Dish Hopper DVR upgrades enable control over HDMI, expand iPad support

Dish's Hopper software team is clearly busy; just two months after it brought home-automation support to its DVR, it's rolling out another update that offers considerably more control. The new "Denver" firmware enables promised HDMI-CEC support, letting the Hopper send and receive commands from compatible HDMI gear. It can automatically switch TV inputs when powered on, for example. Other upgrades introduce universal search, a help app and a shelf-like layout for On Demand videos. As part of the revamp, Dish is also improving its Explorer iPad app; Apple tablet owners can both control every TV on the Hopper platform and find recommended shows. Neither "Denver" nor the Explorer update will necessarily get anyone switching TV providers, but it should make the viewing experience that much sweeter for loyal customers.