight from six. The Wireless Joey allows a TV not hooked up to the satellite service to stream programs from the Hopper. LG Electronics Inc.’s Smart TVs will also be able to display Hopper-recorded shows, Dish said. — Bloomberg News

SAN FRANCISCO — LG Electronics is bringing its smartphone with a curved six-inch screen to the U.S. later this year.

The deals announced Monday with wireless carriers AT&T Inc., Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. will give U.S. consumers their first chance to buy LG’s “G Flex.” The device is being touted as the first step in the smartphone’s evolution from a rectangle that doesn’t bend into a device that someday will be able to roll up like a scroll or fold like a wallet.

The G Flex is a long way from reaching that goal. Besides a concave screen, the G Flex’s other distinguishing features are a curved battery and a special coating designed to automatically repair minor scratches to the exterior.

LG Electronics began selling the G Flex in South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong late last year.

The precise timing of the G Flex’s U.S. release or how much the phone will cost hasn’t been disclosed yet. — AP

The Consumer Electronics Association estimates that global spending on technology will slip 1 percent this year to $1.06 trillion as the lower average selling price of smartphones and tablets offsets unit growth in markets like China.

The decline is off the peak of $1.07 trillion estimated for 2013.

Steve Koenig, the association’s director of industry analysis, said the retreat doesn’t reflect less consumer appetite for what he called the “dynamic duo” of tech gadgets. Spending on smartphones and tablets is still expected to account for some 43 cents of every dollar spent on technology this year.

But the average price of smartphones, for example, will fall from $444 in 2010 to an estimated $297 this year, despite the number of smartphones sold rising to 1.21 billion up from 1.01 billion.

“These lower-end devices are what’s required to penetrate most deeply into these emerging markets,” he said. — AP

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