DIRECTV’s older multiswitches, the SWM-8, SWM-16, and SWM-32, are slowly disappearing. As I write this, Solid Signal has good stock on them but it’s been confirmed: They aren’t being made anymore. There is a good reason for that: The new SWM-30 is better, more capable, more reliable, and costs less. Residential customers with older receivers can run up to 26 tuners, while Commercial installs with multiple Genies per residence can support 30 tuners – enough to support 6 apartments. Remember, a SWM-16 can only support two Genies while a SWM-32 can only support four. So, with the SWM-30 you have a compact way to organize an equipment closet. In fact, with the SWM Expander module (100% approved by AT&T) you can fit 8 multiswitches — enough for 240 tuners — in a smaller space than a SWM-32. Sounds like a dream come true, right?
There’s only one hitch, you say: the SWM-30 has six satellite inputs. What if I want to use a regular 4-wire LNB like the SL5?
The SWM-30 will support any DIRECTV Slimline LNB with four wires. While it will also support the 18″ round dish “technically,” that dish no longer works with Genies and the SWM-30 itself doesn’t work with D12 standard definition receivers. So if you have nothing but H24s and H25s, you could probably use a round dish with it.
When connecting a SWM-30 to a four-wire dish, just follow the instructions in our review. If the inputs are on the bottom, the four lines connect to the left. Here’s a screen capture of that review that should help:
The right two ports are designed to be used either for the Reverse Band lines from a 4K LNB or WorldDirect dish. If you are connecting just the international dish, connect it to the fifth input that says 95/99RB. If you are connecting both LNBs, you will need a special diplexer that is available at Solid Signal.
By connecting just four lines, the SWM-30 can take the place of a SWM-8 or SWM-16 very easily. The only trick is, if you are using it to replace a SWM-16 there will be an issue with whole-home sharing. Unlike the SWM-16, the SWM-30 does not have a crossover between ports. This means that receivers connected to SWM1 can’t see receivers connected to SWM-2. In most cases you can connect everything to SWM1. If you have more than 13 tuners in use that won’t work. In a case like that, where you’re just replacing the multiswitch, the diplexer method shown on page 27-29 of our old White Paper still works. Use the STD-9501M diplexer and a DECA Broadband adapter to share programs between both banks. Here’s what it looks like (download the old white paper for a better look:)Whole-Home 9501
When you look at all your options you’ll see that there really isn’t any reason to go with any multiswitch for DIRECTV other than the SWM-30. It supports every dish and receiver currently offered, it’s flexible enough to be used for 4K or International purposes, and it’s a big improvement over other multiswitches when it comes to size. It even runs cool enough to touch, something you couldn’t say reliably about a SWM-16.