With the sheer amount of customers viewing the same kinds of content on their TVs that would normally be viewed on a smartphone, tablet, or computer, consumers want to be able to access this kind of content, like YouTube and Hulu, through as many channels as possible. Popular streaming boxes and game consoles have long sated that need, such as the NVIDIA SHIELD TV and the Sony PlayStation 4. Smaller fare like the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Chromecast have served a similar purpose. Slightly more rare are cable boxes, DVR boxes, and other such hardware that pulls double duty for both traditional TV content and delivering users digital content. The Hopper 3 from Dish is one of these, and as of today, it now has access to YouTube.
The YouTube app for the Hopper 3 looks quite similar to the one found on other non-traditional platforms, such as the one on the Microsoft XBOX One or Roku boxes. The familiar dark UI and on-screen keyboard are all there, along with the ability to use a more traditional device to log your Hopper 3 into your YouTube account. The app packs in just about all of the normal functions of the YouTube app found on other living room platforms, and can be switched to seamlessly from watching regular TV. All a user has to do to switch over to YouTube is either hit the Apps button on their remote and pick it out from that menu, where they'll also find the likes of Netflix and Pandora. Alternatively, a user can simply flip over to channel 371 in the DISH programming guide to access YouTube.
The arrival of YouTube may not turn the Hopper 3 into a full-on streaming media platform to rival Android TV or its contemporaries, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. The paradigm being created here, inching toward allowing users to do all of their media consumption on a single device, is certainly a worthy one, but truly great all-in-one solutions for gaming, streaming, device mirroring, and traditional TV have yet to hit the market. As things stand, the Hopper 3 is great for most lighter media users, and the addition of YouTube adds thousands of hours of brand new content to the mix.