What is "The Hopper"?

The Hopper is a high-definition DVR system offered through the Dish Network, a satellite television provider. It is a satellite receiver and digital video recorder contained in one unit about the size of a DVD player.

The Hopper allows subscribers to record up to six programs in HD at one time and play them back through any television within the home. It gives the subscriber the ability to pause, rewind or record live television on any set in your home. The Hopper also allows you to automatically skip commercials on select TV channels during prime time viewing. You don’t need to spend extra time hitting fast forward or rewind to skip commercials in order to get to your program. With some traditional DVR systems you can only watch your recorded programs on the television set that has the DVR receiver connection. With the Hopper, subscribers can access their full menu of recorded programs from any TV in the home.

The Hopper can stream four recorded programs to different televisions simultaneously. The hard drive on the Hopper system is large. The Hopper has 2 terabytes of storage available. This allows you to store up to 2,000 hours of television programming. You can control and manage your Hopper DVR when you are away from home using the Hopper's Smartphone mobile app.

If you connect the Hopper to your high speed internet connection you will have access to streaming On Demand content from several top premium providers. There are a large selection of apps available for the Hopper, including Facebook, Twitter and many others. This allows you to use your television, rather than your computer or tablet, to stay connected to your online services.

The Hopper system is available for free with monthly packages that start at $24.99 a month for the first year. A two-year contract is required with Dish Network. Additional receivers, called Joeys, may be needed to provide Hopper access to other rooms.

DirecTV, a leading Dish Network competitor, offers a system called the Genie. The Genie system offers a 1 TB hard drive, smaller compared to 2 TB on the Hopper. Dish Network claims to save you $60 in the first year over a comparable DirecTV Genie package.

The Hopper can be a great addition to your Dish Network package, especially if you have family members who fight over who gets to record their favorite television shows. If you left home forgetting to record a game or television show, the Hopper solves that problem by allowing you to record it by simply accessing the device using your mobile phone.