Pros: Nice interface, Nice picture/sound quality, can connect 2 different TV's and watch 2 different shows.
Cons: Terrible reliability issues, very frequent freezing, rebooting, and shows getting cut into or off completely.
I have owned one of these for about a year now (actually I have owned 5 different of the same VIP622 model over the year because DISH has sent me replacements, but I'll get to that later). The product itself on paper is nice, it has an excellent interface and search features so you can always find what you're looking for, and it does a good job of recording shows based on the priority you set them, which was a huge improvement over the previous HD receiver I had
with Time Warner which made you completely cancel recurring recordings of a show if you wanted to record something else during it even just one time. The picture quality is very good, as is the sound.
But I absolutely DESPISE this item, and want to throw it out of a window and bash it with a baseball bat like in "Office Space." The reason is that once you set in a fair amount of timers (shows you want to record), maybe 10-20 shows or more (the more the worse it gets) the VIP622 will constantly freeze and reboot itself almost every single time you try to change something with any shows, and quite often will reboot itself randomly for no reason, interrupting and stopping recording any shows it was recording.
This means I cannot set it to record something new, cancel a show I don't want it to record, or change the priority of my shows without the machine freezing (the freezing lasts about a minute after which the screen turns black), and then restarting itself. This is annoying enough but it takes at least 5 whole minutes for the machine to reboot itself and resume recording your shows, so you often lose a big chunk of the shows you wanted to watch which are lost forever unless there happens to be a re-run of it, in which case you will have to go through and set it to record again, because the DVR will have it listed as a duplicate event since it (started) to record but got interrupted. I cannot count how many times my shows have gotten interrupted and how many times it was something that I never got to see because there were no re-runs.
Today I decided to write this review because the VIP622 interrupted 2 sporting events that I was looking forward to all week, which were the top 2 teams in the standings playing in 2 different matches for the championship in the English Premier League at the same time (it was the last game day of the season and they both needed to win because they were tied on league points, with the winner winning the league championship) - I was going to watch them both at the same time on 2 different TV's. That is another nice theoretical feature with this DVR, that you can watch 2 different shows at the same time if you plug in a second television to the "TV-2" output, and they even give you 2 different remotes to control either both of them at the same time in "shared mode", or you can select "dual mode" and watch 2 different things at the same time which was what I was planning on doing. The DVR didn't even record one of the matches because of the machine randomly restarting itself, and the other one got interrupted halfway through. I wasn't even awake at the time because the game were played on England time, I just expected them to record (although now it's always in the back of my mind that they could not record since it has happened so many times, but the majority of the shows do get recorded as long as I don't do anything with the DVR while they are recording, so I figured there was a good chance they would be recorded successfully).
I was so upset with the VIP622 I really wanted to bash it with a baseball bat because I was really looking forward to watching these games, and this has now happened so many times and like I said, I have owned 5 different ones of this exact same product. I have called DISH and explained all these problems and they have sent me replacements 5 different times. Every one of them has the exact same problems (although one of them also had the HDMI output stop working, which is another common problem from what I have read). They seem to work fine when you first get them, but then once you set it to record the shows you want to watch (I have it set to record about 30 different shows, which even Dish said themselves should be a fine amount, in fact they said I should be able to record any amount of shows without any problems) and as soon as I got to about 15 shows I see the same problems time and time again. I'm not even considering calling them again even after this morning's problems because I know for a fact that as soon as I get another one it will have the same problems, and I don't really feel like going through the activation procedure and inputting all the shows I want to record on yet another receiver that is doomed to have all of these problems. I am just waiting for DISH to offer a completely redesigned High Def DVR that hopefully will not even be made by the same manufacturer as the VIP622/VIP722. If that one has any of these problems, I am going to force my father (I live at home still and he is in charge of the TV service and everything else) to switch to a different TV provider, although we have tried Time Warner (terrible HD-DVR) and DirecTV which my father had problems with their customer service.
My father actually owns this same product, but he hasn't had the problems I've mentioned because it only has it set to record 3 different shows, some sporting events and an occasional single-time record of a movie. But he also has other problems which I have also had, which is another very annoying problem which is that the VIP622 often sets itself to record 3 different things at the same time even though it only has 2 tuners on which to record programs, so it cuts into longer shows with the shorter shows. For example, I had it set to record Late Night with Conan O'Brien which lasts an hour, and South Park and Reno 911 which last 30 minutes. Late Night is set to start at 12:30, South Park also starts at 12:30 and Reno 911 has 2 back to back episodes at 12:00 and 12:30. Late Night is highest priority, Reno 911 is second highest, and South Park is lowest priority. It sets itself to record all 4 different episodes, and it will record both Reno 911 episodes at 12:00 and 12:30 and will record South Park at 12:30 and then start Late Night at 1:00am, 30 minutes into the show skipping the best parts. Late Night is the highest priority, so it should be recorded entirely instead of recording South Park at all. But the DVR does not seem to see this, and no matter what I do it will always cut into Late Night and start it 30 minutes late unless I cancel South Park completely, which is what I have had to do. I called DISH about this, and of course they sent me a replacement which as I have mentioned never fixes the problems because every VIP622 has all these exact same issues that I have told you about in this review.
If I had my choice I would cancel DISH in a heartbeat and try another provider like DirectTV, but I live with my parents still and like I said my father has only had a small bit of the problems I have had with their products and he does not like DirecTV for some reason, so I am forced to live with it or else have no TV or at least no HDTV (I haven't tried the non-HD receivers that DISH has but I am assuming they are better than the VIP series which is the only receiver DISH offers for HD programming). I was considering upgrading to the VIP722 which is the same product with 200 hours of recording time instead of 100 hours, but as I understand it they are the exact same product with just more hard drive space and I don't feel like giving DISH any more money to have the same problems.
So basically I would highly suggest that you do not buy this product, and that you do not subscribe to DISHtv for high-definition TV until they get HD receivers that don't have the massive amount of problems that the VIP series do, UNLESS you only set the DVR to record a very low amount of shows (around 5 should be OK) and don't mind the occasional random reboot or show getting cut into by another show that is set to record at the same time. I have done a search and found many many people having the same problems I mentioned, so I am assuming it's only a matter of time before DISH sacks the VIP series, but it has been out for over a year now and is still the only HD-DVR they offer so I don't know what is going on at DISH, but they are sure going to lose a lot of business if they don't come out with something else soon.