"DISH and the ViP622 Rock"4.5 starson by n6rw
Pros: Great picture and audio, supports two TVs and user friendly
Cons: Doesn't account for human delay when trying to stop fast-forwarding
Summary: Hello DISH – goodbye cable. DISH rocks and the VIP622 and VIP211 receivers are great as well. I really liked my cable company, but for several years of trying to get them to add at least one German channel for my wife, I finally gave up and switched to DISH. I wanted to switch to DirecTV because I was an engineer at Hughes Space and Communications when DirecTV was being developed, plus I own a fair amount of DTV stock, but they had no where near the foreign language channels that DISH had and no German. I was worried about getting the VIP622 and VIP211 because of all the negative comments on this forum and after reading somewhere that people in California had lousy reception on the VOOM HD channels because of the bad “look” angle to an eastern satellite.
After digesting all the negative comments and noting that the CNET reviewer had a high rating for the VIP622, I decided to roll the dice and go for it. Because of the problems people were having, I decided to take the package that commits you to 18 months, but gives you a one month trial period. After a few weeks, I have no intention of ever switching away from DISH. I signed up for the HD Platinum package along with the Southern California local channels (which includes Prime Sports) and the German channels. Now I have 31 HD channels (including the NFL Network in HD) and even a free French channel (not HD).
Because of all the channels I wanted, the installer put up a DISH1000 antenna, which is a single dish that has four feed horns to support the four satellites I needed. The VIP622 supports two TVs – a 50 inch plasma HDTV and an LCD standard definition (SD) TV downstairs in my wife’s office. The VIP622 is connected to the wall mounted plasma TV via a 25 foot HDMI that goes through walls by way of the attic (don’t buy HDMI cables at stores – they are much cheaper on the Internet). The HD picture is 1080i and awesome. The SD TV gets its signal through existing coax from the cable company, so I didn’t have to add any coax through virtually impossible cable runs (the RF signal goes to the VIP622 and back out for the second TV on the same coax line). The quality of the SD is as good as SD can get. The remote for the second TV uses UHF RF instead of IR, so it works throughout the house- allowing me to place the second TV anywhere in the house.
The VIP211 is in my home office. While I was waiting for Santa to bring my LCD HDTV, I used it with a CRT SD TV. The picture quality was very good – at least as good as the cable signal. Now that the HDTV has arrived, the HDTV picture (1080i) via the 10 foot HDMI cable is awesome.
The VIP622 has great sound output. It feeds my Bose Lifestyle 48 surround sound system and I guarantee that the theater experience has not been degraded with the VIP622.
The VIP622 and VIP211 both run cool. I don’t know why some reviewers complained about thermal runaway, but both of my units are slightly warm to the touch – no where near as warm as the DVR I was using with my cable system. Perhaps their units were enclosed in cabinets with no possible way for heat to escape. My units are in cabinets, but not sealed in with doors.
One last comment about the overall system – our digital cable system here in Laguna Beach had occasional drop-outs on some channels. So far, through two rain storms, there has not been the slightest degradation in the perfect signal quality on any channel at any time.
I cannot comment on DISH customer service. I have not had a reason to call them.