I just finished a 15 month tenure at Echostar, parent company of Dish Network. I was a TSRIII, the most advanced tech agent you get before begging to speak with a supervisor :P
Twas a miserable work environment, and I am truly grateful that I no longer report to those evil bastards! (Thank god for a BS degree!) I suspect DirecTV treats their employees similarly, and I know plenty of people who hate working for Comcast, so this is neither here nor there. I just wanted to get it off my chest
As for the 522/625 DishDVR (it's the same *exact* thing with a different number printed on the chassis), it appears that the only way you can get video from this thing is to use the DishPVR, which is a rebranded Archos line of personal vid players.
People would always ask me about exporting video to PC, and I almost never insulted them by suggesting they buy an overpriced, underfeatured Archos player. Rather, I'd usually suggest a capture card.
Recently, I found that with the release of the ViP722 dual tuner HD reciever on August 15 (MY BIRTHDAY!!!), this would mark the beginning of a new use for the USB port. The 722 (and the 622 with a costly software upgrade
), from what I've heard will be the first to use the USB port as a means for connecting to an external HDD.
So the 722 has 50 hours HD recording capacity, and the 622 only 20. To combat the fact that people are bummed about low HD recording space, the external HDD can back up these programs, but there is a catch. Let's say you record a program in HD on either of these recievers; if you want to back it up, you must *transfer* the recording to the external device. This is to say, you can only have one copy of each recording, either on the Dish Reciever or on your external HDD. The problem with this is that you cannot watch straight from the extra HDD, but the program must be copied back to the reciever's internal HDD. Major hassle!
The only redeeming thing here is that you can take the recordings on an external HDD to any similarly equipped reciever on the same account, allowing for a little extra flexibility.
AFAIK, this won't apply to the SD DVRs, simply because you guys aren't paying enough to justify the software engineers' time in building the new feature, and your capacity isn't nearly as limited because SD video is so much smaller.
The 622 is available for less than free in the Dish'n it Up lease upgrade promotion through Aug 14, and then the promotions change along with the release of the 722. I understand that the 622 software upgrade to enable the USB port will cost $39.99!
Hope that helps. Let me know if I can assist you with any more Dish questions, I'm sure my answers will be up to date for at least the next 23 minutes :P