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Some questions about Hopper

Discussion in 'Hopper System Support Forum' started by saiyan, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. saiyan

    saiyan Mentor

    Jul 12, 2006

    I have some questions about the Hopper DVR and I am hoping you guys may have the answers.
    (I have already tried forum search but I could not find the exact information I am seeking).

    1) Does Hopper have any compatibility issues when using external hard drives formatted by a VIP622 or VIP722?

    I remember reading some posts a long time ago that Hopper may be able to playback recorded shows from a EHD formatted by VIP722 but it has problem moving recorded shows to or from those EHDs.

    So I am curious if those problems have been fixed in the current firmware.

    2) Does Hopper support EHD greater than 2TB in capacity or does it support hard drives which use 4 KB sector size (aka Advanced Format)?

    I have tried using 2 TB hard drives which use 4 KB sector size and my VIP622/722 cannot utilize the full capacity even though they are able format them. The problem is that once over 600 or 700 GB of data is filled on those EHD, eventually VIP722 will give me data transfer error when I attempt to move more recorded shows to the EHD. On the other hand, 2 TB hard drives which use 512 byte sector size are okay and I can fill those hard drives with as many recorded shows as possible.

    So I am hoping Hopper can deal with hard drives with 4 KB sector size.

    3) Can I create manual timers on Hopper DVR for specific daily or weekly hours similar to the manual timer function on VIP722?

    Manual timer is important for my grand parents because they record and watch a lot of International TV shows but unfortunately Dish's EPG data for those international shows are often incorrect; either wrong TV show names or wrong hours. So name based timers cannot really be used for recording International TV shows.

    4) Can I re-use my existing coax cables, satellite dish and LNBs for Hopper DVRs?

    I currently have one VIP622 in the living room and one VIP722 in another room. Each DVR is connected to its own coax cable and those cables are connected to a DPP44 switch outside of my house.

    If I replace both VIP DVRs with Hoppers, can I re-use the existing coax cables or do I have to run additional coax cables?
    How will the so-called Node be connected and replace the DPP44?

    I really don't want to drill additional holes on my walls or floors just to run additional cables.

    5) How much better is the HD video quality when compared to a VIP722?

    I have read posts that Hopper have superior HD video quality but I just cannot imagine it.
    Can I hope for something on par with DirecTV or is Dish's HD lite something not even Hopper can compensate?

    It would be greatly appreciated if anyone can provide some information.
    Thank you.
  2. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 7, 2005
    Kittrell, NC
    There might be some performance differences with different DVRs... but the actual video quality among all of Dish's HD receivers really should be the same. I know some have said they think some receivers are better than others... but I think most of the current/modern equipment is pretty much the same now.

    Barring glitches and random unpredictable things... you should be able to use any existing EHD with a Hopper that you are using with one of the other DVR models. I can't speak to the question about different sector size formats though.

    Some new cabling could be required. It depends on the quality and age of the cable you currently have. I know Dish typically wants to run RG-6 for Hoppers... but you may already have RG-6 and be ok.

    Timer functions and the method to set them is pretty comparable I believe and the Hopper does have the capability to create manual timers.
  3. Grandude

    Grandude RichardParker II

    Oct 21, 2004
    Since you are using a DPP44 switch, I would assume that you have an older Dish (or two like I do) which dosn't have an internal switch. If that is the case, you can connect the duo node to the DPP44 and use your existing cables to feed two Hoppers. The only caveat is that output number one of the DPP44 must have a power inserter and cannot be used for connection to the duo node.
    This was simple for me as I mounted the power inserter on the inside wall of the garage and ran the coax up to input one of the DPP44 switch.

    Keeping the DPP44 in place allows for the addition of a VIP211 (currently the only VIP receiver allowed on a Hopper system) if ever needed or if Dish should someday in the future allow other VIPs to be mixed in with Hoppers. I doubt that this will ever occur.

    A much cleaner setup would be to have Dish install a newer style dish which has the switch built in, thus eliminating the need for the DPP44. If you go this way, you may want to keep the DPP44 if you purchased and own it, in case you find the need, or desire to use it sometime in the future.

    As for the EHDrives. Seems that the practical limit for now is two terabytes and I don't think any or many problems have been reported for watching programs which were previously recorded on those drives which were previously used on the VIPs. The problems currently reported seem to mainly be transfering to and from the drives to/from the Hopper. Hopefully the next release of software, anyday now, will solve that problem.

    I installed my Hopper/Joey system myself and worried about whether the quality of my RG6 cables would be good enough for the Hoppers and so far, the older cables are working just fine. If Dish does the install they might want to replace the cables anyway which would/could be a bummer for you unless pulling new cables through existing holes would be easy for them. If you use a local installer they will just use your existing cables if they work properly and only replace them if needed.

    Once you get over the anxiety of all this and just do it, I'm sure you will be pleasantly surprised. Good luck!
  4. TheGrove

    TheGrove AllStar

    Jan 9, 2007
    1) None that I am aware of anymore. I installed my Hopper just over a year ago and used an EHD formatted on my 622 to transfer the recordings from my 622 onto my Hopper. I then installed and formatted a 2TB EHD and transfered everything off onto that. Now you can just leave the 2 EHD's connected and choose which one you want to use.

    2) I don't know, last I heard there was a 2TB limit, that's what I have and it works fine. I don't remember how full it is but I believe I'm just over 1TB.

    3) Yes they work very similar.

    4) As Stewart said, it depends on the quality of your existing cables.

    5) I don't know.
  5. thomasjk

    thomasjk Legend

    Jan 10, 2006
    Dish's official position is 2TB limit for EHDs'. Some folks have reported success with 3TB drives.
  6. saiyan

    saiyan Mentor

    Jul 12, 2006
    Based on what you said, if I have a new style satellite dish installed I can basically get rid of the DPP44 switch and re-use my current coax cables (RG6) (one to the living room and one to another room) ?

    Yes... There is some anxiety just thinking about the upgrade especially after reading lots of problems posted on the forum.
  7. saiyan

    saiyan Mentor

    Jul 12, 2006
    So based on everyone's message, it looks like 2TB is still the limit of EHDs.

    Can anyone confirm that hard drives using 4 KB sectors will work without any problem?
    These include all Western Digital green and recent Seagate hard drives.
    (The only 2 TB hard drives which use 512 byte sectors I know of are those from Hitachi).
  8. Grandude

    Grandude RichardParker II

    Oct 21, 2004
    Yes to the new dish question.
    I wouldn't worry about the many problems posted, not many people report no problems here.
    I have two Hoppers with sling (HWS) and a Joey and have had problems. Period
    I had extreme anxiety and hemmed and hawed for a couple of weeks before finally doing it. Still glad I did.

    I guess my only real complaint is that it is sometimes hard to find a specific setting that I want to change. Some settings are hidden in strange places but someone here can always point you to find it.
  9. Grandude

    Grandude RichardParker II

    Oct 21, 2004
    Most here perfer the WD drives.
    I'm not sure but think it is a moot point about the 512 and 4KB sectors as the drives attached to the VIP and H/J systems are always reformatted using the Linix format.
    Perhaps PSmith can elaborate on this.
  10. saiyan

    saiyan Mentor

    Jul 12, 2006
    The reason I asked about support for 4K sector size hard drive is because they don't work well with my VIP622/722 DVR.
    As I have mentioned earlier, I have tried several 2TB hard drives with 4K sectors and they will all eventually cause file transfer error (once more than 600GB of data are transferred) preventing VIP722 from using their full capacity.

    Those hard drive don't show bad sectors either afterI format them in Windows and ran CHKDSK /R to do surface scan.
    I also noticed VIP722 formatted every one of these 2TB hard drives into four 500GB partitions..

    Anyway. Based on what you said, it looks like a these hard drives should work well with Hoppers.
    That's what I would like to hear.
  11. saiyan

    saiyan Mentor

    Jul 12, 2006
    If most Hopper users prefer WD drives and I assume most of those are 2TB drives, that means Hopper does not have problem using hard drives with 4 KB sectors.
    That's good news.

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