Background- I have been a customer of The Dish since shortly after it was available, in the mid 90s. Except for a two year period when I moved and was renting.I have used many receivers during the last 18 years, I have no idea of the how many, but the last one I used for several years was definitely the best. I believe it was the 701, with built in hard drive.I have had "The Hopper" for over a year now, and it has been a source of irritation the entire time. Not the technical side, the software, design and "features" side. perhaps their business model has simple lost sight of the words "service" and "competent design."Not a day goes by that anyone near by can hear "HAVE I MENTIONED LATELY THAT I REALLY HATE THE HOPPER?" along with some choice words not fit for children.By way of contrast, I would like to review the abilities of my previous receiver/hard drive, the 701. Unfortunately, new updated versions of that model are no longer available(who makes those decision?!!??)It is obvious that company management neither tracks complaints, or ignores them and, further, they never solicit or take seriously, customer requests for useful enhancements.
Abilities of the old 701 Model :Ability to view the program guide with more rows of information.Absence of junk Dish promotions and commercials which are "pushed" onto your hard drive without your consent.The ability to back up ongoing programming and to record precisely a brief segment of any programming no matter how short or how long. This is valuable for recording breaking news for future reference.The ability to change the name of a recording. The absence of this is maddening, since 30 recordings all named Chanel Dork10 News at 4 becomes useless as a reference retrieval name.The lame Hopper gives the user no control of precisely what is saved after it has been broadcast, backed up and 'saved."The 701 automatically reverted to live programming after recording a part of a program. The Hopper gives you a *** (totally unintuitive window, requiring user intervention for anything further that's normal to happen! Who designs this ***?)Any one of these lapses in common sense is enough to junk the Hopper system and start over. Or return the Model 701..Further comments...What good is the ability to simultaneously record 5 or 6 channels if the user can only choose 1 or 2 of them? *** design "feature.".There are more issues with the Hopper related to the DVR recorded items feature, but his is enough for one rant..The Dish and Direct TV for years have persistently sought to merge, thus eliminating competition altogether. The next time the FCC seeks comments regarding this merger, they are going to get an earful! Not only from me, I should hope..My choice is simple. I am about to dump The Dish, take advantage of the technical advancements with digital Over The Air programming and antennas, and alternate sources of video such as Netflix, and the many other related choices. I don't really care how tone deaf the Satellite TV providers remain..End of Rant.
Product or Service Mentioned: Dish Network Receiver.