Newbie alert! We have been Dish customers since 1997 and currently are still using the 612. In fact, two 612's that are working flawlessly and still providing great video. We have two homes, one that is set up with the Hopper w/sling (3 tuner) and this one, with the 612's. We used to pack up and transport the 612's to the other home for many years. Got tired of doing that and settled on upgrading to the Hopper a few years ago after Dish made us an offer to good to pass up. What's tough now is going between homes and having to adjust to the different remotes! I see that you said that you are paying $7 for the DVR service. Humm? We're paying $15 for the service and $10 for the second 612 DVR receiver. The first receiver is not charged. Might have to call Dish and question why not the $7? Anyway, this Wednesday Dish is coming to install a Hopper (no sling). Reason for no sling was the price of the receiver. I have always purchased my equipment and pay for the protection service. In the long run, it has paid for itself, in my opinion. But, now what to do with the 612's? I'd like to be able to transfer the DVR recordings from the 612's to the Hopper. I see in the previous post that it is necessary to transfer to a PHD and then transfer to the new Hopper. Is this possible with the 612? I've gone through the menu on the 612 and can't find any setting that allows for transferring. Any help will be appreciated? Thanks...JoeI still have VIP receivers by choice. That said the Hopper is overall a great receiver though not without some problems. But those problems alone is not what keeps me from getting it.
If you are grandfathered on fees you will not be if you go to the Hopper. So I pay $7 for a DVR fee much lower per month than if I go to the Hopper so I have to factor that in.
Second I am big on having a back-up. So while I have nowhere near as many tuners to record as I would with a Hopper, if the Hopper has a problem I have a problem of no Sat TV. With two Vip's of which I only pay for one I have as many tuners as I happen to need, 6. (4 sat 2 OTA) And if one receiver dies I still have another.
Third my VIPs have become rock solid despite - or maybe because of - no updates for them anymore. Very reliable.
Fourth is not a reason for me not to get it may be for you. As mentioned already it is likely you will have to sign a two year contract. I happily sign them saving alot on the packages so no problem for me.
So if you can get it for no upgrade fee, or that fee is ok with you and/or a two year contract you will get probably the best receiver for watching TV there is. But it comes at a cost.
As Columbo says, just one more thing... I do think from setting up the Hopper for my Daughter using my TV because it was before she moved in her things to her house, the picture does seem a little sharper.