Do you need an internet connection in order to share programs (DIRECTV non-Genie equipment)?

One of the nice thing about DIRECTV systems is that you’re in control. You can choose the simplicity of a Genie 2 system, or you can expand your system as much as you want with standalone DVRs and receivers. It’s up to you.

You can create the perfect system for your needs and you get to decide which features you want to use. You can take advantage of everything AT&T offers, or just the thing you want.

The funny thing is…

Sometimes you just don’t want on demand stuff. If you’re somewhere that you can’t get internet and you still want to share programs… the good news is that you can do it with DIRECTV receivers. If you have a DVR and a receiver in your setup, the receiver will be able to play programs from the DVR without a problem as long as:

  • You’re using a SWM system
  • You have an HD receiver
  • Your programming supports it. If you haven’t changed your plan in a while you may have an “Advanced Receiver Services” fee, but for any plans started in the last five years, this is rolled in.

Check for this information

If you don’t know whether or not you have a SWM system, press the DASH button on the remote while you’re watching live TV. If it says “SWiM Connected” then you’re all set. Otherwise there’s going to be a little upgrading involved, and that’s a topic for another article.

Your DIRECTV account includes HD service, DVR service, on-demand, and advanced interactive programming. A long time in the past, these were billed out as separate items. Today they are all built in. You don’t have to take advantage of all these services but for most customers you can’t pay for the services a la carte unless you’re on a really old programming package.

How to get set up

So, getting whole-home set up is actually really easy once you’ve gotten past those two hurdles. Go to the DVR and press MENU then go to Settings&Help, Settings, Whole-Home and set “Share Playlist” to “Yes.” Then you can go to the other receiver and press the LIST button to see the programs on the DVR and play them.

A lot of people also use this as a way to get (almost) DVR service on a regular receiver. Just start a live program recording on the DVR then watch it from the playlist of the regular receiver. You can pause it just as if you were on a DVR!

Get the DIRECTV equipment you need

When you call AT&T’s call centers, they’ll try to push their one-size-fits-all approach. Honestly, a Genie 2 with an internet connection will be the perfect choice for maybe 98% of customers, maybe even more. But Solid Signal has always been here for those 2% of customers who want the custom system of their dreams. Shop our newly-renovated web site, or if you need even more help, call us! The number is 888-233-7563 and our technicians are ready to help you during East Coast business hours.

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.