Dish Network VIP 922 DVR gets DLNA Video support – Review

At launch, Dish Network’s flagship DVR  – VIP 922 shipped with a DLNA client, however it was only able to play photos and music. We released a full review for it several months ago and since then, VIP 922 got quite a number of software updates. One of the latest updates brought in a surprise – DLNA Video support, although somewhat unfinished. Let’s take a short look and review it.

All my media in installed on a server running Windows Server 2008 and I am using two DLNA server packages at the same time: PS3 Media Server and PlayOn. Both software packages are stable and are working fine with other DLNA clients I have (WD TV Live Plus, PS3, XBOX 360).

VIP 922 and PS3 Media Server

PS3 does a very good job of feeding videos on my PS3 and XBOX 360, however there are some compatibility issues with VIP 922 DLNA client due to a weaker CODEC support. I did not have enough time to play with it more, but PS3 Media server is highly configurable and supports custom profiles for DLNA clients other than PS3 or XBOX 360 ( I also use it successfully to stream my music library to my three Internet Radios (Grace Digital GDI-IR 1000, Philips NP1100/37 Streamium and Aluratek AIRMM01F).

Pros:

  • shows movie covers (if you have a folder.jpg in each movie folder)
  • supports 1080 HD playback, MKV, DIVX

Cons:

  • some wide format movies are stretched
  • the sound track for some movie files is distorted (plays fine on other clients)

VIP 922 and PlayOn

With PlayOn, you can extend your VIP 922 functionality beyond a mere DVR box. You can access popular web streaming services as Netflix, YouTube,  Hulu, Pandora and many other and it work rather well. The only issues I experienced were with some of the HULU TV episodes that mysteriously refused to play. Other episodes from the same TV Shows series played without any problems…

Pros:

  • Can use your VIP 922 to access YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora and other streaming services provided by PlayOn

Cons:

  • No HD streaming
  • some HULU videos refused to play

Conclusion: VIP 922 video support is not really where we would want it with multiple  formating, codecs and sound issues, but since is free, we’ll take what we get and hope the future software upgrades will improve the situation. It is Sling enabled and with upcoming deep integration with Google TV, it is the most advanced DVR available. Check out our full review.

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