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Considering HR34/Genie, questions

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by racermd, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. racermd

    racermd Legend

    Dec 17, 2006
    It's probably been discussed to death already but I haven't been able to find suitable answers in my hour-long search of the site. If these questions have been asked before, I apologize and request to be pointed to the appropriate thread.

    Background - I currently have 3x HR20-700s with unsupported MRV via ethernet. All of the boxes are still in decent shape. Two of the boxes have eSATA disks for more storage and are generally speedier than the box without an eSATA drive. However, all of them are pokey to varying degrees with the current software revisions (even though it's better than it was a few months ago) and the spousal unit isn't as happy as she once was. She has an opportunity with her current employer to get a discount on service and maybe some new equipment. The HR34/Genie was one of the things that caught her eye after I mentioned it to her a few months back. I know the HR34 boxes aren't any speedier than the HR2x units right now but it appears to be the hardware D* is going to be spending their time on development going forward.

    Our dish is currently the SWMLine-5, an "upgrade" from the old-style regular 4-output SL5 head and a 5x8 multiswitch. I still have the old SL5 head in storage and could be re-used when I need to go to a SWM16 unit.

    I have exactly two questions:

    First - has there been any change to the 1x HR34/Genie per account rule? I'd want to replace 2x of our HR20 boxes to HR34 boxes and get either an RVU client or an H2x box for the 3rd TV. One HR34 box would house my content. The other HR34 would house my wife's content. The 3rd TV is in our common space and only needs to stream from the DVRs but managing recordings on both of the DVRs from that common location would certainly be nice. Since 10x DVR tuners is plenty for the two (and eventually our son as number three) of us, we don't need the HR20 as a third box. As a result, I'm willing to give up all 3 HR20s in favor of this new setup provided we can actually get 2x HR34s on a single account.

    Second - Would I be required to go "supported" on MRV? Once I order the equipment - 2x HR34s, 1x SWM16, 1x DECA (for external network connections), and either 1x H2x receiver or 1x RVU - I have all the wiring in place to do the job myself. It's literally plug-and-play, as far as I can tell. I'm a former low-level cable TV tech and a current IT support tech so I can definitely support my own installation. In the entire time I've had service, I have made exactly zero support calls related to equipment or wiring, including the transition from my legacy LNB head to the SWM head.

    Thank you in advance for your time.
  2. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    DirecTV still has the 1 HR34 limitation on accounts.

    Are you looking at ordering the equipment from DirecTV or from a third party? If the latter, while you could feasibly order 2 HR34's, you will most likely not be able to activate the second one with DirecTV.

    With regard to going to supported MRV, if you upgrade to a HR34, you will be moving to a SWM/DECA environment. I assume you want to do the install by yourself and just call up DirecTV to activate everything. In that case, you might not be able to have "supported" MRV as a tech is not there to confirm your setup. If a tech comes out to do the install and setup, you will have "supported" MRV as that is needed for your new setup.

    In your case, once you have the new setup, having supported or unsupported MRV should not affect you too much though.

    - Merg
  3. racermd

    racermd Legend

    Dec 17, 2006
    Well, shoot. Looks like we're going to stick to our 3x HR20s for a while longer, then. Activating 2x HR34s is a dealbreaker for our setup. If we can't do that, we're sticking with what we've got. And I'm not entirely sure how my wife's discount deal has us ordering equipment - either through a 3rd party with a discount pre-applied or via D* with some sort of discount code or some other mechanism.

    With regards to supported/unsupported MRV - I was always under the impression (correctly or not) that activating an HR34 required a tech visit to configure DECA, effectively mandating a "supported" setup. If, when the HR34 activation limit has been rescinded, I ultimately buy the hardware on my own, you're suggesting I can continue my MRV "unsupported" so long as I do all that work myself (which I actually want to do)?
  4. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    The 1 per account limit on the HR34's probably isn't going to change in the near term, possibly in the longer term.

    As to the installation aspect, you've already got the coax all in place. All an installer would do would be to set the boxes down and plug everything in (maybe swapping LNB and installing SWM16 depending on number of tuners). He'll be delighted he doesn't have to do a bunch of work. However you would transition from ethernet based to deca based network, which would be transparent to you, and which you could continue to support on your own if you so desired. There really is no downside to moving to deca based networking (other than policy requiring an installer to set it up). Further, if you really wanted to, you could always switch it back to ethernet based but I would strongly argue against doing that.
  5. iceman2a

    iceman2a Icon

    Dec 30, 2005
    Hudson, FL...
    Why is not getting 2 hr34s a deal breaker??? Just curious!
    Replaceing your HR20 (without the external drive) with a Genie increases both storage capacity and tuners!! Does is matter where the content is stored as long as everyone has access to it?
  6. racermd

    racermd Legend

    Dec 17, 2006
    Right new, our 3x HR20s are shared between my wife and I. One of them is exclusively for my recordings, one is exclusively for her recordings, and the third is shared for overflow (either disk space or tuner counts). Managing the recordings with such a setup is a mild hassle as it is.

    If we're going to put any amount of time or money into new equipment, we're going to do it right. That means a single HR34 for me, a single HR34 for her, and the common box will be an H24/H25 or an RVU. What that will do for us is allow each of us to manage our recordings either on our respective HR34 or the common box.

    By replacing just one of the HR20s with an HR34, we'll have more tuners to manage with no better way to manage them than we have now. And, remember, while I don't necessarily have a problem with this (despite it still being a bit of a pain), my wife won't go for it unless it makes her life easier.
  7. racermd

    racermd Legend

    Dec 17, 2006
    I'm not opposed to moving to DECA considering the new equipment has all the necessary supporting hardware (save for maybe a DECA-to-ethernet bridge). My primary concern is not needing to schedule time off work for a tech to do an install I can do myself. My current setup (3x HR20s) would need DECA adapters and I find ethernet MRV to be just fine on my home network so I really can't justify the cost of going to DECA right now. That'll obviously change once I get the new equipment.

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