What kind of DVR is in the DishNetwork models? I want to go to dishnet, but I don't know about thier DVRs, and that is the only reason I would go to dishnet. It isn't TiVo I take it???
Nope, it's not TiVo, it's a homebrew DVR. And unfortunately they are switching over to a business model much like TiVo (monthly fee). I think you can still get a 501 that has no monthly fee, but their newer models are subsidized (you can get one for as little as $199) but they have a $5 monthly fee (if you buy certain packages or make certain committments, I think you can get this fee waived).
On the negative side, these DVR's do not have many of the cool features of TiVo. Even though there is a guide built in and you select shows to watch/record via the on-screen guide, the actual events you set up to record are simply based on date/time. So unlike TiVo, if a show is on a different day or is a 2 hour special or something like that, you will miss it unless you remember to set up a new timer. They have said that they are going to be changing to a title-based recording in the future. It also doesn't make recommendations and such.
On the plus side, it records the actual digital bitstream from the satellite, so you are in essence using the $2 million MPEG encoders at the uplink center rather than a $150 MPEG encoder built into your box. So you get highest quality video at excellent compression, meaning for the same size hard drive unit, you will get more hours of video on the Dish PVR. Of course it won't record cable/antenna shows, but since Dish Network has locals in many markets, this isn't always an issue. Also, even with the monthly fee, it is cheaper than TiVo. Finally, Dish has the world's only HDTV DVR, the 921. This one WILL record HDTV you receive off an antenna, plus it has 2 tuners so you can record 2 shows at once in case of conflicts! It comes with a 250GB hard drive which will hold about 25 hours of HDTV. This will cost you though: the unit is about $1000!
Overall, I would recommend the Dish Network/DVR solution. Sure, I would like some of the features the TiVo has, but I'm also a cheapskate and not willing to pay for it!