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HopperGo Shipped: Dish Network

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Of all cable and satellite TV providers, Dish Network has the strongest record for technical innovation.

In 1999, Dish released the industry’s first high definition TV tuner. That same year, Dish offered the first DVR packaged with cable or satellite TV. In 2003, Dish was the first satellite TV provider to offer local stations in all fifty states, and shortly afterward, it released the world’s first dual-tuner DVR. For the 2004 Olympic Games, Dish unveiled America’s first picture-in-picture (PIP) application. In 2011, Dish released the Tailgater, an integrated portable satellite dish and receiver. With the Tailgater, you could get satellite TV service away from home, and it would lock onto the satellite signal automatically. You wouldn’t have to align it like a standard satellite dish. In 2012, Dish released the Hopper, an advanced HD DVR with the Auto-Hop feature. With Auto-Hop, you could skip the ads for an entire prime time lineup automatically, without ever having to press the ‘fast forward’ button.

Since 2012, Dish Network has refined the Hopper platform repeatedly. Its latest addition to the Hopper lineup is the HopperGo, which it first shipped last Wednesday. The HopperGo is a tiny cloud player; a 64G USB drive with a built-in wireless access hot spot. Connect it to a Hopper 2 or Hopper 3, and you can download up to 100 hours of video onto it. Take it with you when you travel, and watch any recorded shows away from home. The battery will last up to four hours without a charge. With the Dish Anywhere app, viewing the HopperGo’s content won’t require an internet connection.

The HopperGo is available only for Dish Network video subscribers. It sells for $99.00. On occasion, the company will discount it for new subscribers who also get the Hopper 2 or the Hopper 3.