Home media centers are offered by DISH and DIRECTV. In comparison, both satellite television providers offer home media centers with advanced capabilities. For those who do not have a need for the technologically advanced features of the The Hopper® from DISH Whole-Home HD DVR or DIRECTV’s Genie HD DVR, each company has other types of receivers. By comparing these top two products, one can find a variety of differences and similarities. By reviewing this comparison, the best decision can be made between choosing either DISH or DIRECTV.
The Hopper from DISH
Basic DVR Features
The DVR features included in the DISH Hopper go beyond what most DVRs offer. Many DVRs are very limited in the amount of shows that can be recorded at one time. Not only can a user pause and rewind live TV shows, they can also record up to eight shows at once during primetime. The Hopper from DISH is the most whole-home HD DVR in the industry. The Hopper also has access to thousands of On Demand movies.
Prime Time Features
One convenient prime time feature of the DISH Hopper is the capability to skip over commercials on NBC, CBS, FOX, and ABC. This feature is called AutoHopTM. Prime time programs can also be set to automatically record weekly, by accessing the Hopper’s customizable options. The Hopper also has an additional feature, PrimeTime Anytime®, which allows a viewer to access three hours of prime time shows as many as eight days after the shows aired. Recordings can also permanently be saved.
Built-in Sling® is a feature, which allows access to satellite TV from anywhere and from any device with an Internet connection with Web Apps for TV. Through an Internet broadband connection, OnDemand shows can be streamed through the Hopper. Numerous types of devices can be connected, such as computers, tablets, and smartphones. These devices can be used to change channels or record shows. Slingbox has a 1.3 GHz chip, which allows it to run smooth. It is also simple to use to stream videos.
The Hopper and the Joey
Many households have the need to connect many TVs, such as those TVs in other bedrooms or in the kitchen. Joeys make it possible. A separate Joey is connected to each TV, which connects to the Hopper. This will allow different shows to be viewed and recorded on each separate TV.
The Hopper from DISH has many additional features. It features SRS TruVolume, which provides a volume control when the system switches from TV programs to commercials. This avoids commercials becoming louder, which is common during broadcast TV shows. Commercials can also be completely skipped during primetime TV. This is feature is only available on the DISH Hopper. If a remote is misplaced, the Hopper includes a feature that tracks down the remote. The DISH Hopper also has an extraordinary amount of data storage. It will hold about 2000 hours of recordings, because it has 2 terabytes of data. The Hopper allows sports fans to follow every score for all games.
Basic DVR Features
The DIRECTV Genie has the capability to record five shows at one time. This is less than the Hopper from DISH, which can record 8 shows at one time. However, the Genie does not restrict which channels can be recorded. The selections can be from any HD channel, which is more restricted on the DISH Hopper.
By using GenieGo, movies or shows can be streamed onto a phone, table, or laptop, while the movie or show is being recorded. A Wi-Fi connection is required. Shows and movies can also be Auto-Downloaded onto a device. If a user is in range of a home Internet connection. GenieGo will allow up to 20 hours of recorded programming. An external hard drive can also be connected for more recording hours.
Storing and Viewing Features
The DIRECTV Genie is able to store several programs for an unlimited period of time. However, it has only 1 terabyte of memory, compared to the DISH Hopper’s 2 terabytes of data. This is about 1000 hours of recorded programming. The Genie can also allow a viewer to record in one room and watch the program in another room. The Genie has a convenient directory feature, which allows programming for up to 2 weeks ahead. A recording can also be started late, but the Genie will record the program from the beginning.
Users of the DIRECTV Genie can get recommendations for upcoming similar programs. The user will also be prompted to choose whether they would like to record just one episode or a series of a similar program.
Genie Mini and Wireless Genie Mini
Up to eight Genie Minis can be connected to one HD DVR. This is the more the DISH Hopper can accommodate. Instead of connecting TVs in other rooms with Joeys, DIRECTV’s solution, Genie Minis can be used. Like the Joey, a program can be recording on the main system, and another show can be viewed elsewhere. Some TVs have RVU technology, which allows them to be connected to a GENIE DVR without using a Genie Mini Box. The feature called Picture-On-Picture can only be used on the main DIRECTV Genie. It cannot be used on Genie Minis.
At the time this article was written, DIRECTV was running several promotions. All packages included a free Genie upgrade. Packages are advertised from $24.99-$92.99 per month with a 24-month agreement. The additional receiver solutions below are free with any package. However, additional receivers may cost extra.
Alternate Receive Solutions
DIRECTV has several other options for those who want a simpler receiver. The following alternative solutions are available:
Standard Definition Receiver – A receiver for SD TVs - Not a DVR – Does not support HD TVS or whole-home service – TV listings can be searched up to three and a half days ahead – Has parental control capability
HD Receiver – A receiver for HD TVs – Not a DVR – Does not support whole-home service – Exceptional color and detail
Plus DVR Receiver – A receiver for SD TVs – Does not support HD TVs or whole-home service – Can be set from cell phone, tablet, or computer
TiVo – Automatic recording capability - Digital sound and pictures - Includes over 285 channels - 1080p maximum resolution - Live TV can be paused, rewound, and recorded - Parental control
HD DVR – Watch and record shows in different rooms - Automatic recording capability - Digital sound and pictures - Includes over 285 channels - 1080p maximum resolution - Live TV can be paused, rewound, and recorded - Parental control - Smart Search
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