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Dish brings its service to LG Smart TVs with 'Virtual Joey'

If you own an LG Smart TV and have a Dish Hopper subscription, you soon won't need a separate set-top box to get Dish's full service on that TV.

The Dish app running on an LG Smart TV -- it creates a virtual set-top box, the 'Virtual Joey.' Dish

LAS VEGAS -- Someday physical set-top boxes will become things of the past. You'll get cable and satellite TV through apps and your DVR recordings will be stored in the cloud.

That's not going to happen tomorrow, but Dish has announced that you can now watch its service on LG Smart TVs by simply launching the new Dish app that will soon be part of LG's Smart TV platform, which runs on Palm's resurrected WebOS.

You'll have to have a subscription to Dish along with a Hopper DVR in your house to get Dish on your LG Smart TV. (The Hopper's ability to autoskip TV commercials on its recordings is the subject of ongoing lawsuits from the major TV broadcasters, including CBS, the parent company of CNET.) But the idea here is that you get to do away with the physical set-top box you'd normally have to attach to your TV and pay a few bucks a month to rent.

For those unfamiliar with Dish's kangaroo-based terminology, the company calls its multiroom set-top extender box the Joey (the master unit/DVR is the Hopper), so its not surprising it's calling this software-only approach the Virtual Joey.

Today's Dish announcement is a little teaser in advance of the company's official press conference tomorrow, where it's expected to unveil more new products. We'll be covering that press conference at 11 a.m. PT, so tune into our live blog to get the full skinny.

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