Of all the gadgets in my home, the device I would be least likely to give up is the DVR.
I'm not exactly sure what I would do if I had to go back to watching commercials on a regular basis. So as you can probably imagine, when Dish Network unveiled its Hopper DVR last year, I was seriously impressed.
Indeed, the Hopper DVR is capable of automatically recording all prime time programs and removing all of the commercials from those programs so you don't even have to fast forward. As you may recall, that technology landed Dish Network in court as TV network Fox sought to have the automatic commercial cutting feature deemed illegal.
This week, Dish Network announced a significant upgrade to its Hopper DVR that makes the system even more appealing, as difficult as that is to believe, at least for me. Yes, the new Hopper DVR supports integrated Sling functionality, facilitated by a Broadcom 7125 chipset. Essentially, this means you can view live TV from your subscribed channels - along with any program you've recorded on any compatible gadget from anywhere in the world.
So if you go on vacation, well, you can watch your favorite local programs using your smartphone or tablet, as long as you have an Internet connection, of course. And even if you don't plan to place shift your content using the Sling functionality, the new Hopper DVR (with integrated WiFi) is also faster - thanks to an optimized 1.3 GHz processor and 2 GB of RAM.
Faster speeds and additional horsepower means quicker navigation, minus the annoying delays when you're scrolling through menus and the on-screen guide.
It should probably also be noted that the Sling's shifting capability is limited to only a single device at a time. Meaning, you won't be able to watch your favorite sports programming on your smartphone while your wife streams her favorite episode of Glee to her tablet. The upgraded version of the Hopper DVR is slated to ship later this month.