"Good but definitely not as good as TiVo"3.5 starson by jeffpjeffp
Pros: Stable & responsive
Cons: User Interface is mediocre at best
Summary: After living with TiVo on DirecTV for 6+ years, we moved to Dish for HD, because the DirecTV DVR gets such terrible reviews. The ViP722 does the job, but it's much harder to use than TiVo.
Reliability has been very good, and after 2 months we've only had to re-boot once when it mysteriously decided not to stop showing any HD channels. It's fast and responsive, though the remote control is sluggish and plastered with buttons - we still get confused by it sometimes. It comes (at least as of Dec 2007) with a 500MB disk which records some 55 hours of HD or 300 hours of SD.
The user interface is definitely not intuitive and continues to leave us occasionally lost. The dual tuners and dual TV outputs in their default setup is simply baffling - what were they thinking? Once you switch it off, things start behaving in a sane way, i.e. being able to record 2 HD programs at once, transparently.
While it's been very reliable, there aren't any features on this that TiVo didn't do even better, and more intuitively. But for now, this seems to be the best non-Cable HD DVR you can get.Updated
Update after 6 months: DVR is still ok, it needs a hard reset once every 2 months and the interface is still mediocre, but you can learn to live with it. Overall it's very reliable.
HOWEVER, Dish just removed all the Voom Network channels from their HD lineup, replacing these interesting and unusual choices with typical pap like the Hallmark HD channel, etc. So instead of having quirky or European-inspired programs from Gallery, Equator, Rave, Monster, etc channel we now have the 700 Club and America's Funniest Home Videos in HD.
It's astounding that Dish would be so foolish as to get rid of the one differentiator in their programming that set them above DirecTV. Our satisfaction with Dish has dropped from high to mediocre, and we'll probably downgrade our subscription level because more of the same just isn't worth paying for.