How much does it cost to upgrade to DIRECTV Genie?

Well, it sort of depends.

If you’re using older DIRECTV equipment, you might be getting a bit nervous that it might stop working in the future. DIRECTV says that standard definition service is going away in 2019, and if you still haven’t upgraded, you’ll lose all your channels. If you’ve upgraded to HD, you’ll be fine, but if you’re using older HD equipment you still might want to upgrade.

What does Genie bring to the table?
DIRECTV’s Genie system first launched in 2011 and has been a massive success. The Genie DVR, smaller than an old-style HD DVR, can record five things at the same time and acts as a portal to all of DIRECTV’s on-demand programming. Every other room is served by a tiny client, about the size of a small tablet, that’s completely silent yet has all the functions of a DVR. The system uses less power and you can even get wireless boxes so you can avoid running cables, and most new smart TVs won’t even need a separate client box.

You can have up to 8 clients (either smart TVs, wired or wireless boxes) attached to one Genie DVR and you can be watching any three at a time that you want. If you need more rooms than that, you can add H25 DIRECTV receivers that will playback from the Genie DVR but won’t pause live TV.

What if you don’t want to upgrade?
If you already have HD equipment, no one is forcing you to upgrade. Everything will continue to work for you. However, you need to know that DIRECTV is no longer making the older-style DVRs so when yours fails, as it inevitably will, you’ll get a refurbished model. If you want the latest and greatest, you’ll have to go Genie.

Back to business… what’s this going to cost me?
If you’re going to pay full retail, you’re going to be in for several hundred dollars. But don’t run away yet! If you haven’t done any upgrading for two years, you probably qualify for some sort of discount. You might even qualify for completely free equipment. The only way to know is to call Solid Signal at 888-233-7563.

The lawyers tell me that I have to let you know that activating any DIRECTV equipment, even free equipment, generally means signing a new 2-year agreement.

If you’re not currently paying the Advanced Receiver Services fee because you’re only watching standard definition TV, the bad news is that you’ll pay that fee every month, which gives you the ability to use DVR service, on demand, share programming within your home, and use the DIRECTV app to access your DVR from anywhere. Right now the fee is separate but fairly soon it will be rolled into the regular package price for DIRECTV so everyone will be paying it no matter what.

If you’re already paying for DVR service and HD Access as separate line items on your bill, those fees will go away and be replaced.

DIRECTV Genie clients and smart TVs have the same mirroring charges as older receivers, so if you’re not adding rooms, you won’t pay more there.

Does it have to be so confusing?
I get where you’re coming from, and while it may seem like you have way too many options, really there’s only one smart choice. Call Solid Signal at 888-233-7563 and learn how you can get caught up before you get left behind!

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.