If you are comparing Dish Network products, one of the set-top boxes you’re looking at is probably the Hopper 3. This $350 satellite receiver can do a bit of everything and has gotten very strong reviews: let’s take a closer look. If you’re making a decision about a TV service, take a look at our review of Cox vs DirecTV.
TG praised the ability of the Hopper 3 to record up to 16 shows at the same time, a nice option if you have a large family or a lot of roommates who watch many different shows (you also get the ability to watch four different shows at once, assuming there are enough screens in the house to allow it).
The interface also gets acknowledgment for being more streamlined and much faster to respond, so programming all those shows won’t take as much time. However, you do have to get used to a new controller layout that’s significantly different from the old version.
“Dish has consistently been the leading innovator in delivering over-the-air TV to your home, and with the Hopper 3, the company is continuing that tradition. Dish’s newest DVR brings with it a number of improvements. The feature that will have the most immediate impact is the ability to record up to 16 shows at once. The DVR also boasts faster performance, a simplified remote and the ability to let you watch up to four shows at once.”
PC Mag was quick to note that this new version of the Hopper 3 supports 4k content, but also reminded buyers that the only 4k content the Hopper 3 is likely to access is the 4k movies on Dish VOD, as well as any 4k content that your Netflix package may include.
This is essentially a long-term investment. If you already have a 4k TV, you probably want a receiver that’s ready for 4k content in the future when satellite channels stat making it more available. Of course, you’ll also have to change out your antenna as well, so it’s important to keep in mind all the necessary upgrades!
“The box also supports 4K resolution, and will presumably be able to display 4K streams as soon as satellite channels support them. For now, however, your 4K content is limited to a selection of films available on demand through Dish and on Netflix. I loaded the 4K version of The Amazing Spider-Man on the Hopper 3 and it played in the proper resolution.”
Amazon User Reviews
Amazon users underlined the importance of understanding just what the Hopper 3 could do and liked the ability to save and watch so many shows simultaneously. However, they had a lot of problems with bugs and interfaces that other reviews apparently didn’t encounter. It seems that the first consumer-facing Hopper 3 models tend to have changed a little too much, leaving people confused and annoyed by the new interface and the new remote. Prepare for a bit of a learning curve for this one.
“I switched from having 2 of the 722 Dish DVR’s to the hopper 3 for the extra tuners. The hopper 3 has a lot of bugs as stated in other reviews and I think it was a big mistake for it to be introduced without being debugged first. Instead of staying with the operating system in the current DVRs it has all new software. While Dish has never in my opinion been great at On Demand the new menu system makes it harder to find a show you search for and in some cases it won’t find a show you’re looking for without going through a bunch of annoying steps.”
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