What you see is the DIRECTV H25. In many ways, it’s the last of its breed. It’s a receiver, it can’t be upgraded to a DVR, and while it can share programs recorded from DVRs, it can’t pause live TV. It’s a direct descendant of DIRECTV’s first receivers, a pizza-box-sized monstrosity that’s so old that it’s hard to find pictures of it on the internet.
There just isn’t much of a market for such a one-trick pony, but when you have 25 million subscribers, if even one percent of them are interested that’s 250,000 people. And DIRECTV has far more than one-percent interest in this box; it’s the go-to choice for commercial customers, hotels, and boats.
Even with all of that, it’s probably the end of the line. DIRECTV has been installing Genies and Genie Mini Clients for five years now and that’s the direction it’s going. That means there probably won’t be a standalone 4K receiver, and there probably won’t be a “DIRECTV H26” or whatever number you want to ascribe to it. DIRECTV is happy to keep making H25s but that’s as far as they’ll go.
What if you’re a commercial customer who wants 4K or someone who doesn’t want to upgrade to a DVR? In the case of 4K, there’s going to be a solution. It’s been announced but all the details aren’t quite nailed down. (If you want the scoop, call your friends at Signal Connect at 888-233-7563.) If you’re on an RV or boat and all you want is a simple receiver, don’t worry. The H25 isn’t going away any time soon.
You might be thinking that technology has probably advanced since 2011 when we first saw the H25, and that it could probably be smaller and cheaper if you made it now. You’d probably be right. On the other hand, the cost of getting FCC approval and all the manufacturing startup costs, for a receiver that doesn’t have mass appeal, probably isn’t worth it. The DIRECTV H25 works fine, even if it doesn’t seem as tiny as it used to when it was first announced.
And you know what…. for most people, a Genie system really is the best bet. It’s more efficient, more powerful, has more features, and the clients really are tiny (if you even need a client, since you can use smart TVs as clients.) For those folks who still need a standalone receiver, you still have a choice. That’s not a bad thing.