Definitely not… although it might seem like it.
About ten years ago, DIRECTV adopted a lease model for all its receivers and DVRs. Before that, you went to your local electronics store or satellite dealer and bought the equipment outright. It was yours to keep. That changed for several reasons. Accounting departments like leases, because there are tax benefits. The attorneys also like them because it means tighter control over the way old equipment gets disposed of, which keeps environmental lawyers out of the mix. It means that you can’t buy your equipment second-hand, which keeps you more tied to DIRECTV. Most importantly (for this article anyway) leased equipment can be repossessed without legal proceedings.
What I’m trying to say there is that when people leave DIRECTV, they return the old equipment. If they upgrade, they return the old equipment. There are very few cases where they don’t return the old equipment. This is good because receivers and DVRs have a service life of 5-7 years, while some people choose to leave once their 2-year agreement is up. That means perfectly good equipment isn’t thrown away or recycled.
When DIRECTV equipment is returned, it’s sent for refurbishing. Here it’s tested and looked at for cosmetic damage. If there are a lot of dings and scrapes, it could get a new outside skin. If it passes all tests, it’s packaged up with a new remote and sent out into the world again.
In theory a DIRECTV receiver should work the same whether it’s brand new or refurbished. Any receiver that’s going to fail should do so when it’s tested. But of course sometimes bad equipment does make it out into the world. And, there are some people who really, really want to have something new.
When you get your DIRECTV equipment from Solid Signal, it’s as new as can be. Some models, like the old DIRECTV H24 receiver, just aren’t made anymore and everything’s refurbished at this point. On the other hand, the HR54 Genie DVR is so new that there are very few returns so you’re almost guaranteed to get a new one. If you want brand new equipment, the best way to get it is to get the top of the line, something that isn’t old enough to go through refurbishing.
If you call DIRECTV for a replacement HD DVR, there’s still a chance you’ll get an older one, older than the current HR24 generation. The only way to guarantee what model you’ll get is to call Solid Signal. If we say we’re sending you an HR24, it will be an HR24, period.
If you get a receiver that’s just plain ugly — this is rare but does happen — call us immediately and do not activate it. We can easily swap it out before it’s activated. If you activate the receiver and it stops working almost immediately, again call us — the number’s 877.312.4547 — and we’ll do everything we can to get you a new one as quickly as possible. We don’t want you sitting there with a bum receiver any more than you do.