Can an older receiver see programs recorded on a DIRECTV Genie?

One of the best things about DIRECTV over its 27 or so years in business is its flexibility. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, there’s practically no limit to what you can do. You can create the home entertainment system of your dreams and the best part of course is that Solid Signal can help.

Don’t fear the Genie

When the Genie 2 was released in 2017, a lot of folks worried that this was the end of DIRECTV’s policy of ultimate expansion. After all, Genie 2 is designed to be simple to install. It has less flexibility, but it still provides 99% of subscribers with just what they need. But come on. We’re the Solid Signal folks. We’re the 1% who wants it our way and we don’t care how many little black boxes it takes.

Great news

AT&T has heard your questions and they’ve made their answers clear. They’re still building the HR54 Genie. It may be older tech, but it still works very well. Best of all there’s still a good supply of recently manufactured stock out there.

By itself, the HR54 Genie can record up to five programs and serve up to three clients, including one 4K client at a time. If that’s not quite enough to satisfy your habit, you can add additional HR24 DVRs or H24 receivers to your heart’s content. You can even share content between devices, as long as they are on the same SWM multiswitch.

You’ll want to use the SWM-16 multiswitch, not the newer SWM-30, however. While it might not make sense, the SWM-30 can only share recordings with an HR54, three clients, and three HR24s at the same time. It’s a design incompatibility between the new multiswitch and the older receivers. With the SWM-16, you can share recordings between one HR54, three clients, five HR24s, and one H24. That’s a lot of rooms. You can add additional multiswitches beyond that but they become their own “pods” that can share with themselves and not the boxes on the other multiswitch.

Choosing the right dish

Because you’re using the older multiswitch, you’ll also need to use the Legacy Slimline LNB, not the Reverse Band LNB which isn’t compatible with older multiswitches.  These LNBs are in short supply, so you’ll want to call us at 888-233-7563 to find stock. If you do need to go with a Reverse Band LNB, you’ll gain the ability to use international channels but won’t be able to add as many HR24s to the mix.


You’ll need to know one thing. The HR54 Genie can serve three streams at once. This means that you can watch something you’ve recorded on it. Three other devices can watch recorded programs from it. Or, they can watch live TV if they’re Genie Mini Clients. That also counts as a stream. The HR24 DVR can only serve one stream, meaning that if someone else is watching something recorded on any HR24, you won’t be able to watch something recorded on it. Depending on how complex your system is and what your recording needs are, you may run into a situation where a program you recorded isn’t available because someone else is using the DVR it was recorded on.

When you’re ready to create the ultimate DIRECTV system, call Solid Signal at 888-233-7563. If it’s after hours, fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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.