Another shameless review–Dish Network The Hopper


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Full and honest opening disclaimer – I’ve been a dish network customer for more than 15 years.

The hopper is a new system that dish has brought out to compete with some of the many cable offerings in the DVR and whole home television space. Dish purchased Sling a few years back and this is an extension/improvement/next generation of the Sling Catcher technology. The Hopper acts as a “base station” or home rebroadcast system. This rebroadcast is sent to the “joey’s” that are connected via cable to the Hopper. By cable it’s the wired cable within the house allowing for a rebroadcast of the digital signal from one device to the other.

There are a couple of other interesting innovations that move the receiver high on my list – the first is the full integration of blockbuster on demand. That puts thousands of movies at your fingertips, the newer Pay-per-view movies and the BB on demand service. I suspect they preloaded mine with movies they knew I would like, so I downloaded and watched the horrible movies 1941. It’s a guilty pleasure to watch a movie that stupid that it is funny.

I haven’t tried dish remote access yet – will try that and post another review later.

Another new feature that is interesting is the “Prime time” feature. It lets you record all the shows on primetime (plus up to 3 more shows for a total of 6 shows at once). You can then watch the shows at your convenience. I like to record discovery (How the planet was made and Universe are two particular favorites) and the boys like to record myth busters. In the past we had more shows in some time slots than we had ability to record. Now we can record and watch what we want, when we want.

Overall my personal assessment is that the system is a nice improvement over some of the other existing systems out there. As we get more and more services from our entertainment systems it will be interesting to see how things progress. So far Dish has done a great job integrating two of their purchases – Sling and Blockbuster to produce a more robust and improved solution.

.doc

5 thoughts on “Another shameless review–Dish Network The Hopper

  1. Scott it’s nice to talk to another customer about this, just to see how others like it. As a DISH customer and employee myself, I was a beta-tester for the Hopper before it was released to the public and as soon as it was installed I knew they were really on to something. You mentioned the PrimeTime Anytime feature, which is my favorite, as well. Between me, my wife, my mother in law who lives with us, and our two teenage kids (13yo girl, 16yo boy) suffice to say we all have a pretty different taste in the shows we watched. It seemed like we argued every week over who had to get a show skipped because of a timer conflict, and it seemed like that person was usually me. Now though, with the ability to record 6 programs at once, that argument is literally a thing of the past. It’s just NOT an issue any more, and let me tell you, any extra bit of peace in the house is ALWAYS welcome!

  2. Did you guys see the latest updates for the Hopper? A few weeks ago, in April, Dish added support for Pandora and doubled the user recording space from 250 hours of HD recording to 500. Last week they introduced a new feature that I found out about when I got home from a long night working at Dish. I went to the Primetime Anytime section of my Hopper and hit play on an episode of Law and Order: SVU. I was shocked when my Hopper asked me if I wanted to skip the commercials for that episode. It’s called Auto Hop and I don’t know how they can top it.

    1. I used the auto hop feature last night. It was great – interesting that some vendors (show sponsors) got around the auto-skip a little but the system corrected itself pretty quickly. It is an amazing feature.

  3. Why don’t CBS, FOX, and NBC exec want consumers to enjoy commercial-free TV? It’s what we want! I’m a customer and employee of Dish, and I think AutoHop is great because you can easily watch commercial-free TV. A well known consumer advocacy group, Public Knowledge, agrees that people should have the right to control how they watch TV. They’re taking a stand for consumers by creating a petition that tells CBS, FOX, and NBC media to keep their hands out of your living room and DVR. Sign their petition to keep control of how you watch TV http://bit.ly/KFdn1Q

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