Dish made waves with their first Hopper system, allowing customers to watch their recorded content on the go. Subsequent revisions have improved the Hopper and the on-the-go experience it provides. The latest, the Hopper 3, adds compatibility for eye-searing 4K content. On top of that, the set top box features sixteen tuners, allowing the simultaneous recording of sixteen broadcasts and TV watching in up to sixteen rooms of your home at once, if nothing is being recorded. A multi-window feature called “Sports Bar Mode” is also on board, letting you display four windows on one screen.
The HopperGO, on the other hand, is tailor-made for road warriors. This little device can be plugged into the Hopper 3 via USB to download up to 100 hours of content. The resolution for the full 100 hours wasn’t specified, but the HopperGO is compatible with 4K content. When downloading, it also charges. A single full charge can keep the HopperGO going for up to four hours, with support for five simultaneous users. This means that a camping trip for a family of five could easily turn into a lazy day to catch up on recorded shows. The HopperGO works by creating a personal Wi-Fi hotspot that allows users to grab content from it and play it on their personal devices, no internet connection required. Any devices that can access Wi-Fi, from laptops and Smart TVs to portable game consoles, Chromecast and smartphones are presumably fair game. The interface wasn’t touched on, though a traditional DLNA setup a built-in file browser and a Dish-made app are all distinct possibilities in that regard.
Current Dish customers who have the Hopper may be eligible for an upgrade to the Hopper 3, though the conditions for that weren’t specified. The price for new service starts at a fairly paltry $15. The Wi-Fi powered HopperGo is set to roll out with an asking price of $99, separate from any other equipment or plan costs. There was no word given just yet on bundles for new service or contract renewals that include the HopperGo as a bonus, but it’s not a big logical leap to think those may come later down the road. Both devices are set to touch down some time in late Q1 of 2016.