Dish Network announced a new set-top box digital video recorder with advanced features at a press conference at CES 2016 on Tuesday, Jan. 5, as well as the HopperGo wireless flash drive for offline viewing of recorded content.
The new DVR set-top box called Hopper 3 has 16 tuners to allow TV addicts to record up to 16 shows at the same time and watch content in multiple rooms on up to seven televisions. It is powered by a Broadcom BCM7445 quad-core ARM processor at 1.5 GHz, making it seven times faster then the speed of Hopper 2. The DVR device has 2 TB of internal storage, which is enough to save up to 500 hours of HD content. It is also the first DVR to use USB 3.0 connectivity for external storage expansion, which provides transfers speeds 10 times faster than USB 2.0.
Hopper 3 also features the new 4K "Sports Bar Mode," a feature that divides the screen into four quadrants, with each quadrant able to display a different program in 1080p. That means sports fans can now split their TV into multiple screens in order to watch different games airing on various channels at the same time.
To further enhance the 4K experience, Dish announced partnerships with Sony Pictures, The Orchard and Mance Media to provide even more movies in 4K such as The Amazing Spiderman and Smurfs 2.
"The affordability of 4K TVs has increased dramatically, and consumers are hungry for content and features that really showcase the picture and put the technology to work," DISH executive VP and CTO Vivek Khemka said in a press release. "With Sports Bar Mode, we wanted to replicate the fan experience of enjoying several games simultaneously for the home, and combining this feature with our new content offerings gives viewers a rich 4K viewing experience unavailable elsewhere."
That also means Hopper 3 will stream 4K Netflix content as well. While the previous Hopper set-top boxes had integrated Netflix, Dish also revealed that Hopper 3, as well as Hopper 2, will now feature an improved universal search and discovery function that includes Netflix. Binge-watching just got easier since customers who search for a TV series will be able to see a list that features Netflix, on-demand options, DVR recordings and future airings on each searched title.
While the Netflix app is getting an update, Dish revealed YouTube integration on Hopper 3. That means users will be able to stream viral video and music videos directly to their TVs from the set-top box.
Last, Dish announced a new personal video drive called HopperGo that can store up to 100 hours of recorded content. HopperGo has 64 GB of flash memory, with up to four hours of viewing time before needing to recharged. To do so, simply connect the drive to a Hopper 2 or 3 via USB.
HopperGo creates a private Wi-Fi cloud, then enables play-back of shows on up to five devices at a time, perfect for taking favorite shows with a family while on vacation, making something (different) for everyone possible.
Hopper 3 will be available in early 2016 for $15 per month. HopperGo will be available in spring 2016 for a one-time fee of $99.