Replacing a Hopper 3 with a Wally (1 Viewer)

Photog_7

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SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 8, 2008
58
52
North Central Florida
My Hopper 3 with 4K Joeys really is wonderful, but I want to cut back on my monthly TV bill. Yes, I already know I'm crazy, but I truly hate monthly DVR fees that never go away ($240 per year!). I hardly ever watch anything on the cable channels, and actually considered dropping Dish after 20 years as a loyal customer. But I decided that recording OTA channels with some other solution would be too much trouble.
Anyway, a Dish rep told me that my old 211K's were incompatible with the dish "setup" that the Hopper 3 uses. So I decided to purchase 2 new Wally's on eBay to keep the new user interface and avoid monthly DVR fees. I've gotten conflicting information from 3 different reps regarding whether or not I will need a new switch or LNB or whether nothing needs to be changed. Two Dish reps told me to disconnect the Hopper 3 and Joeys and go ahead and see if the Wally's will install.
My current Hopper 3 says I have:
Switch: Hybrid Twin EA.2
Feeds (1-16)
Satellites 72 and 61.5
1. Will I need to have a Dish installer come out and change something like a switch or LNB?
2. Can anyone who actually has a Wally hooked up to the Internet tell me if it can stream VOD programming such as History VOD on 120 (like the Hopper 3 can)?
 

JSheridan

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You could probably replace the Hopper with a Wally with the existing wire but a Wally will definitely not work on a Joey wire. In fact if you connect a Wally to a Joey wire the voltage may actually damage the node or the Wally.
 

Photog_7

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 8, 2008
58
52
North Central Florida
You could probably replace the Hopper with a Wally with the existing wire but a Wally will definitely not work on a Joey wire. In fact if you connect a Wally to a Joey wire the voltage may actually damage the node or the Wally.

So is this something easy to correct by moving the two Joey wires to another place on the switch, or do I need to hire a pro to come out and change something?
 

JSheridan

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So is this something easy to correct by moving the two Joey wires to another place on the switch, or do I need to hire a pro to come out and change something?

You will need 2 wires from the dish, one to each receiver. The hybrid LNB on your dish should work but if it doesn't you'll need a DishProPlus LNB on the dish. Unless you have the time, expertise and parts you should probably call a pro.
 

Photog_7

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 8, 2008
58
52
North Central Florida
Well, my three Wallys were installed yesterday. JSheridan was absolutely correct when he suggested I call a pro to do the installation. Here are the correct answers to my questions and my own Wally review, in case anyone else is weighing getting a Wally instead if a Hopper 3.

Q1. Will I need to have a Dish installer come out and change something like a switch or LNB?

Answer: Yes. The hybrid LNB must be replaced with a DishPro Plus LNB and you need individual cables for each receiver running from the LNB through a grounding block and then directly to each receiver. In certain cases they must replace the actual dish reflector as well. For my 3-Wally install, they had to run two additional coax cables through my attic (making a total of three cables from the dish) so that each Wally has its own cable to the LNB. No switch is needed unless there are 4 or more receivers.

Q2. Can anyone who actually has a Wally hooked up to the Internet tell me if it can stream VOD programming such as History VOD on 120 (like the Hopper 3 can)?

Answer: Yes. The Wally has both an Ethernet (wired) and optional Wi-Fi adapter available to hook it to the Internet. I bought the Dish Wi-Fi adapter, which is working well. And, yes, it can stream VOD (Video on Demand) from the channels that offer it, like History, Epix, Starz, etc. The Wally only has 2 USB ports, so you can't have the USB Wi-Fi adapter, the OTA tuner dongle, and a USB hard drive all attached at the same time (unless a USB3 hub would work).

Regarding the one-time DVR fees for an external hard drive, when I hooked up the old external USB3 drives that I had used on my old 211K and 211Z's, they were formatted by the Wallys (so I lost all my recordings) and did not require any new (one-time) fees be paid. Apparently the fees I paid for the old 211's (which were removed from my account before the installer activated the new receivers) covered the DVR activations for the 3 new Wallys.

Was it worth it? I certainly spent some money buying 3 Wallys and having them installed. (Cheap installation tip: If you have the Dish Protection Plan, the installation is free.) For me it was worth it, because I hardly ever watch TV. But the Hopper 3 has some wonderful features that probably make it worth the $15-per-month DVR fee for most people.

The Wally user interface looks just like the Hopper 3. But here are some important features you will lose by going to a Wally instead of a Hopper:
-- 1 Tuner (Wally) vs. 16 tuners (Hopper 3). No more Prime Time Anytime feature. Remember, if you're taping anything on the Wally, you can't watch or tape another channel "live" at the same time. You can, however, watch a DVR tape at the same time you are recording something else.
-- No 4K TV. The Hopper 3 and 4K Joeys can show 4K programming. The Wally cannot. If you need 4K TV, don't buy a Wally. You can still view 4K TV shows over the Internet using a Roku or FireTV streaming box.
-- BYO Hard drives for DVR. Some people don't even use a DVR, but I do. In fact I seldom watch any live TV except for the news, because I have no time for commercials. To activate the DVR feature on a Wally, you must buy an external USB hard drive for every Wally that you want to have DVR capability. External hard drives are unsightly and sometimes annoyingly noisey (but mine aren't). You can't watch recordings from the living room Wally on your bedroom Wally unless you move the hard drive from one room to another. That said, the DVR feature works well and looks almost exactly like the latest Hopper user interface. And after paying a nominal one-time activation fee, you never have to pay DVR fees again.
-- No Sling TV. This amazing feature allows you to watch live TV coming directly from your Hopper 3 (or its DVR) on a tablet, cell phone or laptop using the Dish Anywhere app or web site player. It worked pretty well for me with the Hopper 3, and I will miss it. But if you have a Wally, you can still use Dish Anywhere to watch plenty of on-demand programming on your portable devices.

In my opinion, the Hopper 3 is definitely worth an extra $15 a month DVR fee. Still, for me, the Wally meets my needs just fine. If you are retired, on a fixed income, or just plain cheap like me, you might want to consider getting a Wally instead of a Hopper 3. You will lose the ability to watch 4K TV and all of the truly delightful features of the Hopper 3. But if you don't need all those bells and whistles, you can save $15 a month, use the same great new user interface as the Hopper 3, and watch all the same great programming at Dish Network's already lower-than-the-competition prices on a Wally.
(This post was corrected to show that the Hopper 3 has 16 tuners as pointed out by navychop.)
 
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navychop

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Note that the H3 has 16 sat tuners, not 3. And the ViP211 DVR fee is $40 per account, not per receiver.
 

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