HopperGO hands-on: the DISH experience Anywhere you go

Viewing habits have changed greatly in this generation. Whereas the folks of our folks, or even our own folks, used to complain about how kids are glue to the tube when they should be enjoying the outdoors, these days people are indeed outdoors but also glued to their mobile screens. Service providers have tried to adjust to those new consumer behaviors, like DISH Anywhere's online streaming. But sometimes, people on the move won't always have an Internet connection with them. That's where HopperGO comes in, letting you truly take DISH anywhere. We go hands-on with this little box the could, and does.

Like DISH's DVRs, the HopperGO isn't designed to be flamboyant or call attention to itself. The little portable box, much like its bigger siblings, are painted in glossy black with very few features on its face, save for, of course, DISH's conspicuous branding touches. The front is broken only by the usual power button and LED indicator lights. On the back the ports to connect the HopperGO to a compatible Hopper DVR, practically a Hopper 3 or at least a Hopper with Sling, for input and to another device for output. Amusingly, there's also a reset button for when things go wrong.

In case it wasn't obvious yet, the HopperGO's simple design matches its simple purpose in life, to let you take your DISH recorded movies and TV shows wherever you go. As long as you have your HopperGO with you, of course. Setup is dead simple and DISH provides step-by-step instructions along the way. Simply plug in the HopperGO to the DVR with a cable and wait for confirmation on your TV (you do have one connected to your Hopper DVR, right?). Once that's ready, go to you DISH Anywhere app and connect to the HopperGO's ad hoc Wi-Fi network to begin selecting which recorded videos you want transferred to the HopperGO. It's as easy as that!

Then when the fated time arrives and you can no longer connect to the World Wide Web, you can still sit back and relax and enjoy your pre-recorded videos stored on the HopperGO, no Internet required. In fact, you can even share that joy with others, as that ad-hoc network can broadcast to up to 5 devices.

DISH claims that the tiny box can hold up to 100 hours of video cake and equates it to the all Game of Thrones episodes (excluding the current season) and all Star Wars movies, even The Force Awakens. There is, however, one important caveat to this wonderful feature. When transferring a DVR recording to the HopperGO, you will be notified that you have to watch the video within 60 days and that it cannot be transferred again.

The HopperGO will be available to DISH customers (and would-be customers) nationwide for only $99. We're currently putting the HopperGO to the test, which is quite providential, considering how often we're on the road, or in the air. Watch this space for more photos and insights on DISH's latest attempt to keep its customers hooked, anytime, anywhere.