Until recently, watching TV without commercial breaks was not possible through most cable services. Commercial free TV was a luxury instead of an option for customers, and no matter how much you wanted to experience TV without ads, fast-forwarding pre-recorded shows would have been impossible if it wouldn’t have been for the creation of the DISH hoppers. Commercials are a thing of the past; with Dish, you can now fast forward ads in the span of a few seconds.
In 2021, the number of Netflix subscribers surpassed the 70 million mark, making the streaming giant the number one platform to binge TV on. And while a lot of customers ditched cable TV in favor of streaming platforms due to the increasing number of ads interrupting their TV experience, many are coming back to Dish Network in search of a new alternative. With the DISH hoppers, you can now skip commercials with the simple push of a button. Moreover, you can customize your recordings and DVR settings on your remote without hassle.
What Is the Dish Hopper?
Though it’s often compared to the DIRECTV DVR “Genie,” the Dish Hopper is a service available to Dish Network customers looking to upgrade their cable TV-watching experience to new levels. In an attempt to eliminate commercials, Dish created this system as a simple solution to enjoy commercial-free TV. Learning how to use it is simple, the setup is easy, and it’s user-friendly. All you need is a DISH DVR with the auto hop feature included. Depending on which version of the DVR you have, there may be an additional charge for this feature. Make sure that when you upgrade your DISH TV service, you get the Hopper 3 HD to maximize your experience.
How Does the Dish Network Hopper Work?
This tool works best when you want to skip a commercial break during Primetime shows on channels like ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC recorded with Primetime Anytime. Primetime Anytime gives you the ability to record shows during primetime hours every night. All you have to do is press MENU on your remote, search the desired shows and time slots you’d like to save through your hopper system, set up the recording, and you’re good to go. The only thing to keep in mind with this feature is that your ability to skip commercials varies when you catch the recorded show the next day.
Does the Hopper Require Internet?
No, you do not need an Internet connection to make use of the Hopper whole-home HD DVR system. Dish Network provides you with access to hundreds of channels through satellite service that you can watch on your own time anytime. While there are benefits to connecting your DVR to the Internet, it is not a requirement in order for you to set up your recordings on Primetime Anytime and start skipping commercials with the press of a button.
How Many TVs Can The Hopper Support?
There are multiple options for this. DISH Network gives you the option of adding as many as seven TVs in your home network, all with the ability to view and individually save programming on their own time. In order to add Dish to multiple TVs, you’ll need a primary receiver that can deliver the service to the entire home and that can give you the option to tailor each TV to your personal liking.
Choosing a Primary Receiver
In order to maximize all your TVs at home and be able to record on each one, you’ll need a primary receiver. DISH offers three options: the Dish Hopper 3, Hopper with Sling, and the Hopper Duo.
If you really want to make the most out of your recordings and not be tethered to recording just one channel at a time, then hopper 3 is your best bet. With this DVR, not only are you able to setup up to seven TVs, but you can record up to 16 shows at a time and store up to 500 hours of HD programming.
Hopper with Sling
While this second-generation device doesn’t have the same capabilities as the newest version, it’s still a great option if you have more than two TVs in your household. The Hopper with Sling allows you to record up to four TVs at once, gives you 2TB of recording space, and you can watch live or recorded TV anywhere in your home. If you are looking forward to binging This Is Us on NBC while someone else wants to watch a recorded marathon of Family Guy on ABC, nobody in your household will have any issues watching their favorite programs.
Despite the fact that, as the name suggests, the Duo can only support two TVs, it’s still an efficient DVR that can save all your recordings and skip advertisements. It allows you to fast forward commercials much like the other two options and you don’t need to upgrade your plan with DISH in order to benefit from all it can do for you. It already comes with your basic DISH package and gives you 500GB of storage and the option to watch live programming or recordings on two TVs at the same time.
How to Skip Commercials on Hopper
Helpful Tips Before You Watch Commercial Free TV
Wait At Least a Day
Before you can maximize the benefits from AutoHop, it’s recommended to wait at least a day after the show’s original broadcast time to be able to skip commercials. Dish partners with ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC for your DVR to save all the primetime shows, however, this doesn’t extend to live TV broadcasts.
AutoHop Doesn’t Work with All Programs
Dish offers a wide array of programs that allow you to skip all the advertisements once you save them to your DVR, however, this doesn’t apply to all programming. To know which shows you can program for the AutoHop option, look for the red kangaroo icon next to the show’s title, as this will be a sure sign that you can use AutoHop. Once you press SELECT, the program you selected will have the option for you to skip the unwanted ads and watch the uninterrupted video.
You’ll Need a Secondary Receiver for Additional TVs
If you want to make sure all the TVs in your home have access to the same cable TV options, you’ll need to add a second piece of equipment named Joey. Dish currently offers four different options for you to choose from and subscribe to.
Wired or Wireless Joey
Either one of these options will give you access to whatever the Hopper is recording, as well as access to cable TV and HD video in multiple TVs around your house. Both the wired and wireless Joey offer the same quality of service. The wired model is only recommended if you have a particular site reserved for equipment in which you can hide all the cables.
Basically, the same as wired or wireless Joey, except your programming will broadcast in 4K Ultra HD.
While the other Joey versions allow you to watch different programming on different TVs, they don’t come with the option to record anything. With Super Joey, you can search for your favorite shows and record them so you can watch them later.
If there’s ever any sign that any of your DISH equipment is not working properly, visit the DISH Network website for additional information on how to troubleshoot your devices or get help from a customer service representative.