Will DIRECTV ever produce a new standalone DVR?

A customer recently asked me this question, and I guess the answer is, never say never but…

The way we used to do it vs. today

Back in the early days of DIRECTV, you bought everything. There was no free hardware. You went to the store and bought want you wanted. And if you wanted ten DVRs, you bought them.

That sort of spirit is a bit more rare now. Yes, you can shop for DIRECTV receivers at Solid Signal. But there’s a little bit more you need to know. People who currently have standalone DVRs like the HR24 will be able to replace them. Most new customers will be able to activate them. The situation with existing customers is a bit more nuanced. Not every existing customer will be able to add an HR24 to their accounts. The best way to know for sure is to call us at 888-233-7563 and let us check before you order.

The fact that DIRECTV doesn’t really put a lot of emphasis on standalone DVRs should tell you something about the future. Let me explain.

The home media center concept

For close to 15 years, DIRECTV has been moving toward the concept of a home media center. That’s a single point where all your recordings take place, and small inexpensive boxes connect to it. If you think that sounds like today’s Genie 2 DVR, you’d be absolutely right.

The home media center makes a lot of sense. It’s what customers want — the smallest possible device at their TVs, and a box that requires no thought or maintenance somewhere else in the house. This is what people get with their internet equipment, and it’s what they want with their satellite equipment as well.

Home media centers make sense to the satellite companies as well. The overall cost is lower compared to a separate DVR at each TV. It’s easier to get Energy Star certification, which is still important to the satellite companies. There are fewer points of failure and installations are simpler.

Why would anyone want a standalone DVR?

Throughout its 25+ years in business, DIRECTV has enabled people to create the home theater of their dreams. Sometimes this has meant a dozen DVRs all in the same room, and sometimes it’s meant a separate DVR for each member of the family so no one can watch anyone else’s programming. There are a lot of reasons you’d want it.

Still, the number of people who don’t want a home media center is shrinking. At Solid Signal, we’re committed to serving that market whether or not DIRECTV wants to serve it. But admittedly it’s a smaller percentage of the over 14 million DIRECTV residential subscribers.

I personally think the chances of us seeing another standalone DVR aren’t very good, but anything is possible. In order to design and engineer something new, there has to be enough demand to justify the manufacturing startup costs. At the same time, it’s pretty unlikely that we’ll see a new factory run of HR24s. The technology was developed a decade ago and many of the original components aren’t available anymore.

Where does that leave you?

It leaves you with one option. This is the time to add that standalone DVR to your DIRECTV system, if you can. Call us at 888-233-7563 and let us check to see if that option’s still available to you. Or, fill out the form below and we’ll happily get back to you, usually within one business day.

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 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.