DISH Network’s Hopper VS DIRECTV’s Genie

Among high definition digital video recorders, there are two systems that are currently leading the home DVR market. These devices are the Hopper and Joey system from DISH Network and DirecTV’s Genie DVR.

With numerous manufacturer claims, marketing tactics and Internet fluff, it can be difficult to determine which DVR is best for you. In order to find out how DISH Network’s Hopper stacks up against DirecTV’s Genie, we must take a look at the features, performance and technical specifications of both units from an objective consumer point of view.

Both devices offer full HD recording in multiple rooms. The Hopper and the Genie allow live or recorded viewing in up to 4 different rooms at once. Although DirecTV’s Genie does this with just one box, the Hopper achieves its multi-room support via Joey units hooked to each additional TV.

While the Hopper system requires the use of these devices, it’s important to note that these devices bring operational and control convenience to the additional rooms as well. The use of Joey’s also eliminate the need for long cables because they can be configured for wireless connectivity to the Hopper.

Smart capabilities and features are also comparable between the two devices. You can access Facebook and Twitter along with news, sports and weather on both devices. The Hopper features Blockbuster @ home while the Genie allows you to watch Youtube on your TV. This is the only clear difference between the smart application abilities of these units.

On the surface, both DVR systems appear similar. The real differences can be found in the technical specifications of each device. DirecTV’s Genie comes equipped with a 1TB hard disk drive and can record up to 200 hours of high definition video. The Hopper offers double the hard drive capacity at 2TB and 500 hours of HD recording.

This double capacity makes perfect sense when you consider that DISH Network’s Hopper system can be extended to 6 televisions and allows two Hopper devices per account. DirecTV only supports 4 televisions and only offers one Genie per account.

In addition to this, the DirecTV Genie can only record 5 programs simultaneously. The Hopper ups this number to 6 because of its exclusive Primetime Anytime feature. DirecTV’s Genie also lacks the Bluetooth integration abilities of the Hopper. This feature will allow you to listen to your television audio via Bluetooth headset or other Bluetooth enabled audio device.

Both units are offered at a comparable monthly rate, but the Hopper wins here again. At around 7 dollars less per month than the Genie, the Hopper is more affordable and features performance and capabilities not found with DirecTV’s Genie service. With double the recording capacity, support for more televisions and a remote control locate feature, DISH Network’s Hopper is clearly the best DVR system available today.



DISH Terms and Conditions


Require activation of new qualifying DISH service with 24-month commitment and credit qualification. Offers valid from 6/13/2014 through 1/16/2015. All prices, fees, charges, packages, programming, features, functionality and offers subject to change without notice. Welcome Pack not eligible for offers.


For customers receiving Programming Discount for 12 months, a termination fee of $20 for each month remaining will apply if service is terminated during the first 24 months. For customers receiving iPad 2 Offer, a termination fee of $30 for each month remaining will apply if service is terminated during the first 24 months.


Available with qualifying programming packages. Must maintain qualifying programming to receive all credits. After 12-month promotional period, then-current everyday monthly price applies and is subject to change.


First Hopper HD DVR and up to 3 Joey receivers available for one-time $199 Upgrade fee. $199 Upgrade fee waived with subscription to America's Top 120, America's Top 120 Plus, America's Top 200, America's Top 250, America's "Everything" Pak, DishLATINO Plus, DishLATINO Dos, or DishLATINO Max at time of service activation. A second Hopper HD DVR is available for a one-time Upgrade fee: $49 for a Hopper, $99 for a Hopper with Sling. With a second Hopper HD DVR, one additional Joey receiver is available for $99 Upgrade fee. Hopper and Joey receivers require an eligible HD package and cannot be combined with any other receiver models or types. PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop features must be enabled by customer and are subject to availability. PrimeTime Anytime is not available in all markets. Availability of On Demand titles will be based on your programming subscription. Select DVR recordings cannot be transferred.

Additional Requirements:

Hopper: Monthly fees: Hopper, $12; Joey, $7; Super Joey, $10. With PrimeTime Anytime record ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC plus two additional channels. With addition of Super Joey record a total of four additional channels. Commercial skip feature is available at varying times, starting the day after airing, for select primetime shows on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX recorded with PrimeTime Anytime. Recording hours vary; 2000 hours based on SD programming. Equipment comparison based on equipment available from major TV providers as of 6/13/14. Watching live and recorded TV anywhere requires an Internet-connected, Sling-enabled DVR and compatible mobile device.


Value is $165; after 3 months then-current everyday prices apply unless you downgrade. Blockbuster @Home requires online DISH account; broadband Internet to stream content. HD-only channels not available with select packages. HBO®, Cinemax® and related channels and service marks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc. SHOWTIME is a registered trademark of Showtime Networks Inc., a CBS Company. STARZ and related channels and service marks are property of Starz Entertainment, LLC.

Blockbuster @Home:

For the first 3 months of your subscription, you will receive Blockbuster @Home free (regularly $10/mo). After 3 months, then-current everyday price applies unless you downgrade. Requires online DISH account; broadband Internet to stream content; HD DVR to stream to TV. Streaming to TV and some channels not available with select packages.


Additional $10/mo HD fee waived for first 24 months. Requires continuous enrollment in AutoPay with Paperless Billing. Must maintain minimum qualifying monthly programming, including America's Top 120 or DishLATINO Plus.

SHOWTIME is a registered trademark of Showtime Networks Inc., a CBS Company. STARZ and related channels and service marks are property of Starz Entertainment, LLC. © 2013 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved. HBO® and related channels and service marks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc. HBO GO® is only accessible in the U.S. and certain U.S. territories where a high-speed broadband connection is available. A minimum connection of 3 Mbps is required for HD viewing. Select titles not available in HD.

* Bundled monthly price for qualifying video package and dishNET service. dishNET-only price is $10 more per month. ** Once Anytime Data is exhausted, “Plus” plan speeds may be restricted to a maximum of 768 kbps for all non-VPN email and non-streaming Web content. VPN access, direct downloads, streaming services, flash objects and other Internet use may be restricted to a maximum of 128 kbps. Once Anytime Data is exhausted, non-“Plus” Plans may have all services restricted to a maximum of 128kbps. *** Off-Peak data is what is used between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m., local time. During Off-Peak times, if the customer has available Anytime Data, service will be provided normally. Once Anytime Data is exhausted, service may be restricted to a maximum of 128 kbps. †Customers in designated geographic areas may be subject to a one-time, additional Activation Fee, up to $250. A 24-month Agreement for dishNET service is required. A cancellation fee of $420 will apply for early contract cancellation, pro-rated at $17.50 for each month remaining on the contract. Equipment must be returned upon cancellation of dishNET service, otherwise unreturned equipment fees apply. There is no purchase option. Bundle discount will be forfeited if customer downgrades from a qualifying programming package or service disconnection.