Don’t You Believe It: DIRECTV SWM-31

A couple of other sites have picked up on the rumor of a “SWM-31” that is supposed to appear in apartment complex installations in the next year. This magical piece of equipment is supposed to provide 31 tuners over a single wire.

Friends, I have not heard anything of this mythical SWM-31, and while I’m sure the technology exists to allow for 31 tuners on a single wire, so far I’ve seen no one talking about building one in the near future.

When the DSWM13 came out last year, I was told it was the first in a line of devices that used digital filtering instead of analog filtering, to allow SWM channels to be closer together. In this way, 14 channels could fit in the same space as the current setup which allows 9 channels on a single wire. (One of these channels is used for control so 8 are available for the receiver to display video.) Since then we’ve seen the SWM13LNB, which takes the same technology to residential users. At the time the DSWM13 came out, there was some talk of combining the technology in the same way that current SWM16 and SWM32 technology is used, to produce 26-channel and 52-channel SWMs. There was a lot of speculation but nothing came of it.

In the meantime, there’s been some more talk of improvements in SWM technology, both privately and publicly, but nothing like a 31-channel device on a single wire. I traced down the source of the rumor to a DIRECTV customer who was given this term by an apartment manager who was not linked to any DIRECTV dealer and who was not a technician. If I had to guess, it’s a combination of being confused by the DSWM13 (transposing the numbers 13 to make 31) and some sort of hope for future improvements that would not include expensive SWM32 modules.

If you’re thinking of wiring an apartment for DIRECTV, there’s already good news. It’s cheaper than ever to bring a single dish per building and use currently available D2LITE technology to bring 32 tuners in which can be partitioned any way you need more or less. The D2LITE system provides four outputs of eight-tuner capacity, so you can feed one Genie system per output plus have three tuners for additional expansion. This new system is much less expensive than the SWM32 solution used in similar situations and installs just as easily. D2LITE means an end to seeing a dish on every single terrace, even in garden apartments and small buildings. It gives the customer the access to the latest DIRECTV technology without an overabundance of unsightly wires. Best of all, it’s available now and it’s not a myth, unlike the supposed SWM31.