HDTV Recorders > DirecTV Genie HR34 vs. HR44 - Should I upgrade?
dbassman's Avatar dbassman 03:44 PM 01-20-2015
I currently have a Genie HR34 which I've had since I got DirecTV in August 2012. I love the Genie, especially the fact that you can record up to 5 programs at once! For about the last six months it's been having minor glitches, some shows that I record have pixelated spots or freeze for a second or two, I was thinking after all the years of using the hard drive that they could be getting some bad sectors.

So I was thinking about calling DirecTV and getting another one or upgrading to the HR44 but before I did that I would ask for opinions here.


John Sully's Avatar John Sully 03:46 PM 01-20-2015
When in doubt, upgrade!
dbassman's Avatar dbassman 06:40 AM 01-21-2015
One other thing I forgot to ask, if I upgrade will DTV allow me to keep my HR34 until I watch the programs off them?
MRinDenver's Avatar MRinDenver 11:04 AM 01-21-2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbassman View Post
One other thing I forgot to ask, if I upgrade will DTV allow me to keep my HR34 until I watch the programs off them?
Nope, sorry. You can't have two genie dvrs hooked up at the same time.
Beerstalker's Avatar Beerstalker 12:16 PM 01-21-2015
As far as DirecTV is concerned the HR34 and HR44 are the same. If you order another Genie you could end up getting an HR34, or an HR44, you get whatever is on top of the stack at the warehouse when they ship it to you, or whatever the technician has on his truck. So paying to get a new Genie and signing a 2 year agreement is a waste of your time and money.

Now that being said, if you are actually having issues with your current Genie, and your hard drive is going bad, then you should call and tell DirecTV that. They will send you a replacement Genie by mail and you can swap it out yourself. This will cost you $20 for shipping and handling unless you have the protection plan, then it is free. Some people are able to get them to waive the $20 shipping fee, but that isn't a given. Once again the replacement Genie could be an HR34 or HR44 depending on what the warehouse has in stock. Replacing a defective Genie will not cause a new 2 year agreement though.

As far as keeping your current Genie until you watch the programs, if you have DirecTV ship you a replacement Genie then you can keep yours hooked up until you watch all the recordings off it before you call in and activate the replacement. This assumes only a couple weeks, much longer than that and they will call and harass you about swapping them out and sending your old one back.

As MRinDenver posted though, you are not allowed to have 2 Genies active on a DirecTV account at one time (not to mention it would most likely overload your system and cause issues). Having them both active at the same time would also mean that the new one was activated as a new receiver and not a replacement, so it would have started a new 2 year agreement.

If you really must have a new HR44 then the only way to really do it is to order one from some place like SolidSignal.com, but then you will have to pay full price up front, and sign a new 2 year agreement (and these will still be a leased receiver that must be returned to DirecTV if you cancel service).
dbassman's Avatar dbassman 02:16 PM 01-21-2015
Thanks Beerstalker for your detailed reply, I had just gotten off the phone with DirecTV who basically told me the same thing, as far as the HR34 & HR44 basically being all stored together and there is no guarantee which one I would get. Your reply told me a lot more than what DirecTV did. I don't REALLY need an HR44, I just reread over the "First Look" on the HR44 that was posted here and there were a few nice features on it (Wi-Fi, size and being able to use both IR and RF remotes at the same time being the biggest) so I thought I would inquire about it. My HR34 issues aren't bad enough for me to switch yet, but if they get worse I definitely will.

That's pretty stupid! Why have this nice upgraded Genie if you can't give it to customers who want it?

Has anybody tried the GenieGO? I thought it might be a good way to get my shows off my DVR while installing the new one when I get it.

Beerstalker's Avatar Beerstalker 10:14 AM 01-26-2015
DirecTV has always treated all models of the same class the same no matter what small differences there might be. HD receivers are all the same (H20, H21, H23, H24, H25), HD DVRS are all the same (HR20, HR21, HR22, HR23, HR24), and the Genies are the same (HR34, HR44). They have to do this in order to keep their costs down. If everyone out there knew that the HR44 was better than the HR34 and demanded only the HR44 then all of the old HR34s would have to be scrapped and replaced. By treating them as the same thing they are able to keep both in customers homes for longer periods of time, reducing their equipment costs. If they had to spend more money on replacing everyone's equipment with the latest model every time they came out with a new one they would have to increase their costs dramatically, and they would probably come out with new models much less frequently.

Dish Network and the cable companies do the same thing too. I know people who have had the same Comcast DVR for 10 years, and I know people who became new Comcast subscribers and got the same 10 year old model, while others in the same town have much newer models with much bigger hard drives etc. It is all about what they tech/office has in stock when you get yours.

As far as the Genie Go, I have one and like it a lot, but it really isn't meant for backing up your content from a DVR you are getting rid of. The Genie Go takes your DVR recordings and downscales them to a small 720x480 MP4 file that can be put on a computer/iPad/iPhone/etc so you can watch it when you are away from home, or if you are in a room without a TV, watchint in the same room as someone else watching a different program on TV, stuff like that. Once you put the downscaled MP4 file on your device it will stay there for 30 days and then it will delete itself (or you can delete it yourself earlier than that).

So say for instance you have 100 hours of stuff recorded on your Genie. First you have to set up the Genie Go to transcode all that stuff, which is going to take quite a bit of time for you to do, then it is going to take between 50 and 100 hours for the Genie Go to transcode everything. Then another few hours to copy those transcoded files to your devices. Once you finally have all your recordings on your devices, then you are only going to have 30 days to watch them all before they are deleted.

I have heard of some CSRs trying to tell people the Genie Go can take recordings from one DVR(or Genie) and transfer them to another DVR(or Genie). This is absolutely not true. The Genie Go files are only watchable on the computer/iPad/iPhone/etc. that they are transferred to. You can use stuff like Airplay or an adapter cable to watch them from the computer/iPad/iPhone/etc on your TV, but they are standard def files with low bitrates that only look good on smaller screens.

If you have to replace a DVR or a Genie your best bet is to go through your recordings and see what all you can get from DirecTV OnDemand, or some other source like Netflix, Hulu, etc and use those services to watch those shows. Whatever you can't get from other sources you should try to watch before you get rid of the DVR. The Genie Go should be a last resort to keep these programs for 30 more days if you can't get them watched any other way.
davethestalker's Avatar davethestalker 10:47 AM 03-14-2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRinDenver View Post
Nope, sorry. You can't have two genie dvrs hooked up at the same time.
Which is as STUPID as a left handed hammer!!! With Dish, we had 2 Hoppers in the house, one for me and the other for the 3 other TVs in the house. I really don't like my schedule getting jacked up because in forced to share the DVR with 2 other power users.

I can't imagine DirecTV pulling these shenanigans with multimillionaires! Such as the celebrities they use in their ads.
texasbrit's Avatar texasbrit 09:10 PM 03-14-2015
Why is it stupid? There are technical issues with using two Genies, particularly if you are using clients. And DirecTV does not seem to think resolving these issues is at the top of the priority list.
MRinDenver's Avatar MRinDenver 02:44 PM 03-15-2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by davethestalker View Post
Which is as STUPID as a left handed hammer!!! With Dish, we had 2 Hoppers in the house, one for me and the other for the 3 other TVs in the house. I really don't like my schedule getting jacked up because in forced to share the DVR with 2 other power users.

I can't imagine DirecTV pulling these shenanigans with multimillionaires! Such as the celebrities they use in their ads.
OTOH, I have two DVRs, a 24 and a 21, (that I have had forever, one of which I own) in my system, and I use these as four additional tuners on top of what I get from the 44. So, in effect, I have the genie and four more active tuners. Nobody seems to mind .....
Wrager's Avatar Wrager 01:21 PM 04-17-2015
Me too. I have a Genie and three slaves. For the other TV's I use the stand alone DVR's (various versions).
HERBIE's Avatar HERBIE 02:06 PM 04-17-2015
I have four Genies and two 21-Pros, fed from two oversized "rain fade resistant" dishes. Been a subscriber for 30 years. I pay $5 per month extra for each DVR after the 1st one. Hard drives in the Genies are 5-TB; 5-TB, 3-TB and 2-TB. Each of the 21-Pros have 2-TB drives. All of the DVR's are linked to each other and the internet. I can watch any DVR using any other DVR in my system. The DVRs are fed via a SWM-16 on each dish. I feed 12 tuners to each dish. My system is modified to my taste and I hope each year that DTV continues to leave me alone. The last time I had to replace a DVR, they gave me grief, but a manager green lighted the swap based on my being "grandfathered-in". Hope the next manager has the same compassion if I need to activate a replacement machine some day.
texasbrit's Avatar texasbrit 07:12 PM 04-19-2015
How is it you have four genies when DirecTv will only allow you to activate one?
mvsstx's Avatar mvsstx 09:24 AM 04-22-2015
I was upgraded by DirecTv when my HR34 was continually having problems. I found that the HR44 was markedly faster in executing commands, ie changing channels, going to guide, etc. Really glad I got the HR44.
texasbrit's Avatar texasbrit 05:24 PM 04-24-2015
I notice Herbie has not responded.....
Audiguy3's Avatar Audiguy3 09:59 AM 10-06-2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by texasbrit View Post
I notice Herbie has not responded.....
I suspect he purchased them from a supplier - as he mentioned he had a rain fade dish so he must be more technical than most here. Don't understand the need for that many Genies myself. .I thought I watch too much tv as it is.
texasbrit's Avatar texasbrit 12:38 PM 10-06-2015
DirecTV will only activate one genie per account, wherever you get them from, hence my question....
ChrisMc73's Avatar ChrisMc73 02:01 PM 11-01-2016
Where would be a good place to try to sell my DirecTV equipment, all only a year old? HR44 and 3 Mini Genies? The Dish too maybe? I'm done with DirecTV and want to sell it.

Edit: Nevermind I can't sell it
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