DISH Network has provided details on its new Hopper 3 DVR, which should be available to DISH customers in early 2016. The Hopper 3 supports 4K content, in the form of on-demand titles made available from studios like Sony and via the Ultra HD version of the box's integrated Netflix app. The Hopper 3 has 16 tuners and 2 TB of internal storage, with a USB 3.0 port to add more storage. The new DVR will be faster than previous Hoppers, will include a voice-control remote, and will feature DISH's new Sports Bar Mode to watch four 1080p screens simultaneously.
From DISH Network
DISH Network L.L.C. has unveiled the Hopper 3 and HopperGO, each packed with industry firsts designed to change the way consumers find, record, stream, watch and transport content. The next generation of the company's whole-home DVR, the Hopper 3, features 16 tuners, 4K content options including the proprietary "Sports Bar Mode," and integration of Netflix into its universal search results. The pocket-sized HopperGO wireless flash drive stores up to 100 hours of recorded content for offline viewing on smartphones and tablets.
"Today we are giving consumers even more choice and control over their viewing experience by introducing the most advanced DVR in the world, while also redefining the mobile viewing experience," said Vivek Khemka, DISH Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. "Hopper 3 is more than just a DVR; it's an entertainment hub that supports and centralizes the various content types popular today, like streaming apps and Ultra HD, while engineered to adapt with the trends on the horizon, like linear 4K."
Industry-leading 16 tuners create conflict-free TV experience
The Hopper 3 contains 16 tuners, more than any other DVR in the world. The expansion makes 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.
"Consumers may not spend a lot of time thinking about how many tuners they have, but they do care about being able to watch and record all the shows they want to see when they want to see them," said Khemka. "Having 16 tuners enables us to give our customers a conflict-free viewing experience while also supporting advanced features like our new 4K Sports Bar Mode."
Sports Bar Mode, content partnerships maximize 4K experience
DISH is the first pay-TV provider to offer the 4K Sports Bar Mode, a multi-channel view that divides the screen into quadrants, each with the ability to display a different program in 1080. The feature works by decoding any four different HD feeds and displaying them simultaneously.
To enrich customers' 4K experience even further, DISH is announcing agreements with Sony Pictures, The Orchard and Mance Media to deliver movies and other 4K content directly to the Hopper 3 and 4K Joey. At launch, customers with these boxes will be able to rent on demand popular Sony titles such as "The Amazing Spiderman," "American Hustle" and "Smurfs 2" in 4K.
"The affordability of 4K TVs has increased dramatically, and consumers are hungry for content and features that really showcase the picture and put the technology to work," said Khemka. "With Sports Bar Mode, we wanted to replicate the fan experience of enjoying several games simultaneously for the home, and combining this feature with our new content offerings gives viewers a rich 4K viewing experience unavailable elsewhere."
Netflix now integrated into Hopper search
After becoming the first major U.S. pay-TV provider to integrate Netflix into a set-top box, DISH is taking the experience a step further by integrating Netflix into 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. Netflix 4K content will also be available for viewing on the Hopper 3 and 4K Joey, broadening the selection of Ultra HD content available to customers.
"The integration of Netflix titles into our search results is one more way we are making the Hopper a true entertainment hub, enabling viewers to easily find the programming they want to watch without having to run multiple searches across platforms," said Khemka.
Netflix inclusion in universal search will be available on both the Hopper 2 and Hopper 3.
YouTube integration brings popular videos to the TV screen
In the coming months, DISH will launch YouTube on the Hopper 3, bringing viral videos and content from a new generation of entertainment stars to the TV screen via a set-top box. YouTube joins several Hopper apps and features that together bring a range of entertainment options to customers, including Netflix, Pandora, Vevo, The Weather Channel and Hopper Arcade.
"Our strategy with Hopper apps is tied to the variety of sources that consumers access for entertainment and information today, making the Hopper a one-stop source for popular content," said Khemka. "The addition of YouTube fits perfectly with this strategy, bringing the videos dominating the Internet today to customers' living rooms, all without the need to switch inputs or devices."
Enhanced processing, storage and connectivity to power the whole home experience
Adding to the conflict-free viewing experience is the Hopper 3's ability to support 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 the soon to be released 4K Joey. DISH is delivering enhanced connectivity options to drive the whole-home experience, including MoCA 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet.
The Hopper 3 is powered by the fastest set-top box processor available, the Broadcom 7445, a quad-core Arm processor, giving the new DVR seven times the speed of the Hopper 2. It contains 2 TB of internal storage, enough to save up to 500 hours of HD content, more than any other pay-TV provider. The Hopper 3 is the first DVR to use USB 3.0 connectivity for external storage expansion, which allows for transfer speeds ten times faster than USB 2.0. It features a sleek, modern UI/UX and is navigated using the Hopper Voice Remote. The Hopper 3 will be available in early 2016.
HopperGO personal mobile video drive stores 100 hours of recorded content
A pioneer in delivering true "TV anywhere," DISH has offered features like Hopper Transfers that give customers the ability to transfer recorded content to mobile devices for nearly a decade. Today the brand is announcing an even more revolutionary way to transfer, store and watch recorded content on the move, the HopperGO. With the HopperGO, every member of the family can take a favorite program with them on vacation.
The HopperGO experience begins by connecting the compact, lightweight device to a Hopper 2 or Hopper 3 via USB. The connection both charges the HopperGO battery (for up to four hours of viewing) and enables users to move up to 100 hours of recorded content from the DVR to the device's 64 GB of flash memory.
The HopperGO then creates a secure, private Wi-Fi cloud to play back different transferred shows on up to five devices at once, meaning several viewers can be watching a different show off HopperGO at the same time.
"We found that the biggest pain point for consumers in using our Hopper Transfers feature was running out of space to store movies and shows on their mobile devices," said Khemka. "When taking a trip, often you want to have several entertainment options, and HopperGO gives customers the ability to transport a variety of content for every member of the family, without having to worry about running out of storage."
The HopperGO will be available late Q1 for a one-time cost of $99. There are no monthly fees associated with using the device.
• CES 2016 Show Report and Photo Slideshow at HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Dish Network Adds Kids Profiles to DISH Anywhere App at HomeTheaterReview.com.