Although it has released several new models since the iPad 2 debuted back in March of 2011, Apple still offers the IPad 2 for $399. Apple is expected to release a new iPad model later this month which could mean the iPad 2 will be discontinued and the current iPad with Retina display becomes Apple's lower cost 'value' tablet.
So while a "free" iPad is still a good deal if you're going to get the Dish service anyway, the iPad 2 is very much yesterday's model. Also, several features in Apple's latest software update, iOS 7, aren't available on the iPad 2 including Siri, AirDrop and video sharing via PhotoStream.
Tablets are increasingly being used by consumers as so-called "second screen" devices to get more information the shows they are watching, if not for some other activity altogether.
A study released by Accenture back in April found a huge number of viewers aren’t satisfied just watching TV and channel surfing, they’re also using second-screen devices (laptops, tablets and smartphones) and even old-school multitasking with books and newspapers.
"The rise in multitasking while watching TV suggests that scheduled programming, also known as Linear TV, may be losing its appeal for sophisticated users, presenting both challenges and opportunities for broadcasters and content providers," said Francesco Venturini, broadcast lead for Accenture’s Media & Entertainment industry group.