NICE AND EASY: Can you install your DIRECTV receiver sideways?

Sometimes you just have to get creative. That DIRECTV receiver or client, no matter how compact it is, just may not sit flat in the space where you want to put it. Sometimes that’s just the simple fact. So you look at it, and you want to put it vertically. But you’re worried it will break, or fail, or something.

A lot of different options

Most DIRECTV equipment is designed with a lot of different options in mind. Some devices have keyhole slots on the back so they can easily be wall-mounted. Others have had plastic cradles which let you mount them easily. Most receivers (non-DVRs) are so light that you can just mount them with industrial Velcro.

So that’s the good news. You can stop worrying. DIRECTV receivers and clients are designed so that they work well vertically or horizontally. Genie receivers and clients are the best for this, because their design lets them vent from a lot of different directions. The pre-HR24 DVRs are probably the worst for vertical mounting because they run hot and don’t have as much ventilation as earlier or later receivers. Even so, they still work pretty well when mounted vertically.

The key here is airflow. If you don’t have enough the equipment won’t work as well. It’s perfectly OK to put your equipment in a cabinet vertically as long as there’s a lot of room around it and there’s a lot of air that can get to it. Putting it in between a pair of books on a bookshelf, that’s not a superb idea and putting it in your sock drawer, that’s a downright bad idea.

One exception

DIRECTV’s HS17 Genie 2 DVR is designed to stand up like a tower. All the ventilation is designed around that orientation. It’s so important that you keep it standing straight up that it has a sensor to make sure it’s not laid down. This is, of course, in addition to the temperature sensor that all DIRECTV equipment has. That sensor will tell you if enough holes are blocked that it’s a problem.

If you try to lay the Genie 2 down, all your clients will show this message:

You’ll also see a pattern of flashing lights on the Genie 2 itself:

Just use common sense

The bottom line here is that as long as you’re smart and make sure you’re not blocking airflow, you’ll be fine. Make sure your receivers and DVRs have plenty of ventilation. It’s very common to see these devices last 10 years or longer in the field. All you have to do is take care of them.

On the other hand, if you do think that your receiver is beginning to go, the folks at Solid Signal can help you with an upgrade! Call us at 888-23-7563 and we’ll be happy to discuss your options! We have access to the same deals that DIRECTV’s corporate call center can offer, and we can generally do even better. Why? Because the reps in our Novi, Michigan corporate office care about you and your equipment. We’ll go the extra mile to make sure you get great service.

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.