Are all DIRECTV and DISH receivers refurbished now?

Our customers have always come to us because they want new-in-box equipment.  Yet, for the last decade, we’ve sometimes had to disappoint them. Neither AT&T nor DISH guarantee that what they ship us will be new-in-box, and we’re seeing more and more refurbs coming down the pipeline. So is it even possible to get new equipment anymore? Let’s run down the list of what you can and can’t get brand new in 2019.

Why are there so many refurbs?

Unfortunately, both AT&T and DISH have seen drops in subscribers in the last few years. Because both companies use a lease model for equipment, subscribers must return all their receivers if they leave the service. Typical satellite receivers are very well built and often work for 5-7 years even if they’re in really hot, dusty environments. DVRs will work for 3-5 years without a hard drive replacement and often times will work longer than that.

If customers come to DIRECTV or DISH for a 2-year teaser rate and leave, they often leave behind equipment in perfect working order. This equipment is tested, cleaned, and if necessary parts or outside cases are replaced. It’s repackaged with new cables and a new box and sent out to live a new life.

Both AT&T and DISH refurbish receivers to keep customer costs down and because it helps with some of the accounting magic they need in order to make favorable reports to stockholders. They’ve been doing this for over a decade.

What’s new (ish)

New hardware for DIRECTV and DISH is still being made, but even with these products there is a chance that you’ll get a refurb because they have been in production for a while. Here’s a quick list.



What’s refurbished but still available

These receivers and DVRs are still available at Solid Signal but you’re guaranteed a refurb. Some of these haven’t been made in over 5 years but there are good supplies available because of upgrade deals that AT&T and DISH have run over the years.



These older boxes are kept around for commercial customers and for people who need direct replacements for even older standard definition equipment. They’re a good choice if you just want to plug-and-play.

Is there anything you can do if you absolutely must have “new in box?”

Unfortunately at this point there is not. There is still new equipment in the pipeline but with Genie 2 and Hopper 3 having both been out for a while there are such a generous number of refurbs.

I guess the real answer here is to realize that refurbished equipment usually isn’t a problem. If you get a box and it’s not cosmetically perfect, let us know before you activate it. We can usually get it swapped out. If you have technical problems, we can help with that too. Only Solid Signal can offer you this kind of safety net and that’s why our customers love us. One call to 888-233-7563 is all you need!

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.