Dish Network’s Hopper DVR is making it easier to watch prime time shows without commercial breaks. A new feature called Auto Hop lets users watch archived "Primetime Anytime" shows completely commercial-free, beginning at 1AM the day after recording. Primetime Anytime records all of the broadcast programming from ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox that airs between the hours of 8 PM and 11 PM Eastern Time simultaneously, letting you replay the shows for up to eight days after they’ve aired.
Behind the scenes, Auto Hop doesn’t record the shows commercial-free, it actually edits out the commercial breaks beginning at 1 AM. That means if you miss Dancing With the Stars by just an hour you'll still have to sit through the ads. Dish notes that while other platforms like Windows Media Center, Sage TV, and Myth TV let you edit out commercial breaks, the fact that the Hopper can pull it off with just one button makes it unique. A Dish representative told LA Times that the company has no current plans to expand Auto Hop to cable channels, which is too bad, since cable typically has heavier commercial loads than broadcast TV.