The product

  • Dish Network

The Bad

  • Early DVR receivers were terrible. Interfaces were OK when they worked, but often response times to button presses can be measured in the tens of seconds. Resetting the receiver was required about twice a week to maintain operability.
  • Customer support staffed by clueless idiots.
  • Customer support has no visibility into tickets submiited to engineering, so if a problem is found to be at their end, there is no way to follow up with customers.
  • Customer report refuses to report bugs in hardware upstream. I had several reproducible bugs that I couldn't get addressed. The only two solutions to real issues are to:
    1. Reset the receiver
    2. Replace the receiver
  • There is a $5 fee for receivers not connected to a phone line.
  • Newer receivers, while much better than previos generations, still have their faults.
    1. Some commonly used options seem buried in strange places
    2. Selecting "Start N minutes early" conflicts with earlier recordings if N > 1; "proper" behavior would be to drop the pre-recording for any N, or have the importance of the pre-recording selectable. The fact that a one minute "record before" setting is dropped instead of conflicting points to some alignment with my opinion.

The Good

  • The newer 622 DVR is very good. Responsiveness is good, and the box doesn't seem to require constant resets.
  • 622 timer conflict resolution is good.
  • 622 video quality is good. Even standard definition programs look better on my 10 year old HDTV using the 622 upconversion than the TV's internal upconverter.