The DIRECTV HR20 Plus HD DVR was not my first DIRECTV receiver, but it sure was the one that I owe the most to. I jumped in a little too early back in September 2006 when DIRECTV released its first homegrown HD DVR, but working through the bugs brought me into a whole new world of peer support, a world which led to me curating this blog today. When the HR24 HD DVR came out in 2010, the review my team wrote was the first one out there. I have a great affection for DIRECTV’s 2-tuner DVRs.
So what should I make of the rumors that DIRECTV’s 2-tuner DVRs have reached “end of life” status? DIRECTV has already discontinued the R15 and R22 standard-definition DVRs, leaving only the HR24 and the Genie if you’re interested in recording DIRECTV’s wide variety of entertainment options. Should you (or I) be worried that in the future DIRECTV’s 2-tuner DVR program will disappear? Here are the facts:
Yes, at some point the HR24 series will go away, but not today. Demand for 2-tuner DVRs is down and demand for the Genie is up. New installs get Genie DVRs as a default, and the world has changed since 2006. Merely recording two things at a time isn’t really that impressive. So eventually we’ll see the HR24 ride off into the sunset but that could be years off.
There won’t be an HR25 or anything like that to replace it. The series that includes HR20, HR21, HR22, HR23 and HR24 stops here, for better or worse. There comes a time when you have to move on, and the HR20/HR21/HR22/HR23 series DVRs are now so old that they really don’t have the processor power to deliver the new features DIRECTV wants to put in. DIRECTV could build a much faster 2-tuner DVR to replace them but they won’t; as I said demand is down because people want Genies.
More than anything, this means that you really need to think about SWM. As we move forward, all DIRECTV receivers will be SWM-only. If you haven’t upgraded to SWM yet, you’re part of a shrinking group. Our downloadable guide will help you get there, and you need to know that it’s possible to convert any dish to SWM by connecting an external multiswitch. Let this be your wakeup call if you haven’t embraced SWM technology.
HR24 DVRs are still available now and will be for some time. Solid Signal has a good supply of HR24s as I write this and that’s not likely to change. It should be noted that there is such a large supply of recertified boxes out there that it’s likely you’ll get one rather than a new one. DIRECTV no longer makes a distinction between new and recertified boxes when it comes to HR24s. The odds are very, very good that you’ll receive a box that looks and acts identical to a new one, but if there’s a problem, we can help you through it.
What about H24 and H25 receivers? DIRECTV’s H24 is getting a little harder to find because the H25 is such a capable replacement. The H25 will continue on for the foreseeable future but it’s possible that we’ll see supplies of H24’s tightening in the future. Remember that the only thing that an H24 can do that an H25 can’t is run in a non-SWM system and you really should be upgrading to SWM right away.
The big question… multiple Genies. One of the big reasons people still get HR24s is because they want more than 5 recording tuners or want to service more than 4 rooms. DIRECTV’s aware of this and I’ve been assured that there will be some sort of solution long before the supply of HR24s dries up. There will be a way to work with people who want more than 5 tuners, but in the meantime, as I said, HR24s are still out there in the pipeline. DIRECTV has always been the leading solution for customers who want more than just the standard 4-room solution, and they will continue in that role. Period.
It’s perfectly normal for a company to evolve its product line, and DIRECTV will no doubt continue to rework its plans as it incorporates AT&T customers into the fold in the coming years. But believe me folks, there’s nothing to worry about today.