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Dish Upgrades ‘Hopper’ DVR

22 Nov, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

New features include HDMI technology that eliminates need to switch between disc and TV inputs

Packaged media viewers using the Hopper DVR no longer have to switch back to the TV input to watch live broadcast, Dish Network said.

“The ‘Denver’ release for Hopper is all about continuing to improve the TV viewing experience for our customers,” said Vivek Khemka, SVP of product management at Dish. “With so many devices connected to the TV, we find confusion arises when consumers switch between inputs. Our Hopper’s HDMI-CEC feature helps eliminate that confusion.”

The HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronic Control) function is among six upgrades to the Hopper, a DVR that remains controversial (and in litigation) due to a feature that allows users to automatically skip (“AutoHop”) commercials on recorded programming.

Other improvements include a visually-enhanced display of on-demand programming organized with movie and show tiles displayed horizontally across the screen. The satellite TV operator said it makes it easier for users to scroll through options and select from the more than 20,000 titles. As part of this new design, Dish includes a “Free for Kids” shelf that features on demand content filtered by content ratings appropriate for children.

User menus and content selections have been an Achilles Heel to multichannel video program distributors when compared to Netflix’s user menu and recommendation software — widely considered industry standards.

The new Dish Explorer app acts as a remote controlling all connected televisions in a Hopper ecosystem. The app a new “see also” recommendation feature, and doubles as a second-screen iPad app locating programming and linking social media.

Hopper’s search function also updates content results from myriad sources, including the programming guide, recorded content, and on demand.


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