DISH now charges a DVR fee for the 501s ... but credits the charge back on the account as they "transition" to newer receivers. The 501 was not charged a fee due to marketing. It was one of the promises DISH kept (up until now) that the model as sold had no DVR fee. Development costs money. Even when they were developing in house and not paying Tivo any fee it cost money. With the 501 they decided to eat the cost to gain a marketing edge. With other models they decided to charge a fee - and even if you can rip one open and show how the models are not that much different it is a different model not covered by the promise that marketing made when the 501 was released. Ask DISH ... they explain their DVR and whole home and sling enabling fees the way I have explained them. One is paying for the development of the technology they have at their fingertips. If you don't want to pay DISH's fees go to DirecTV and pay their DVR and whole home fees. The early adopters of technology have historically had to pay a fee to enjoy such technology. What was the additional fee to have a 921? A 922? The lease upgrade fees were fairly high (and still extend to the Hopper). Asking the early adopters to pay a one time $40 fee to use 622/722 EHD technology and then an additional fee to use 211 EHD technology charged those who wanted such technology for the technology they would have at their fingertips. Call it an "early adopter fee". Perhaps those who pay the fee can complain that the Johnny come latelys don't have to pay for their EHDs. But now it is older technology.