Which DIRECTV Receiver should you pick: H24 or H25?

DIRECTV has two HD receivers: The H24 and H25. Why two? Let’s go through the details.

This is the DIRECTV H24 HD receiver. It’s actually a bit long in the tooth, having been released in 2010. It features a touchscreen front and a full set of outputs on the back, including component, composite, and HDMI. It also has an ethernet port and can be used with older, non-SWM DIRECTV systems.

This is the DIRECTV H25 receiver. It doesn’t have a touchscreen on the front, doesn’t have component outputs, and doesn’t have a ethernet port. It must be used with a SWM system and will not work with the older systems. Although the picture doesn’t show it, it’s about half the size of the H24.

This would seem like a no-brainer, right? Choose the one with more outputs, more inputs, and more abilities, right? After all they are the same price. There’s a little more to the story here.

The H25 runs a bit faster than the H24, and that speed increase isn’t much but it could make a difference if you watch a lot.

First of all, the H25 features an external power supply and uses about half as much power as the H24. The external power supply may seem annoying but since the power supply is often the first thing to go, it makes sense to keep it outside, where it can be easily replaced. The power savings is significant, too — it could end up saving you $20 over the time you’ll have the receiver.

Not only that, let’s look at what was removed from the H25. Do you actually connect anything via component anymore? Few people do. Connecting via ethernet is great if you have ethernet there, but DIRECTV’s coax networking is so good, why would you?

As to the matter of the SWM system… all new systems are SWM. You’ll never get a new non-SWM system unless you build it yourself. So you’re losing compatibility with a system that you’ll never use.

On the other hand the H25 is so light that it sticks easily to the back of a TV with some industrial velcro. It’s so small that it fits in the gap in your wall mount. Because the power supply is outside the box, it runs more reliably.

If you really need the features that the H24 brings and you don’t mind the size, that’s fine, but if not, why not get the latest receiver, especially since it’s also the smallest and fastest?