My Hopper Go fiasco

Hopper Go

So when the Hopper Go was launched earlier this year I was already on board. If you are a DISH customer and haven’t heard of the Hopper Go, essentially it’s a device that lets you take up to 100 hours of content from your DVR on the go with you. You could already transfer recordings to your devices via the Dish Anywhere app, however you were limited by your device’s storage space. With the Hopper Go you can transfer 100 hours of content to the device and stream it to an iPad, iPhone, Android device or Kindle Fire tablet running the Dish Anywhere app.

The Hopper Go creates its own WiFi network that five devices can connect to at once and stream content from the device.

This all sounded incredibly cool, and when the device finally launched earlier this week I immediately called DISH and placed an order for the $99 device. It shipped that same day and arrived earlier today. Unfortunately it would take me several hours to finally get the device working.

Hopper Go

When I initially plugged the device into my Hopper, a message popped up saying the device needed to be formatted. This clashed with the setup guide that stated that I should see a pop up saying “HopperGO Connecting”, however I pushed ‘ok’ figuring it would do its thing and end up working. This did not happen. After the device formatted it showed up as a 5GB external hard drive to my Hopper. I thought for sure that it somehow formatted over the firmware, and pushing the hard reset button on the device didn’t help either. No matter what I did the Hopper only saw the Hopper Go as a 5GB external hard drive.

I contacted DISH support and spent a painfully long time (about two hours) chatting with them. For the first 15 minutes or so they didn’t even seem to know what I was talking about. Then for the next hour and a half they continually had to do “research” and asked a lot of questions that seemed to get me nowhere. Midway through hour two they finally came to the realization that the Hopper Go only works with the latest Hopper software, and for whatever reason my Hopper did not have that software (even though it’s always connected to the internet).

Eventually they pushed an update to my Hopper manually, and it spent a good thirty minutes trying to download and install the update. The process didn’t finish before support told me that they had done all they could do, but their ‘engineers’ would continue to work on the problem and push any necessary updates to me in the future.

Luckily, about twenty minutes after ending the two hour support session my Hopper finally took the update and recognized the Hopper Go. I’m now in the process of transferring a bunch of shows and movies to the device and everything seems to be running smoothly.

I’m traveling tomorrow so that will be the first true test of how useful the Hopper Go can be. If all goes well I’ll be able to stick the Hopper Go in my laptop bag and stream movies and shows to my iPad during my flight and layovers. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to charge the Hopper Go with an external battery pack as I’ve heard the battery only lasts about four hours, but I have yet to determine if that’s an option.

I’ll be sure to post about how the Hopper Go performs after I get settled in on the east coast this weekend. If you have any questions I’ll do my best to answer them. I’m just hoping that other early adopters of the device won’t have the painful experience I just had. Nothing’s worse than being excited about a new gadget only to have to spend hours and hours talking in circles to tech support. I’m just glad it’s working now!



  1. Mike · June 24, 2016

    I have the exact same issue and just got off the phone with dish tech support with no luck. They are going to refer this to engineering and get back to me within 48 hours. It seems that they don’t keep track of resolved issues on their side. What version of software do you have on your box? My version is S530 on my Dish Hopper w/ Sling. Tech support insisted that I have the latest version.

    • jonathan hirt · June 24, 2016

      Not sure I’m not home right now, but they said in the latest version the screen should be black when on the guide and mine was blue initially.

      • Mike · June 30, 2016

        Yes, I had the blue screen and needed to manually upgrade to the new Carbon UI by going to Menu->Settings->Diagnostics->Updates and pressing Play-Play-Recall on the remote. I am surprised that i needed to do this and that Dish tech support did not know about this issue.

        Now things are working for me. Thanks for the blog post.

  2. KWatt · August 15, 2016

    Can you charge the hopper with a battery pack?

    • Keith Nealy · August 15, 2016

      You should be able to. It’s supposed to charge from phone or tablet chargers, so a battery pack should be no different.

  3. Scott Manore · September 6, 2016

    My HopperGo works fine and I can watch shows I put on it but only on my Samsung Galaxy phone. My laptop connects to the Hoppergos wifI but I can’t bring up dishanywere Web site it says I have no Internet. I thought that was the point don’t need Internet. Then I tried it on my Samsung Galaxy tab 3 and brought up dishanywere app it says same thing no internet. So I’m connected through the Hoppergos WiFi on laptop and tablet but I can’t bring up dish. Like I said I can only on my phone. I called Dish talked to several techs and they have no idea what is wrong. I don’t want to watch shows on my little screen on phone that’s why I want it to work on laptop or tablet. Do you know what could be the problem.

    • jonathan hirt · September 14, 2016

      Hmm. I honestly don’t know what’s going on there. I haven’t used my Hopper GO since I went on vacation at the start of summer, but after my initial problems I never had any issues with it.

      Best of luck! If I can think of anything, I’ll post it.

  4. Keith Nealy · September 14, 2016

    You are aware that using the WiFi on the HopperGo disables your internet WiFi. You can only use one or the other. If you’re trying to connect via the website when connected to HG, you can’t. If you’re on the internet, you can’t view HG videos. It’s one or the other. Inconvenient, but that’s how it works. I apologize if I’ve misunderstood your problem, or you already knew this.

    • Scott Manore · September 15, 2016

      Yes I know that, it works fine on my galaxy s5 phone when I bring up the dish app it says im conected to Hopper go and i can see and play the shows i put on it. But when I try to do it on my tablet it dosent say that im conected to the hopper go it says im not conected to the internet and dishanywere wont work. Even though my wifi on my tablet says im conected to hopper go. It does same thing on my laptop. It only works on my phone and im not going to watch a movie on my little screen on my phone.

      • Keith Nealy · September 16, 2016

        Let me try one more time. There are two modes for DishAnywhere in relation to HopperGo. The first let’s up transfer videos to HG. For this you need to be connected to the internet. You can see the videos on HG but you can’t play them. If you connect to the HG WiFi you can play HG content but not transfer or do anything with your DVR.

        So, on your tablet if you’re connected to HG WiFi but are not looking at you HG videos, rather are on the DVR or anything other than HG content it will warn you that you’re not connected to the internet. If you tab over to HG you can then see the HG content.

      • Scott Manore · September 17, 2016

        Yes I know you tab over to HG to watch content, I do it on my phone but it doesn’t give you a choice on tablet it’s not there. Now dish is telling me I need on my Android operating system at least 4.8 software which I have 4.4.2. On my phone I have 6.0 marshmallow so they’re saying my tablet doesn’t have the right software to run hoppergo. They are also saying now that you can’t watch hoppergo through your laptop only a phone or a tablet.

  5. Keith Nealy · September 17, 2016

    Just discovered I need an internet connection to watch my HopperGo content. The whole point of HG was to not need to be on the net. But when I tried to watch it told me I needed to connect to the internet for 30 seconds to validate. Great. I loaded up HG so I could watch where I don’t have net access and then can’t watch it. Why doesn’t Dish include validation with the transfer? Stupid.

    • jonathan hirt · September 18, 2016

      Weird. I don’t recall having that issue. I used my Hopper GO while I was on vacation, but I tried it out before I left for the trip, so maybe it validated then? After I left I didn’t have it connected to the internet for three weeks and it worked perfectly.

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