Pros Large storage
All-at-once parental controls
Automatic Prime Time recording option
Cons Small text on program guide
Can't find automatic shutoff option
Not enough free, On Demand programming
Summary I'd recommend this for anyone who needs to upgrade from older standard def receivers now, but anyone else with a system that works should probably wait a while. Online video services don't really include anything worthwhile unless you pay extra. I couldn't find any option to resize the programming guide for larger, easier-to-read text. I also couldn't find any option to change or disable the automatic shutoff timer.
So far I like having three tuners instead of two and the automatic recording option for prime time so I didn't need to set a dozen separate timers. I also liked seeing the parental control option to block all channels at once. This will make it a lot easier when I need to make sure my teenage kids don't waste too much time watching TV during the day.
This is definitely an improvement over my standard def DVR 625 receiver, but I really don't think I'd see it as a critical upgrade worth spending a lot of money on. I also don't think this upgrade would be so critical if I already had a high-def system that is working. The only critical feature for me was upgrading to high def after buying a new TV, and I was able to get the Hopper upgrade for free by telling Dish Network I was planning to switch to Directv.
Pros Nice User Interface
Commercial Auto Hop
More than I can list
Cons Only has 3 tuners
No PIP on Joeys
Blockbuster@home has limited on demand content
No Netflix support
Summary Overall I love the Hopper system. I switched from directv over billing/pricing issues and they wanted us to pay $250 to install whole home dvr with them. Anyway, the hopper system is very cool. There are software flaws that can be very annoying, but it is still a very new system for dish, and they deserve time to figure out the flaws. The biggest thing I don't like about the hopper is there are only 3 tuners for the hopper and joeys to use. Especially during primetime anytime. Then there are only two tuners for the hopper and two joey I have to use. I have heard rumors though that a software update is being made to support multiple hoppers in one system. One nice thing about primetime anytime shows, is after 1 A.M. most previously recorded primetime anytime will get the Auto hop feature. This is feature eliminates commercial breaks! When you select a show to watch that has this it will ask you if you want to enable auto hop on that episode. Then, the most you will see of each commercial break is a couple of seconds. It does it automatically when there is a commercial break. So far this works really good. The new user interface is really cool. On the guide it has the logo of each channel. Sounds dumb, but it makes is a lot easier and quicker to see what the channel is. The hopper is very fast. On the guide I can scroll through channels so quickly I can't even read them. It doesn't pause like my directv receivers did when I went quickly through the guide either. In the new interface a lot of it is picture driven. It uses a lot of pictures for the menu, on demand, recordings, etc. For example, when I go to on demand or into the dvr library, I see pictures for the show with the show title under neath it. It looks really clean this way. A few things I don't like are no picture in picture on the joeys, there a limited number of apps (I have heard there is more coming soon), the blockbuster@home and on demand have a limited number of newer movies for free, and it would be nice to stream Netflix to the hopper, because then I could view Netflix on the joey. Overall though, if you don't mind a few bugs and inconveniences this is a great system, and it keeps getting better. This has the potential to be an awesome piece of technology.
Pros None at all
Cons Prime Time doesn't skip commercials
Prime Time Shows disappearing by next morning
Tech Support very bad (20 calls) (6 home visits) (2 new hoppers)
Dish Anywhere always says DVR offline when it isn't
Summary This has been a bad move for me. I switched from TWC to Dish and Hopper w/sling because I wanted the Prime Time feature and the ability to skip commercials. It worked for exactly 1 month. For 2 months now it has not allowed me to skip commercials on prime time anytime. This week it has now started erasing those shows by the next morning even though I have 85% space on my DVR. I have called Dish 20 times, had 6 home visits and wrote a letter to the corporate office, all to no avail. No one seems to be able to fix these issues and it is getting worse and worse. I am going to have to go back to TWC, no choice Dish simply doesn't work.
Pros Lots of channels, great picture, slight lower price than the competition.
Cons Piece of crap shuts off every night for 20 minutes of updating and there is NO WAY to stop this.
Summary Many people have asked disk to stop this but they ignore everyone.
Pros The technology and idea behind this are solid. The units seem to work well. Most importantly, if CBS is suing them, they must be doing something right!
Cons The content delivered is still broadcast TV - so obviously, if local broadcasts don't interest you, this won't be of much use to you.
Summary The world is changing, CBS is scared, and this product is a brilliant idea - for those who need it.