HopperGO by Dish Bridges the Family Summer Travel Media Gap

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Hopper GO
The HopperGO – just about actual size.

Here’s the problem: you’re taking a family summer trip. Maybe it’s a road trip, or maybe you’re flying out to visit relatives or a theme park. There’s always downtime, often at the hotel. There’s nothing on the TV, the wi-fi is horrible, and everyone wants to watch their own thing, but no one loaded their own devices up with movies or shows before leaving. What’s the geek parent to do?

Here’s a solution: The HopperGO from Dish combines a couple great ideas to solve a real-world problem. It combines mobile storage with a (non-internet) wi-fi hotspot so you can take the movies and TV shows you’ve already saved on your Dish DVR at home with you.

Out of all the cable and satellite providers out there, Dish has been making taking your media accessible wherever you go the easiest. They’ve always had a functioning USB port on the front of their DVRs so you could move media files off to portable storage. And they’ve had a pretty good mobile app with their Dish Anywhere tool for a while, allowing you to stream your recordings off your DVR anywhere you have a good internet connection. Now they’ve bridged the gap in between.

The HopperGO is a little square puck, smaller than you’d anticipate at about 3.5″ on a side. It has 64GB of storage and a wi-fi card built in. Before you go on your trip, you plug it into the USB port on your Dish DVR and use the menus to move whatever shows and movies you’ve got saved up onto the device (up to 100 hours, based on the compression Dish uses). Then, when you’re on the road with a batch of family members bored out of their gourds, you power up the DishGO, each of them (up to five people) logs into the wi-fi, and using the Dish Anywhere app, start watching. Easy as that.

Dish is charging $99 for the device, but beyond your existing Dish Network monthly plan, there are no additional charges for the service. You can learn more about where you pick on up at Dish.com.

[Note: Dish sent me a DishGO for the purpose of this review, but I really think it’s a cool idea, and I plan on taking it on all the exciting trips our family is taking this summer–to places like Indianapolis and Reno.]

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