"How did I watch TV without this before?"4.0 starson by philhutch
Pros: Excellent recording options, great picture quality
Cons: Possible to sync with a DVD recorder?
Summary: The Dish 625 is my first DVR. I have had it for a week and it has worked flawlessly. I had read some reviews of the previous model, the nearly identical 522, about a year ago. Apparently, there were some bugs in the software at that time. I have not found any problems at all so far so it looks like all those issues have been worked out since then.
Recording options are excellent, and the interface is easy to understand and master. If you record all the instances of a show, it is smart enough not to re-record an installment that it has already recorded. So you can safely ask the DVR to record "All" of a title and it will find them all on all channels but (for example) not record the repeat of the same episode when it is aired later in the day (TBS and Disney often air the same episode two or more times a day, for instance). Furthermore, so you don't fill your HD with a hundred unique episodes of Friends in a week, you can tell the DVR to only keep the most recently recorded (you choose the number to keep). You can also search the schedule 9-days into the future for a title or an actor or other key word (each show) which is has been quite handy to locate a couple of programs to record.
When it is turned off, the 625 records pay movies from "DISH on Demand". Nothing of interest has shown up yet, so I am not thrilled with this feature.
This DVR has two tuners which in 'single' mode allows you to switch back and forth between two programs (one can be in PIP), or watch one show and record a second, or even record two at the same time and watch a third previously recorded program. In 'Dual' mode (which I dont use) you lose the PIP function. This mode is meant to drive two different TVs from this same box (the unit comes with an RF remote that presumably works through walls so you can control the DVR from another room).
A couple of other nice features: Skipping commercials is easy with a button that moves ahead 30 seconds in a recording (and another that skips back 10 seconds). Also, when you are watching TV, the DVR is automatically recording at the same time, so you can pause, go back, do slo motion, etc. The remote is fantastic and it runs my DVD player as well.
Anyway, its been great so far and I highly recommend it.