My apartment complex owns their cable lines, so the only chose for TV is to get crappy cable from my apartment, or Dish Network through AT&T Home Entertainment. I just bought a new HDTV, and wanted HD programming and also wanted a DVR because I travel a lot and like to record my favorite TV shows. So I ordered an HD DVR receiver (my apartment also owns the satellite which I thought was really nice since I didn't have to install a satellite on my balcony).
About once a month, I come home and my receiver refuses to turn on. I can hear the fan running continuously, and that's when I know its broken. I've been through the whole "unplug wait a minute, replug" about 20 times and guess what! I plug it back in and the fan starts running continuously and it still won't turn on. Last night I came home and I heard the fan running, I tried to turn it on, it wouldn't, so I called AT&T, tried to explain to them that I didn't want to go through the whole song and dance again and all I wanted was to put in a service order request, but they made me do it anyway.
Today, I called my apartment complex who explained that they rarely have problems with the regular DVR but the HD DVR breaks on everyone who has one. So I called back AT&T and said I didn't want them to replace my HD DVR (again) with a new one, I'd prefer to have a regular DVR. They tried to charge me 25 bucks fee! I said NO WAY its not my fault that their equipment is faulty. So after being on hold for about 8 mins they finally told me they were going to wave the fee. How gracious of them!
Point of the story, if you are going to go with the Dish Network, which I wouldn't recommend, Stay away from the HD DVR because their receivers break, and I have had them come and replace mine 5 times. I was paying about 80 bucks a month for receiver and service that doesn't work. And every time I have shows I want to watch that are recorded on my DVR, it breaks and I lose all my recordings. ANNOYING. One time I was without any TV for a week because they replaced my receiver with another broken receiver and then didn't have any available receivers to replace the 2nd broken one. I never thought I would say this, but I miss comcast!