721 vs. 510/08/01


Rich or poor, it's good to have money.
Original poster
Supporting Founder
For those of you that have used both the 721 and 5xx (not incl. 522), I would like to know which you prefer. Please feel free to post the reasons behind your vote, as well. Thanks.
(I'm considering returning my 510, and getting a 721.)
I like the guide interface on the 721 better. We are still using the 501 so that way I can record up to three things at once if I need to. Of course the dual tuner on the 721 is the other feature that we enjoy.

I prefer the entire UI on the 721 vs my 501's.

It seems cleaner and more user friendly, especially not having to hit info for the details of the selected listing.

Gary, you may recall I returned my 510 for a 721. It is great having two tuners. That is about it as far as I'm concerned. Maybe it's because I'm not using it much because this is the outside time of year.

The one thing I don't like about the 721 is the scheduled timer display. It shows a date and time and on what channel, not the title of the program. You have to hit INFO to see what you have scheduled. I'd be happier with the 510's DVR interface than the 721s. Perhaps it is because I haven't had it for so long. Two tuners are more than double the value of a single. :)
GaryPen said:
Thanks for the poll choices and experiences guys. This is very helpful. I'd love to hear from more people who have used both models.
I have a 501 and a 721 and definately prefer the 721 for all of the above reasons. The interface is much better on the 721 and P in P works great.
I paid (almost) full price for it and am a bit disappointed that I didn't get it for the reduce price in effect now, but still not at all disappointed with the unit.
THe only thing I don't really like is the point dish screen compared to all the other Dish receivers.
The electronic program guide in the 721 whales the tar out of the one in the 50_'s. You can look at 7 channels worth of guide data at once with the PIP window in the top right corner which means if you sub to HBO for example you can scroll across to the right a few times and see whats on every single channel for an entire evening save for HBO Latino with just a few presses of the right arrow. Really quick and painless to setup timers with the 721 as well as seeing program information when you cursor over programs without having to hit the info button as others have mentioned previously. Overall the GUI is much nicer in the 721 as well. It still suffers from a few strange glitches on occasion, but all in all its a pretty nice DVR. I think Dish completely missed the boat pricing it so high initially along with failing to really lower the price for so long - they could have easily sold so many more of these receivers with better marketing, better and faster software updates fixing all the bugs in a more timely manner, and way more aggressive price drops along the likes of what you typically see year to year from Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft in the videogame console wars. I don't really care if the internet access portion is ever enabled or not as I have my PC in the same room as where i watch TV. Couple more simple fixes and the 721 should be golden.
GaryPen said:
Luckily, my dishes are already pointed. How's the "check switch" screen? I'll probably need to run one of those.
If you get the DP34 switch you won't believe how fast the check switch is completed. I used to have two SW21 switches feeding two 501's and the check switch routine could take a long time to complete with a 3 satellite setup. When I unplugged one of the 501's and hooked everything up to the 721 last year the check switch failed to work properly with all 3 satellites so I had to push Dish over and over again after a software upgrade took away the ability (it worked perfectly ok for the first few weeks I had the 721 until a later rev was spooled). I remember I once sat there for close to 20 minutes waiting for the check switch routine to finish with legacy switches. Seems to be a lot better now, but I can't say how it works with the SW21's trying to see 3 satellites at once anymore.
What about the ability to hide channels in the guide? I can "hide locked channels" through the Locks menu with my 510. That comes in really handy. No need for favorites! (I wish they'd add it to the 811 SW already!)
Pretty sure its the same channel lock capability thats in the 510. If you go into locks you can do the following: front panel, pay-per-view, hide adult, rating locks, channel locks, enable all locks.
I just got my 721 today so I can't be real objective. But from what I can see, I think it will stand head and shoulders above my 501. At first glance, PQ appears to be about the same. I'll withhold comment on the interface until I can play with it more. One problem I did notice was it's failure to recognize 61.5 on my SW64. Upon further investigation, it appears that the 721 does not like being on the second of two SW64s, but will work just fine if connected to the first switch (the one without the feed-thru loads).

Reason for edit: Added further investigation info.

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