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

That well loved R10 TiVo finally gave out on you. You’ve had it over ten years, and it’s time to move on. You called your friends at Solid Signal (877.312.4547) 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 R10 and other DIRECTV DVRs from before 2010 are pretty extreme cases, but with newer receivers and DVRs DIRECTV 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?

First of all ask your DIRECTV 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 DIRECTV 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 (say within five years old) it will probably get recovered. If it’s a little older than that, DIRECTV may tell you they’re no longer recovering it. If it’s ten years old or more, 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; the person you give it to may be able to activate it with nothing more than a $20 fee for an access card, or they may be unable to activate it.

As far as parts… 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.

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?

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 5,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.