Got A New DISH Hopper 3, & I Hate The Remote

The DISH Hopper 3 And the Smaller, Voice Controlled Remote

The other day my DISH Network DVR took a dump. I went through the entire telephone process of testing my box and what now, we decided that my DVR Hopper box was malfunctioning. We then set up an appointment for a DISH rep to show up and install a replacement DVR.

In my case I was going from an older Hopper to the their newest Hopper 3 box receiver. Because my box broke, I did not have to pay the installation fee to upgrade.

I thought I would enjoy the new Dish Hopper 3 DVR box, hands down. I was expecting some kind of new technology and larger disk. Now what I did get was an update on how many shows I could watch or record at once.

You see, my older Hopper could record up to eight shows at once. But that was a slight misnomer. If you had a Hopper and a sling or another receiver attached to your system, you could then record up to eight shows at once.

But we were running into issues with recording some of our shows because if we had to record five more more, something had gone wrong with the setup and we were missing shows. But that's neither here nor there now.

The first thing that went a bit haywire was that during the diagnostic call, "we" did not test my second receiver's smart card, so the smart card error we were getting could have been the second receiver and we could have skipped the entire upgrade of our boxes.

But we upgraded.

Now we probably won't run into any more DVR recording conflicts.

After we upgraded, we were worried about all the shows we still had on the old DVR but there's a process where we can connect the old box to the new box with a cat 5 network cable and the boxes started talking to each other and you can then move your old recordings from the old DVR to the new one. But it can take a long time. Our box was just under half full and it took just over two days to transfer everything.

The new Hopper 3 comes with a newer, simpler remote. Simpler, I think is code for cheaper, because they have much fewer buttons to do all the same functions the older remote with many more buttons did. But to be blunt, you have maybe one third the buttons you had on the old remote and it's annoying to try and figure out what each button does when it does it or how or from where in the menu it does what.

For instance if you now want to stop a playback, you have to hit the select button, then use the cursor-arrows to select stop. Then in the subsequent menu, you can choose delete.

Or if you want to record a show that is already playing, it seems you can't just do it from the menu any more. Now you have to bring up the show, and punch a few buttons using the cursor arrows to get what you want. That much, so far, seems trickier to accomplish versus the old remote that all the buttons in your face, or that you can use the Guide menu to accomplish the same things.

Yep, that's how confusing it can be and I haven't become acclimated to it yet.

And I also hoped that getting a new box would eliminate those midnight or 1 AM reboot updates that interrupt your late night TV or DVR viewing. But nah, I still have those "awesome" reboots in the middle of my shows.  Thanks for that DISH, that still sucks.

Still, the DVR is pretty awesome, has the same amount of holding capacity as the old one, but then again, 500 hours of content should be enough! Right?

And the new bit where you can talk to your remote to ask it to search for things can be pretty awesome, even if it does take the place of a decent single push search button of the old remote. But as I found out, you do need your DISH DVR hooked up through your router to the internet for it to work.

You have two programmable buttons on the bottom of the remote. I was forced, from lack of intuitive buttons, to set them to 'Start DVR recording' and 'Stop DVR recording.'

The DISH HOPPER 3 is a pretty awesome DVR and all, and the service was quite acceptable for the situation I found myself in. Though, to be honest, it's weird to see a service rep call into his own company and get put in the call queue with the rest of the customers, but it is what it is for saving bucks, right?

And unlike many who have complained about DISH, I have a pretty good up-time record with the service, and I've had it in two different residences.  We've come to truly enjoy the offerings it has versus things like Comcast or what not, though, to be honest, I do get my internet through Comcast.

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