Who cares about smaller? In order to match the capabilities of the new hopper, you need to do the following.
1. Add external 2TB drive to match Hopper's built in 2TB drive
2. Add Nomad box to match Hopper's built in ability for offline viewing on Ipad
3. Add Slingbox to match Hopper's built in Sling capability for remote viewing
4. Add extra C31 box for aforementioned Slingbox to work (unless you want to tie up the HR44 for remote viewings on the Slingbox)
When you add in those 4 extra boxes and cords to match what one Hopper does with one box, the whole "smaller form factor" kinda loses it's appeal (not to mention the extra cost and hassle of all those extra boxes).
Am I missing something here or did D* make a huge mistake and think that there HR34 from last year had all the features needed and didn't need improvement?
Actually Nomad would exceed the Hopper in that respect. You off load the recordings onto the device (tablet, phone, laptop, etc.) and don't need an internet connection to watch the recording. In this case Nomad would satisfy both 2. & 3.
As for 4. in your list; DIRECTV Anywhere meets that criteria. And, you don’t have to have an HR44 to use it.
If someone needs the added capacity they could install a 4TB eSATA drive. And let’s face it, most people don’t need to store more than 200 hours of HD, but if they did they could have double the capacity of the Hopper. I don’t know about you but I delete recordings after I watch them so 200+ hours of HD is more than enough for me.
So, in reality you’d only need to add the Nomad and if you really needed the space, the eSATA drive.
Since it costs 2.4¢ to produce a penny, my 2¢ worth is really 4.8¢ worth. That 4.8¢ is my own and not the 4.8¢ of DIRECTV, Dish, or anyone else for that matter.