You know how it feels to be caught up in a favorite television show, only to have a dramatic moment ruined by a corny commercial? It’s exasperating, to say the least. Time seems to slow down with each boring insurance monologue or small-print medical ad, and you may start asking, “How long are TV commercials, anyway?” They may not be as long as they feel, but they do take up a fourth of your viewing time, with the average hour-long program airing 14 to 16 minutes of commercials.

In an attempt to eliminate commercials, many viewers are ditching traditional TV and turning to on-demand streaming. In fact, one survey found that 90% of Netflix users would rather pay more for their subscriptions than see ads between shows. Today’s viewers clearly have strong feelings about ads, and if you feel like TV commercials are out of control, you’re not alone.

This is where DISH AutoHop comes in. Known as the “commercial hopper,” AutoHop is your ticket to ad-free viewing, letting you enjoy more TV and reclaim those 14 to 16 minutes by skipping commercials. Follow the steps below to start using AutoHop:

  1. Enable PrimeTime Anytime and upgrade to the Hopper 3 HD DVR (if you haven’t already). With the Hopper, commercials won’t interrupt your viewing or bust your budget, since AutoHop is included with the Hopper 3 at no additional charge.
  2. Record your desired shows. The Hopper 3 allows you to record up to 16 shows at once and save them on a 2TB hard drive. PrimeTime Anytime will even record shows from major networks automatically.
  3. Wait at least a day after the show’s original broadcast time to use AutoHop. DISH partners with ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS to allow you to skip their commercials, but the contract doesn’t extend to live broadcasts.
  4. Go to your DVR Menu and look for a red kangaroo icon next to the show’s title. AutoHop doesn’t work with all programs, but any show with the kangaroo icon is enabled for AutoHop and commercial-free viewing.
  5. Select your desired show. A pop-up will ask you if you want to enable AutoHop. Select “Yes.”
  6. Enjoy your show. AutoHop will briefly flash a red kangaroo icon whenever it automatically skips an ad.

Don’t forget that PrimeTime Anytime must be enabled for DISH AutoHop to work. And of course, if DISH Autohop is not working as expected, customer service representatives can help solve any technical issues.

Commercial skip feature is available at varying times, starting the day after airing, for select primetime shows on ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC recorded with PrimeTime Anytime.

As virtual voice assistants become more prevalent, DISH stands at the forefront of this technological movement. In 2018, DISH announced the integration of Google Assistant with DISH equipment. Then, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2019, DISH announced that the fusion between DISH TV and the Google Assistant is now even better.

Instead of using a Google Home Assistant speaker or the Google Assistant app on a mobile device to control DISH equipment, DISH users can now communicate with the Google Assistant—and their set-top boxes—via their DISH TV remotes.

What Equipment Do I Need to Use the Google Assistant with my DISH Remote?

As long as customers have a DISH Voice Remote control, they can use the Google Assistant to control any DISH set-top boxes, including DISH Hopper (all generations), DISH Joey (all models), and DISH Wally.

The DISH Voice Remote is included in all packages for new customers, and current DISH customers who don’t have a voice remote can upgrade for $20.

What Voice Commands Can I Use with My Remote?

With the Google Assistant built-in, customers can ask Google questions through their remotes, with answers appearing on their TV screens:

  • “Hey, Google, what’s tomorrow’s weather forecast?”
  • “Hey, Google, what’s the score of the Patriots football game?”

The Google Assistant built-in also allows DISH users to control their smart homes from the remote, from dimming the lights and adjusting the thermostat to locking the doors and arming the alarm system. With the Google Home app, users can even set up custom commands and routines to automate their smart home devices and then use the voice remote to control their homes:

  • “Hey, Google, dim the lights.”
  • “Hey, Google, set the thermostat to 72 degrees.”
  • “Hey, Google, it’s time to hit the hay.”

And, of course, DISH customers can use the Google Assistant to start playing a show on the DISH Hopper 3, DVR a show or movie, control TV playback, search for shows and movies, adjust TV volume, and launch Netflix.

  • “Hey, Google, what NBA games are on TV tonight?”
  • “Hey, Google, rewind 30 seconds.”
  • “Hey, Google, change the channel to Food Network.”

Our step-by-step guide tells customers how to get started with the Google Assistant so they can make the most of their DISH equipment and this seamless integration—they can start enjoying the ability to control their smart homes and entertainment systems from the palms of their hands. Check out the rest of our blog for more updates.

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