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Considering the hopper

Discussion in 'Hopper System Support Forum' started by AlphaWolf, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf New Member

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    Right now I am on Cox with an HDHomeRun Prime and two Tivo HD's.

    Cox is annoying in that they flag all channels as copy protected, so all of my DVR's are heavily limited in features. Plus dish is a lot cheaper, so I am looking at switching.

    That said, is there an up to date list of bugs, considerations, and annoyances that I should know about when switching from tivo to hopper? Any features I'll lose like dual live buffers?

    Also it is looking like I will need two hoppers and three joeys since I have 5 TV's. Will this act as one cohesive unit? (e.g. Both hoppers can automatically spread scheduling amongst each others tuners and view each others programming, and joeys will automatically switch to another hopper's tuner if they need an additional live tv buffer.)

    Also, is the slingbox they sell with it DRM encumbered? Or is the video sent over the network in the clear? (which would allow for e.g. VLC support, even if VLC doesn't currently support it.)
     
  2. RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

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    You have to use the Sling software to view it. VLC won't cut it.

    Hoppers don't share schedules. Joeys need to be manually linked to another Hopper if you want to switch it.

    Hopper's tuners act as dual live buffers, just use the Swap function on the main TV.
     
  3. djlong

    djlong Hall Of Fame

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    I have two hoppers and three joeys.

    I never use the 2nd hopper. Originally, I had both hoppers and a joey in the 'main' room so that the Joey would access whichever hopper was needed. The reason that the 2nd hopper is never used is because the 3 tuners plus PTAT have turned out to be enough for recording.

    Now that one hopper can "see" the other (but not any external drive on it), I'm thinking of moving things around - leaving the 'main' hopper in the main room, moving a Joey to a spare bedroom and the 2nd hopper to the living room OR sending it back to Dish and reducing my bill.
     
  4. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf New Member

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    How many TVs are you running? Is there a limit to the number of joeys to a hopper?

    Has dish announced any plans of doing that? Also do you have to link the joey to another hopper if you intend on watching videos on the other hopper (not live tv)
     
  5. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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  6. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    You can link three Joeys to a Hopper but with only three tuners on a Hopper a second Hopper is recommended. Otherwise the additional Joeys will have to watch what others are watching or pre-recorded programs.

    There are no plans known to share schedules between Hoppers. The schedule on each Hopper reflects the timers set on that Hopper plus any timers set by a Joey when connected to that Hopper.

    You do not need to link the Joey to the other Hopper to watch content from the other Hopper ... you just need to select the other Hopper from the My Recordings screen. Once you are finished watching the recorded program the Joey will return to the Hopper it is connected to.

    If you choose to change the link from one Hopper to the other then when you are not watching a pre-recorded program you will share the tuners on that Hopper.
     
  7. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    perhaps Joey ?
     
  8. scottchez

    scottchez Icon

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    I am in a Cox market also. Just remember when comparing between Cox and the Hopper you will not get all your local Channels like you do with Cox. Be sure you look up what locals you get with Dish.

    If there are some locals you care about like METV My Network TV, CW in HD and PBS in HD depending on your City you may not get them.
    The reason is DIsh does not yet have an Over the Air USB tuner so you can get those channels with Rabbit Airs. They do have this option on the old models.

    Just bringing it up so you can make an informed choice.
     
  9. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf New Member

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    Aug 30, 2006
    That won't really bother me, I don't watch locals.
     
  10. djlong

    djlong Hall Of Fame

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    In theory you could have an infinite number of Joeys. I think the more important question is how many streams can a Hopper handle at one time. Now, I have TVs all over the house but I don't think I've ever used more than 2 at a time - the most it could have possibly been is 3 (when we had guests).

    I *think* you can have the following concurrent maximums: PTAT and two other programs recording and three Joeys watching either whatever a live tuner is recording or a recorded program AT ONCE. If you're NOT recording shows, I *think* you can handle more concurrent streaming. I wish I could remember where in the old threads I read that so someone else might have more accurate information.
     
  11. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

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    I went the opposite way, from Hopper to cable when Dish dropped AMC (it's back now).

    I don't see how the copy flag could be an issue or how the cost at Dish could be lower. If your cable card is activated properly, you get all copy protected content, and the card rental is very cheap ($2 at my cable company). Then every client is free, unlike Dish. So for my system on cable, my plan is around $80, and my equipment fee is only $2 versus the $38 2 Hoppers and 3 Joeys would be. Plus 2 Ceton Infinitvs would give you 8 tuners versus 6 with 2 Hoppers and a unified schedule. Just get rid of the Tivos and use WMC exenders instead. However, with a full HTPC solution, you will lose dual live buffers. But simply recording both programs is an easy workaround.

    As for bugs, the major ones that have never been fixed are losing random channels from your favorites lists, favorites list selection not sticking, PTAT failing at random causing entire days of missed recordings, crashes during certain searches and a few others I can't remember at the moment. All are annoying, but not deal breakers IMO.

    While I liked Dish and my Hopper/Joey system for the most part, I'm very wary of them since you never know when your favorite channel might be taken down or for how long. AMC was only gone a few months, but Disney/ABC Family has been gone for a very long time. Overall, I'm liking cable a lot better than I ever liked Dish or DirecTV.
     
  12. domingos35

    domingos35 Icon

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    "Overall, I'm liking cable a lot better than I ever liked Dish or DirecTV."
    what are u going to do when your cable company drops channels due to disputes? keep switching? :rolleyes:
     
  13. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

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    If my provider doesn't have the channels I want (for whatever reason), they don't get my business. So if that means switching, then yes. But realistically, I have quite an investment in cable related equipment (PC's, tuners, extenders, amps, networking), so I'll likely stick it out at least 2 years, even if they do drop a few channels (which is much less likely than it is with Dish).

    I had cable for about 10 years, then DirecTV for about 7, and Dish for about 3. You have to admit, Dish really pushes the envelope on dropping channels. It's not like I'm the bad guy here. I paid them their ETF, even though it was their fault I had to leave. I've never left a provider due to cost, only due to content (or lack thereof).

    Looking at the history, my cable company has never dropped any channels due to disputes, DirecTV has dropped a few, and Dish has dropped a ton. I should have known better, but I thought when I signed up that Dish couldn't get any worse. Guess I was wrong. Live and learn.
     
  14. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf New Member

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    I see you haven't been introduced to the infamous CCI flag. Google it. Nearly all cable providers apply it only to premium channels (e.g. HBO.) However I am one of the few who has a cable provider that applies it to all channels. This causes WMC to DRM all content, which in addition to disabling multi-room viewing, brings on a slew of other problems that most people with WMC do not encounter.

    I already have a similar setup, and it's ultimately crap. Aside from the CCI issue, there are other problems as well. WMC is the buggiest program ever. The first and foremost are the problems that come along with the HDCP chain. Every now and then WMC will have some kind of issue where it complains about files or services not being compatible with protected content (because of some sort of HDCP glitch) and you have to restart WMC to fix it.

    WMC is prone to random freezing and random crashes. Often times you can be watching, and all of a sudden you get the "This program has stopped working and will be closed" window. Can't dismiss it with the remote unless you want to wait a long time, have to walk up and click close. Worse is sometimes WMC won't close at all, so you have to bring up the task manager and force terminate ehshell.exe. Usually when this happens, you can see your mouse but the screen is otherwise black, so you have to control alt del, bring up task manager, and then alt-tab to it (it can't even take top level focus on its own when this happens.) I have a suspicion that this is due to HDCP chain issues, but I'm not sure.

    Every now and then, the video will just go black. Audio continues, but no video. No apparent reason why, but the fix is to restart WMC. Again I suspect this is an HDCP issue.

    If you ever change any hardware on your PC for any reason, your entire video collection is worthless. The DRM keys are tied to that particular instance of WMC, and re-activating windows renders them useless because now you have a different installation ID. The same thing applies if you have to re-format your computer. For this reason as well, there is simply no use whatsoever for having a backup.

    Given that there's no multi-room functionality, I run WMC from multiple PC's off of the same HDHomeRun. Sometimes, WMC in one room will complain about a poor signal, and even have macroblocking, whereas it will work just fine in another room. These are all coming from the same cable outlet btw, there's no reason why it should be doing this. While it was happening, I have run netperf to see if there are any problems with the network. Nada, the network is in perfect condition, and it's even a full gig network across the entire span so I could literally stream about 30 copies of avatar on blu-ray across any one link and not have a problem. Yet WMC somehow has signal issues on some computers but not others, again when all of them are going off of the same cable outlet.

    I'd like to try mythtv, but thanks to the CCI flag, the only DVR software in the world that I can use is WMC, which is a piece of crap.

    This also doesn't take into account the flaky tuning adapter that on occasion will just cause you to drop channels entirely for no apparent reason. Not all cable providers are the same in this department, some give better tuning adapters than others.

    Only other choice (other than Tivo) are the Cox DVR's. Let's just say that if they had invented DVR's in the early 80's, the very best ones would resemble the Cox DVR's, with all of the bugs and crappy ugly and slow user interface.

    Moral of the story? CABLE SUCKS!
     
  15. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    That good !

    Now :backtotop:
     

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