Top 5 DIRECTV habits to let go of

I’ve been a DIRECTV customer for 20 years. That’s amazing to me, because I think that’s longer than some of my coworkers have been alive. In that time, I’ve learned a lot of tips and tricks. I’ve shared hundreds of them — maybe thousands — on this blog. Along the way, I’ve learned that there are some habits that made sense in the 2000s that just don’t make sense now. If you’ve been with DIRECTV as long as I have, I bet some of these habits sound familiar. It’s time to rethink, especially as DIRECTV prepares for its most amazing year ever.

5. Editing the to-do list

Hard-core DIRECTV fans know that you can get to the to-do list on DIRECTV equipment fairly easily.  With an older device, press MENU, then Recordings, Manage Recordings, To Do List. On Genies, press LIST then arrow up to Recording Manager, then down to Upcoming Recordings.

Personally I use this list as sort of a personalized TV guide, showing me what’s on for the night. But I’ve long since given up trying to edit it, even if it gets absurdly long. I’ve found that if there are a lot of repeats that show up in the recording list, they’ll be culled out by the time that recordings start. There is a rare case where you’ll get a lot of things recorded, but since today’s DVRs have massive hard drives, it’s not a huge issue.

4. Pining over the STOP button

DIRECTV’s older remotes have a STOP button. The newer ones don’t. But it’s just not that big a deal. If you really want a STOP button, you can use an older remote with a newer device. You’ll lose RF communication capability which means you’ll have to aim the remote more carefully. But that’s hardly a big deal.

Realistically, pressing the left arrow or the EXIT button does the same as STOP so you can keep your RF remote and still get the functionality you want.

3. Worrying about manufacturers

Back in the early 2000s, there were a lot of competing designs out there with the same model number. What you see above you is a D11. This was one of three model D11s, each identical in function but each with a different manufacturer.

This trend continued throughout the 2000s. Eventually the receivers looked very similar, but were so different you couldn’t even change out the cases.

Today, there’s no reason for your average DIRECTV fan to think about who made their hardware. Marine customers sometimes care because some receivers have multi-voltage power supplies. But for the average user, there’s absolutely no reason to think about the manufacturer of the thing.

2. External SWM at home

Here’s one that might not belong on this list. If you have more than just a Genie and some clients, you might want an external SWM multiswitch. And, if the system is working for you, it’s not worth making a change. But if you’re thinking upgrades, and if you have 7 rooms or fewer, you’ll be just as happy with a SWM-enabled dish. Today’s SWM-enabled dishes are reliable and easy to aim. On the other hand, the Legacy Reverse Band 5 dish is practically impossible to aim without a meter. It takes 6 lines into the home. It’s just not worth it unless you’re in a situation where you need it.

1. Ethernet networking

Folks, I’ve been saying this for about three years. If your receiver has an Ethernet port, just ignore it. Just ignore it. Seriously. Using Ethernet to connect your receivers doesn’t make any sense. There are two exceptions, which I’ll explain below, but using the Ethernet port is generally going to cause errors and give you worse performance than using the coaxial cable for networking.

The two cases when you can use an Ethernet cable if you want

If you have one —and only one— HR24 DVR, you can connect it over wired Ethernet if you want. But if there are any other receivers in your home in addition to your HR24, you should ignore the Ethernet port on all of them.

Similarly, if you have a Genie DVR, you can connect Ethernet to it and it will provide network information for all the clients. It’s not necessarily a more reliable solution unless your Genie is somewhere with sketchy Wi-Fi.

But in the end…

In the end it’s your home theater. You should be able to run it your way. Solid Signal is here to help with the best DIRECTV receivers and accessories. Check out the great selection now!

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.