Help: Should I or Shouldn't I???


Original poster
Jul 24, 2004
I am in the process of switching from Directv to Dish - based on the fact that I can get a $5 discount from Sprint and there appears to be about ten more movie channels in which the end result will cost ne about $2 more (than Directv) - this is taking advantage of the Dish latest offer which includes The DVR: 522.

1) Would anyone reecommend my not switching to Dish (for any reason) or tell me that I am not crazy for doing so?

2) Also is the DVR a relaible and good DVR receiver?

Thank you
Don't switch. You are getting into a cable type rental program, where the receiver appears to be free, but you end up paying for it many times over by the time you are done. The DVR 522 is also not even comparable to a DirecTivo. It lacks many-many features and isn't even close to being relaible. You will be back at DirecTV in no time, if you make the switch. Now, I know you will hear from hard core Dish fans here, that think I work for DirecTV or I have a "hidden agenda" or you are "bashing Dish"-I have heard it all, so don't tell it to me again-please. I write from reading 100's of posts on the subject and from my own personal experience. don't make the switch, plus it going cost you more. that doesn't sound like a good deal to me. I have no idea why you want to pay more?
The DVR from Dish is part of the promotion - whether I am with Directv or Dish I would have to pay 4.99 a month - so that is even. I get Sirus music channels with Dish and that doesn't come with directv - I get more movie channels with dish and bottom line is I am getting a $5 discount from Sprint because I have their DSL.
You may be "getting" all that, But if your receiver requires constant restarting (like many do) or it freezes in the middle of your favorite movie or it take 3 hours to download the programming data then its not going to be there to receive the content. Not to mention, if you ever want to add in another DVR it will cost you twice a much per month, when with DirecTV you can adding as many DVR's as you want and it will not cost you a cent more per month on your DVR service. I am not talking about the DVR service fee anyway. I am talking about the box rental, so its not equal. with DirecTV you get receivers that work 99% of the time, at Dish it more like 55%. At DirecTV you get the movie channels that count, not ones that re-play the same movies over and over just at a different time, at Dish you don't get that. Ever want to upgrade to HD? I bet you will, Dish doesn't offer any HD recievers now that even compare to DirecTV is terms of features that work and a reciver that comes on when you want and receives programming like it should when you ask it to. If you have never tried a DirecTivo you don't have a clue what you are missing, and how much more it offers up over a Dish-DVCR (digital VCR or PVR)
mini1 flaps his jaws a lot don't he? Me, I don't trust anyone whose car is smaller than my bed.

Botom line, both D* & E* basic PVRs work.

Compare EVERY detail of the cost & programming lineups and make your decision from that.
Simon's absolutely right. As you'll notice from spending even 30 seconds on this board, I'm no fan of the 522 receiver. However, there is (or at least should be) more that goes into your decision making process than what anyone here has to say. I have a lot of contempt for the 522 and its development issues, but programming has (for the time being, at least) kept me on the fence and has me toughing it out with Dish and their DVR. What channels are important to you? Did you look closely at the channel lineups of both companies? You know, some channels are ONLY available on Dish (and I'd imagine vice versa). How much do you have to spend? Did you compare price packages thoroughly (don't forget to factor in DVR/Tivo fees - multiple fees with Dish DVRs if you ever get more than one, receiver rentals/purchases, custom installs, premium movie channels, multi-channel discounts on movie channels, etc.) Are foreign language channels of any relevance to you or your family members? What about pay per view? There's a lot more to think about than just, "Is the 522 good?" If you want my opinion, all things being equal, don't sign up just to get a 522. But if you're leaning towards Dish because of price or programming anyway and want to take a chance on the 522 being like a bonus for you, then roll the dice and take your chances. But you stated twice already that you'll get a $5 discount for doing what you're talking about. Please keep in mind, you may very well end up having problems like I (and many others) have had (See HERE). If this works out to be the case for you, I don't think that $5 will be worth it.
You can read my opinions on the board. I am no fan of DirecTV as a company. That is the sole reason I am a Dish customer. I would love to have my DirecTivo back. The 522 is nothing more than a VCR that requires no tapes... and is easier to program. If you like Tivo, this is NO comparison. If you hate DirecTV, this is the only choice...

Since DirecTV sold out their interests in Tivo, perhaps Dish will team up with them... That would be nice.

The 522 is a piece-o-crap... Period.... Well at least its software is crappy, the hardware is fine I am sure... garbage in - garbage out...

The fact that Dish customers can get Sat radio for $9 is a plus too. I am an XM customer. I went with XM because of price. Both are great...

My DirecTivo was rock solid and worked flawlessly, the 522 is not...
I thank everyone for responding - it sounds like there are some deep rooted feelings here. Decisions - decisions!
How well do you speak spanish HBO Latino is one of the movie channels you will gain by switching to DISH? Yes you will gain 2 Cinemaxes but will you have any more different movies to watch? Look at what you are really gaining and balance it with what you are giving up. I chose Directv last year after 6 years with DISH, much better company just for getting rid of buggy equipment. Customer service has been better and with Ruppert now in control of Directv I expect many beneficial things are coming.
If you're one of those people that needs things to work flawlessly, then I suggest using a Tivo. Having had a Tivo for 16 months, it worked perfectly. The worst thing that happened was that it missed a recording or two because the channel on my cable box didn't change.

Having said that, if you're willing to overlook a few flaws, the DishNetwork 522 is definitely more bang for your buck.

I guess I'm lucky that I'm late to the party. I got my 522 on the last day of 169 so I only saw a few of the bugs before they updated to 201.

Besides adding the new features, I haven't run into any problems so far. It works fine for me. I guess I was lucky to not have run into the hard drive maintenance over the weekend, but they've already released a fix so I guess I never will have to see it.

Overall, while I can see how people have become frustrated with the 522, I'm lucky enough to have arrived at a point where it looks like they've got it running pretty stable now.

The ONLY problem I've seen is when 2 records are going on, and I'm watching an already recorded show there are random blips in the playback. This is probably something that can't be avoided due two all the seperate activity going on with the hard drive. It's annoying at worst, but not a deal breaker.

Also, I pay $5 a month for my PVR and I get to use it in 2 rooms. Also, because I only have one receiver (the 522 provides 2 tuners) I don't have to pay an extra $5 receiver fee. The extra "features" that Tivo has is not worth the extra expense.
My logic for switching from Directv to Dish - besides the savings of $5 monthly (for what appears to be similar programming) - is there are a few additional HBO stations (and yes I do speak Spanish but that would not be the reason I switched) including HBO comedy and I would gain a few movie channels with Cinemax. As I stated, the programming looks similar - perhaps a station or two difference - and the music channels look a little better with the Sirus music channels thrown in. So it comes down to the Tivo I am now using with Directv and the 522. You mentioned that the 522, while it is improving and you haven't noticed the problems that others have had, cannot do some of the things the Tivo can do. I was wondering if you could elaborate on that - perhaps some of those things aren't improtant to me - and then maybe they are. That might help drive my decision. One last point: the reason I was going to switch was not my unhappiness with directv but having had it for four years - I was just itching to try something new.
Hmm... real quick off the top of my head....

The 522 does not have a Season Pass feature. So, it doesn't prioritize your recordings, and then catch a re-run for you if you've missed an episode because something else more important was on.

This doesn't bother me so much because you can still set it to record a show on a weekly basis at a specific time. Because you can record 2 shows at once, I really never have the issue of not being able to record any shows now because there was never a time when there were 3 things on at the same time that I needed to record. Because I can record two things at once, I don't really need the season pass.

There are no "Suggestions". There are no Thumbs up Thumbs down ratings. Actually, the Season Pass missing would be the biggest difference, but after I reset up all the shows I wanted to record on a weekly basis I don't really think there's much of a difference.

Hmm... that's really about it that I can think of. Like I said, I really don't find it a big deal.

On the other hand, I would have to have 6 60 hour Tivos to get 100 hours of BEST quality recordings. The 522 has 100 hours of BEST quality, because it only records in BEST quality. That, and the fact that it's like having 2 tivos is what I love so much about it. You can record whatever you want without worrying about space. If two shows are on at the same time you can record both of them AND watch whatever you've already recorded. I love it.
While I use the season pass on Tivo - that wouldn't stop me as I could set the recorder on a weekly basis.

Here's what I like most about Tivo and if the 522 can do the same then it would be an even match (and probably a bonus with the 522 since it can hold much more than the 35 hours my Tivo can hold):

1) Pause a live show for up to 30 minutes while you take care of something.

2) Record two shows simultaneously (or watch one live and record a 2nd).

3) Fast forward and reverse in three different speeds (what I don't like about Tivo and not sure if the 522 does the same is that when you fast forward in the second and third speeds and you stop it for example right after a commercial ends - it will back up automatically about ten seconds).

4) If the 522 can set up a show to record the same way Tivo does: find the show in the guide and just press record.

If the 522 can do these things and record in a format that allows playback and sound the exact same as watching it live - then that would be sufficient for my needs.

Thanks again
>> 1) Pause a live show for up to 30 minutes while you take care of something.

Yes. It even keeps the last hour since a channel change in cache automatically in case you forget to pause.

>> 2) Record two shows simultaneously (or watch one live and record a 2nd).

Yes. Record two shows and watch two previously recorded or start at the beginning of the currently recording shows also. You can even watch the same previously recorded or currently recording show on the two TVs starting each at a different time.

>> 3) Fast forward and reverse in three different speeds (what I don't like about Tivo and not sure if the 522 does the same is that when you fast forward in the second and third speeds and you stop it for example right after a commercial ends - it will back up automatically about ten seconds).

No. You can fast forward and rewind in 4 different speeds, 4X, 15X, 60X and 300X. There is no rewind when hitting play to continue. FYI, it also has a 30 sec skip forward and 10 sec skip backward which work better for commercial skipping.

>> 4) If the 522 can set up a show to record the same way Tivo does: find the show in the guide and just press record.

No. It's not as smart as TIVO. But, yes, find a show in the guide or by search and hit record and you get a screen to record, auto-tune or remind and once, weekly, daily or Mon-Fri and extend record time by so many minutes (it will only record the time block it won't automatically extend the time if say a baseball game goes into overtime).
You can fast-forward and rewind in 4 speeds over Tivo's 3. You also have the 30 seconds skip forward and 8 second quick rewind just like Tivo's.

find the show in the guide and just press record.

To clarify... find a show in the guide, hit the record button, press select button to accept default recording options. The default recording options are "One time only" (you could change this to weekly if you want to record the show every week, or daily), "DVR" which means you will be recording the show (other options are "remind" you that the show is on and "automatic"(ally) change the channel to the show without recording it).

So yes, it is as simple find in guide (or through a search), hit record, hit select (for default recording options, or change if you like) and you're done.
Ok - based on what you guys are stating - perhaps it isn't as sophisticated as Tivo - and perhaps many have been frustrated getting to this point because of the constant updating of the software - however for someone new coming in now there doesn't seem to be material differences between the 522 and Tivo.

The current offer for Dish gives you the 522 essentially for free to use - this offer supposedly ends on July 31. I might just wait a month or so to see what offers are down the line on Dish and for the 522 to be perfected even more. As stated, I am fine wit Directv - just looking for a change - something new and different - new music channels to listen to, etc. So I can wait until the 522 is completely trouble-free.
I can offer some good insight I think......

years ago I installed DirecTV.. got out of that business..

I had (up till a month ago) regular digital cable and 1 stand alone TiVo (DVR). I never really watched the suggestions it recorded.. adn yes the season pass was a handy feature.. but most of the shows i watch (save the simpsons) dont get preempted often or at all.

Recently I got a 522, 510, and 311. The only reason i didnt get 2 522's or a 522 and 2 510's is that i still wanted to use the tivo.

I am extremely happy with the 522 especially that single mode is enabled... you can even have PIP on any TV... It has frozen on me i think 3 times since i got it and Im fairly sure all 3 times i was in the Dish Home screen... This DVR is much much better than I expected.. the only difference in it vs my tivo is that it doesnt (Currently) differentiate between first run shows and repeats.... no biggie I just delete the repeats. the 510 is really nice as well I have had no problems out of it... the 311 does its job well and the TiVo I have hooked up to it hasnt had any problems as well.

If you go with the 522 or 510 be ready to check your timers and babysit for about 30 minutes each week... its not even a big deal to o that cause you have a little window of what you are watching still going while you babysit. I am extremely pleased and this comes from a guy who has at most 20 hours of free time in a given week not counting sleep.

My advice: go with whats there now...
Yah, I also don't have tons of free time to setup my recordings, etc. After I did it initially, I don't worry too much about it now. I can look at my recording to do list while still watching TV (they keep whatever you're watching running up in the right corner if you're in the menus). It's all really easy. Not much difference compared to the Season pass. Season pass was nice, but I don't miss it.

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