This receiver may not look familiar to you. With its odd-looking DIRECTV logo, you may think it’s a knockoff or maybe something from an alternate universe.
It’s not a knockoff, but if you were thinking more about the alternate universe angle, you wouldn’t be far off.
DIRECTV in Latin America
DIRECTV’s Latin American subsidiary was one of the highlights of its financial portfolio in the early 2010s. When DIRECTV became part of the AT&T family in 2015, AT&T sought to spin off the “DTVLA” division due to potential regulatory conflicts. Those conflicts never really happened, and so DIRECTV Latin America, now known as “Vrio” is now an independent business unit. It’s separate from DIRECTV’s US operations. Vrio does contract with DIRECTV’s US Engineering facility to develop hardware and software in some cases.
The LH01 and other devices
For years, DIRECTV’s Latin American equipment looked practically identical to the equipment used in the US. That changed when the US moved to Genie equipment. The Latin American markets are far more price-conscious, so in that market you saw more development of receivers as opposed to super DVRs.
The LH01 that you see at the top of this article is a basic receiver, capable of SD and HD reception. The closest relative in the US would be the H24, which is much larger. Although the two are similar, the LH01 can’t be used for DIRECTV US programming. No Latin American receiver can.
Why can’t we get this receiver for the US?
There’s no technical reason why the something like the LH01 couldn’t be made for the US market. However, it’s just not something that’s on the horizon. Residential (home) users in the US want DVR functions. Regular receivers are only found in businesses and on marine and RV accounts for the most part. Some superusers (you might be one of them) still hold onto older receivers because they want more than 8 rooms of DIRECTV service. That’s cool too.
There have been rumors for close to a year of a new receiver to be used for commercial accounts only. Current stocks of H24 and H25 receivers are getting older, as there has been no new receivers made since about 2012. We expect that we’ll see something there in the next few months.
What if you got one of these and just connected it?
Well, it wouldn’t work. You couldn’t activate it with your regular DIRECTV account. It wouldn’t receive signals from the dishes we use in the US. And, you’d be in a lot of trouble.
In the US, the FCC controls the licensing and approval of every electronic device. It’s technically illegal to import anything electronic without an FCC logo. As a private individual you probably wouldn’t get it trouble for a single device but companies like Solid Signal don’t import or sell stuff without FCC logo approval. We would get in a huge amount of trouble. It’s just not worth it for something that wouldn’t work in the US anyway.