If you feel like you’re seeing more TV commercials than ever before, it’s not just your imagination. In 2009, broadcast networks showed an average of 13 minutes and 25 seconds of commercials per hour — but by 2013, that number jumped to 14 minutes and 15 seconds, according to Nielsen data reported in the Los Angeles Times. Cable network commercial time is even longer, growing from an average of 14 minutes and 27 seconds per hour in 2009 to 15 minutes and 38 seconds in 2013. Some cable networks don’t even average 40 minutes of programming per hour.
Fortunately, if you’re a DISH Network subscriber, you can cut some of these commercials out. The Hopper’s AutoHop feature give you the power to skip commercials during select recorded primetime broadcasts shown on the major networks.
How AutoHop Works
AutoHop works with PrimeTime Anytime, a related Hopper feature. With PrimeTime Anytime you can record up to three hours of primetime programming on each of the four major networks — ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX — and store it for up to eight days, to watch at your convenience. A 2-terabyte hard drive adds long-term storage capacity for storing up to 500 hours of HD programming or 2,000 hours of standard programming. You can access PrimeTime Anytime with your remote by clicking your remote’s DVR button twice, or by pressing once and then pressing Select to scroll down.
Once you’ve recorded some content with PrimeTime Anytime, you can use AutoHop to skip commercials when viewing select recorded content. Due to contractual agreements with the major networks, you can skip commercials starting the day after the live broadcast of recorded shows (some networks require you to wait longer), and only certain broadcasts are available for commercial-skipping on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX.
AutoHop is extremely easy to use. You must have a Hopper with PrimeTime Anytime enabled, and you can also use a Joey. When you’re ready to start viewing your recorded PrimeTime Anytime content, open your PrimeTime Anytime or DVR menu screen. Then:
- You’ll see a small red kangaroo icon representing Hopper AutoHop next to each show that is available for commercial-free viewing. When you select a show with the icon, a popup window appears on your screen asking you whether you want to enable AutoHop when viewing that show. Choose “Yes” to watch your show without commercials.
- Once you enable AutoHop for a particular show, it will continue to run without commercials for the duration of the program without you having to click anything again. A small red Hopper icon will appear briefly on the screen to let you know when commercials are being skipped.
- You can turn AutoHop off any time you wish. There is no additional charge for AutoHop — it is included free when you sign up for DISH Hopper service.