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DISH Hopper 3 Review 2024

Our experts tested the Hopper 3 for three years and we can confirm it’s the best DVR/receiver in the business—now let’s see if it’s the best choice for you.

Editor's choice for DVRs
DISH Hopper 3
500 hrs. of HD storage
16 simultaneous recordings
4K support
Voice remote
Additional monthly fee
High activation fees for some equipment
Available only to homes with 4+ TVs
500 hrs. of HD storage
16 simultaneous recordings
4K support
Voice remote
Additional monthly fee
High activation fees for some equipment
Available only to homes with 4+ TVs

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Is the DISH Hopper 3 worth it?

The DISH Hopper 3 is the best DVR for most users. It stores 500 hours of HD content, records up to 16 shows at once, and supports 4K. It also has Bluetooth, quad split-screen, built-in streaming apps (Netflix, Prime Video, and YouTube), the DISH voice remote, and whole-home TV functionality (with Joey receivers). And the Hopper 3 is only 10 bucks a month, which makes it a solid deal.

Incidentally, we’re fans of DISH Network as a whole, awarding it our Editor’s Choice pick—as both the best overall TV provider and best TV provider for families—for three years running. So, of course, we highly recommend the DISH Hopper 3. We’ll expand on why in our expert review, based on 3+ years of hands-on testing.

Why you should trust us: Every year our expert editors spend thousands of hours researching and testing TV providers and their equipment—like the DISH Hopper 3—to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information available.

Not only that, but our compliance specialists work directly with the brands featured on our site and review every page to triple-check the accuracy of all the information we publish.

You’ll need a fast internet connection to use some of the Hopper 3’s features

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DISH Hopper 3 vs. the competition

To show you just how much better the Hopper 3 is, we’ve compared it to other providers’ DVRs in this table. The numbers are devastating for the Hopper 3’s rivals.

Device DVR cost HD storage Simultaneous recordings
DISH Hopper 3 $10.00/mo. 500 hrs. 16 View plans
Cox Contour Record $13.50–$30.00/mo. 250–1,000 hrs. 2, 6, or 24
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Read Cox Contour Review
DIRECTV Genie $15.00/mo. 200 hrs. 5 View plans

Read DIRECTV Genie Review
Xfinity X1 $7.50–$8.50/mo.* 150 hrs.* 6
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Read Xfinity X1 Review

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Varies by location and package. Xfinity also charges an additional $10-$20 per month for additional cloud storage.

Sure, the Cox Contour Record 24 can record up to 24 movies or shows and store 1,000 HD hours of content, but it costs 50% more than the Hopper 3. DIRECTV’s Genie costs $15 monthly (via the Advanced Receiver Service Fee), but it has less than 50% of the Hopper 3’s storage capacity and 67% fewer simultaneous recordings. And Xfinity’s X1 gives you so little, but charges much more if you want additional cloud storage.

DISH Hopper 3 with Sling equipment with Voice Remote

DISH Hopper 3 with voice remote. (Image:

We’re tempted to stop here and tell you to just sign up for DISH, ’cause the service is also our editorial pick for the best overall TV provider (and the best TV provider for kids). So go ahead and do that if you want—or stick around to learn other cool things about the Hopper 3 and DISH’s other TV boxes.

DISH Hopper 3 options

Device DVR service price HD storage Supported TVs Simultaneous recordings Built-in streaming apps
Hopper 3 DVR/receiver $10.00/mo. 500 hrs. 7 (Joey required for 2+) 16 Netflix, Game Finder, MyDISH, Pandora, YouTube, YouTube Kids
Hopper 2 (Hopper w/ Sling) DVD/receiver $10.00/mo. 500 hrs. 3 (Joey required for 2+) 5 Netflix, Game Finder, MyDISH, Pandora, YouTube, YouTube Kids
Hopper Duo DVR/receiver $5.00/mo. 125 hrs. 2 (Joey required for 2+) 2 Netflix, Game Finder, MyDISH, Pandora
Wally receiver $5.00/mo. N/A 1 1 Netflix
Joey/4K Joey/Wireless Joey $7.00/mo. N/A 1 per device Depends on receiver N/A

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. Two or fewer will stick you with the Hopper Duo for $5 per month; three TVs gets you the Hopper 2 (a.k.a. Hopper with Sling) for $10. Each additional TV requires a Joey receiver ($7.00 monthly) to connect with each screen in your house, bringing your equipment fees up to $12–$31 per month depending on your choices.

Both the Hopper 2 and Hopper 3 store up to 500 HD hours. If you have only one TV, you might have to settle for the Hopper Duo’s measly 125 recording hours for your shows—but hey, at least you’ll be saving up to $26 a month.

For more information on the full range of DISH hardware, head over to our DISH roundup.

Pro tip: If the Hopper 3 doesn’t seem like the DVR for you, we’ve researched others you might like. Check out our guide to the Best DVRs to explore other options.

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.

Simultaneous recordings

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.

Quad split-screen

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.”

Multiroom viewing

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.

DISH Anywhere app

Available on Amazon Kindle, Android, and iOS devices, the DISH Anywhere app allows you to watch live, on-demand, and recorded movies and shows on your mobile device—but for only one user at a time.

You can also set and manage DVR recordings and parental controls within the app from—wait for it—anywhere. Just remember that it’s better to use an app like this over Wi-Fi, ’cause it uses your mobile data (I learned this the hard way).

To learn more about this helpful DISH app, check out our DISH Anywhere App guide.

Parental controls

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.

DISH voice remote

The Hopper 3 comes with the DISH Voice Remote, which can control your DISH Hopper 3, your TV, and your smart home devices.

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.

Screenshot of DISH Anywhere mobile app home screen

DISH Anywhere app home screen. (

DISH Voice Remote

DISH voice remote at our tester’s home. (

Pro tip: Do you need instructions on how to program your DISH voice remote? We wrote “How to Program a DISH Remote” for you.

DISH Hopper 3 FAQ

What is the newest DISH Hopper?

The DISH Hopper 3 is the newest version of the Hopper DVR/receiver. It costs $10 a month in addition to your plan price.

How much does DISH Hopper 3 cost?

The DISH Hopper 3 costs $10 a month. But if you don’t need its 500 hours of HD storage and 16 simultaneous recordings, you can get the Hopper Duo (125 hours, 2 recordings) for $5 a month.

How do you get the Hopper 3 for free?

You can’t get the DISH Hopper 3 for free. But people have started GoFundMe campaigns for more trivial things . . .

What remote comes with the Hopper 3?

The DISH Hopper remote can control up to three devices including your Hopper 3, your TV, and your smart home devices. It also has backlit keys, a remote locator feature, and programmable hotkeys.

How much does it cost to upgrade to the Hopper 3?

If you currently have a Wally receiver, you’ll pay an extra $5 a month to upgrade to the Hopper 3. Same deal with the DISH Hopper Duo, which is now $5 a month (it used to be free).

Can I buy my own DISH Hopper?

Yes, you can buy—instead of rent—a DISH Hopper 3 receiver/DVR, a Wally receiver, a Joey receiver, and even DISH voice remotes. That doesn’t mean you’ll get free DISH TV service, though. You’ll need an OTA adapter to use the Hopper 3 with your TV antenna, or you can use it to pick up free-to-air satellite TV networks.

Can I watch Disney Plus on the DISH Network Hopper 3?

Unfortunately, the DISH Hopper 3 doesn’t support Disney+, but you may already have a device that does support Disney’s popular streaming app. Read our Disney+ review for more information.

What is the difference between the Hopper Duo and the Hopper 3?

The Hopper Duo is a receiver/DVR like the Hopper 3, but it’s not as powerful. Here’s how they stack up against each other:

Hopper 3: $10 monthly, 500 HD hour capacity, 16 simultaneous recordings, supports up to 7 TVs, several built-in streaming apps, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 4K support.
Hopper Duo: $5 monthly, 125 HD hours, 2 simultaneous recordings, supports 2 TVs, fewer built-in streaming apps, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and no 4K support.

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Why you should trust us

Our TV experts have logged hundreds of hours using the DISH Hopper 3 in order to give you a first-hand assessment of its cost and features. For more information on our research and testing practices, see our “How We Rank” page.

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