Will There Ever be Any New Features for DIRECTV’s D12?

It may have been the “shizz” back in 2007 but DIRECTV’s venerable D12 has lagged behind in the last several years. Still sporting the tried-and-true blue user interface of years past, it lacks the network function and interactive features of its HD receiver brethren. It can’t share programs, it’s certainly not high definition and it doesn’t have any fancy self-programming magic.

In fact, SolidSignal.com can’t even activate a new one for you, unless you’re a commercial customer or if it’s replacing one that broke. DIRECTV’s pretty serious that it’s the end of the road for standard definition. They’ve been banging the HD drum for over ten years now and they’d be pretty happy if everyone moved over to new HD equipment. The last available data suggests that about 40% of DIRECTV customers still have some SD equipment, either the D12 or (gasp) something even older. DIRECTV turned off support for everything prior to the 2003-era D10, but that’s still quite a bit of hardware out there.

The good news is that there are a lot of free upgrades out there and your friends at Solid Signal can help. Yeah, you’re going to have to call 877.312.4547, and you’re going to have to enter into a new two-year commitment, but many people who do this are going to end up with a whole new system, completely for free. This means HD, DVR, the whole deal. It certainly is a big jump up from “just watching TV.”

On the other hand, if you’re still holding onto that D12 in a guest room or garage, it’s probably time to think about other plans. If you’re already on a SWM system it’s really just a one-time charge to get you into an HD receiver for that room and there are even ways that charge can be waived. I understand that out in the garage you may not need those extra features, but listen folks, sooner or later we are going to see SD programming turned off. AT&T doesn’t want to have to support it in its next generation hardware and the SD customer base is dropping. You don’t want to be the last person on the bus out of SD land.

Because, really… is this what you want to be looking at for the next couple years?

I know I don’t miss that a bit. I turned off my last SD receiver in 2008 and haven’t looked back. Come join me!

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 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.