Dish's Hopper 3 DVR is a sports fan's dream come trueBy Shawn Knight
If you're looking for a good reason not to ditch pay TV, Dish's new Hopper 3 is about as good as it gets. Unveiled at CES, this DVR-on-steroids packs a whopping 16 tuners and is powered by a quad-core ARM processor that's seven times faster than its predecessor.
Inside is a capacious 2TB hard drive which Dish says is enough to record up to 500 hours of HD content. If that's somehow not enough, the USB 3.0 port lets you connect an external storage drive with ease.
Not to glance over the tuner count, you're probably wondering why anyone would need 16 tuners. Even half that number would be plenty for the average household to avoid recording and watching conflicts.
As it turns out, Dish has a new feature called Sports Bar Mode that splits your television into four quadrants. Ideally for 4K TV owners (it also works with standard 1080p sets albeit with reduced resolution), Sports Bar Mode lets you load each quadrant with a 1080p channel stream. If you're a huge sports fan like me (college football is my vice), this means you can watch four games simultaneously in 1080p resolution.
Considering 4K programming is still rather scarce, this is one of the better uses of 4K I've seen outside of native content.
Dish says its Hopper 3 will be shipping in early 2016.