New Customer - Impression After One Week!

Pakbackr

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
I am a new DISH customer...well, my install was last Saturday, so it is technically a day short of a week, but I have enough time to feel comfortable with the post. Prior to making the switch to DISH, I had been a Directv customer since 2012.

My Set-up: I have the Hopper 3 Sling connected to a Pioneer receiver and a 60 Inch Vizio. The TV is mounted over my fireplace, while all the components are hidden away in built-in cabinets behind wooden doors. I use an HDMI IR Blaster product to relay remote signals inside the cabinet. And I have a Harmony 650 remote.

The Installation - Everything went smoothly. DISH provided email, text and phone updates on the install appointment. My local technician was on time and very professional. He presented me with different dish mounting options from roof-top to pole mount. Once in the house, he replaced a couple of coax connectors, which he said were necessary for the powered signal...said he was surprised that Directv's tech had not swapped those out when we moved in two years back. He connected two Joeys and did a great job of explaining the features. The only wrinkle to installation was that when I made the order over the phone, I specifically said I wanted the latest Hopper 3. The technician arrived ready to install an older Hopper 2, saying that was what was on his work order. Good thing I was home and not just my wife, or I am sure she wouldn't have known to ask. When he called DISH customer service, they tried to pass along a $50 upgrade fee to me and I refused, saying they could cancel everything and leave now. The CSR immediately said, don't worry, there will be no upgrade fee! It took the technician about 3 hours to complete the job, but most of that was waiting on software downloads and updates. He set up the DISH remotes to run my components, cleaned up everything and I gave him the highest ratings possible on the follow-up survey. It was just a very positive experience.

Next Steps - I spent the afternoon (it seemed), reprogramming my Harmony 650 remote, customizing the guides on all three boxes (loading only HD channels we watch and/or music stations we listen to), and setting up timers for shows we know we want to record in the future. My Harmony remote works fine as long as the wooden doors are open, but there is a known compatibility glitch between the HDMI IR Blaster and the Hopper, so the Harmony remote simply will not control the Hopper with the doors closed. This is not a huge issue, since I can use the DISH 52.0 remote fine with the cabinet doors closed...just an inconvenience to be forced to use two remotes.

Initial Impressions

Picture Quality - I was honestly concerned about this prior to the install, as I had read numerous reviews online saying that Directv's PQ was far better than DISH. I have not found that to be the case at all! While I know I never had a side-by-side comparison, I know a great picture when I see it. And the DISH PQ has been superb.

Guide & User Interface - If you are not on the new black background, go under settings and change appearance from "classic" to "modern". I think it came up by default on the Hopper 3, but I had to do this on both Joeys. World of difference! Once the programming info and channel logos loads, it provides a very easy sleek, eye-pleasing and user-friendly experience. Navigation is relatively easy. Arrow keys advance one channel or show at a time, while channel up and down keys advance a screen. The 30 second skip key has multi-function with a quick tap advancing to the next time period, while a long tap advances out 24 hours I think. It all seems rather intuitive after you have used it for a while. Moving around is super fast and responsive. So, kudos DISH on a well designed product.

Apps - The integration of Netflix and Pandora are two of my favorite things about the Hopper 3. The WiFi reception is very good for me, even in a cabinet. The Game Finder app is also very innovative, allowing you to select your favorite teams, leagues or sports in general. I particularly like how games of interest are not just listed, but are listed in oder of some "excitement" rating. Like last Saturday, there was a basketball game on that was tied 63-63 with 50 seconds to go and the excitement rating was high. Selecting that game provided the option of watching it, recording it, or seeing stats from it. The weather apps are also nice.

Other Features - One of my favorite features so far is the "bar mode" four channel view. Last Sunday, I literally had four basketball games up at the same time. You can listen to the audio for a particular game by toggling the selection box to that game. Press again and jump right to that game! I also like the "recall" function, which doesn't simply switch to the previous channel, but provides a list at the bottom of the screen of as many as six previous channels making it easy to toggle between a cluster of channels you have been watching. Direct has this for your last four channels thru the Info function, but DISH's application seems so much more logical and user friendly. I'm also a huge fan of selecting a show and getting a wealth of info from ratings to trailers to parental info. The search feature is awesome how it looks for your search topics across your DVR, your upcoming guide and apps such as Netflix. We are just getting familiar with the Prime Time Anytime feature, but in a week, we've used it to watch shows we would have otherwise missed. Setting up timers is easy and intuitive. The 30 second skip forward feature works just like Directv's, but the skip back is 10 seconds (2 seconds more than Directv) and it just seems to be right for some reason. We have yet to watch a show that takes advantage of the Autohop commercial skipping feature, so I don't know how useful this is. At this point, I am guessing that this is more hype than reality, probably based on legal or contractual issues. IDK.

Pros so far - PQ is excellent and no perceptible difference with Directv, Hopper 3 functionality (esp. the Netflix & Pandora integration, bar mode PIP, Game Finder with stats, search feature, and overall snappy UI) and a pretty well-designed 52.0 remote.

Cons - Hopper 3 compatibility issues with my HDMI IR Blaster rendering my Harmony 650 remote all but useless, and the lack of backlighting on the 52.0 Dish remote.

Overall, I am a happy camper. Enjoying the Hopper experience over the Directv Genie and glad I made the switch!
 
Last edited:

charlesrshell

SatelliteGuys Crazy
Lifetime Supporter
Jan 14, 2006
10,067
4,681
O'Fallon, IL
I am a new DISH customer...well, my install was last Saturday, so it is technically a day short of a week, but I have enough time to feel comfortable with the post. Prior to making the switch to DISH, I had been a Directv customer since 2012.

My Set-up: I have the Hopper 3 Sling connected to a Pioneer receiver and a 60 Inch Vizio. The TV is mounted over my fireplace, while all the components are hidden away in built-in cabinets behind wooden doors. I use an HDMI IR Blaster product to relay remote signals inside the cabinet. And I have a Harmony 650 remote.

The Installation - Everything went smoothly. DISH provided email, text and phone updates on the install appointment. My local technician was on time and very professional. He presented me with different dish mounting options from roof-top to pole mount. Once in the house, he replaced a couple of coax connectors, which he said were necessary for the powered signal...said he was surprised that Directv's tech had not swapped those out when we moved in two years back. He connected two Joeys and did a great job of explaining the features. The only wrinkle to installation was that when I made the order over the phone, I specifically said I wanted the latest Hopper 3. The technician arrived ready to install an older Hopper 2, saying that was what was on his work order. Good thing I was home and not just my wife, or I am sure she wouldn't have known to ask. When he called DISH customer service, they tried to pass along a $50 upgrade fee to me and I refused, saying they could cancel everything and leave now. The CSR immediately said, don't worry, there will be no upgrade fee! It took the technician about 3 hours to complete the job, but most of that was waiting on software downloads and updates. He set up the DISH remotes to run my components, cleaned up everything and I gave him the highest ratings possible on the follow-up survey. It was just a very positive experience.

Next Steps - I spent the afternoon (it seemed), reprogramming my Harmony 650 remote, customizing the guides on all three boxes (loading only HD channels we watch and/or music stations we listen to), and setting up timers for shows we know we want to record in the future. My Harmony remote works fine as long as the wooden doors are open, but there is a known compatibility glitch between the HDMI IR Blaster and the Hopper, so the Harmony remote simply will not control the Hopper with the doors closed. This is not a huge issue, since I can use the DISH 52.0 remote fine with the cabinet doors closed...just an inconvenience to be forced to use two remotes.

Initial Impressions

Picture Quality - I was honestly concerned about this prior to the install, as I had read numerous reviews online saying that Directv's PQ was far better than DISH. I have not found that to be the case at all! While I know I never had a side-by-side comparison, I know a great picture when I see it. And the DISH PQ has been superb.

Guide & User Interface - If you are not on the new black background, go under settings and change appearance from "classic" to "modern". I think it came up by default on the Hopper 3, but I had to do this on both Joeys. World of difference! Once the programming info and channel logos loads, it provides a very easy sleek, eye-pleasing and user-friendly experience. Navigation is relatively easy. Arrow keys advance one channel or show at a time, while channel up and down keys advance a screen. The 30 second skip key has multi-function with a quick tap advancing to the next time period, while a long tap advances out 24 hours I think. It all seems rather intuitive after you have used it for a while. Moving around is super fast and responsive. So, kudos DISH on a well designed product.

Apps - The integration of Netflix and Pandora are two of my favorite things about the Hopper 3. The WiFi reception is very good for me, even in a cabinet. The Game Finder app is also very innovative, allowing you to select your favorite teams, leagues or sports in general. I particularly like how games of interest are not just listed, but are listed in oder of some "excitement" rating. Like last Saturday, there was a basketball game on that was tied 63-63 with 50 seconds to go and the excitement rating was high. Selecting that game provided the option of watching it, recording it, or seeing stats from it. The weather apps are also nice.

Other Features - One of my favorite features so far is the "bar mode" four channel view. Last Sunday, I literally had four basketball games up at the same time. You can listen to the audio for a particular game by toggling the selection box to that game. Press again and jump right to that game! I also like the "recall" function, which doesn't simply switch to the previous channel, but provides a list at the bottom of the screen of as many as six previous channels making it easy to toggle between a cluster of channels you have been watching. Direct has this for your last four channels thru the Info function, but DISH's application seems so much more logical and user friendly. I'm also a huge fan of selecting a show and getting a wealth of info from ratings to trailers to parental info. The search feature is awesome how it looks for your search topics across your DVR, your upcoming guide and apps such as Netflix. We are just getting familiar with the Prime Time Anytime feature, but in a week, we've used it to watch shows we would have otherwise missed. Setting up timers is easy and intuitive. The 30 second skip forward feature works just like Directv's, but the skip back is 10 seconds (2 seconds more than Directv) and it just seems to be right for some reason. We have yet to watch a show that takes advantage of the Autohop commercial skipping feature, so I don't know how useful this is. At this point, I am guessing that this is more hype than reality, probably based on legal or contractual issues. IDK.

Pros so far - PQ is excellent and no perceptible difference with Directv, Hopper 3 functionality (esp. the Netflix & Pandora integration, bar mode PIP, Game Finder with stats, search feature, and overall snappy UI) and a pretty well-designed 52.0 remote.

Cons - Hopper 3 compatibility issues with my HDMI IR Blaster rendering my Harmony 650 remote all but useless, and the lack of backlighting on the 52.0 Dish remote.

Overall, I am a happy camper. Enjoying the Hopper experience over the Directv Genie and glad I made the switch!
Nice review. Get you a 50.0 voice remote, it has back lighting.
 

satjay

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Jun 30, 2005
12,676
846
Michigan
Thanks for sharing your initial thoughts! give the Hoper about 24 hours to really get going. If you have any questions please feel free to ask away!


Sent from my iPhone using the SatelliteGuys app!
 
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JosephB

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 21, 2004
1,255
160
Atlanta
It took the technician about 3 hours to complete the job, but most of that was waiting on software downloads and updates.

I had a similar experience switching back to Dish two weeks ago. They really need to speed up the software updates or stage the boxes at the warehouse with the latest software. It's awkward having the tech just sitting around for an hour waiting for 2 or 3 TVs to update
 

JSheridan

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Feb 16, 2008
8,899
9,999
USA
I had a similar experience switching back to Dish two weeks ago. They really need to speed up the software updates or stage the boxes at the warehouse with the latest software. It's awkward having the tech just sitting around for an hour waiting for 2 or 3 TVs to update

We try to download the Hoppers in the shop before we go out to the customer's house but the Joeys are done on site and it's definitely time consuming.
 
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MarkL@DISH

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 8, 2015
62
53
Littleton
I am a new DISH customer...well, my install was last Saturday, so it is technically a day short of a week, but I have enough time to feel comfortable with the post. Prior to making the switch to DISH, I had been a Directv customer since 2012.

My Set-up: I have the Hopper 3 Sling connected to a Pioneer receiver and a 60 Inch Vizio. The TV is mounted over my fireplace, while all the components are hidden away in built-in cabinets behind wooden doors. I use an HDMI IR Blaster product to relay remote signals inside the cabinet. And I have a Harmony 650 remote.

The Installation - Everything went smoothly. DISH provided email, text and phone updates on the install appointment. My local technician was on time and very professional. He presented me with different dish mounting options from roof-top to pole mount. Once in the house, he replaced a couple of coax connectors, which he said were necessary for the powered signal...said he was surprised that Directv's tech had not swapped those out when we moved in two years back. He connected two Joeys and did a great job of explaining the features. The only wrinkle to installation was that when I made the order over the phone, I specifically said I wanted the latest Hopper 3. The technician arrived ready to install an older Hopper 2, saying that was what was on his work order. Good thing I was home and not just my wife, or I am sure she wouldn't have known to ask. When he called DISH customer service, they tried to pass along a $50 upgrade fee to me and I refused, saying they could cancel everything and leave now. The CSR immediately said, don't worry, there will be no upgrade fee! It took the technician about 3 hours to complete the job, but most of that was waiting on software downloads and updates. He set up the DISH remotes to run my components, cleaned up everything and I gave him the highest ratings possible on the follow-up survey. It was just a very positive experience.

Next Steps - I spent the afternoon (it seemed), reprogramming my Harmony 650 remote, customizing the guides on all three boxes (loading only HD channels we watch and/or music stations we listen to), and setting up timers for shows we know we want to record in the future. My Harmony remote works fine as long as the wooden doors are open, but there is a known compatibility glitch between the HDMI IR Blaster and the Hopper, so the Harmony remote simply will not control the Hopper with the doors closed. This is not a huge issue, since I can use the DISH 52.0 remote fine with the cabinet doors closed...just an inconvenience to be forced to use two remotes.

Initial Impressions

Picture Quality - I was honestly concerned about this prior to the install, as I had read numerous reviews online saying that Directv's PQ was far better than DISH. I have not found that to be the case at all! While I know I never had a side-by-side comparison, I know a great picture when I see it. And the DISH PQ has been superb.

Guide & User Interface - If you are not on the new black background, go under settings and change appearance from "classic" to "modern". I think it came up by default on the Hopper 3, but I had to do this on both Joeys. World of difference! Once the programming info and channel logos loads, it provides a very easy sleek, eye-pleasing and user-friendly experience. Navigation is relatively easy. Arrow keys advance one channel or show at a time, while channel up and down keys advance a screen. The 30 second skip key has multi-function with a quick tap advancing to the next time period, while a long tap advances out 24 hours I think. It all seems rather intuitive after you have used it for a while. Moving around is super fast and responsive. So, kudos DISH on a well designed product.

Apps - The integration of Netflix and Pandora are two of my favorite things about the Hopper 3. The WiFi reception is very good for me, even in a cabinet. The Game Finder app is also very innovative, allowing you to select your favorite teams, leagues or sports in general. I particularly like how games of interest are not just listed, but are listed in oder of some "excitement" rating. Like last Saturday, there was a basketball game on that was tied 63-63 with 50 seconds to go and the excitement rating was high. Selecting that game provided the option of watching it, recording it, or seeing stats from it. The weather apps are also nice.

Other Features - One of my favorite features so far is the "bar mode" four channel view. Last Sunday, I literally had four basketball games up at the same time. You can listen to the audio for a particular game by toggling the selection box to that game. Press again and jump right to that game! I also like the "recall" function, which doesn't simply switch to the previous channel, but provides a list at the bottom of the screen of as many as six previous channels making it easy to toggle between a cluster of channels you have been watching. Direct has this for your last four channels thru the Info function, but DISH's application seems so much more logical and user friendly. I'm also a huge fan of selecting a show and getting a wealth of info from ratings to trailers to parental info. The search feature is awesome how it looks for your search topics across your DVR, your upcoming guide and apps such as Netflix. We are just getting familiar with the Prime Time Anytime feature, but in a week, we've used it to watch shows we would have otherwise missed. Setting up timers is easy and intuitive. The 30 second skip forward feature works just like Directv's, but the skip back is 10 seconds (2 seconds more than Directv) and it just seems to be right for some reason. We have yet to watch a show that takes advantage of the Autohop commercial skipping feature, so I don't know how useful this is. At this point, I am guessing that this is more hype than reality, probably based on legal or contractual issues. IDK.

Pros so far - PQ is excellent and no perceptible difference with Directv, Hopper 3 functionality (esp. the Netflix & Pandora integration, bar mode PIP, Game Finder with stats, search feature, and overall snappy UI) and a pretty well-designed 52.0 remote.

Cons - Hopper 3 compatibility issues with my HDMI IR Blaster rendering my Harmony 650 remote all but useless, and the lack of backlighting on the 52.0 Dish remote.

Overall, I am a happy camper. Enjoying the Hopper experience over the Directv Genie and glad I made the switch!

Pakbackr, welcome to the DISH family. We are delighted to hear how happy your are and that you're enjoying the equipment. The D.I.R.T. staff is here for you. We are DISH employees.

Some of the SatGuys know very intricate things about our equipment like maybe even the type of sodder used inside the Hopper. They know their stuff and are very helpful too!
 

KAB

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 20, 2005
21,018
4,361
Fishers, IN
Thanks! Any suggestions on how to resolve the Harmony 650 signal passthrough issues to the Hopper 3 with my HDMI IR Blaster?
Have you enabled IR as well as RF remote commands on the Hopper? Default settings....no IR.
 
Last edited:

DishSubLA

SatelliteGuys Master
Apr 9, 2006
5,440
1,402
As far as Dish HD PQ: The HD PQ has improved lately on a number of channels I watch. FreeForm (not a regular viewer of it) used to be among the worst HD PQ probably because of its audience. I'll have to see how it is now. FWIW, I started noticing actors wrinkles and crevices once again as of late. Also, dark areas are a little bit better, but still lacking, and banding is not as severe but not as awful as earlier. I look forward to more improvement because it still needs improvement.
 

Kirk1233

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 3, 2017
89
43
Pittsburgh, PA
I have noticed improved PQ as well, glad it's not my imagination. Also, I think they should do the software updates and guide data over the Internet connection instead of the Sat, it would speed things up greatly...
 

JSheridan

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Feb 16, 2008
8,899
9,999
USA
I have noticed improved PQ as well, glad it's not my imagination. Also, I think they should do the software updates and guide data over the Internet connection instead of the Sat, it would speed things up greatly...

Not everybody has an internet connection, much less a good internet connection, and a lot of people only have metered internet. So, no thanks on the internet updates and data. :)
 

Kirk1233

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 3, 2017
89
43
Pittsburgh, PA
Not everybody has an internet connection, much less a good internet connection, and a lot of people only have metered internet. So, no thanks on the internet updates and data. :)
They could make it optional. Support the satellite method for those who need it and provide an Internet option for those with robust connectivity...
 
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JSheridan

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Feb 16, 2008
8,899
9,999
USA
They could make it optional. Support the satellite method for those who need it and provide an Internet option for those with robust connectivity...

And why would they spend all that additional money on the infrastructure needed to make this happen when it all comes from the satellite already to every receiver? If the reason would be to just make the delivery a little faster to a few people with fast, unlimited internet then I would again say no thanks. I don't want to pay for that.
 

Hall

SatelliteGuys Master
Feb 14, 2004
18,409
3,195
Germantown OH
Also, I think they should do the software updates and guide data over the Internet connection instead of the Sat, it would speed things up greatly...
What's the benefit, "speed things up" ? How is the user impacted by your perceived "slow" updates ?
 

JM42

SatelliteGuys Pro
Lifetime Supporter
Nov 25, 2010
1,748
280
GA
What's the benefit, "speed things up" ? How is the user impacted by your perceived "slow" updates ?
After install, not much, but the downloads can easily extend a tech install visit by 45+ minutes. In theory they can be multi-tasking, but a lot of times, especially for upgrades, there's not much else to do other than stare at the screen.

If not by internet, then a utility for the tech's tablet that would keep the latest firmware downloaded and allow the Hopper to grab it via USB. Seems like the math would justify the development based on the tech time savings.

Of course the base out of the box firmware would have to be updated to accommodate such a change, so it wouldn't be something they could flip a switch with and be done. It could only impact new production and refurb runs.
 

Hall

SatelliteGuys Master
Feb 14, 2004
18,409
3,195
Germantown OH
Seems it would be easier to pre-download the software vs install them with the bare-bone s/w they ship them with vs develop (2) forks of code for downloading software. Installation of a new receiver is done once.
 
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