Satellite television provider Dish Network on Monday announced the nationwide availability of its new Hopper 3 set top box, the latest iteration of a device that has made some serious waves in the industry. Dish’s Hopper burst onto the scene and caused an uproar among major networks due to its “auto hop” feature, which allowed users to record prime time television shows and then automatically skip over all TV commercials during playback.
Despite all of the outrage and even a high-profile lawsuit, auto hop remains a key feature of the Hopper line, and it was just joined by a number of additional new features in the Hopper 3.
According to a press release issued on Monday morning, Dish’s new Hopper 3 includes a number of features that subscribers have been clamoring for. First and foremost, the device includes 16 tuners to practically guarantee that there will never be any conflicts when recording programs with the Hopper 3’s DVR.
Many pay TV boxes include only a few tuners. This means recording conflicts may arise when several programs are set to record on different channels at the same time. With 16 tuners, the Hopper 3 makes these conflicts highly unlikely, even if members of a household are watching other channels while the DVR is recording.
Here are the Hopper 3’s key new features, as outlined in Dish’s press release:
- 16 tuners – Hopper 3 contains 16 tuners, making it easy for viewers to watch shows in multiple rooms, view live programs remotely via DISH Anywhere and set multiple recordings, all at the same time and without the need to manage conflicts or cancel timers.
- 4K video – Hopper 3 decodes and outputs 4K video and comes equipped with a selection of 4K programming, including titles from Sony Pictures. 4K content from Netflix will also be coming to Hopper 3 in the near future.
- Support for seven TVs – Hopper 3 supports up to six Joeys simultaneously, powering a total of seven TVs at one time. The DVR is compatible with the standard Joey, Wireless Joey and 4K Joey. DISH is delivering enhanced connectivity options to drive the whole-home experience, including MoCA 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet.
- Universal search with Netflix – Hopper 3 will soon feature the Netflix app and integrate Netflix titles into its universal search results. With this new functionality, customers who search for a TV series will see a list that incorporates episodes from Netflix, DVR recordings, on demand options and future airings, depending on availability of each.
- Sports Bar Mode – Another feature coming soon to Hopper 3 is 4K Sports Bar Mode, a multi-channel view that divides the TV screen into quadrants, each with the ability to display a different program in HD.
Most Dish customers can get the Hopper 3 with no upfront cost and it requires the company’s “whole-home DVR fee” of $15 per month. The Hopper 3 serves as a home’s main box, and then each Joey — Dish’s set top boxes that are used with additional TVs in a household — costs $7 per month.