Back in 2012, DISH Network introduced the Hopper Whole-Home DVR—and completely changed the DVR category. Sure, TiVo was a pioneer, introducing us to the whole act of pausing and fast-forwarding live TV. However, the DISH Hopper DVR allowed subscribers to create a personalized on-demand catalog through PrimeTime Anytime. Even better, it brought us the Auto Hop feature, so users could actually skip over commercials.
And it was good.
Since then, DISH has added Slingbox features into the mix and even several software upgrades. In fact, within the past few days, the satellite provider has announced four new interesting features for this one box.
The best of the bunch is that the Hopper DVR can now access Netflix. Instead of choosing between pay TV and streaming, this gives you the best of both worlds. Subscribers need an active Netflix account and the second-gen Hopper box. If you have those, you can easily access Netflix through the blue button on your remote or the Hopper’s main menu.
DISH hopes to add a search functionality across live TV, on-demand content and Netflix sometime in the near future.
There’s also a new option to “watch from the beginning.” That basically means if you’re channel surfing and find something interesting that’s half over, you may get the option to start over—if the movie or TV show is part of DISH’s Video On Demand catalog. Just look for the on-screen cue.
If you’re into binge-watching, DISH has added a new feature that will give you the option to feed your addiction. Once a TV show is over, an on-screen prompt will offer up to four subsequent episodes of a TV series, which you can watch immediately. Just don’t expect any sneak peeks; the content is limited to what’s on your DVR or in the VOD catalog.
And finally, closed captioning is now available at the touch of a button. This may not seem like a big deal—until you find an inaudible part of a movie or TV show. Instead of rewinding a hundred times, just touch the green button on your DISH remote to turn the closed captioning on or off.
The current DISH Hopper with Sling has the ability to record up to eight shows at once (using PrimeTime Anytime), can store up to 500 hours of HD programming, and puts live and recorded TV almost anywhere in and outside of the house. For more information on the Hopper with Sling Whole-Home DVR, check out DISH Network’s website.