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Dish’s New DVR Lets T.V. Addicts Record 16 Shows At Once

January 5, 2016, 11:12 PM UTC
Dish Network's Hopper 3 DVR
Courtesy Dish Network

Dish Network (DISH) on Tuesday announced a new set-top box with enhanced recording features, better search, and faster performance.

Hopper 3, the company’s latest digital video recorder (DVR), can record up to 16 shows simultaneously—for television addicts who just can’t watch enough. It’s also seven times faster than the previous model, due to an upgraded processor.

Hopper 3 is equipped with a two-terabyte hard drive, capable of storing 500 hours of high-definition video. Owners have the option of adding an external hard drive for more storage by connecting it through a USB 3.0 port.

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Users can set Hopper 3 to record shows or movies featuring a favorite actor, or every game for a sports team through a one time setup. For example, you can set Hopper 3 to record any TV show or movie with Michael Keaton in it through the device’s search settings.

In what Dish calls “Sports Bar Mode,” Hopper 3 takes advantage of its 4K support by displaying four different channels in 1080p high-definition quality at the same time on a 4K television. Conversely, people who don’t own a 4K TV can still stream four channels simultaneously, albeit at a lower quality.

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When searching for shows on Dish’s network, a new universal search feature will now search Netflix.

For those who are always on the move, Dish also announced HopperGo, a portable hard drive that connects to the Hopper 2 or Hopper 3. The device stores up to 100 hours of video.

The HopperGo can be a big help to travelers who want to be entertained by creating a small Wi-Fi network for up to five devices. Users who are connected to the device can stream content recorded at home from anywhere.

HopperGo will be available by the end of April for $99. Dish subscribers who have the Hopper 3 will pay an extra $15 for their monthly Dish subscriber bill after its premiere in early 2016.

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Meanwhile, Dish’s over-the-top service, Sling TV, is set to receive a redesign that makes it easier to find TV shows and movies. The service, which debuted at last year’s CES tech conference, is an online video streaming service for cord-cutters who want a limited selection of channels with a smaller monthly cable bill.

The base $20 package provides subscribers with 23 basic channels with add-on packages bringing sports, news, and family content for additional monthly fees. A total of 65 channels are currently available through various Sling TV subscriptions.

The service is currently available on set-top boxes such as Roku or Xbox One, as well as through mobile apps on iOS and Android.

The service, however, has always been difficult to navigate. Sling’s redesign will feature content first, channels second. That means that popular shows and movies will be more prominently displayed on the homepage. It is also supposed to provide better suggestions of shows to watch based on your previous viewing habits. Subscribers will now have the ability to add programming packages directly within the app, instead of users being forced to visit the Sling website and add the package—eliminating one of the biggest complaints of current subscribers.

The updated look is expected to reach Roku devices in the first quarter, with more devices to follow there after.