Originally announced at CES in January, the minuscule HopperGo is a 64GB USB drive with a built in wireless access point. The little device connects to your Dish Hopper 3 or Hopper 2 – essentially Dish’s DVR – and sucks down up to 100 hours of TV. You can then unplug the little bugger and watch for four hours on one charge through the Dish Anywhere app.
When I first pulled this little thing out of the box I thought they had sent the wrong thing. It is truly tiny – about as big as an Altoids tin if not smaller. There isn’t much in the way of an interface on the box, just a button to turn it on and a USB port. The real magic happens on the Hopper and in the Dish Anywhere app. To move video to the box you simply select the content and transfer it to the HopperGo. Then, when you are connected to the HopperGo via private wifi, you can watch up to 100 hours of TV.
The product is similar to wifi “media drives” that a few manufacturers produced to stream video and images to mobile devices. However, because it is so small and so specialized you have to wonder exactly who might want to take 100 hours of TV in a tiny little box. Obviously the first users would be parents who want to take a few hours of Dora to the ski lodge without Internet connectivity but, given the prevalence of Internet around the world and the ability to simply stream from a connected Hopper device via Dish Anywhere without the HopperGo it’s a bit of a hard sell.
At $99, however, it might be a fun addition for an on-the-go family that wants to keep up with Sesame Street or a TV lover who wants to catch up with a favorite program in a hut on a desert island or on a plane without wifi.