Pros Plenty of storage. Multiple rooms with only one receiver. Many customizable channel lists. Good search/season pass feature.
Cons Interface can sometimes be confusing. It's no Tivo
Summary My first 625 was defective and had to be returned due to a bad Optical/Digital Audio port in back. It would drop the audio signal constantly and was very annoying. This is evidently a common problem. I suggest if you have this problem you should call Dish and get yours replaced. Don't let tech support get under your skin. They can only go by their script and some can barely speak english. Just hang with them until you can get them to send a tech out with a new box. On to the review...
I have been a Tivo user for a long time. Back when DirecTV first came out with their DirecTivo combination receivers I was one of the first people to jump onboard and get one. (two actually) So when one of my most recent DTivo unit died and I was told that I would have to switch to the infamous R15 receiver (and commit to another two years) I declined and decided to try out Dish and the DVR 625.
First off, this is no Tivo. If you are going to try to get Tivo functionality out of this box you will be disappointed. It functions differently from Tivo. Not better or worse. Just different.
The menus are a bit confusing at first but with a little exploring I was able to get into all the sub-menus and customize my settings (audio/video/caller ID). I found that I do miss the little sound cues that my old Tivo offered when I am surfing through menus. The 625 has none. The menus are also rather bland compared to the Tivo interface. The color scheme is blue/gray and thats about it. But that is all cosmetic.
There is not shortage of program information and it delivers it in a fairly easy to navigate program guide. The guide doesn't have as many lines of program data that the Tivo had but it does include a shrunk down video window of your current program so you don't miss anything.(you can omit this vid window in your preferences/settings but I kinda like it) You can skip forward several days in the guide just by typing in how many hrs forward you want to go and hitting the "right" direction button. This comes in quite handy. It also has built in PiP as well as Caller ID (all things my Tivo didn't have).
Ok, now onto DVR function. It has 150 hrs of storage. That is nice. It will buffer live TV for 30 min and pause live TV for up to 90 min. (on both tuners) That is good too. My Tivo was only 30 min.
The program guide as well as the DVR function is fast. I can swap from tuner 1 to tuner 2 and there is NO lag. My old unit would take 2-3 seconds. Moving between menus is seamless and you can escape them all by hitting the "cancel" button a few times. It also comes with a built in 30 sec. skip function as well as very quick ff/rw functionality.
The remote could be laid out better but that is only personal preference. I had gotten used to the Tivo "peanut".
The "Dish Interactive" is kind of entertaining but it does take several seconds to load each time you use it. However, it does offer a lot of info that you might otherwise have to dig for. Local weather radar comes to mind as well as customer service info., troubleshooting tips, etc...
Video quality is good (duh, it's digital) and so is the audio.(once I got my defective one replaced)
The fan inside the unit isn't too loud and the lights on the front of the box aren't too glaring.
All in all, the 625 is a solid receiver as well as an extremely capable DVR. If you can get past the bland (and sometimes complicated) menus and don't mind switching to Dish Network (programming is slightly different from DirecTV) then the 625 is a safe choice.
"Constant Problems"on by texasags
Pros Dual tuner; follows schedule changes; commercial skip
Cons Recording errors; playback errors; not reliable
Summary The first time I had Dish Network (2003-2005), I had to exchange the DVR as well. This time, I am on my second DVR in less than 18 months.
I have trouble with it recording the wrong channel. It is an occasional problem, not consistent. During playback, the picture often gets pixelated and jumps around. Sometimes, it will skip several seconds for no apparent reason.
Also, if there is much in the way of cloud cover, I have nothing (I know this isn't necessarily the receiver's problem, but it's there).
I gave them a second try and will now go back to cable...
"Just Plain Works"on by y0Lorenzo
Pros built solid, easy to use
Cons none to speak of
Summary I would give this unit a 12 if it had HD, but its a SD Dual Tuner DVR, and its great at what it does. I've never had Tivo so I don't know how much easier to use Tivo is than this or if it is easier. This thing is built like a rock (my TV and VCR SIT on TOP of it!) Its plenty easy to use and I don't pay a subscription.
PS, I've got the TV 2 feed going thru my house's cable splitter, and when I move to a different TV (theres 3 or 4 other ones with no box, I just grab the TV 2 remote (haven't bought others.) We also have a ViP622, but we had some technical issues with that.
Pros The DVR 625 works for two rooms
Cons Not up to expectations
Summary We have had the DISH Network DVR 625 tuner for about 4 months. We have found that the remote only works from a specific area of the second room. The remote is difficult to program out the unwanted channels. It has also lost the settings when the tuner is turned off, as DISH Network requires for updates.
Some time after the system was installed, I noticed we were not receiving the promotional rate for the first ten months. Customer service advised there was a window of 60 days to apply. We were not told nor could I find in writing that there was more whoops than paying the bill. Hopefully DISH Network is rethinking and I am submitting a refund request in writing.
"Pretty Good Deal"on by mmann
Pros 100 hours of recording space, Single/Dual mode multiroom feature
Cons FF/Rewind bug
Summary Serves its purpose well and 100 hours of available recording space is more than enough for most. I love the multiroom single & dual modes. If I'm alone, I keep it in single mode which allows TVs in both rooms attached to the 625 to function as one so I can seamlessly continue watching anything recorded if I need to start cooking downstairs etc... I don't always want to use pause. My friend has Tivo and the 625 offers just about all of its features, although Tivo's look is nicer. The FF/Rewind bug I refer to happens every now and then. Occassionally attempting to do so results in slow motion behavior instead. And when this occurs, rewind doesn't function, instead it moves forward in slow motion. It's definitely a bug because I can remedy it by stopping the recorded program, switching to another, then switch back to what I was watching and it functions normally again. This rarely occurs, but when it does, it's annoying. The benefits of this device overall far outweigh that annoyance though.