Dish Hopper vs DIRECTV Genie: How Do They Compare?

Dish Hopper vs DIRECTV Genie
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Do you find yourself recording a lot of shows because you're too busy to watch them when they air?

Do you like to save entire seasons so you can go back and enjoy them later? Are you all about the tech when it comes to your DVR?

Your choice of satellite TV provider may not come down to equipment alone, but it's definitely a major factor in which service you'll be happiest with.

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If you're trying to decide between the two main satellite TV providers - DISH vs DIRECTV - you'll want to take each company's DVR into consideration.

We've got you covered in the following DVR comparison. We'll look at the features, storage capacity, and overall functionality of the DISH Hopper vs DIRECTV Genie.

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Features - DISH Hopper vs DIRECTV Genie

The third gen of the Hopper blows the competition out of the water when it comes to recording and viewing flexibility. The Genie does have a couple of unique features that may sway you, though.

DISH Hopper 3 Features

  • 4K: Supports 4K (Ultra HD) programming.
  • Simultaneous programs: Record and/or view up to 16 unique streams at once.
  • PrimeTime Anytime: Automatically records all primetime shows on the four major networks - ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox.
  • AutoHop: Skip commercials while watching PrimeTime Anytime recordings.
  • MultiView: Watch up to four channels on one screen simultaneously.
  • Alexa integration: Use your Alexa device to control the Hopper 3, even without the remote control.
  • Pause and switch rooms: Pause your program, go to a different room with another receiver like a Joey (the Hopper mini-client), and resume watching right where you left off.

DIRECTV Genie Features

  • 4K: HR54 and higher models support 4K technology.
  • 72-Hour Rewind: Go back 72 hours to watch or record shows that slipped your mind.
  • Picture-in-Picture: The Genie puts a new twist on old technology, allowing you to watch two separate channels side-by-side.
  • Genie Sports: This features aggregates all your favorite sports programming into one spot for easy access.
  • Mix Channels: Similar to MultiView but for sports. Displays eight different sports channels at once, including specialty combos like NFL coverage or golf.
  • ENERGY STAR Certified: The Genie is the only television receiver to earn the EPA's ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award.

Each DVR has its share of cool features. The Genie offers an amazing setup for sports fans while the Hopper is perfect for binge watchers.

Storage Capacity - DISH Hopper vs DIRECTV Genie

Other questions that are no doubt on your mind - how many shows can the DISH Hopper hold? How big is the DIRECTV Genie's memory? Again, the Hopper 3 smashes the competition with its enormous storage capacity.

DISH Hopper 3 Storage Capacity

  • 2 TB of storage
  • 500 hours of HD recording
  • 2000 hours of SD recording

DIRECTV Genie Storage Capacity

  • 1 TB of storage
  • 200 hours of HD recording
  • 800 hours of SD recording

It might seem like this makes the Hopper 3 the obvious choice for anyone. The truth is, though, that 200 hours of recordings is still a lot of programming.

The Hopper is a great choice if you like to hoard full seasons of your favorite shows and don't like to fuss with content management very often. If you tend to repeat the record/watch/delete cycle on a routine basis then a TB of memory will still be perfectly adequate.

Remote Control - DISH Hopper vs DIRECTV Genie

For some TV viewers, the remote is a crucial part of the experience. You want to be able to perform functions quickly and easily without fumbling around to find the right buttons.

DISH Hopper Voice Remote

  • Backlit for easy use in the dark
  • Large, easy-to-find buttons
  • Customizable buttons you can program to jump right to Netflix or other apps
  • Voice control option
  • Remote locator function - causes remote to make noise with flashing lights

DIRECTV Genie Remote

  • Unique design
  • Voice control through the app on your mobile device

As you can see, there's not a whole lot about the Genie remote that stands out. It's okay, it just doesn't have much to offer in the way of advanced features. The Hopper 3 remote hits the sweet spot of fun tech, functionality, and convenience.

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Other Things to Consider - DISH Hopper vs DIRECTV Genie

There are a couple other things you may want to consider as you compare the DISH Hopper vs DIRECTV Genie.

Integrated Apps

Apps built into the interface of your DVR can make your experience smoother and more enjoyable.

Hopper 3 apps:

  • Netflix
  • YouTube
  • Pandora
  • Facebook
  • ESPN

Genie apps:

  • Entertainment Extras
  • Weather
  • iHeartRadio
  • Fantasy Football
  • Sports Score Guide


Both DVRs offer the connection options you'd expect from today's technology:

Hopper 3:

  • 2 ethernet ports
  • 3 USB ports (1 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0)
  • eSATA
  • HDMI
  • Coaxial digital output
  • Optical digital output
  • Composite
  • Component


  • Ethernet port
  • 2 USB ports
  • eSATA
  • HDMI
  • Coaxial digital output
  • Optical digital output
  • A/V output (for composite/component adapter)

Mobile Apps

These days being away from home doesn't mean you can't access your DVR. Both the DISH Anywhere and DIRECTV apps allow you to:

  • Schedule DVR recordings
  • Watch live TV or your recorded content
  • Access your provider's on-demand library

One advantage of DIRECTV as far as mobile streaming is that if you have AT&T Wireless, streaming through the DIRECTV app doesn't use your data from your cell phone plan.


Theoretically, if you were making your TV service provider decision based only on the DVR, you'd be hard pressed to beat the Hopper 3.

That said, if you prefer the DIRECTV channel lineup over DISH's packages, the Genie is no slouch and offers the basics that most families need in a DVR.

Still trying to decide between the two providers? Check out our full DISH Review and DIRECTV Review for all the details you need to make an informed choice. You can also see how the two measure up against each other in our comparison of DISH vs DIRECTV.

Want to save even more money? Satellite TV service is also available in the form of TV and internet bundles!

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