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Echostar Exits Home Security

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Dish Network’s corporate cousin is undergoing an overhaul. Echostar, the Dish spinoff that operates the satellite fleet beaming its TV and internet signals, and that manufactures its TV receivers, has begun dropping product lines and corporate holdings. Echostar said it wants to concentrate on “areas that we are confident will produce positive bottom line impact”.

Sage by Hughes didn’t make the cut. Echostar announced yesterday that it will drop the home security and automation system.

Sage didn’t get much time to prove itself. It was released it as a do-it-yourself system only last March, and as a retail product in May. Shortly afterward, Sage announced that it would support Google’s Nest components.

One of the most important elements in the Sage by Hughes system is a hub that controls TV sets. The hub apparently was meant to enhance Dish Network TV service.

Mike Dugan, Echostar’s CEO, said, “Although the product had a number of groundbreaking features, a dramatic change in the competitive landscape heavily impacted our chance for this product (to produce) significant long term results for Echostar.” Dugan went on to say, “I still think this product has potential. It has some great features… but for Echostar, we just weren’t ready to proceed at this time. (We) will continue to develop consumer-facing products, and we will take some hard lessons learned from our Sage efforts.” Other products which Dugan called significant milestones for his company include Dish’s Hopper GO and voice-activated remote.

What, then, did Dugan mean by “a dramatic change in the competitive landscape”? It could mean the recent entry of numerous small startups into the home security/automation market. Echostar apparently believes that cutthroat price competition will make it difficult for anyone to profit.

Dugan said that his company will “continue to heavily invest and develop the Sling TV service”. Sling TV is a semi-independent internet video streaming platform. It began operating in the Spring of 2015.  It offers multiple channels for a low monthly rate. Unlike conventional satellite TV service, it doesn’t require credit checks, long term commitments, or installation of specialized equipment. It is compatible with almost every computer, smart phone, or dedicated video streaming device.

Echostar evidently believes it can best serve its customers by concentrating on its video products line.

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