Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
It’s worth mentioning that DISH gatekeeps the Hopper 3 until you connect four or more TVs—three or fewer will stick you with the Hopper Duo for $5 per month or the Hopper 2 for $10. With a four-TV plan, you’ll also need a Joey receiver to connect with each screen in your house, bringing your equipment fees up to $25 per month.
If you have only one TV, you might have to settle for a measly 125 recording hours for your shows—but hey, at least you’ll be saving $20 a month.
For more information on the full range of DISH hardware, head over to our DISH roundup.
Hopper 3 DVR specs and features
And what does the Hopper 3 do, exactly? Aside from recording and storing content? I’ve been testing the Hopper 3 for months now, so I can give you the scoop on its main features.
Does anyone watch enough TV to warrant 500 hours of storage? ‘Cause only the GOAT couch potato—or an entire family of couch creatures with divergent TV tastes—could fill up that 2TB hard drive. In our tests, we’ve used only 11% of that storage (and we’re great at watching TV).
If the Hopper 3 DVR’s 500-hour storage, 16 tuners, and $10 price are too much for you, consider signing up for DIRECTV instead. The DIRECTV Genie DVR/receiver has much less storage (200 hours) and only 5 simultaneous recordings. And it has no monthly rental fee—it’s included with your TV package.
Only the most dedicated couch creature (or a family of them) could find enough conflicting movies and shows to warrant 16 simultaneous recordings—I’ve used only three. If that’s you, the Hopper’s 16 tuners are a good thing. Everyone gets to watch what they want. Eventually.
You might still bicker over who gets to watch their thing live, but even that’s avoidable if you have multiple TVs with DISH Joey receivers.
If you thought picture-in-picture was cool, this is a whole ‘nother level of multi-slacking, and we’re here for it. The Hopper 3 has quad split-screen so sports fans can watch four games at once. We asked John Sportsball, a dude we totally made up, what he thought and he said, “That’s . . . that’s awesome.”
The DISH Joey receivers let you do everything the Hopper 3 can do on the other TVs in your house, but your DVR recordings will be stored on the Hopper 3’s hard drive. You can order up to 7 Joeys, which cost $5 a month per device and come in three versions:
- Joey: connects to TVs via an HDMI cable but doesn’t support 4K
- Wireless Joey: connects via Wi-Fi but doesn’t support 4K
- 4K Joey: connects via HDMI and supports a 4K display
The Joey also works with the Hopper Duo DVR ($10 a month), but it supports only two Joey-connected TVs. Unfortunately, the Wally receiver doesn’t work with the Joey.
Also, look out for the leased receiver fees DISH charges for Joeys at signup. If you order more than three Joeys (plus the Hopper 3), you’ll be charged a one-time fee of $50. The fees are even spookier with the Wireless Joey ($25 per device) and 4K Joey ($50 per device). Good thing that most of us have only one or two TVs.
Fortunately, if you have DISH on only one or two TVs in your house and someone is hogging them, you can watch DISH on your smartphone or tablet with the DISH Anywhere app.
While we’re on the subject, DISH has the best parental controls—and the Hopper 3, along with DISH Anywhere, are how you wield this awesome power.
But DISH parental controls, designed with Common Sense Media, aren’t just about preventing your kids from watching video nasties. You can also use them to guide your kids toward educational programming and positive role models.
The Hopper 3 comes with the DISH voice remote with Google Assistant, so it can control your DISH Hopper 3, your TV, and your smart home devices.
DISH voice remote at our tester’s home. Image credit CableTV.com.
The DISH voice remote control also has backlit, soft-rubber buttons (a tactile delight), a remote locator feature, and programmable hotkeys. And, of course, it harnesses the awesome power of your voice. That’s our favorite feature, by the way—it understands everything I say and returns search results super fast.