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.