I just want to start off by saying that I've been a Dish Network customer since '99 and have always been completely satisified with the service that I have received. I just recently begun to have a few problems with my old Dish 721 DVR after about 3-4 years of use. The receiver was constantly rebooting during the middle of recording two programs at once and it was making my wife furious over missing her favorite shows. So after 3-4 great years I decided to check into a new DVR from Dish.
Since the 721 was a Dual Tuner DVR and we had become so use to its excellent recording features we knew we had to get an additional Dual Tuner DVR. After a little research and checking out Dish Networks website, I decided to go with their new "Dish it up" lease program. This program lets you lease a new HD / HD DVR receiver for a monthly fee of about $11 ($6 for the equipment and $5 for the DVR fee) with a $149 down payment and an 18 month commitment. I considered purchasing one of these models after concluding that they were running for about $500 new on ebay so the leasing option didn't sound too bad.
The current "Dish it up" program offer a $50 rebate on the receiver and a $10 monthly credit for 10 months for subscribing to HD channels through Dish Network. So overall it cost about $99 upfront, and since it is a lease, any equipment failures would be covered under warranty for the life of the lease. This seemed a little better than spending $500 upfront then after a year having it malfunction after it's one year manufacturer warranty. I figure since it's only a 720p/1080i receiver, that Dish would probably have a 1080p capable receiver sometime in the near future and that my upgrading to a better model would be highly probable.
So now that you have the background information on pricing, let me tell you a couple of things about the receiver the itself.
Picture: The HD picture so far is great. I purchased an HDMI cable before installation after a call with Dish Network told me that the receiver only included component cables. So far, the HD channels are unbelievable. Discovery and National Geographic are incredible and Sporting games look great. I have switched between 720p and 1080i resolution, and decided that 720p looked a little better on my Vizio, so I'm sticking to the 720p for now.
The standard definition looks average and slightly below the picture quality of a regular CRT TV but this seems to be mostly the case for all HD TV's that have to downconvert the signal.
DVR: The DVR will allow recording of two programs at once from the satellite and an additional program from an over the air (HD) antenna. I have not purchased a HD antenna yet but I will in the near future to take advantage of this feature that the 721 receiver did not have.
I've read from other reviewers who have had Tivo and how much better it is than Dish DVR's. Well this is probably true because Tivo does hold the patents to numerous "time shifting" technologies. Therefore, other DVR's don't come quite close to the options that Tivo provides but there is one area with considerable improvement over the 721, "episode search." The 622 receiver has the ability to now search by name the title of an episode (like Tivo) and the provides the ability to record all future episodes of this program or to record only new future episodes. This is one area I thought Tivo had locked down with their patents but I guess Dish is "borrowing" a little bit more. Note: This "borrowing" is currently on appeal in a lawsuit Tivo filed versus Dish Network over patent infringement.
The 622 has a 320GB Hard Drive that will store up to 30 hours of HD programming or 200 hours of standard definition. I believe as storage capacity is now reaching one terabyte of data for a hard drive, DVR's future capacity could only increase. Factor in the launch of another Dish Network satellite in the next year to carry additional high definition channels and one can see how 320GB of storage capacity will be quickly obsolete.
Installation: Since I already had a dual tuner DVR I requested Dish Network to just ship me the 622 so I could self install. The representative told me that professional installation was required and would be free of charge. The reason behind this is that the installer would install a new "Dish 1000" satellite dish that will have the aforementioned capability to receive the new satellite that will be launched within the year.
Features: I will go into the specifics of the 622 since that has been covered in prior posts but the one thing that did interest me is the availability of it to display pictures through a USB connection. Just connect your camera and display your pictures on nice a big screen TV. I haven't tried this out yet but am very intrigued by the possibility.
I also wanted to mention that I have this hooked up to just one television but this receiver does have the capability to output to two tv's. The first one would be a high def connection and the second just a standard definition connection. You could control each TV through a seperate remote control. The 1st TV remote is infrared, being nearest the receiver. The second remote is UHF radio signalled and could control the second TV from up to 300 feet away. Since I'm using it in "Single Mode" I have the ability to watch Picture in Picture. With the "Dual Mode" one would not have this ability.
Overall, I give this receiver a 9 out of 10.
Note: I will update this review in the future after a couple of months of use because I have heard of a few software bugs in earlier versions of this model.
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Amount Paid (US$): 149.00