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Guest Message by DevFuse

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How Solid is the Hopper?


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21 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   chewbach

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 09:58 AM

We're looking to dump Time Warner Cable (Cincinnati) primarily because our DVR experience has been nothing short of lousy. Thus, we're looking at both DISH (Hopper) and DIRECTV HMC (HR34).

If we go DISH, the setup should be pretty simple: 1 Hopper + 2 Joeys. However, before we make the plunge, we'd love to hear some feedback from other Hopper users. Specifically, feedback on:

- Reliability (how often is a reboot necessary)?
- Speed of the interface
- Other general feedback

Coming from TWC, we suspect everything will be an improvement. However, now is the time to decide between DIRECTV and DISH.

Consequently, 2-year pricing between DIRECTV and DISH are about the same. Thus, that really isn't part of the equation.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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#2 OFFLINE   strikes2k

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:16 AM

We're looking to dump Time Warner Cable (Cincinnati) primarily because our DVR experience has been nothing short of lousy. Thus, we're looking at both DISH (Hopper) and DIRECTV HMC (HR34).

If we go DISH, the setup should be pretty simple: 1 Hopper + 2 Joeys. However, before we make the plunge, we'd love to hear some feedback from other Hopper users. Specifically, feedback on:

- Reliability (how often is a reboot necessary)?
- Speed of the interface
- Other general feedback

Coming from TWC, we suspect everything will be an improvement. However, now is the time to decide between DIRECTV and DISH.

Consequently, 2-year pricing between DIRECTV and DISH are about the same. Thus, that really isn't part of the equation.

Thanks in advance for your help!


I've got a single hopper/3 joey setup. All I can say is I love it. When it was brand new there were a few annoyances but the last couple of months it's been rock solid.

#3 OFFLINE   kick4fun

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:29 AM

We're looking to dump Time Warner Cable (Cincinnati) primarily because our DVR experience has been nothing short of lousy. Thus, we're looking at both DISH (Hopper) and DIRECTV HMC (HR34).

If we go DISH, the setup should be pretty simple: 1 Hopper + 2 Joeys. However, before we make the plunge, we'd love to hear some feedback from other Hopper users. Specifically, feedback on:

- Reliability (how often is a reboot necessary)?
- Speed of the interface
- Other general feedback

Coming from TWC, we suspect everything will be an improvement. However, now is the time to decide between DIRECTV and DISH.

Consequently, 2-year pricing between DIRECTV and DISH are about the same. Thus, that really isn't part of the equation.

Thanks in advance for your help!


I've been a Directv customer for over 6 years.. I have 2 HD DVR's and one HD. I of course have the whole home DVR and it works good.. BUT... That being said, I'm ready to switch to Dish because of the Hopper.. My friends who have switched love the Hopper and it's 3 tuners and 2TB hard Drive.. Vastly superior to the HR34 MRC. With one tuner, it records all 4 prime time slots leaving the other tuners to grab whatever else you want.. So in essence, you an record 6 shows at once.. I'm making the switch!

#4 OFFLINE   moman19

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:50 AM

On top of all that, the Hopper (and Joeys) will automatically record ALL Prime Time events with no need to set up timers. It will also fly past all commercials automatically if watched the following day. How do you beat that?
All I want is a Perfect DVR!

#5 OFFLINE   garys

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 11:00 AM

On top of all that, the Hopper (and Joeys) will automatically record ALL Prime Time events with no need to set up timers. It will also fly past all commercials automatically if watched the following day. How do you beat that?


Auto Hop does not work on sports, newscasts, many live events or locally produced programs. It also only works on PTAT recordings and not normal dvr recordings.

#6 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 11:00 AM

We're looking to dump Time Warner Cable (Cincinnati) primarily because our DVR experience has been nothing short of lousy. Thus, we're looking at both DISH (Hopper) and DIRECTV HMC (HR34).

If we go DISH, the setup should be pretty simple: 1 Hopper + 2 Joeys. However, before we make the plunge, we'd love to hear some feedback from other Hopper users. Specifically, feedback on:

- Reliability (how often is a reboot necessary)?
- Speed of the interface
- Other general feedback

Coming from TWC, we suspect everything will be an improvement. However, now is the time to decide between DIRECTV and DISH.

Consequently, 2-year pricing between DIRECTV and DISH are about the same. Thus, that really isn't part of the equation.

Thanks in advance for your help!


I have had to reboot my Hopper once due to a firmware glitch that has since been corrected. I had to reboot it another time when I disconnected a network cable and then reconnected it. Otherwise, it has required no reboots since the end of April, not counting the automatic nighttime one.

The interface is what I would call moderately fast. Compared to the interface I suffered with from DirecTV for two years (I had an HR22-100) it is blazing fast. Compared to what I think it should be able to do, it is just a fraction slow. 30-second skip used to be instant, but now takes about 2/10 of a second (long enough that I can press the skip button before it has finished skipping).

Do I love the Hopper? No, it's technology and as such it will never achieve the perfection I expect. But it is far better than any other DVR I've worked with, and this is my 5th.

#7 OFFLINE   djlong

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 11:59 AM

I switched to the Hopper/Joey infrastructure back in July.

Reliable? I had to reboot it once sometime in late July. That's it.
Speed? FAR faster than the old ViP receivers I had.

The only problem I had was when I was migrating shows via EHD (External Hard Drive) to the new system. After moving them from my old 1TB external HD to the internal HD in the Hopper, I tried to move many of them to a new 2TB (the new max size) external. Programs that were flagged as "protected" were somehow screwed up - they stayed on the internal drive but you couldn't play them and they reported they were empty files.

So that's how nit-picky I had to get to find a problem...

Even better is that you can hook up more than one external HD (I hear the limit is 4) in case you're a real programming hoarder.

#8 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 01:01 PM

I've been a Directv customer for over 6 years.. I have 2 HD DVR's and one HD. I of course have the whole home DVR and it works good.. BUT... That being said, I'm ready to switch to Dish because of the Hopper.. My friends who have switched love the Hopper and it's 3 tuners and 2TB hard Drive.. Vastly superior to the HR34 MRC. With one tuner, it records all 4 prime time slots leaving the other tuners to grab whatever else you want.. So in essence, you an record 6 shows at once.. I'm making the switch!


In other threads you've stated you're leaving due to Pac12 networks being on Dish and not on DIRECTV.

And what experience have you with the HR34? (it's HMC, not MRC).

It'd be great to see an unbiased comparison of the Hopper-Joey with the HR34 and satellite systems by someone who's actually used both. Any leads???
"Laxguy" means a guy who loves lacrosse.

#9 OFFLINE   jagowar

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 01:49 PM

I just got a 1H/2J setup installed last night.... couple of notes.

1. PTAT was a big feature in getting me to choose dish but in the new install thread I said it failed pretty spectacularly for me last night but being this is a brand new I am going to give it a few days for all the updates to arrive. The idea is awesome and if it works reliably will be the biggest selling point of the system imo. The other selling point was the sling integration with remote apps.

2. I don't know which packages you were looking at but on the ones I looked at dish was cheaper across the board. Dish also included espnu in the at120 package which is what I went with, getting espnU for directv would have required a jump to choice. My point is look at the channels you actually need and see which packages work for you, for me dish was the clear winner.

Otherwise have been really happy with the dvr and joey system.... overall works really well and if my ptat issues go away over the next few days will be close to perfect.

#10 OFFLINE   mweathers

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 01:56 PM

I love my Hopper, but don't use PTAT. Keep in mind that if you don't use that feature you only have 1 TB of space. The other is in reserve for PTAT and can be used only for that. I think 1 TB is still plenty, but just keep this in mind.

I was with Direct for 15 years before coming over to Dish. The Hopper is what made me come, plus at the time Dish had many more HD channels that Direct didn't have. (They have since added a few since July when I switched over). I like the hardware much better than what I had with Direct. But I never had the HR-34.

I've been happy with everything about Hopper/Joey since I got it. I even think the HD picture looks better than Direct. Don't know why that would be. The only potential issue with the Hopper and Joey is they both run hot, especially the Joey. You can lower the heat of the Hopper by increasing the airflow. But nothing you can do about the Joey's heat. I've had no issues at all yet with either due to heat though.

So far I'm a happy camper!

#11 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 02:18 PM

I've been happy with everything about Hopper/Joey since I got it. I even think the HD picture looks better than Direct. Don't know why that would be. The only potential issue with the Hopper and Joey is they both run hot, especially the Joey. You can lower the heat of the Hopper by increasing the airflow. But nothing you can do about the Joey's heat. I've had no issues at all yet with either due to heat though.

So far I'm a happy camper!


Glad to hear it!

But there's no way the picture actually is better than DirecTV's picture, as it doesn't contain as many bits of information. Unless you have compared side by side with the same monitor, the same program, there are too many subjective entries in this comparison.
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#12 OFFLINE   domingos35

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 02:38 PM

Glad to hear it!

But there's no way the picture actually is better than DirecTV's picture, as it doesn't contain as many bits of information. Unless you have compared side by side with the same monitor, the same program, there are too many subjective entries in this comparison.


yes it IS better than directv's HD picture

#13 OFFLINE   moman19

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 02:59 PM

......... The only potential issue with the Hopper and Joey is they both run hot, especially the Joey. You can lower the heat of the Hopper by increasing the airflow. But nothing you can do about the Joey's heat. I've had no issues at all yet with either due to heat though.......


While it's true that both run warm, neither runs so hot as to cause me any concern. Just don't keep either device in an tight, enclosed area. Also,do not place either device on top of say, a 400 watt home theater audio system that will generate plenty of its own heat. I heard that the Joey actually runs cooler if you position it vertically with the included stand. The thing is small and about the size of external USB hard drive.
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#14 OFFLINE   kick4fun

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 03:47 PM

In other threads you've stated you're leaving due to Pac12 networks being on Dish and not on DIRECTV.

And what experience have you with the HR34? (it's HMC, not MRC).

It'd be great to see an unbiased comparison of the Hopper-Joey with the HR34 and satellite systems by someone who's actually used both. Any leads???


yes, HMC.. My bad. It's always a pleasure to respond with you. You always have such an upbeat and unbiased opinion when it comes to Directv. My comment was in relation to how enjoyable the hopper is. My reason for leaving Directv are for a few reasons. 1. Pac12. Second reason, the superior Hopper than can record 6 programs at once. Can the HR34 do that?? Hop through commercials.. Again, a step above the HR34. Also the Hopper has a guide that shows more than 1 and half hours ahead on the screen, unless you scroll ahead. Can the HR34 find your remote? NO you say, well guess what.. THE Hopper can! That seems cool.. And lastly, what I find interesting is the original poster did not ask for us to compare the differences between Hopper and the HR34..... I simply gave an answer to what I thought was one of several reasons for making a switch.. Can't wait to HOP..

Edited by kick4fun, 27 September 2012 - 05:13 PM.


#15 OFFLINE   StringFellow

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 03:52 PM

2 Hoppers, 2 Joeys. Love my setup. Very reliable, especially after the past few updates. Guide is extremely fast! Far superior to my bothers Directv Home Media Center DVR. I think my Hopper/Joey setup is better than my recent Comcast/TiVo setup as well.

Make the switch, you won't regret it!
Equipment: 2 Hopper, 1 Joey [soon to be 2 Joeys]

#16 OFFLINE   kick4fun

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 03:57 PM

2 Hoppers, 2 Joeys. Love my setup. Very reliable, especially after the past few updates. Guide is extremely fast! Far superior to my bothers Directv Home Media Center DVR. I think my Hopper/Joey setup is better than my recent Comcast/TiVo setup as well.

Make the switch, you won't regret it!


I just switched and will have an install in the morning.. Cant wait to Hop..

#17 OFFLINE   kick4fun

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 04:09 PM

Glad to hear it!

But there's no way the picture actually is better than DirecTV's picture, as it doesn't contain as many bits of information. Unless you have compared side by side with the same monitor, the same program, there are too many subjective entries in this comparison.


I have seen the comparisons and disagree with the Pro DirecTV response. The picture quality is very very good and the Hopper can do so much more.. Skip commercials, record all prime time every night etc.. This can go on forever.

#18 OFFLINE   Cholly

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 04:13 PM

I love my 2 Hoppers and 4 Joeys, having come from time Warner. The transition was a bit painful, since I had 5 TiVo DVR's - 2 SD and 3 HD. The SD TiVo's are of ne use to me now, but I have my 3 HD units connected to antenna and am able to record local digital channels on them.
The only downside to Dish is the fact that Dish doesn't carry AMC and its sister stations at this time. If you're a fan of The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad or Mad Men, you'll be out of luck. Dish and AMC are currently in litigation, but it's possible that things could change once the new season begins (AMC could use the Dish subscriber base).

The Hopper/Joey paradigm takes some getting used to when you're coming from other DVR's.

Charlie
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Family Room: Sony KDFE-55A20 55" LCD RPTV; Yamaha RX-V663 AVR. Paradigm speakers - Focus fronts, CC170 center, PDR-8 subwoofer, Atom surrounds, ADP rear center; TiVoRoamio Plus, LG BH200 HD DVD/Blu-ray player via HDMI to AVR
Bedroom: Vizio 42" 3D TV, Pioneer VSX-521-K AVR, Panasonic 3D DVD player, Energy Take Classic 5.1 speakers, Roku 2 XD, TiVo Premiere, Insignia HD radio tuner, Toshiba HD DVD player


#19 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 05:22 PM

My reason for leaving Directv are for a few reasons. 1. Pac12. Second reason, the superior Hopper than can record 6 programs at once. Can the HR34 do that?? Hop through commercials.. Again, a step above the HR34


The HR34 records five programs at once. Five that I want and that I choose. I have no need to record network tv in its primetime entirety and then wait till the next day to be able to auto-skip all the ads. This implementation is no doubt perfect for some; useless for others. I attended a DISH presentation of the Hopper and Joey last February in Vegas and hated the look and the heat of the Joey.

I hope you are happy with your new set up. Best of luck!
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#20 OFFLINE   356B

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 05:28 PM

I have a 2 Hopper, 2 Joey system. If you take away the Sling issues, which are very intermittent, inconsistent and truly a work in progress...it's a good receiver. Much improved over the vip922 and sexier then the vip722. It has a big drive, PTAT, Auto Hop, great graphics, snappy fast, apps....not my thing, but it has them, basic integration between Hoppers, and so far more stability as the upgrades keep coming.
The Joey for me is limited, I wish Dish would offer more then 2 Hopper's for lease.:rolleyes:
Thank you and
Best of luck




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