Folks, I could use some advice about switching out my current installed setup in favor of Genie. Living in Minnesota, I have about a 60-day window of possible work on the roof before installers will refuse to go up there (cedar shakes) so the decision needs to be made to act now or wait until next year.
- DVRs/receivers: HR22, HR21, HR20, H21(2)
- Dish: older 3LNB Slimline w/ Zinwell 16-way splitter
- TVs/Viewing Locations: 8 HD LCDs various sizes (using Gefen CAT6 HDMI splitters for sharing)
- Gigabit LAN access: hardwired CAT6 at all viewing locations (2 ports each) and wireless
- DTV signal access: RG6 ports at all viewing locations (2 ports each)
The primary motivation for going to Genie is that managing recordings across 3 DVRs is kind of a hassle - the one that is watched most often seems to take the brunt of ad hoc searches and series recordings so it runs low on capacity while the one furthest away is barely used. In addition, one of them has been acting up lately and shows symptoms of a pending disc crash. In terms of network performance, I have not had any problems with my self-installed whole home network - HD shows run just fine. My only speed complaint would have to do with the menus being slow at times but that's probably got more to do with the DVRs.
- I see that a number of people still running hardwired networks have been successful with getting them to work with Genie. To me, this is the preferred option because I already have the CAT6 and gigabit router/switches installed and find my hardwired speed and connection reliability to be superior vs. when I run in wireless mode. Am I going to run into problems with DirecTV in trying to keep my current network setup? In the new order, what role does the network play? In addition to providing an internet connection, is it still needed for the Genie to connect to programming on any older DVRs I chose to leave in service? Are there limitations to mixing Genie with older DVRs?
- I still haven't installed SWM because I haven't needed to - have all the RG6 connections needed. From reading other posts, I understand Genie requires moving to SWM which means switching out the LNB on my dish and using a different splitter. Is this correct? Does the switch to SWM cause downstream impact/change to any of my existing DVRs if I choose to keep them?
- In terms of limitations of Genie to support a given number of TVs simultaneously, I could figure something out (to support all 8) by keeping one or more of the DVRs and using my Gefen splitters to share access across TVs that aren't watched very much. Any thoughts on potential problems with this logic?
- Are there any other "gotchas" you can think of for somebody considering the change? I don't resist change, just don't like fooling with a working system until there is a compelling reason to make a change. Faster menu navigation and easier, centralized management of recordings would be good reasons.
- How much of this change would DirecTV let me do myself (where they send me what I need)? I have done most of the wiring and setup up until now... not afraid to do the roof work either.
As always, I appreciate your input. People on this site have always been very helpful and I hope to return the favor.