Last week I had my whole house DISH Network Hopper and Joey’s installed. In order to first understand the setup you need to know we had SIX receivers previously all on our account with a DISH 1000 setup. I had two DP-34 switches and multiple runs to the rooms. The original gear consisted of:
- DISH 922
- DISH 722 with Google TV
- Four DISH 211’s
- Dual DP-34 Switches
The new setup is much easier and cleaner to deal with:
- TWO Hopper DVR’s
- TWO Sling Adapters
- 4 Joey’s
- New Duo Switch with dual splitters
Additionally my wiring was all RG6 home runs from each room location to the primary location in the basement so it made the installer’s job a snap to wire up. The longest thing was waiting the 45 minutes for each Hopper to download and activate, but the Joey’s go much quicker. The best part about the system is any one of the 4 Joey’s can link up to either of the Hopper DVR’s to view their recordings. Now with more than two people in the house you are limited to three tuners so you cannot have everything connected at the same time.
The other cool thing is eventually each hopper will see the other Hopper’s DVR items so if you split your recordings you will be able to truly watch anything in any house. We even paused the home theater, and connected to the show from the master bedroom to watch from bed. There is a couple things to point out on the Hopper Storage though. The details say there is 2TB of data, BUT there is a catch. You have to know how it is broken down.
UPDATED 4/23/2012 – DISH has recently updated the partition information as of 4/18 to increase the user data space!! This is great news for those that want to save more of your Prime Time Anytime shows. It’s nice to see they decided to increase the user space in lieu of the larger DISH partition. This is a rolling update so all Hoppers should see this update soon.
- 1TB of user DVR Storage
- 500GB of PrimeTime Anytime Storage (I am speculating on this number)
- 500GB of DISH Network storage (I am speculating on this number)
Using primetime anytime is great so you grab everything, but it only lasts for 8 days. You need to remember to save the things you want which moves them to the 500GB user data area until deleted. Also DISH Network is one of the only companies that allows you to backup your DVR recordings and restore them to another DVR. Before the installer came, the night before, I plugged in an IOMEGA 500GB USB drive to each DVR and offloaded everything. When the new Hopper’s were installed, I just plugged it in again and moved them back. You may a one-time fee for external storage….but it’s totally worth it.
I also am a big user of the DISH anywhere feature on the iPad. I also installed a Sling Adapter on each Hopper so I can remotely watch on my iPad or laptop when I am in my home office. This means I don’t need another TV or Joey in that room I can just stream the High Definition signal to my device anywhere in the house. The one downside to the online apps is they are not fully aware of the Hopper’s features. I have seen the recording tasks not setup correctly from the remote apps. For example it does not know about the DVR folder structures that are on the Hopper. All the recordings show in one long list which is no the same look at feel as the hopper interface. I will see if that improves over time, but the TV Anywhere is very cool.
So far the features, and the function of having whole-home DVR along with unified menus and access is just plain awesome. No difference in user interface, and the same remotes in every room make things so much easier. The Hopper also supports IR remotes so I can still use my HarmonyONE and the 922 settings seemed to work just fine. I will still update it for the shortcut buttons which are used now. The Joey’s are super small and are even able to be mounted to the wall behind the TV with an included mounting plate. Lastly you want to make sure your Hopper’s are internet connected, but the Joey’s do not need to be. They even support a USB wireless adapter, but I prefer hardwiring them especially if you are using the Sling Adapter. Please post your own comments and experience’s with this very cool new piece of TV technology.
If anyone is interested in getting one, please Contact Me so I can send you a referral E-Mail from my DISH Network account and we both get a deal!
UPDATE 4/21/2012 – Today we tried to located the Sirius Music on the Hopper and it turns out it is done differently than on the old receivers! It is there but music is on channel 98 and channel 99. From there you can expand the music channels, so they are no longer in the 6000 channel range. Drove us nuts until we finally called to be told that this is different on the hopper. Your SiriusXM is still there just go to Channel 99! I also tried out the Pandora Application and it works perfectly. Logged in and selected my station and was off and running. I will play with the other apps soon as well.
UPDATE 4/23/2012 –DISH also introduced the addition of Pandora and Facebook to the applications section. I tried out Pandora this weekend and it worked really well. They also added the ability to save the entire Prime Time Anytime series not just he single show. This shows that DISH really is cranking up the feature sets of this new receiver and I for one am loving it! They gave me permission to post the document below with the latest update details.