What should you do with older DIRECTV equipment when you’re done with it?

You finally got the letter from AT&T. Your local market’s standard definition programs are going away. It’s been going on throughout the nation for quite a while now.

That means you’re going to have to say goodbye to that R10 TiVo you’ve been nursing all these years. I understand you’ve become attached to it, butit’s time to move on. You called your friends at Solid Signal and they set you up with a Genie upgrade that makes you happier than you ever thought you could be with a DVR. The picture is sharper, the storage capacity will blow your mind, and it’s even smaller. And then…

you look back at that R10. What should you do with it?

The simple truth

The R10 and other DIRECTV DVRs from before 2010 are pretty extreme cases, but with newer receivers and DVRs AT&T will send a recovery kit so you can send them back for recycling. It’s actually required by law in some states. The recovery kit isn’t much more than an empty box and a pre-paid label, but that’s all it takes. Older receivers may not get recovered and so there’s that question again… what to do?

Get the facts

First of all ask your AT&T representative (or your friends at Solid Signal) if there will be a recovery kit for your deactivated receiver. It’s even a good idea to hold onto it for about a month to make sure that everything is cool. The worst case scenario is that AT&T asks for the receiver back but you don’t have it. They could end up charging you a lot of money. That’s why you really need to make sure before you do anything permanent.

If this receiver or DVR is a reasonably current model it will probably get recovered. As I write this, they are continuing to recover H24, H25, HR24, and most Genie equipment. They aren’t recovering any standard definition equipment at all. The fact is, they’re just not going to want it back.

In a case like that, there isn’t a lot that you can do with an older deactivated receiver. It’s pretty iffy as far as trying to sell it or give it away. AT&T isn’t activating standard definition equipment at all anymore. Even if you have the legitimate right to sell it, and you may, it’s not going to be really useful for an average customer.

As far as parts…

For DVRs you can probably salvage the hard drive but you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it for a smaller drive that could probably be purchased for under $50 new. That R10 hard drive has been running for over a decade now, and it’s pretty amazing that it’s still working. However, you have to ask yourself how much confidence you have in it at this point.

Just responsibly recycle it

The best thing to do is responsibly recycle anything you don’t want. Many states require any store that sells consumer electronics to accept all electronics for recycling even if the items weren’t bought there, and you may find that local charities hold electronic recycling events where they sell the stuff in bulk to recyclers. That means you could get a tax deduction to the extent allowed by law and that’s a pretty good deal too.

Whatever you do, don’t just through the old stuff in the landfill. The plastics and metals in the receivers aren’t good for the environment and hey, we all want this planet to hang around and be healthy, right?

And don’t forget, if you need to upgrade or purchase additional accessories for your DIRECTV system, call 877-312-4547 or fill out the form below.

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 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.