Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) are nothing new, but it’s good to know that vendors continue to innovate and integrate their products. Traditionally, a DVR is generally referred to as a big, bulky set-top box that sounds like an old desktop computer. You can store all your favorite movies and TV shows. Recent advancements have made the technology more advanced, allowing manufacturers to produce more efficient and attractive models by incorporating new technology into the product.

Ten years ago you could get a DVR that recorded about 30 hours of programming. Today’s hard drives can store up to 1000 hours or 2 Terabytes of recordings. While the DVR comes with a limited hard drive, you have the ability to add an external hard drive and expand your storage. Note that once a recording is moved from the internal hard drive to an external one, the location is permanent.

The latest DVR is labeled “The Hopper”. This unit is a high definition whole home DVR with three tuners that allows you to record on up to six high definition channels at the same time, allowing playback in any room. In addition, it provides the ability to operate four televisions simultaneously from one video recorder. Additional benefits include the ability to watch one show while recording another at the same time. Plus the option to pause, record, and play TV shows on demand.

This receiver has a feature called “Prime Time Anytime or PTAT”. PTAT allows instant on-demand access to programs on ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX in high definition where they are available the day after the initial presentation. On-demand programs are available for up to 8 days. The new auto-skip feature seamlessly skips commercials, so there’s no need to press a skip-forward button.

This is the first model I have seen that has a remote locator. The button is located on the front panel of the receiver. A signal is sent to the remote control causing it to beep, making it easy to find. The function is available on all receivers connected to the Hopper.

Connect a Bluetooth such as wireless headphones and multimedia devices. Have access to SIRIUSXM satellite radio, Pandora Internet radio, Facebook and Twitter; along with interactive games, news, sports, weather, and stock prices.

(PIP) Picture-in-picture isn’t new, but it’s a rare find these days. PIP allows you to watch two programs at the same time from the same screen. Great feature, for those who like to watch more than one show at a time.

Stream movies with DISH Cinema or Blockbuster at Home. The Blockbuster at Home package includes 17 premium movie channels and options to download over 10,000 titles. Take your shows with you by connecting a Sling Adapter with TV Everywhere. TV Everywhere allows access on mobile phones, PCs and tablets. Remotely control DVR recordings at or with the DISH Remote app.

With all the latest developments, it’s easy to see why consumers choose Hopper. DISH is the second largest and fastest growing satellite provider in the United States. New technology can be overwhelming, so always make sure you understand what you are getting.

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