PROS / The DISH Hopper 3 can record up to 16 shows simultaneously.
CONS / Even though it is 4K video ready, there isn’t much 4K content available, so you may not be able to take advantage of the feature, especially if you don’t yet own a 4K TV.
VERDICT / The Hopper 3 is impressively powerful and capable, recording up to 16 shows at a time, streaming 4K content and giving you plenty of room to customize playback.
If you have a large family that loves TV, you probably have to prioritize whose shows you watch and whose you have to skip because of time conflicts. Since the DISH Hopper 3 has 16 tuners, you and your family can watch or record up to 16 movies or TV shows at the same time, eliminating scheduling conflicts. Additionally, the DVR has a large recording capacity and can access a variety of cable, on-demand and video streaming content. With its powerful components, port options and features, the DISH Hopper 3 wins our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award and is the best DVR we reviewed.
The Hopper 3 has 16 tuners, the most tuners of any product in our review. This means you can watch or record up to 16 programs at a time. This impressive capacity should eradicate any scheduling conflicts in your household, even with popular primetime programming. Additionally, you can watch four programs at the same time on an HD or 4K TV with the Sports Bar Mode.
With its 2TB internal hard drive, you can record a lot of content without worrying about bumping up against the storage limit, though you can connect an external hard drive to expand your storage capacity. The 2TB drive can record up to 500 high-definition (HD) hours or 2,000 standard-definition (SD) hours of your favorite TV shows and movies. With the addition of a DISH Joey device, you can stream content to multiple TVs throughout your house.
Soon, DISH claims, the accompanying remote will be upgraded to add a voice function – you will be able to say a command or TV show title and it will pull up search results automatically. From the remote, you can also adjust the extensive parental controls to prevent your kids from watching any content that may be inappropriate. You can also schedule a single or recurring recording and even skip commercials while watching recorded TV shows.
The software automatically compiles any video content, no matter if it comes from your or DISH satellite Netflix, into a single source. When you want to search for a show, it conveniently searches all connected media sources so you don’t have to switch between inputs or devices. Searches can also be filtered by genre.
The digital video recorder has built-in Wi-Fi, so it is easy to connect to the internet, which gives you access to your favorite content. Additionally, it is 4K video ready, so you can watch ultra high-definition content on your 4K TV if you have one. However, since 4K content is still a new, there isn’t a lot of compatible content out there. There are a few titles available from DISH’s on-demand service, as well as from Netflix, but those are the main options, currently. Otherwise, you can access a variety of SD and HD content from DISH and over-the-air antenna sources, as well as from some video and audio streaming services.
Input & Output
The DVR recorder has impressive input and output options. With its composite and component video ports and coax connectivity, it is compatible with older TVs. It can also accommodate modern TVs, as it supports 4K video, making it a great choice if you have a 4K TV or will be purchasing one soon. Additionally, it has the standard HDMI, USB and Ethernet ports. Having such a variety makes it easy to set up your home entertainment system and connect other devices.
It weighs 8 pounds, and measures 16 inches wide, 11.4 inches deep and 2.1 inches tall. It is one of the largest DVRs on our lineup, but since its remote uses a radio connection, you can stow it away in a cabinet and it should still function normally.
Help & Support
DISH Network’s sales and customer service representatives are available by phone and live chat. They can help you with issues with your account, questions about your DVR and so forth. You can also browse through the myriad of educational articles and other resources on its website, including informative videos and the DISH Blog. Existing customers can log in and manage their accounts on the website, as well as access customer and technical support services.
The DISH Hopper 3 is a great option for large families, as it is has 16 tuners, a large 2TB hard drive and supports 4K content. It has the standard DVR features that allow you to skip commercials, schedule recordings, adjust parental controls and stream to multiple rooms in your house, and you can access content from cable and streaming services. Overall, this is a solid DVR and can work hard for TV-loving families.