Can you use Genie 2 with other DIRECTV receivers?

DIRECTV’s new Genie 2 DVR is the answer to the hopes and dreams of a lot of people, but if you’re a true power user, it may not be the best thing for you.

That’s right, most people will love the idea that you can record 400 hours of HD, that one box can service 7 rooms including two 4K TVs, that it eliminates cable clutter and is the easiest installation that DIRECTV’s ever done. Its built-in networking and high-end features will make it perfect for people who want a “set it and forget it” product.

Yet, for people who are used to having 15-20 receivers in their homes, it won’t be enough, and unlike other DIRECTV equipment, once you go with that big black tower, you’ll never go back. What I mean is that you can’t have any older-style receivers or any other Genie DVRs on your account at the same time you have the Genie 2. This is more of an administrative decision than a technical one. Yes, there are technical issues involved, but instead of addressing them with expensive fixes, DIRECTV’s management chose simply not to allow any configurations that caused problems. After all, 99.9% of people will be perfectly served by a configuration like this.

If you’re one of the roughly 40,000 people who need more from a residential setup, however, the best choice for you at this time is to stay with an HR54 Genie DVR, which will let you add as many HR24 DVRs and H25 receivers as you like. The only downside to this option is that you can only have one 4K receiver in the home at any given time. This isn’t much of a problem now when 4K content is pretty sparse but it may be an issue for you in the future.

The only other option would be to have two completely separate DIRECTV accounts in the home, completely isolated from each other and using separate dishes. Obviously this isn’t the best possible option but it would give you the option for an HS17 Genie 2 on one dish and an HR54 Genie DVR on the other, with a total of three 4K programs at the same time and as many HD programs as you might want as well. However, that’s an incredibly expensive way to get about things.

It’s not clear what the future brings in this department, honestly. DISH will allow two Hopper 3s on the account and will soon have a multiswitch where you can run them both on the same dish. However, they really don’t have any 4K content so does it really matter? Hopefully the next generation after HS17 will support even more 4K receivers and at some point there will have to be some sort of solution for people who want more than seven rooms. I don’t know what that will be, but I am confident that it will happen.

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.