DirecTV Genie vs. DISH Hopper: How the Genie and the Hopper Compare

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Updated June 27, 2022

DIRECTV and DISH both have whole-home DVR features, dubbed the DIRECTV Genie and DISH Hopper systems. But let’s take a look at what makes these two different from each other.

Dish TV vs Directv. Which is best for you?

The DISH Hopper

The DISH Hopper offers a basic DVR setup that lets you record up to six shows at a time. However, the shows you can record are limited to four local channels and two added satellite channels.

Update: The third gen Hopper now boasts 16 tuners and can finally output 4K video.  With that you’ll gain support for up to seven TVs in one household. According to Dish you can grab a new Hopper 3 with no upfront cost, though you’ll have to be “qualified” to do so. And keep in mind that if you want to access 4K, you’ll have to pay an extra $15 a month, which covers the entire home.

The Hopper has recently been upgraded to include a new setup. With this new setup,  the user can rewind back to the start of a show as it is in progress. This means that a person can start from the beginning, even after the show has already started. This works as long as a program is in the VOD library.

The Hopper also records primetime programs. It will automatically record your favorite shows, as they appear each week. The ‘Primetime Anytime’ feature also allows you to watch primetime shows up to eight days after they aired. You can even permanently save some of your content as needed. The ‘Primetime Anytime’ recordings will not be included in your DVR capacity either.

The ‘AutoHop’ feature will let you skip commercials on some networks. This is specifically for local channels and for pre-recorded shows in the ‘Primetime Anytime’ setup.

You can also stream On-Demand programs through an online connection. You just need to link Hopper up to a smartphone or tablet so you can easily enjoy watching your favorite show in a variety of places. Additionally, you can add extra receivers to your Hopper. These are called Joeys, and they will link up to the main DVR unit so you can play back items in other spots around your home.

The SRS TruVolume system works well to keep the volume at a steady level. It automatically controls the volume on whatever you are watching, preventing the levels from spiking as you switch from one channel to the next.


The DIRECTV Genie functions similarly to the DISH Hopper, and records five channels at a time. This is one less channel than the Hopper, but the Genie allows you to record five shows on any HD channel. You can do this regardless of whether it is HD or not. However, the Genie only offers 1 TB of data storage space, which is obviously less than what the 2 TB that the Hopper offers.

The Genie offers an On-Demand streaming system. This streaming system will allow you to watch shows that are on the VOD network at any time. And it allows you to watch shows up to five weeks after they air. You can scan the guide for information on the programming that will appear up to two weeks in advance. Additionally, you can set recordings for those times in the future.

Just like with the Hopper, you can restart a show that you missed from the beginning in real time. The Genie also has a unique picture-in-picture viewing system. This viewing system lets you watch two programs at the same time on the same screen.

The Genie also has a recommendations feature, which will recommend shows to you based on what you have already seen.

Like with the Hopper, you can get up to four Genie models, and the Mini Clients can be placed anywhere in your home.

The Cost of the DIRECTV Genie vs. DISH Hopper

The Genie and Hopper are both available for free with select packages, but you can get up to three of either the Genie or the Hopper free with select programs. You will not be able to take advantage of either offer with cheapest packages, although the terms will certainly vary based on whatever package you might choose.

What Other Receivers are Available?

DIRECTV and DISH both have their own alternative options for satellite tv receivers. Individual options for each are available with HD support, but some of them do not offer any DVR support. Also, some options use SD signals, and are made exclusively for traditional standard definition television sets.

The features that are included will certainly vary, so it helps to look at each option in order to see what might be more appropriate for your general demands. The Hopper and Genie are both different in terms of what they have to offer, so be sure to compare them before you make a decision on which option might be right for your television viewing desires.

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