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VIP722 or HR21-700?

Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by rphillips187, Oct 17, 2007.

What is the better receiver, the VIP722 DVR or the HR21-700?

  1. D*'s HR21-700 is better

    0 vote(s)
  2. E*'s VIP722 is better

    17 vote(s)
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  1. rphillips187

    rphillips187 AllStar

    Oct 14, 2007
    My wife and I put an offer on a home and it was very quickly accepted so I'm going to be in the process of ordering DBS service for the new home. Unlike my apartment which turned out to be incompatible with both D* and E*, this new home has a great, unobstructed view of the southern sky so I should not have any issues with either service.

    I'm kind of torn between the two services so I'm going to leave it in your hands. Assuming E* is able to catch up with D* in the HD race, which service would you go with based on the receiver alone? I'm using the VIP722 and the HR21-700 because those are most likely the receivers I will be getting depending on which provider I end up going with. I'm looking at the intuitiveness of the DVR (as close to a TiVO as possible), as well as overall look and ease-of-use of the receiver as a whole.

    Also, please do not take into consideration the fact that the HR-21-700 doesn't offer OTA. My locals are all available to me where I live, not to mention my wife is already ticked off that I'm going to be mounting a satellite antenna on our new home, so I don't want to have to tell her that I'm also going to be mounting an antenna.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. sshams95

    sshams95 Legend

    Sep 2, 2006
    Congrats to you! I actually have both receivers (long story, but wife wanted the Intl programming from Dish).

    The HR20's software is a lot better, easier to navigate through the menus and to setting up recordings and series links.

    The VIP722's guide is better than the HR20. Shows more channels and hours on the screen than the HR20. Also, if you hit the Guide button again, you can see CIR, All HD and All Sub channels.
    Also, when you change channels on the VIP722, picture shows up right away, something the HR20 does not do well...it always seems it takes a couple of seconds to get the pic when you change channels on the HR20 (and yes, I have Native off).

    One clear advantage that the VIP722 has is dual live buffers and picture-in-picture. If you are a sports fan, you will love this feature. Unfortunately, the HR20 does not have this and that's too bad, because I miss these features during NFL Sundays.

    Here's a link that does a more comprehensive comparison:


    Good luck and hope this helps!
  3. rphillips187

    rphillips187 AllStar

    Oct 14, 2007
    Great comparison there, although it's a little dated (crazy how fast technology moves!). It would be interesting to see an updated version showing the HR21-700 with the VIP722.

    Thank you for your post. I am a man of little patience so the delay in changing channels is pretty significant. Anybody know how their HR20 reacts to channel changing or is this just a fluke in ssham's particular box?
  4. say-what

    say-what Active Member

    Dec 14, 2006
    New Orleans
    Well neither is TIVO. Couldn't tell you anything about the Dish products, but I like the HR20 & HR21. While they're not TIVO and have their quirks, they're fine DVR's.

    The only way you're going to be able to make this decision is to go to a store and demo both units. We can't make the decision for you.
  5. Michael D'Angelo

    Michael D'Angelo Lifetime Achiever

    Oct 20, 2006
  6. Ron Barry

    Ron Barry 622 Tips & Trick Keeper

    Dec 10, 2002
    rphillips.. Personally I think content should be the first decision point. Do both providers provide the content you consider most valuable to your viewing habits. If this is the case that is when I would start to look at the solutions each provide and see if it meets my needs.

    The comparison provided is less than a few months old. Not sure what the differences of D* new boxes but I am sure one of the guys on the D* side can provide that info.

    I personally don't have D* so I can't compare but Usability and UIs are a very subjective thing. One person might like something for a particular reason while someone else might for other reasons. I would suggest trying to get your hands on both boxes by visiting a neighbor or a store.

    If you look at the sticky at the top of the forum there is a Tips/Tricks thread. There is a 722/622 review you might find useful and some links to topics related to the 622/722. Great source to see where people are finding pain points.

    One of the links is to Dish TechPortal. There you will find a UI simulation that can give you an idea of the menu structure. If you combine this with the comparison you should get a good idea of the differences in technology and it should help you make your decision.
  7. VLaslow

    VLaslow Active Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    I can't comment on the receivers as I don't own either of them, but one might consider "total service" in the equation. The SWM (single wire multiswitch), soon to be available, might influence your connection decisions.
  8. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    I would have to be in the same boat, of... can't vote..
    As I don't know anyone (locally), that has the Vip722 ... so that I can try it hands on to compare.
  9. rphillips187

    rphillips187 AllStar

    Oct 14, 2007
    Content...by far DirecTV takes the cake with their superior HD content. Also, the fact that they are simply larger is comforting. However, I do believe that Dish will catch up with their content in due time and my experience with their salespeople has been better. DirecTV still wants to charge me $200 for the receiver and really wouldn't go any further than what I could get by just visiting their web site (and I spoke with three different reps). I haggled pretty aggressively and there was just no budging. They also seemed more content bashing Dish Network than trying to earn my business. When I spoke to Dish, they were very friendly and offered me a VIP722 for free (although it took a little haggling to get them to upgrade from the VIP622), waived their $49.99 upfront fee, and still offered to credit my first month's bill $49.99 even though I wasn't paying it up-front. DirecTV offered me means of obtaining their service with the products I wanted without dishing (no pun intended) out some cash.

    Monthly service would be virtually even with both services after all is said and done.
  10. WildBill

    WildBill AllStar

    Dec 7, 2004
    Having just moved from an HR20 to a 722 let me add a few more differences.
    -722 has 55 hrs. of HD storage capacity (about twice as much)
    -Not only is the guide bigger and faster on the 722, but you can set up multiple favorite lists and toggle through them by repeatedly pressing the GUIDE button. On the HR20 you have to go back through the menus and change the priority to switch the favorites list, a royal PITA! Another nice feature of the 722 guide is star ratings for movies.
    -The HR20 has themes for channels rather than programs, e.g. the SPORTS theme lists ESPN, ESPN2, etc. but not a football game on CBS (which is not considered a sports channel). The 722 themes list all of the individual programs in that category regardless of channel.
    -Skipping commercials is much faster on the 722. The skip ahead button instantly jumps 30 sec. rather than fast-forwarding 30 sec. Also the skip back is 10 sec. on the 722 rather than 6 sec. which means fewer clicks back when you overshoot.
    -You say than OTA is not a factor because you get locals, but consider that the OTA tuner is separate on the 722, meaning that you can record OTA in addition to the two satellite tuners (for a total of three recordings at a time). And depending on your location, you may not need to put up an outside antenna.

    Guess which receiver I prefer?
  11. Ron Barry

    Ron Barry 622 Tips & Trick Keeper

    Dec 10, 2002
    In my opinion.. King is what meets one's requirements and viewing needs and it is not only covered by HD Content. That is why I stated to start there. If a company does not meet your minimum content requirments no need to move to step two.
  12. rphillips187

    rphillips187 AllStar

    Oct 14, 2007
    Great points. I read your post in the "I love this.... thanks D*" thread and it makes a lot of sense. Sure, I would rather watch something in HD rather than SD if I have a choice but, at the end of the day, I'm going to watch the shows that I want to watch regardless of whether or not it's available in HD.
  13. Cap'n Preshoot

    Cap'n Preshoot Godfather

    Jul 16, 2006
    If you want to have your OTA appear in the guide as Local-into-Local then the decision gets a lot easier. None of D*'s latest generation receivers offer LIL anymore. That's a deal breaker for us.
  14. boen

    boen New Member

    Dec 31, 2007

    Great review.. I think that post just helped me made up my mind on which service I think I will go for. Thanks!
  15. Kman68

    Kman68 AllStar

    Jan 24, 2008
    Just switched from HR20 to ViP722 and a few vital differences have not been mentioned above.

    The HR20 comes with locked "Channels I get" list that contains every channel D* carries - all the PPV, Sports Packages, Movie Packages, international channels, every local channel East and West, ABC-E, ABC-W... This is the default list when searching for programs. Even if you set "Parental Controls" to block the channels, they still show up in searches as "Tittle unavailable." TiVo-esque Wish lists do not work because the HR20 will record off channels you do not receive, meaning you might have 6 hours of black screen on your hard drive. When performing general searches you get a list of five programs at a time to scroll through. If you do not subscribe to HBO, you might have to scroll through three lists before you get to a program you actually receive. And to add insult to injury, the list resets every time a program in that list changes and you have to start from the top of the list, again.

    ViP722 comes with a list of channels you actually can get including Sports and Movie packages, but with out all the locals and internationals. You can block those channels with a "Lock channels" feature and never have to worry about them again. Once you lock out channels you do not watch or receive, the Search function works seamlessly. It has a feature called "DISH pass" that functions like the TiVo Wish list so you can record programs that may come on in the future, such as sports teams or your favorite movie. The 722 has built in safe guard that prevents you from recording the same show twice - this is a blessing and a curse - you do not have to keep a list of what you have recorded, but if the recorder screwed up you are SOL.

    The two downsides to the E* and the 722 are local HD might not be available in your area and loud fan noise. E* announced they are launching at least 3 new birds in 2008 and plan to roll out at least 24 more local HD markets. The loud fans are not a big deal to me. They run infrequently and sound like mild distortion over the home theater speakers.

    Since the HR20 did not have a usable Search function and was not able to auto-record from Search it was pretty much useless as a DVR.
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