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Prime Time Any Time

May 10th, 2012 · 13 Comments

Dish network just released a new DVR (the Hopper), which I upgraded to yesterday.

There are two improvements that stand out for me.

1) I can get HD on my remote TV. Before, the remote TV just received an SD signal, so this is a big improvement up in our bedroom.

2) Prime Time Any Time. The system records all the Prime Time shows on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox from 7 – 10 each evening (Arizona Prime Time), and saves them for 8 days. During that time it still leaves 2 tuners free, so I can record up to 6 programs at the same time during Prime Time. This is a big deal, as I was always juggling programs around and having to decide which shows to record and which to skip during prime time. I’ll probably also sample some new programs that I haven’t bothered to record before, since they’ll all be there ready to view any time.

Other incremental improvements include faster interface, 2 TB of storage, and multiple USB ports, but 1 and 2 above are the biggies for me.

Tags: Computers, Tech & Science · Family Updates

13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Richard // May 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    There has been a lot of discussion about this on the forum I participate in. Several people have gone to the Hopper and Joey model from Dish, which works as you describe, and others have gone to the new HR-34 from DirecTV that has 5 tuners instead of the 3 in the Hopper. It does not have PTAT, possible a nice feature if you watch a lot of network TV. Either way, you still have to find enough programming to make it worthwhile…. sometimes a tough thing to do, yet it always seems that a couple times a week there are more than 2 things on that I want to watch. I may have to do the upgrade sometime in the future.

  • 2 Daryl Lafferty // May 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    We’re kind of locked into Dish because they have the French channels Gisele watches a lot. Otherwise we might consider DirecTV or Cox cable.

    But I like Dish well enough, and this new DVR seems like a big step up.

    We watch a lot of PBS, Discovery, Comedy and other channels, but the major conflicts all seem to occur at prime time, and usually include one or two network shows, so this should resolve most of those.

  • 3 Donna // May 10, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    I’m going to have to do something to increase the number of shows I can record at a time. I end up watching some things online because there is so much overlap. This is intriguing. How much does it come out to be per month?

  • 4 Daryl // May 10, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    The cost depends on what package you get. The DVR cost alone is $17/month with two TVs sharing one unit, though they may have introductory specials. Packages start around $15/month (though that’s pretty skimpy). You can check here for some package pricing, and the above Hopper link for DVR pricing.

  • 5 Robin // May 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    We upgraded to this DVR a couple of months ago and we really like it! Yesterday they added a new feature. On Primetime Anytime shows you can choose to skip the whole commercial block while you are watching the episode. And it does it automatically! We watched 2 shows last night and only had to touch the remote once, to switch to the 2nd show.

  • 6 Daryl // May 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Robin, this DVR has only been available for a couple of months, and I only heard about it a couple of days ago. You guys must have a direct connection to the New Tech Bulletin!

  • 7 Robin // May 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    We were one of the first local installs 🙂 In fact, our installer said we were the first ones he had installed that worked!

    We just got really, really lucky. Our DVR crashed at the right time!

  • 8 Robin // May 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Oh, and we have 2 DVRS and Dish is promising that soon both of our hoppers will access each other.

  • 9 Daryl // May 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    I heard that multiple DVRs (Hoppers) will soon be able to share recordings. That will give you a virtual DVR with up to 8 TVs and 9 timers during Prime Time (4 from PTAT on H1, 2 more timers on H1, and 3 on the H2).

    Doesn’t that sound a little decadent?

  • 10 Donna // May 12, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    If you can record 6 or 8 shows on one Hopper and access it from 2 TVs, why would you need a second DVR? Just not quite understanding that.

    I’m seriously considering switching. What do you recommend for internet? I think I will take the plunge and cancel my landline now.

  • 11 Daryl // May 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    You can record at most 6 shows on the Hopper, and 4 of those are automatically the 4 major networks during Prime Time. The rest of the time you can record at most 3 programs. Basically it uses one tuner to record all 4 networks during prime time, leaving two tuners free.

    The first Hopper will connect to at most 4 TVs. If you have more than that, you would need another Hopper. One is enough for us!

    I’ve had DSL and Cox, and if I were you I would stay with Cox for internet.

    There are a few things that Tivo still does better than Dish. Suggestions is one of them. I often discovered new shows by reviewing the ones that Tivo had recorded on its own. Dish doesn’t have that feature.

    Also, when watching a live show on Tivo, if you are behind, you can finish the show in the buffer even if another show has begun to record. With Dish, as soon as the tuner starts to record, you lose the rest of your buffer. The solution is to push record and grab the rest of the show you are watching before the next show starts and that will preserve it for you, but it’s just not as clean as Tivo.

    But other than a few annoyances like this, we like the Dish DVR just fine, and especially the new Hopper, though it is taking a little getting used to.

  • 12 Donna // May 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    One more question: looks like Dish doesn’t do Netflix, only Blockbuster. Correct?

    I guess I could consider a personal hotspot as my internet option if that would be cheaper than Cox. But it probably wouldn’t be as fast. I think Cox internet alone (non-bundled) is quite expensive. There will be some offset savings from canceling my phone.

  • 13 Daryl // May 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Dish doesn’t do Netflix. However, you can buy a cheap BluRay player or other “set-top” box (such as a Roku) and most of them do access Netflix.