Dish Network ViP 622: Worst DVR Ever?

I am the not-so-proud owner of a Dish Network ViP 622 DVR.  This is my third receiver in 5 months.

Before I get too far into this, I should say that I’ve really had no problems with Dish Network.  I’ve been a subscriber for a number of years.  We made the switch from DirecTV when Direct dropped their MusicChoice and replaced it with XM.  That’s a whole different subject — suffice it to say that the XM promo spots were sufficiently irritating, and the playlist was so thin on the alternative rock stations that I switched providers.  Dish has kept their own music stations which they augment with Sirius.  Sirius is only marginally better than XM, but the Dish stations are reasonably good.

OK — so I’ve got no problem with Dish and its service (albeit all my positive experience was with their standard-definition product).  But this DVR is absolutely horrid.  As many have noted online, it runs very hot, which I’m sure does nothing for its stability.  It flakes out all the time with minor interruptions:

  • sporadic resets
  • periods where the menus are sluggish
  • periods where the unit ignores button clicks selectively (almost as if it is ignoring every other button click
  • weird dropouts in the digital audio that cause my Sony receiver to go nuts as its decoders switch modes, exacerbating the dropouts

Then there are the major failures:

  • unit one: failed after about two months of service; recordings would freeze and start over a few seconds into playback; also, skip back and ff/rew would not work anymore
  • unit two: locked up completely a few times (needed a full power-cycle to start back up), and finally refused to start up anymore

I’m convinced that this third unit will die a horrible death in a few months.  Regardless of whether it does, I’m considering taking some sort of action to replace it with another model.   But I don’t know if another will be much better.  I realize that decoding, recording, and playing back HD video requires a substantial amount of computing power, and I’m sure it’s hard to build a box that can do this and still be inexpensive enough to “throw in” to a subscription package.  This could be a case of being on the bleeding edge.  But there’s got to be something better than this boat anchor!



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