What’s the best dish for the DIRECTV HS17 Genie 2?

The internet is abuzz with news of the DIRECTV Genie 2. It’s DIRECTV’s latest gamechanger DVR, with the ability to store over 450 hours of HD content and support two 4K TVs at once. It does other tricks, too.

If you’re thinking of upgrading to this new DVR, you may be asking if a dish upgrade is needed. It isn’t strictly “needed” but I’ve heard a lot of buzz that if you don’t have a 4K-capable dish in the future, you’ll start getting nasty popups on the screen telling you to upgrade.

Since the Genie 2 requires that all older DIRECTV equipment be removed from your home, it’s also a good time to upgrade to a Reverse Band 3 dish. This is the one dish you need, 99% of the time. Here are the reasons:


  • Even if you currently have a Slimline-5 dish, you probably don’t need it. DIRECTV has moved all HD programming off the 119 satellite so a 5-location dish just isn’t important anymore unless you just have to get your SD freak on.
  • This one dish will support all 11 tuners in use from your Genie 2. Although the Genie 2 only can record 7 things at once, the other tuners will probably be used for 4K recording when needed in the future. Older SWM multiswitches will be locked out of these new channels.
  • The HS17 can power a Reverse Band 3 dish but it can’t power an external SWM multiswitch. With a properly installed HS17 Genie 2, you eliminate an external DECA adapter, the power inserter, and a wireless video bridge, and potentially eliminate coax cabling to your clients. That’s a big benefit to some people.
  • With a Reverse Band 3 dish, you have one wire going outside. If you want to get a Reverse Band Legacy dish when they’re available, you’ll need to run six wires outside. That’s a lot of copper, and copper costs money.
  • The Reverse Band 3 dish, or some sort of Reverse Band system, will be required for 4K programming very soon. Why not be futureproof?

In fact there is really only one reason to use an external SWM multiswitch instead of a Reverse Band 3 dish, and that’s if you’re using DIRECTV’s international programming and you currently have a second dish to do that. With hardware available in the winter of 2017-2018, you’ll be able to combine a 4K dish with an international dish, both into an external multiswitch. That’s a lot of work but it’s necessary if you are watching one of DIRECTV’s many international channels.

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.