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Hopper, Buyer Beware!

Discussion in 'Hopper System Support Forum' started by Tim_Carson, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Tim_Carson

    Tim_Carson New Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    We just had Dish Hopper installed and already can't stand the thing.

    Over the past 12+ years we have been using Tivos on DirecTV, PVR/DVR's on Dish Network and most recently AT&T UVerse connected to the three HDTV's in our home...we know how to use this technology and we understand how it's supposed to work.

    Two days ago we made the big mistake of going back to Dish Network and having them install the new Hopper/Joey system.
    Now we are stuck with it for the next two years.

    For anyone considering this that likes to watch Live TV and have the DVR record other shows in the background, this thing is a mess and the techs at Dish Network even admitted it, one going so far as to call me back on his personal cell phone to ask me more questions and thank me for explaining to him in detail so he could cancel his own up-coming installation of Hopper. (He has real Dish Network DVRs now)

    Why does Hopper fail miserably?
    Here a simple scenario:

    Three people live in a house and are all connected to the Hopper/Joey system.

    One person likes Horses, so they set the DVR to search and record Horse shows.

    Another person likes to watch shows like "The Big Bang Theory", "How It's Made", "Modern Marvels" and a few other similar shows, so they tell it to record all new episodes of those.

    The third person likes to watch Live Sports (Baseball, Football, Tennis, whatever), so they don't set it to record anything, just watch games when they come on.

    Suppose this last person is watching say a Live Football game, there's 5 seconds left and their favorite team is just about to hike the ball from the one yard line and (hopefully) score the game winning touchdown.

    At the same time, the preset recordings kick in and three timers go off.
    The Live Football game gets switched over to record one of the other viewers shows without warning and you can't go back without spending 2 minutes pressing buttons/unplugging boxes to stop the DVR.
    By the time you get back to the game, it's over and on commercial.:mad:

    There is no way to tell the Hopper/Joey to leave one of the sets alone.
    Also, once you have Dish install the Hopper/Joey system, you can never go back to using a real Dish Network PVR/DRV...they refuse to replace it.

    We contacted Dish Network after only having it installed for two days and were told "Too Bad, you signed a Two Year Contract and you will just have to live with it."

    Buyer Beware.
  2. AZ.

    AZ. Legend

    Mar 27, 2011
    Well the software being based the same as the 922, makes me think, give it a year or two and then the'll have "some" bugs worked out....

    Like any other company, its there track record that follows them....Dish has a long ugly tail!!!
  3. coldsteel

    coldsteel Hall Of Fame

    Mar 29, 2007
    Timer management.
  4. garys

    garys Hall Of Fame

    Nov 4, 2005
    Anyone who has had Dish dvr's recently knows these things. Different company's equipment work differently due to copyrites. It would appear you may want a second Hopper system as each person views more than one program at the same time and three tuners are not enough for you. You may want a DIRT member to assist you. One should be along shortly.
  5. MikeW

    MikeW Hall Of Fame

    May 16, 2002
    Thanks for your real-life experience. It makes my decision to do nothing right now seem like the right choice.
  6. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

    Mar 4, 2006
    Herrin, IL
    It wouldn't be any different on a HR34 with RVU clients from Direct either. In the case of server and clients with no tuners, setting up timers becomes more difficult if live viewing is a priority while still wanting to record a slew of things. In both cases you can set priority for recordings, but live TV doesn't have a priority that I can see.

    A 2nd Hopper would help in this case, and with the 2 hopper not seeing each other, one could be dedicated to the 'live' viewer to help. But once they unify the system, you're back to the same issue just with more tuners.

    I keep thinking that the way to look at it is that if live viewing is an issue, then the HR34 from D* with Hx receivers makes more sense.

    But if you are like me, and never watch anything live and record quite a bit of broadcast too, then the Hopper/Joey makes more sense. I currently have 3 dual-tuner DVRs with MRV working, because of what/how/when I watch, I could replace them with a single Hopper and a single Joey and not miss a show.
  7. satjay

    satjay AllStar

    Nov 20, 2006
    I went two Hopper, one Joey to remove any possible conflicts with live tv, works out well!
  8. bobvick1983

    bobvick1983 Godfather

    Mar 21, 2007
    NW Alabama
    The HR34 does have two extra tuners though. So, if you have three things scheduled to record, then you would have two extra tuners left.
    In this case however, it sounds like the O/P's problem could be resolved by getting an extra Hopper. Of course, I dont know how much they charge for an extra Hopper.
  9. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

    Mar 4, 2006
    Herrin, IL
    The cost for a 2nd Hopper is listed at $199, but many report getting a 2nd one for $100 IF they order it with the upgrade.

    But just like the HR34 for existing customers, there's the list price, the really great deal price, and everything in between. All depending on who you talk to, what mood they are in, and what the Magic 8 Ball tells them to do!! :lol:

    And I think the Magic 8 Ball trumps all other considerations.
  10. patmurphey

    patmurphey Godfather

    Dec 21, 2006
    Ridiculous complaint!! What did he expect with 3 tuners? A little internet browsing on this or other forums would have made it clear that a second Hopper would fill the need.
  11. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    I guess with 3 distinct users and tastes in the house, a different setup should have been considered. We all know if you sign then that is what you will be using for the next 2 years. If you didnt want to get stuck with the 2 years contract, you could have paid $100's more dollars to avoid the contract if you chose. But it works out about the same as an ETF so if you're not happy cancel, pay the ETF and move on.
  12. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    It seems to me the complaint is that there was no warning. Now, I fully admit that I'm not a Dish subscriber so don't know how it's supposed to work. But I'd think that if you were watching live TV, and the tuner was needed for a recording, it would pop something up on screen before hand to allow you to decide what you want to do. If the other Dish DVRs have that, and the Hopper doesn't, I'm sure it'll be fixed. It will be an issue if this is the case. If it does pop up a screen, and the OP didn't notice it, then that's a separate issue.
  13. James Long

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

    Apr 17, 2003
    It is a shame that Mr Carson did not spend some time over in our Hopper forum before choosing to install. The limitations of the system are clearly discussed here along with reports of people who have chosen to go with two hopper systems.
  14. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    I said this before. Dish should not be selling these things to new customers. Dish is advertising them like they are the new iPad. But they aren't the old iPad with some upgrades and glitches.

    This system represents a major change in how satellite TV works. People that have them in the first six months are beta testers. Really understanding the technology of how they work is important at this point. And I've been reading here how some of our seasoned Forum members are learning about them, sometimes offering some "oh crap" moments.

    New customers will use them as they have used Tivo-like boxes that operate more or less the same. New customers expect that the system will have at least the typical "you are about to screw up" warning screens. New customers won't accept "oh crap" moments. They will tell other potential new customers "Dish is crap." I don't understand why they release new equipment this way.:nono2:
  15. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

    Mar 4, 2006
    Herrin, IL
    The growing pains with the Hopper/Joey will most likely be more pronounced since it is such a shift in how you use them compared to the older boxes as you note.

    D*'s 'stepped' approach was smoother since it was basically just adding a feature to systems already in place, so you could use them in the conventional manner, plus share some video with others. And then bring out the HR34 and the oft-rumored, never seen RVU client.
  16. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

    Mar 4, 2006
    Herrin, IL
    The boxes previous to the Hopper/Joey did in fact put up a warning when a tuner was about to be taken for a recording and had a simple selection to stop it. I haven't read any postings that indicate this is still true with the Hopper/Joey setup, but I would think common sense would prevail.
  17. neomaine

    neomaine Legend

    Feb 3, 2003
    Like others, I'm not getting the problem:

    You have three tuners, three things scheduled to record ... what did you expect to happen? Is there no 2 min count down timer before the scheduled recording starts (like on a 722/622) on the display of the tuner currently used in live mode? :confused:

    - Countdown timer, nice to have. If not available (on Hopper), make a feature request.
    - Priority prompt for when a recording is about to start so you can cancel, nice to have. If not available, make a feature request.

    Actually, that second one is a great idea. If any DIRT members see this post then I'll make it a feature request. Something like:

    - At T-2:00min, begin countdown display
    - At T-1:00min, provide a Cancel yes/no prompt for the timer
    (Note, make the prompt small enough so that when it comes up it doesn't take up the whole display. Someone is, after all, trying to watch current programming. Having the prompt (small or large) is a small price to pay for the ability to cancel the scheduled timer.)
    - At T-0:10sec, remove prompt and get ready to record

    I'd also recommend putting a reminder that if someone still wanted to record the show after cancelling, they'd have to do it manually. Then again, if someone couldn't figure that one out on their own ... yes, I know many wouldn't and somehow blame Dish for it ... that's their own dumbass fault.

    While I'm thinking about it: :)

    Allow the current remote to override programming on the current tuner. i.e if something is timered for TV1 even though it was scheduled from TV2/remote.

    There's nothing more frustrating than watching something on TV1 but something scheduled from TV2 is about to record on tuner 1. It's a PITA to fumble around for the TV2 remote to get the TV2 timer cancelled.

    My son is never around to find the stupid TV2 remote somewhere in his bedroom. My wife and always record to TV2 first (so we can watch live TV1), which probably pisses him off and why he records to TV1 so he can watch TV2.

    Request #3:
    - Have a something in system settings to define which tuner a SlingAdapter will use.

    We're probably going to get a Hopper/3 Joey setup, with TV1 being our main display and TV2/3 in the bedrooms. Since one of the bedrooms is not going to be used much with my son off to school, it would be nice to default the SA to use TV2, OR, TV3 ... which ever one isn't currently being used.

    I'm not sure how the cabling is setup, but I guess I could always swap the TV2/TV3 cables at the Hopper to achieve the same thing but I'd prefer not to have to muck around with cabling.

    Thanks, I'm just trying to plan ahead for my Hopper/Joey setup. Seems like that isn't practical for some. :grin:
  18. Tim_Carson

    Tim_Carson New Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    I tried my best to explain the problem, sorry if I didn't do so well.
    I've never had to post a complaint like this before, so I did my best.

    As far as knowing better, we did ask if this new system worked like the old 722Vip's we had (three of them), and we were told yes, it would and it actually would be better.

    With the old 722's, we could tell them to use tuner two to record and leave tuner one alone.
    Also, as stated above, it would warn you when you did want to use both tuners and give you a chance to abort.
    This new setup does not ask, nor will it let you abort a recording without going to "DVR", find the show you want to abort, find the specific show from the list it creates, select the show, hit the menu and select Stop.
    When you do all of this, you have lost the "Live View" recording buffer it was saving of the show you were watching.

    I contacted Dish Network Tech Support and asked if adding a second Hopper would solve the "problem" and they told me they had no idea if that would work or not.
    I guess I'll have to call back a few times until I can talk to someone who knows more about how the system works.
    Maybe someone here can point me to a thread that explains what will happen if we add a second Hopper?

    From what I can gather, I would add a second unit and tell it never to record anything, therefore there would be three open tuners available at all times?
    Would it show all 6 turners on all three TV's?

    As a last resort, we contacted Dish and asked that they provide us with the cost to cancel and go back to the UVerse we still have installed.
    Someone is supposed to call us back with a dollar value (I expect about $500.00)

    Luckily for us, we did not cancel the UVerse service yet.
    (And no, I'm not a plant for UVerse. The picture quality of their HD is on par with Dish's Standard Definition, but at least their DVR works as expected)
  19. Tim_Carson

    Tim_Carson New Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    One other thing of note, that I wished I had known before we had this installed.
    As I stated above, once you have them install a Hopper you cannot go back to a Vip, even if you offer to pay extra for them.
    They flat out refuse to let us go back to what we had before.

    This just doesn't seem right to me.
    We loved the Vip DVRs.
    (Not enough to pack up and move to a new address so we can get them back, but still...)
  20. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

    Jan 30, 2007
    If I were you, I'd just ask for a second hopper. That will give you 6 tuners like you had before with your 3 722's plus PTAT and more space, and your bill will be $16/month less than it was with the 722's. Put the Joey on the least watched TV. Until hoppers are fully integrated a few months from now, you'll need to split your timers across the 2 hoppers like you split them across your 3 722's. A little timer management will help too. Programs that run several times a day should be low priority and recorded late at night when no one is watching live TV.

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