I don’t blame you if you want all new hardware. Then again I don’t blame DIRECTV for refurbishing receivers and sending them out again. The average receiver can be used in an average scenario for 5-8 years but a lot of receivers are returned after only two, either because a contract has come up or because the customer upgrades it. If DIRECTV didn’t have a refurbishing program, costs for receivers would be sky-high, and remember that most DIRECTV hardware goes out to customers at low or no cost.
Unfortunately, paying full price to get a DIRECTV box doesn’t guarantee it won’t be a refurb. In some cases, there is nothing out there but refurbished hardware, and in some cases there is just so much refurbished hardware out there that it’s not likely you’ll get something “new.” DIRECTV doesn’t even distinguish between new and refurbished hardware in inventory, which makes it hard for Solid Signal to be sure of what you’ll get, short of looking at the actual manufacturing stickers on the receivers themselves.
As of this writing, in September 2017, these are the only DIRECTV receivers that are going out new at all (and there is still a chance of getting a refurb:
I’m not saying you WILL get a new receiver if you choose one of those parts, only that if you choose any other receiver you’re definitely getting a refurb. This includes all the other DVRs offered by DIRECTV, even the HR44 Genie.
If you get a refurbished box, this doesn’t automatically mean it’s bad. In fact most refurbished hardware from DIRECTV lives long and happy lives after being refurbished. If there were a huge epidemic of bad refurbs out there, DIRECTV would be losing money and losing customers. It wouldn’t be worth it. Sure, there are sometimes a few clunkers but if this happens, usually the hardware can be replaced without cost to you if it happens soon after activation. At any rate it’s going to be less than $20 to replace a broken receiver at any point in its life, due to the lease structure DIRECTV employs.
If you get hardware from DIRECTV, look for a sticker that has the model number. If the model number (usually something like HR54-500) has an R or a NC after it, that’s a refurbished box. Most of the time that sticker is the only way you can tell for sure.