All your DIRECTV recordings sit on the same Genie DVR. Should you be worried?

Once upon a time, if you wanted to record seven things at once, you needed four DVRs. This was kind of frustrating to a lot of people and it was an expensive setup to maintain. However, it gave people a bit of security, too. After all, the system could take a little bit of failure. If one DVR failed, you lost some recordings but not all of them. The rest of your DIRECTV system soldiered on.

And then came Genie

The 2012 release of DIRECTV’s Genie DVR changed the game. No longer did you require big, loud DVR is in every room. Tiny clients worked exactly the same and gave you back the peace and quiet you wanted in your bedroom. The original Genie DVRs recorded five things at one time, while the current-generation Genie 2 records seven. That’s usually enough so that you just don’t have to worry about recording conflicts.

When Genies came out, though, some enthusiasts adopted a “cold, dead hands” approach to their older systems. Genie was too risky, they claimed, because a failure of the Genie DVR meant that you lost all your recordings and the entire DIRECTV system failed. How could this be considered an upgrade?

It’s been seven years since…

In the last seven years, Genie has become the default installation for new customers. In many cases, it’s all you could get. Only specialty retailers like Solid Signal can still hook you up with older HR24 and H25 receivers. If you’re wedded to the older generation hardware, you have a place to go, but is it time to take a look at your old-school concerns? After seven years, do they still hold up?

Yes the Genie DVR is a single point of failure.

If your Genie DVR fails, you will lose all your recordings and none of your client boxes will work until you get a new DVR. That sounds pretty catastrophic but it’s not as bad as it seems. The world has changed in seven years and losing recordings on one DVR isn’t as worrisome as some would make it out to be.

There’s always on demand

You’ll lose your recordings, but chances are most of are available in the huge on demand library DIRECTV has. There are well over 20,000 titles available and it’s pretty easy to find what you’re looking for.

The app is at the ready

While you’re waiting for that replacement to arrive, you can still watch using the DIRECTV app for smartphones and tablets. There are over 100 channels of live TV available and the app will cast to a TV if you have the right hardware. You’ll wish you’d started using it earlier… it’s a really modern and easy way to watch TV.

Streaming and provider sites

For those shows which aren’t available on demand, you can generally go to the network’s web site or to one of the many streaming TV apps. If you’re not a subscriber, the time when you’re waiting for a new DVR is perfect for taking those “1 week free” offers you hear about. By the time the week is up you’ll have your new hardware and you won’t miss a beat.

It’s true, not everything is available on streaming

If you’re the sort of person who likes to keep a lot of old content from local channels, it’s true that losing a DVR could be a problem. However, if you’re that sort of person, this is your opportunity to deal with it before the worst happens. There are HD capture solutions out there in different price ranges depending on what level of quality you want. I have said for many years that the DVR really isn’t a good archive medium. If you want to keep something permanently you should store it in cloud storage or on an SSD. This is the time you should be thinking about something like that instead of waiting for the worst to happen.

Get a Genie upgrade at Solid Signal

If you still haven’t upgraded to Genie, this is the perfect time. Call the experts at Solid Signal and they can help you get the upgrade you need. They can even help you identify any discounts you might be eligible for. One call to 888-233-7563 is all it takes!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.