DISH Network: Our experience and important info regarding the Hopper / Joey system!

I was very excited to tear open my new DISH Network Hopper & Joey equipment and get it installed and activated!  For some reason I didn’t qualify for the “upgrade offers” from DISH, so I had to dump around $500 for a Hopper, 2 Joeys, a Solo Node and Splitter for my upgrade!

Although I have no regrets, I have learned a few things that I should have know prior to doing my upgrade but that I wasn’t told and didn’t know!  And since I’m a DISH dealer and installer, you would think if anyone would know about the details, I would right?  Well, that wasn’t the case!

First, the “upgrade” went very well!  Took me all of 45 minutes or so to swap out my existing DISH equipment for the new equipment, node, etc.!  However, activating service and connecting the Joey’s wasn’t as quick or as easy!

It’s important to know that you need to install and activate the Hopper first before installing and connecting the Joeys at all, or the Hopper simply won’t find them!  Not realizing this, I spend an hour or so unplugging cords and cables from the Joey’s so I could make them “forget” what they were trying to do! And since you need to activate the Hopper first and actually see live TV on the Hopper before connecting the Joey’s, my next step was to call DISH and give them the Hopper and Joey receiver numbers and so on!

Now that went well UNTIL I mentioned to DISH that I wanted to keep my 211 active at my shop down the road!  “That won’t happen!” said the DISH rep!  I asked why not and he stated that DISH does not allow other older receivers on the same account as the Hopper and Joeys!  I then asked what I can do to keep service in my shop and he advised me that I would have to either set up another account or purchase another Hopper to use on the same account at my shop!  Well, this was a bummer, but fortunatly I don’t spend much time at the shop anyway, so I went ahead and cancelled service on that receiver!  Needless to say, after 15 – 20 minutes on the phone with DISH, I was ready to continue!

Now it was time to wait for “live TV” to appear!  About 10 – 15 minutes later, the reciever was showing live TV!  So now it was time to connect the Joey’s, but you can only do one at a time or that won’t work right either!  Master bedroom Joey took about 15 minutes to activate, and the spare bedroom / exercise room took another 15 – 20 minutes.

During this activation time, I couldn’t help but imagine myself sitting in someone else’s home all of this time waiting for all of this to complete.  After all, I was simply upgrading my existing DISH installation and I still have 2+ hours into this upgrade, so I can’t image how much longer a new installation would take!  And installers only make around $125 an install, course you have fuel, cable, and other costs that come out of that right away!

So, after my own experience I concluded that I’m glad to have other options for income that being a DISH Installer doing installations and upgrades at minimum wage!

I couldn’t help but wonder what all of the RV’ers and others out there with cabins, or vacation homes or even a shop 1/2 mile from their home that are use to using one account for both were going to do to get TV service?  After all, a new Hopper is around $350 – $400 + like $7 per month to have service on it or so!  And if you had to go with a second account for your vacation home or whatever, that would cost at least $25 – $150 per month depending on what programming you want!  So… what to do?

After using the Hopper and Joeys’ for over a week now, I can tell you that I love them!  The TruSound feature has eliminated those “annoyingly louder” commercials that drove us nuts, and it’s so nice to be able to watch our DVR recordings in HD in our bedroom and spare room now!  The guide is a lot faster at scrolling through channels and the DVR list shows an icon for each recording instead of just an old boring list!  We haven’t tried out the PrimeTime Anytime feature, although it does look like it would be a nice feature for some!  But the best feature of all is not having to hold the remote in various awkward positions, or sit up in bed or walk across the bedroom in order to get the remote to pause, stop or change channels on the living room DVR!  Since the Joey’s have their own remotes, and they use RF instead of Infra-red, that issue has been resolved as well!

Overall, it’s a great upgrade and something I would do again!  But for some that are use to tossing a receiver in their RV and hitting the road or using a receiver at their cabin or vacation home on the same account or whatever… it just might not be worth “hopping” into!

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2 Responses to DISH Network: Our experience and important info regarding the Hopper / Joey system!

  1. tagan says:

    Why don’t CBS, FOX, and NBC exec want consumers to enjoy commercial-free TV? It’s what we want! I’m a customer and employee of Dish, and I think AutoHop is great because you can easily watch commercial-free TV. A well known consumer advocacy group, Public Knowledge, agrees that people should have the right to control how they watch TV. They’re taking a stand for consumers by creating a petition that tells CBS, FOX, and NBC media to keep their hands out of your living room and DVR. Sign their petition to keep control of how you watch TV http://bit.ly/KFdn1Q

  2. Denny Reinke says:

    Dish allows a 211k on a hopper account for use with a tailgator.

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