When I talked about multiple Genies

Back in 2015, I wrote a little article explaining why you could only have one Genie DVR on your account. It turned out to be one of the most popular articles of the year and still gets a reliable amount of traffic.

That tells me one thing: people out there still want a 2-Genie system. The original HR34 Genie came out in 2012 and the latest model, Genie 2, came out in 2017. With a Genie 2, not only can you have only the one Genie DVR, you can’t even have other receivers on the account. It’s Genie 2 and nothing else.

The rationale

I can tell you why you still can’t have more than one Genie DVR on your account. It’s all about cost vs. benefit. Supporting a system like that puts more stress on AT&T’s customer service team, as well as on the installers who need to be trained to install it. That stress translates out to dollars.

Keep in mind there may be 10,000 people who want multiple Genies out there. It sounds like a lot but it’s still a tiny fraction of the DIRECTV customer base. Someone, somewhere did the math and decided it wasn’t worth the investment to have that capability. So they don’t let you do it.

I know that sounds unfair. Believe me I have heard every different twist on why it’s unfair, why it would actually make more financial sense to support high-value customers, et cetera. I’m right there with you… and I’m not the one making the decisions.


I think that if you look into the future, there just isn’t as much of a need for multiple Genies as there was seven years ago. Keep in mind that back then people couldn’t even stream HD, and most people didn’t stream SD or anything at all. If you wanted to watch something you had to record it. Today there are a lot of other options out there including provider apps and services like Hulu. If you want to see something you missed, it’s probably out there.

Also, the DIRECTV app for phones and tablets gives you access to the most popular channels and you can always cast or connect to a TV. There are going to be people who really, genuinely want to watch in more than 7 rooms at the same time, but most folks will be satisfied with the streaming alternatives they have.

Personally I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a DIRECTV app for streaming devices that let you access your recorded programs and maybe even gave you access to the same streaming channels you have on your phone or tablet. DIRECTV has never made money on hardware and if they could enable something like this for the same price they charge for a monthly receiver fee, everyone would be happy.

From a technical point of view, there would continue to be an issue with streaming more than 7 programs through a Genie 2 but most of this content could be streamed from DIRECTV servers if need be.

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.