DISH Network Whole Home DVR Hopper and Joey – My Thoughts
I recently made the switch from Time Warner Cable to DISH Network. There were many reasons for this change. The two main reasons were 1.) DISH had better features and 2.) DISH was less expensive. This was a big change for me as I was always pleased with the service Time Warner provided. Let me clarify, pleased in that the cable rarely went out. Ever since I was a kid I heard horror stories of satellite losing signal. This really turned me off as I knew it would really annoy me to have the satellite go out every time it rained or snowed.
After seeing some pre released information about the Hopper and Joey system, I realized the features of whole home DVR out weighed the chance of signal outage. Living in Northern Maine, I called Time Warner to see if they have whole home DVR. While they do provide it in some locations, it is not available in Northern Maine. That settled it! I decided to switch and am now getting way better features while saving about 40% off my bill!
Whole Home DVR
First of all – I have to say the Hopper offers some incredible features. With Time Warner Cable – I had one HD DVR. The Hopper provides me with one HD DVR as well – but I can access it anywhere in my house! I have three TVs and they all link back to the hopper. This allows me to watch anything I want – wherever I want. Previously, with Time Warner, every time I wanted to watch the DVR in another room – I would unhook the cable box and bring it to another room. I no longer have to do that. The Hopper makes it so the DVR is right at your fingertips.
You are able to set up recordings from any TV. You can watch your DVR at any TV. You can watch OnDemand content at any tv.
The Guide works great as well. One thing that always annoyed me with Time Warner Cable was that every time the power went out, or you had to unplug the DVR – the guide would have to re download and it would take for ever. NO MORE! The Hopper saves the guide and if the power goes out or your need to power cycle – the guid is right there and ready to go. No more waiting for the guide to download!
Another great feature of the guide is the search function. It allows you to search the guide for upcoming shows/sports. I have used this many time to find my favorite playoff game. Just put in a filter for the particular sport you are looking for – and boom, within seconds you have found what you are looking for. You can search by any category imaginable.
The remotes are great as well. They have an awesome feature that doesn’t require one to point the remote at the cable box. It works wirelessly. If you want to tuck away the Joey out of site – not a problem. The remote will still work!
You must have a satellite attached to your home and some people really find that to be an eye sore. I was fortunate to have a great installer come and we worked together to find a spot that was not sticking out. He also did a fantastic job with the cable runs and am very happy with the quality.
Glitches and Bugs
I have noticed a few things with the Hopper and Joey system that seem to be a bit glitchy. I have contacted DISH Customer support and they are usually very supportive and helpful.
One of my main issues is that on the Joey – the fast forward is extremely unreliable. When I press fast forward – the problem is when I press play. It seems to just pick a spot to start playing. It isn’t where I actually hit play. It might be 40 seconds before or 3 minutes later. It is an extremely frustrating experience to try to fast forward through commercials. This only occurs on the Joey – not the main Hopper itself. I actually have to use the SKIP FWD button to get through commercials.
I have contacted customer support – and they told me to power off all of my equipment and power it back on. I did this – but of course it didn’t fix anything. I suggested that it might be a software bug and they are adamant it isn’t. I even showed them some posts where other people experienced it – didn’t matter. I am sure they will eventually realize there is a problem and it will be fixed.
Along those same lines – I have had some recordings just get skipped. They are series recordings and one week they just don’t record. There are no conflicts that are causing them – and they say the are all set to record… but then they don’t. Quite annoying as I don’t get the locals OnDemand so I end up having to watch them online. I also contacted them about this issue and they said a reboot in equipment should also fix this. I’m skeptical – but maybe. This has skipped recordings maybe 4 out of 40 shows. This is 10% – which is WAY too often for my liking.
On our house – we required two satellites because the locals were on a different satellite than the HD. This was a huge downer for me as I hate cluttering up the house. Not to mention these locals come in terrible here in Northern Maine. Unfortunately, the Hopper doesn’t accept over-the-air signal from an antenna – so we are stuck with the glitchy local Presque Isle stations. I am hopeful that they will transition to HD someday soon!
Overall – I am extremely pleased with the DISH Network services. The online services are great. The features of the Hopper are all I could ever ask for. I would recommend this package to everyone as you can’t beat the price to functionality ratio. I have had the service for about a month now and am happy to report the dish signal hasn’t been out yet! I am still hopeful that DISH will get the Locals in HD as the locals on DISH in Northern Maine are terrible. They glitch regularly – but it isn’t DISH’s fault. The Locals are on an older satellite band and really needs to be updated. I mean, come on – it’s 2012!
Thanks for checking out my thoughts on the DISH Hopper Package. Any questions comments – feel free to ask below! Experiencing the same issues let the world know below!
Finally, after about a year and a half, I can honestly most of the growing pains associated with the hopper are gone! Furthermore – we finally get the locals in HD and can utilize primetime anytime. The DVR capacity still blows my mind. I currently have 80 some movies and 110 tv shows to watch and still have a ton of free space left. Yes, I do need to start getting caught up on the DVR! 🙂