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, this 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 is the best DVR we reviewed.
The Hopper has 16 tuners, the most of any DVR 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 home, 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 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.
From the remote, you can find a TV show or movie and pull up search results automatically. You can adjust the extensive parental controls to prevent your kids from watching any content you consider inappropriate. In addition, scheduling a single or recurring recording and skipping commercials while watching recorded TV shows is a cinch.
The software in the Hopper 3 automatically compiles any video content, no matter its source, into a single location. 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 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. And like the DirecTV Genie, 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 somewhat rare, there isn’t a ton of compatible content out there. There are a few titles available from Dish’s on-demand service, as well as from Netflix. Otherwise, you can access SD and HD content from Dish and over-the-air antenna sources, as well as from some video streaming services.
The DVR has impressive input and output options. With its composite and component video ports and coax connectivity, it is compatible with older TVs. It can accommodate modern TVs, as it supports 4K video, making it an excellent choice if you have a 4K TV. Additionally, it has the standard HDMI, USB and Ethernet ports. This variety lets you easily integrate it into your home entertainment system and connect other external 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 in our comparison, but since its remote uses a radio connection, you can stow it away in a cabinet and it should still function normally.
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 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 accessing customer and technical support services.
The Dish Hopper 3 is a great option for large families as it has 16 tuners and a large 2TB hard drive and supports 4K content. It has standard DVR features that let you 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, the Hopper 3 is a solid DVR and can work hard for TV-loving families.