“No you cannot” is the official Dish answer, but technically not 100% true. For example, I currently have a mixed system with a Hopper3, a Joey, and two VIP722 receivers (Which is similar to what you are asking), so it can be done.
However, to make something like this happen comes with a whole list of caveats that make a downgrade impractical/impossible for the average customer.
But first, in the spirit of HitKat’s answer, if your are wanting Dish to replace the Hopper with a free VIP receiver, ain’t going to happen. Dish is already trying to phase out older VIP receivers, and they’re not going to add one to their support in your account on their nickel. Again, this is a hard no, so if that’s what you are looking for, you can stop reading this post now.
But if you want to see what may be involved, read on.
First caveat: you must buy all your own equipment. Dish will not supply it. In rare circumstances Dish will REPLACE and existing VIP receiver, but it takes some hard negotiating to get Dish to do that. And VIP receivers aren’t made any more, so you can only get a used or remanufactured one with the risks that all entails. So this is going to be your biggest expense.
Second caveat: you must have the correct system equipment. Specifically you must have a DPP LNB and the correct switches and hubs. If you don’t (and if you started with a Hopper system, you likely don’t), then you will have to replace all of that equipment. That could mean replacing the satellite dish itself if you are replacing the LNB. Dish won’t downgrade your system equipment like this. And if you have to replace the LNB or satellite dish, you will have to align the satellite dish yourself. All of this is additional expense/effort you would have to bare.
Third caveat: there is a limit to the amount of VIP receivers you can hook up in these kinds of exotic mixed configurations, and a limit to the amount of satellites you can you can receive. I could only have two VIP722 receivers hooked up. And in the WA, I could connect to only two satellite, 110 119. I had to exclude 129. But fortunately almost everything is being taken off 129 right now and moved to 110/119. Anything that was still on 129 wasn’t of interest to me.
Fourth caveat: once you have a VIP receiver hooked up and receiving the satellite info channel, you must convince Dish to authorize the VIP receiver to be added to your account. This can be a frustrating process. When you first call Dish to add a receiver into a mixed account, they will tell you it can’t be done, or that the system won’t let them do it. Instead, you have to convince them that the receiver is already hooked up and working and all you need id for them to authorize it; they will resist. Often it takes calling back several times to get a “friendly” CSR, and then they will have to get supervisor approval to do the authorization. In my case it took three days of calls to get the “right” CSR to add a Hopper3 to my existing VIP account.
Fifth caveat: if you haven’t understood what I’ve been talking about here, then you’re not likely a candidate to execute this process. It takes a certain amount of Dish equipment install knowhow to put all of this together. However, if you’ve gotten this far in the process, it would then be a simple matter of having Dish deauthorize the Hopper and Joey and continue with just the VIP receivers.
Sixth caveat: VIP receivers are now considered obsolete. Technically, MPEG4 compatible receives will continue to work fine for the foreseeable future. But you run the risk of being stuck with obsolete equipment that will stop working at some point in the future.
So this seem’s like a lot of work and expense, why did I do what I did?
In my case I was going the other way; upgrading from VIP receivers to to a Hopper/Joey. That meant that I already had most of the right system equipment and only had to buy a minimum of new switches and hubs. I did however, have buy my Hopper3, Dish wan’t going to supply one without wiping out my whole system with a new one (plus I’m the kind of person that only ever owns and installs his equipment). I will be decommissioning The VIP 722 receivers soon And will will be only going forward with the latest Dish Hopper equipment.
With both the Hopper and VIP receivers operable at the same time it was much easier to transfer all of the timers, favorite list, and preferences, etc. Plus I was able to update everything Iteratively over time and not disrupt any viewing/recording for the rest of the family (except for retraining on the new receivers). So it was a lot of work for me, only moderate expense, and mostly transparent to the rest of the family. But also consider, this process took me about a month and a half of part time work in the midnight hours to pull off.
If this really, really sounds like a journey you are willing to undertake, I can provide more detail on the exact equipment configuration needed. But I would recommend you take HitKat’s answer of “no”.
So you're saying there's a chance!